Information Operations Approach to Counter Suicide Bomber Recruiting   [open pdf - 75KB]

"Information Operations (IO) is one of today's least understood, yet most common scapegoat for perceived Global War on Terrorism failures in Iraq. Despite the on-going efforts of strategists and commanders to leverage the media in an attempt to tell the 'good news' successes in Iraq, news coverage continually gravitates towards acts of violence, especially suicide bombings. With or without media support, recent polls indicate that the Coalition has already won many of the 'hearts and minds' of the Iraqi people. Yet, most of the success or failure of information operations is measured and stuck on telling only the 'hearts and minds' story. The analysis from this study suggests that IO correctly shoulders blame for all the wrong reasons. More appropriately, IO is underutilized in what can be deemed a 'kinetic-only' battle on the suicide bomber. This project proposes an information operations policy expansion in relatively unused supporting elements -- counterdeception and counterpropaganda. This will add a non-kinetic approach to the kinetic-centric fight on suicide bombers. The study will analyze how information operations, in the form of counterdeception and counterpropaganda, can target the recruiting base for suicide bombers. More specifically, the project explores the possible success that could be achieved when counterpropaganda and counterdeception address cognitive third order effects of those who are most influential to the potential suicide bomber's decision-making. This new approach targets the Sunni religious faction and the family. This departure from current information operations norms serves as a change to current strategy. The recommended strategy changes also are included in the study."

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