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Strategic Communication Master Class

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1 Strategic Communication Master Class
Brigadier Iain Harrison Director STRATCOM Ops/Plans and Information Operations, Headquarters International Security Assistance Force Overall Briefing Classification: NATO/ISAF UNCLASSIFIED

2 Agenda An ISAF theatre perspective of Strategic Communication Topics
How we do it……….. Topics Strategic Challenges Narrative formation Environmental analysis Public/stakeholder analysis Framing the message Strategic vision Long range horizon scanning Campaign planning Synergy of influence activity NATO/ISAF UNCLAS

3 Terminology (Aarrghh..!) (Strategic Challenges)
Information Operations (US JP 3-13, AJP 3-10 and UK JDP ): The integrated employment of the core capabilities of EW, CNO, PSYOP, MILDEC and OPSEC in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision-making while protecting our own A military function to provide advice and coordination of military information activities in order to create desired effects on the will, understanding and capability of adversaries, potential adversaries and other NAC approved parties in support of Alliance mission objectives Coordinated actions undertaken to influence an adversary or potential adversary in support of political and military objectives by undermining his will, cohesion and decision making ability, through affecting his information, information based processes and systems while protecting one’s own decision makers and decision making processes PSYOPS/MISO (US JP1-02; MC 402; AJP 3-10 and UK JDP ): Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning and ultimately behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals. The purpose of PSYOP is to induce or reinforce behavior favorable to the originator’s objective. Planned psychological activities using methods of communications and other means directed to approved audiences in order to influence perceptions, attitudes and behaviour, affecting the achievement of political and military objectives Planned psychological operations that pursue objectives to gain the support and cooperation of supportive and neutral audiences and to reduce the will and the capacity of hostile or potentially hostile audiences to commit aggressive action, and contribute to crisis management and deterrence in support of diplomatic actions. Planned, culturally sensitive, truthful and attributable activities directed at approved target audiences within the joint operations area in order to achieve political and military objectives by influencing attitudes and behaviour. Influence (Draft FM 3-00 and JDP 3-40): To effectively change attitudes, beliefs and ultimately behavior of foreign friendly, neutral, adversary and enemy audiences to support operations To affect the character or behaviour of someone or something Inform (Draft FM 3-00): To provide information to domestic and foreign audiences to accurately describe operations Outreach: No doctrinal terms STRATCOM (Various Sources) …the processes and efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen or preserve conditions favourable to advance [our] interests and objectives A systematic series of sustained and coherent activities, conducted across strategic, operational and tactical levels, that enables understanding of target audiences, identifies effective conduits, and develops and promotes ideas and opinions through these conduits to promote and sustain particular types of behaviour In concert with other political and military actors and with higher headquarters, STRATCOM advances ISAF’s aims and objectives through the coordinated use of PA, PSYOPS, IO and KLE Strategic Communication: Coordinated actions, messages, images, and other forms of signaling or engagement intended to inform, influence, or persuade…selected audiences in support of [……] objectives Christopher Paul HASC Testimony Information Operations (Function): A military function to provide advice and coordination of military information activities in order to create desired effects on the will, understanding and capability of adversaries, potential adversaries and other NAC approved parties in support of Alliance mission objectives AJP 3-10 Information Operations (Capabilities) – some or all of: The integrated employment of the core capabilities of EW, CNO, PSYOP, MILDEC and OPSEC in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision-making while protecting our own ([US] JP 3-13)

4 Communication Mission
Plan, execute, and assess all communication efforts in order to….. Increase public understanding of the role of: International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) Encourage the Afghan people to become more active in their own security, governance and development Counter insurgent propaganda ….influence the perceptions and behaviour of friendly, neutral and enemy audiences in support of ISAF objectives… The mission of the Communication Directorate is to plan and execute communication activities to support COMISAF’s Campaign Plan which is designed to support President Karzai’s Government. One of our key activities is to increase public awareness of legitimacy for both NATO-ISAF and GIRoA; and to inspire the Afghan population to play an increasingly active role in their own security, governance, and development. My Communication Directorate seeks to achieve this through the synchronization of all statements, actions and images to increase accurate perceptions of NATO-ISAF and GIRoA intentions, goals and commitment. This we do in tight coordination with our Afghan partners and other parties. We also work to identify sources of negative influence on public support and develop robust and detailed plans to counter these sources, particularly the insurgency’s manipulation of public perception.

5 Horizontal and Vertical Integration (Strategic Challenges)
NATO (and Other) Narrative(s) Out of Theatre Military/ Civilian PA Organisations” Out of Theatre Military/ Civilian “IO Organisations” STRATCOM Ops/Plans Theatre-Strategic Plans/Ops Theatre Level IO Theatre Level PA ISAF Including IO capabilities “Act” “Direct” Communication Effects Operational Plans/Ops Operational Level IO Operational Level PA IJC NTM-A Spec TFs Including IO capabilities “Act” “Direct” Tactical Plans/Ops Tactical Level IO Tactical Level PA RCs Bdes Including IO capabilities “Act” “Direct”

6 The Capabilities (Strategic Challenges)
STRATCOM or Communication or Information Activity or Etc, Etc, Etc “Firewall” Military Information Support Operations (PSYOPS) Deception Electronic Warfare Operational Security Computer Network (Cyber) “US IO” Key Leader Engagement Public Affairs (Media Ops) Special Technical Programmes Traditional Communication (Outreach) ISAF “Full Spectrum” Information Operations Physical Destruction PSYOPS Key Leader Engagement Deception Posture, Profile and Presence Computer Network Operations NATO IO Electronic Warfare OPSEC Information Security CIMIC UK IO Special Capabilities

7 HQ ISAF STRATCOM Structure and Linkages (Strategic Challenges)
COMISAF Other DCOS DCOS [STRAT]COM DDCOS [STRAT]COM Public Affairs Dir STRATCOM Ops/Plans & IO IO Capabilities MISO (PSYOPS) Task Force Special Capabilities Traditional Communication STRATCOM Ops/Plans STRATCOM Plans (CJ5 link) STRATCOM Ops (CJ35/3 link) Assessments DCOS Intelligence DCOS Operations DCOS Strategic Partnering Key Leader Engagement [DCOS] Reintegration [DCOS] Counter Corruption DCOMISAF COSISAF ISAF Spokesman IO Cell “IO” Cell NATO/ISAF UNCLAS

8 Operating Environment (Strategic Challenges)
Human terrain complexity Physical Motivations, culture and narratives Literacy Media penetration Credible voices Increasingly skeptical audiences Information agility Atmospherics and Human Terrain Teams Assessments and Media Monitoring

9 Environmental Analysis: Audiences and Partners
PoA Key Figures* NAC (Brussels) Other Govt Institutions Afghan Academics Regional Security Ministeries JFC-B Western Development Ministries Afghan US SACEUR / SHAPE NATO Public Media Media Media IOs Troop Contributing Nations Kabul International Community Heads of State Media DCOS COMM Media Ambassadors Media Media Ambassadors International Organisations US Media Media UNAMA Ministers/Secretaries This slide illustrates the unique communication environment here in Afghanistan, and seeks to show the many different nodes that we reach out to on a daily basis. What you see here is DCOS COMM and the relationship with: NATO, the Afghans, public audiences and the governments from our troop contributing nations, the Kabul International Community, And our subordinate commands The of course, there are also the business leaders, power brokers, tribal elders and mullahs that you see listed on the lower right… All of these audiences require us to have a rich and diverse communication effort that links information operations and PSYOP, traditional communication, public information, and efforts by the spokesman – and synchronize all of these efforts to create specific communication effects. Regional Nations EU NGOs HQ ISAF IJC NTM-A MODs JTF-435 RCs CHoDs * Business Leaders, Power Brokers, Tribal Elders, Mullahs SNRs Academics/Think Tanks

10 Strategy-Based but Agile STRATCOM
Coherence, consistency, credibility Transition Tranche 2 US Drawdown Bonn Conference Op WHATEVER Op ANOTHER Consequence Management Routine PSYOPS Series Shaping/Drumbeat Activity Routine Media Engagements Routine Key Leader Engagement NATO/ISAF UNCLAS

11 The ISAF Narrative Structure One narrative to drive all communication efforts
Target Audience (TA): International Community - Troop Contributing Nations - Individual Nations’ Public GIRoA & Key Afghan Leaders ANSF TBSL & low level INS Neighbouring States Local Afghan populace Main Action Step The Benefits: Why should the audience go along? What’s in it for them? Conditions ID: Must resonate with TA Identify the Opportunity: Where we offer hope Main Action Step The big idea Main Action Step Key Guidelines: Remain true to the core message & look at daily events within the context of a long-term view. Every ISAF action must link back to the narrative. Must be adaptive: it tells us what to say, not necessarily how to say it. Must be convincing and intrinsically believable to every target audience. Therefore it must be accurate and true as well as factual. Must be simple and transparent. Key planning steps: Identify key Target Audiences whose decisions matter for mission success. Conditions ID must resonate with Target Audiences. Action steps must make logical sense – to TA. The benefits must be valuable and attractive – to TA. “A narrative is a statement of identity, cause and intent around which [ISAF] can unite. It must be convincing, transparent, adaptive and, above all, attractive.” Prof Paul Cornish

12 The ISAF Narrative One narrative to drive all communication efforts
Target Audience (TA): International Community - Troop Contributing Nations - Individual Nations’ Public GIRoA & Key Afghan Leaders ANSF TBSL & low level INS Neighbouring States Local Afghan populace Stability, Peace & Prosperity Those who fight against the Afghan Government and people have a choice For peace to prevail, the insurgents - the enemies of peace - must choose to end their violent, extremist ways. The Afghan Peace & Reintegration Programme (APRP) provides local fighters the choice to rejoin their families and communities, and to work alongside all Afghans for a peaceful and more prosperous future. If they chose to fight, they will face unrelenting pressure. Afghanistan is moving forward Now is the time for GIRoA and its security forces to build a better and more prosperous future for Afghanistan, and bring hope to its people. They have begun the process of Inteqal (Transition) under which the Afghan people will see their police and their army ensuring their security in their own country under the control of their government. A Pathway to Stability, Peace & Prosperity The international community’s wish is to see an Afghan government that is able to provide for its people’s security, serve its people’s interests well, and offer all Afghans a more hopeful and prosperous future. Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven for terrorists. Thirty years of struggle for the Afghan people Years of conflict and war destroyed the fabric of Afghan society and shattered its social institutions. It turned Afghan against Afghan; a misguided few against the peaceful, non-violent ways of the many. But after 10 years of international assistance, things are now changing. We will continue to support GIRoA & the ANSF Afghans welcome Inteqal and accept that for now our support and assistance is needed. They can be confident that we will assist and support their government and their security forces to build and develop their capacity and effectiveness. Our support will continue until GIRoA and the ANSF are able to secure Afghanistan’s future and bring hope of greater prosperity to its people. Our role is changing, but our commitment will endure By the time Transition is complete our role will change from combat operations to support, based on a shared commitment to peace and stability. This will mark the start of a renewed relationship with the people of Afghanistan, and one which will endure for as long as it is needed. Conditions ID Opportunity Action Steps The Benefits Campaign Themes: PRESSURE - ANSF GROWTH - TRANSITION - PARTNERSHIP

13 From Narrative to Strategy to Action
“The challenge is to craft strategic communications to reinforce the narrative.” Joint Doctrine Note 1/11 Strategic Communication: The Defence Contribution COMISAF OPLAN Revision 6 13

14 Communication Strategy
ISAF NARRATIVE – “A Pathway to Stability, Peace & Prosperity” PH1: ISAF-led expansion of security, governance and development PH 2: GIRoA/ANSF led expansion of security, governance and development PH 3: Strategic Partnership and Safehaven Denial Emphasis of Effects O1 O2 Pressuring the Enemy E1: INS ability to influence the population is diminished Promote Reconciliation Efforts E2: INS morale and cohesion are undermined E3: Afghans support for the INS is diminished E4: Afghans support APRP Transition O3 O4 E5: Afghans understand the benefits of Transition E6: Afghans perceive GIRoA offers the best hope for the future of Afghanistan O5 This slide operationalises themes, effects and objectives and is our developing design for the communication campaign to the end of 2014. At the top of the slide the ISAF Narrative drives all our communication efforts. The ISAF Narrative has been formally briefed to, and approved by, COMISAF, SCR and COMIJC, and is expected to be formally endorsed following a 3* brief next Monday. The ISAF Narrative is fully mapped with COMISAF’s and SCR’s 4 enduring themes; Pressuring the Enemy, Transition, ANSF Development and Unity of Effort, the latter includes NATO’s key themes of Enduring Partnership and Resolve. It is important to note that these themes are not solely communication themes, but are all encompassing and could translate to Campaign themes and could be used as part of a representation of the Campaign Design. Words and images do not, in themselves, produce the emotional, cognitive and behavioural effects you’re looking for. All words and images can do is explain the intended meaning of your physical actions and expand the effects of those actions beyond those who directly see, hear or experience them…therefore the communication effort can only ever be effective if it is fully integrated into the overall campaign. Within each theme, objectives and effects are mapped onto the 3 phases of the Campaign Design. The effects within each theme run throughout the whole period, with emphasis where they have been highlighted in colour, reflecting the phases of the campaign. This focuses our communication efforts as the campaign progresses. Following the briefings to COMISAF, it is anticipated that the key effect of each theme will be incorporated into his intent. Each effect is linked to an objective; the objectives are listed on the right of the slide. Objectives are represented as triangles on the slide which are information points at the end of each phase. This enables the Commander to be informed of the progress towards specific objectives prior to making the decision to move on to the next phase. Whilst this Communication Strategy covers the Campaign throughout the three phases, the opportunities presented by key events and the changing progress of the campaign will be represented by Strategic Communications Guidance FRAGOs, which will be subordinate to this strategy and cover 6 month periods. E7: Criminal actors and CPNs are unable to influence significantly legitimate governance & undermine RoL O6 O7 Afghan National Security Forces E8: Afghans perceive the ANSF as legitimate & capable E9: Afghans support the ANSF E10: Afghans perceive their daily life to be safe & have confidence in their future safety Unity of Effort O8 E11: IC continues to support the NATO mission beyond 2014 O9 E12: Afghans have confidence in the IC’s long term commitment to Afghanistan 14

15 Strategy-Based PSYOPS
Theatre Strategic Operational Tactical LOO 1 Highlighting Insurgent Atrocity Public Safety Guardians of Peace Protect the Population Public Safety Public Safety Tips Lines LOO 2 ANSF Professionalism and Capability Develop the ANSF Afghan Local Police Afghan Local Police LOO 3 Countering Propaganda Counter Command Countering Propaganda Promote Reintegration Countering Propaganda Promote Reintegration Neutralise INS Networks Sow Seeds of Doubt Promote Reintegration Highlighting Insurgent Atrocity Sow Seeds of Doubt Highlighting Insurgent Atrocity Sow Seeds of Doubt LOO 4 Countering Narcotics Countering Corruption Countering Narcotics Countering Narcotics Countering Corruption Neutralise CPN LOO 5 Civic Awareness Governance Awareness Civic Awareness Civic Duty Civic Awareness Support Legitimate Governance National Unity LOO 6 Building the Future Building the Future Civic Duty Building the Future Promotion of Specific Trades Support Sustainable Socio-Econ Dev NATO/ISAF UNCLAS

16 and….not forgetting the Bad Guys
Undermine Morale Disrupt Supply Networks Counter Propaganda Disrupt Wider Support Seize the Narrative Initiative Exploit Fissures NATO/ISAF UNCLAS

17 STRATCOM Planning Threats and Opportunities
2011 2012 Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Istanbul Conference Transition Tranche 3 Announcement Transition Tranche 2 Announcement Eid al Adha/Reintegration Surge COMISAF Congressional Testimony 10th Anniversary Kabul Liberation Chicago Summit World Bank Report Messages for emphasis/key effects Enduring partnership – enemies have a choice and can’t wait us out Opportunity 10 years on Regional dialogue NGO Reports Bonn Conference ISAF Defence Ministers 10th Anniversary Kandahar Liberation Transition Tranche 2 Starts 10th Anniversary UNSCR NATO/ISAF UNCLAS

18 ISAF STRATCOM/IO Action Worksheet: Aftermath of Rabbani’s Assassination
Background On 20 Sep 11, Professor Rabbani, Chairman of the High Peace Council and former President of Afghanistan (PoA), was killed in a suicide attack that also wounded Minister Estanekzai. As a result, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan(GIRoA) declared a three-day mourning period, ending on 23 Sep 11. GEN Allen’s initial guidance was to amplify PoA’s message and highlight that “now is the time to reintegrate and join the future of Afghanistan”. ISAF Core Narrative Linkage Those who fight against the Afghan Government and people have a choice. For peace to prevail, the insurgents - the enemies of peace - must choose to end their violent, extremist ways. Our International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) support will continue until GIRoA and the ANSF are able to secure Afghanistan’s future and bring hope of greater prosperity to its people. Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven for terrorists. Objectives Ensure unity of effort and communication between ISAF and GIRoA Promote a proactive communication posture among GIRoA security ministry communication channels Target Audiences Insurgents Afghan population International Community Afghan Key Communicators STRATCOM Effects The Afghan population rejects the insurgency and dismisses their actions as desperate and pointless attacks on peace and stability. The insurgents perceived cost of fighting Afghan and/or ISAF security forces to reach their goals far outweighs the benefits of reintegrating into Afghan society. GIRoA leads in reinforcing PoA’s message and communicating on the themes of transition, reintegration, and peace. Key Messages (Consolidated Talking Points) While tragic and while a set-back, this event should unite all Afghans in their resolve for peace, their intolerance for violence, and their commitment to a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. COMISAF The attacks cannot stop the transition process from taking place and cannot affect, but rather will embolden, the Afghan people’s determination to take responsibility for their country’s own affairs. PoA Now is the time to reintegrate and become part of the future of Afghanistan. The insurgent assassination campaign is not the answer to a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. The failure of operation Al Badr is pressuring the insurgents into desperate measures that are counterproductive to their goals. Insurgent violence against the People of Afghanistan must not continue. Tasks All Public Affairs (PA) and Spokesmen: Amplify GIRoA’s messages of transition, reintegration, and peace. Inform the Afghan populace that the insurgents have the option of reintegration. ISAF and IJC IO : Highlight the themes of reintegration and peace IOT reinforce GIRoA’s message. Reinforce the message of ISAF’s enduring commitment to GIRoA for a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. HQ ISAF International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC) and NTM-A KLE: Emphasize ISAF’s enduring commitment to support GIRoA. Persuade Afghan leadership to be more proactive about promoting peace and reintegration. HQ ISAF Traditional Communication (TRADCOMM) and IJC/RC Equivalents: Persuade tribal, religious and youth leadership to be more proactive about promoting peace and reintegration. HQ ISAF Government Media and Information Center (GMIC) LNOs: Encourage Afghans to be more proactive in communicating the context of INS actions - emphasizing the importance of the Afghan public’s perception of such actions; coordinate and synchronize ISAF and GIRoA communication efforts where possible. HQ ISAF, IJC and Ministry Partners: Conduct engagements to have Ministers communicate messages of Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) success, ISAF enduring commitment to the population and to be more proactive about promoting peace and reintegration.

19 ISAF and IC Key Activity
Synchronisation: Date Tue 20 Sep Wed 21 Sep Thu 22 Sep Fri 23 Sep Sat 24 Sep Sun 25 Sep Mon 26 Sep Tue 27 Sep Key Event Suicide Attack Kills Prof Rabbani PoA Speech on Rabbani’s Death Rabbani’s Funeral & Friday Prayers Afghan Activity ISAF and IC Key Activity Other ISAF Activity Sporadic Protests Denouncing Death President Karzai’s Speech Key leaders statements National Days of Mourning International condemnations COMISAF Statement Key ISAF personnel attend funeral ISAF/SCR Press Conference Consolidated ISAF Talking Points Issued to ISAF and GMIC NATO Media Tour to 30 Sep DCOS COMM LNOs ISAF/GIRoA Comm Synch PA: RTQ, interviews and backgrounders PA: new media engagements PSYOPS: Radio audio products (PRN) via CJPOTF Senior Leader KLE Tribal/Religious/Youth KLE Tribal/Religious/Youth Leaders KLE Ministry Partner Engagement IJC/NTM-A Engagement with Ministry Partners PSYOPS: Audio/Video Products Development/Dissemination Targeted Reintegration Efforts Disrupt INS Propaganda Efforts– INS leaders exploit combatants and cadre from safe havens in PAK PSYOPS Shaping Activity (CJPOTF) RTQ – Response to Query PRN – PSYOPS Radio Network (CJPOTF)

20 Some Reflections More challenges…..
Concept/Doctrine: Effects v “Communicating” Terminology.....! HQ structure – STRATCOM Directorates…? DCOS STRATCOM’s background JOA authorities and leveraging Regional Effects Contracted support – from the outset More challenges….. Conflict fatigue and credibility Afghan Sovereignty “Non-traditional” communication means TRADCOMM Youth sports strategy Youth and other outreach Linking outreach with influence efforts The Key to the Future: Working with the Afghan Government

21 STRATCOM / Info Ops – My Top Ten
Needs to be Command led Centrality of the Narrative The Simplicity Imperative Consistency Research – breadth and depth Horizontal and vertical Coherence (coordination) Indivisibility of the information environment Dialogue – not monologue/broadcast Timing and Tempo – first with the truth and variation of pace Assessment – a little and often: science and art NATO/ISAF UNCLAS

22 Questions?

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