Friday, April 22, 2011

Half-Hearted White House Poses PSYOP Problem

The US “strategy” in Libya can best be termed bizarre. The Obama White House dawdled at the prospect of military support to the rebels (perhaps with good reason since nobody really seems to know who they are), then committed US air power before bowing out of the lead and now plans on engaging Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (see,,15024270,00.html which is also the photo source).

This kind of wishy washy approach plays havoc with PSYOP/MISO. A core PSYOP principle is that effective PSYOP is based on truth. This leads to the parenting principle about threats and punishment. Don’t threaten a punishment unless you can and are willing to carry it out. As the Obama administration tries to convince the world, itself and the American public that Iraq is over and Afghanistan is turning the corner, they now need to justify another Billion or two in the face of one of the worst budget crises in our history.

Should the President decided to commit ground troops (which is not very prudent in my opinion at this point), Senator McCain notwithstanding), will AFRICOM have the resources to orchestrate a credible influence campaign? Where will the MISO troops come from and how long can they support the operation? Is the country prepared for another min-Iraq or worse yet a hybrid of Afghanistan and Somalia should the Qadaffi government crumble?

We are always accused of being ready to fight the last war. Libya appears to be the next one, and perhaps the model for one or two thereafter – let’s consider all the effects and be ready ahead of time for just once!

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