Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Call Me Ishmael
The PSYOP name change continues to generate angst in the community. The Blog has received a very healthy selection of comments – all of which I have published so far. The comments are unedited to reflect the author’s thoughts, feelings and spelling.
I’ve spent the last 5 days immersed in a FTX as MISO Man – the influence subject matter expert. As such I’ve generated FRAGOs proposed campaigns, liaised with PAO and worked under the auspices of an experienced IO Officer in an environment simulating a Joint Expeditionary Task Force (JETF).
Outside of some tap dancing and explaining early on in the FTX, the name of my function appears to have absolutely no effect on my ability to develop missions and represent the influence world. I have employed commercial organizations as models to show how influence operations go straight to the customer (Marketing Communications) and information operations (PAO/PR) work through the media to get to the mind of the customer. Both disciplines work in concert to achieve the maximum reach and optimal effects.
Having said this, I suspect that the environment is too pristine. We have scant representation from the State Department and no contact with IOs, IGOs or NGOs. My gut tells me that the bland new name (MISO) would have a greater appeal with these non-military types than PSYOP. I also feel pretty strongly that it would be easier to explain the notion of MISO to a Congressional Delegation than it would be to explain exactly the same function and its importance while simultaneously laboring under the lingering specter of the negatives associated with PSYOP by non-military personnel.
We’re still early in the game and I’m curious if any of you out there have had any recent experience (or even past experience as a part of a Military Information Support Team (MIST)) that you can relate.
In the meanwhile – stay safe and keep the faith.