"Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) has developed a course of action (COA) to win the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) in the Horn of Africa. Because of the mission, the resources available to the task force, and the nature of the conflict, the command chose a COA that uses Information Operations (IO) as the decisive strategy. Specifically, they have focused on the IO task of Information Engagement to accomplish the mission. CJTF-HOA's performance over the past 5 years has proved that IO is an adequate, feasible, and acceptable course of action to fight the GWOT in the Horn of Africa. Joint and Army doctrine currently specify how IO aligns with warfighting functions. The author proposes a change in that doctrinal alignment to better facilitate the synchronization and coordination of IO during planning and execution. This new doctrinal alignment also may facilitate the replication of CJTF-HOA's success in other regions of the globe. The revision of Field Manual 3-0, Operations, divides IO into five tasks and assigns certain staff responsibility for each task. Under this construct, the task of Information Engagement is part of the Command and Control warfighting function and G-7 has responsibility for it. The new construct eliminates the need for an IO Working Group. As the U.S. Military reduces troop commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, it should apply this COA to other regions of the globe. To achieve the maximum benefit of this COA in new regions, the military must incorporate the lessons learned from CJTF-HOA. These lessons cover a range of topics, but the most important ones are command and control, interagency coordination, and time frame."
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. School of Advanced Military Studies