Jun 11, 2009

Clausewitz on IO - The Taliban is Very Good

The plaintive (and yes, whiny) observation that the enemy is better than us in IO is getting kinda old. Kinda like the "we won all the battles in Vietnam" BS. Maybe someone should break it to them about war as the extension of politics.
U.S. fights an information war in Afghanistan -- L.A. Times


American public affairs officers previously have been slow in responding. U.S. military officials here complain that Taliban leaders are often better and faster at spreading their versions of deadly events.


[Public affairs officer Army Lt. Col. Clarence] Counts said U.S. officials understood that they needed to improve their information efforts, but often were constrained by security regulations that keep sensitive information under wraps. Taliban militants release detailed statements almost instantly because they often make up the information, Counts said.

An improved flow of information is seen as a crucial priority for Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the incoming commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, as he overhauls the Afghan war strategy.

Further underscoring the importance, the military has appointed a Navy rear admiral, Greg Smith, to oversee public affairs operations in Afghanistan. McChrystal is said to want more rapid public disclosure of information.

Recently, U.S. commanders here have expressed frustration over the propaganda bonanza provided to insurgents by the deaths of civilians in numerous U.S. airstrikes over the years.

"We're the superior fighting force, but they [the Taliban] find our weaknesses and go for them," said Air Force Lt. Col. Keith Bryza, who helps plan air support for ground units but is not involved in information efforts. "The Taliban is very good" at information operations.

No comments: