Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Area Information Mapping: PSYOP IPB

The Intelligence Corps has long touted Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) as a cornerstone of military success. The time has come for PSYOP, IO and PA to emphasize Area Information Mapping (AIM) with the same degree of zeal. AIM would be a compilation of doctrine and best practices used to determine how information flows through an AO.

A key ingredient in AIM would be traditional media mapping where the range and popularity of radio, TV and print media are plotted along with any population demographics. A second set of overlays to the AO would cover word of mouth and highlight key physical locations where large amounts of people are exposed to information. When combined these two sets of graphic information would yield a comprehensive picture of the influence battlefield.

Ideally these graphics could be color coded by key demographics – religion, political affiliation – along with some sort of ranking of importance and credibility. This kind of three dimensional video would allow PSYOP and other IO planners to readily grasp how to harness credible and reinforcing media to achieve the most favorable impact.

Novel graphic representations can be a powerful tool, especially in combined and joint environments and in coalitions. The diagram accompanying today’s post can be found at:

It would be most appropriate for this doctrine to flow top down from Joint Doctrine as all service PSYOP organizations need this same information. Furthermore, it would make logical sense for the SOCOM based research resources to compile these graphics for current AOs and working in conjunction with service PSYOP arms and the intelligence community to develop similar packages for areas ‘likely’ to have PSYOP conducted.

It would also be appropriate to employ these AIM packages in humanitarian efforts since getting information to the proper sources in a credible fashion is critical to the success of both PSYOP and humanitarian efforts.

A parallel effort should be employed to research advanced search engines that present patterns graphically – but that will be the topic of another post.

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