The headline takes a quote from MG Bill Hix, director of the Army’s Concept and Learning Directorate when discussing the “Unified Quest” war game and operations in “North Brownland”. (see http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/03/26/army-war-games-hard-lessons/2022405/)
The Unified Quest war game is apparently modeled on a scenario based on the collapse of an evil country in possession of nuclear weapons. While the main points of the ‘game’ have been associated with the need to project troops and logistics, it was abundantly clear that humanitarian assistance was a vital component of the joint operation.
How a humanitarian assistance mission would flow would depend on the nature of the AO. In the case of North Brownland, the friendly force wanted to draw civilians away from their urban areas and figured that providing humanitarian assistance would be a good way to clear the urban areas of non-combatants and help the population at the same time.
Of course a key element in the success of such a humanitarian mission would be to convince the population to take advantage of that assistance and inform them of when, where and how they could do so. Under the circumstances it would seem that MISO is the only way to inform and influence the target population.
The media to be employed would vary and given an urban scenario would likely include radio and TV broadcast, not to mention SMS and mobile phone communications and perhaps even a bit of Internet communications.
MISO would also likely have to contend with aggressive deception operations by the enemy designed to convince the civilian population that the humanitarian assistance is a fraud or worse that the food and medical aid are contaminated.
It is also likely that the enemy force would aggressively seek to disrupt or destroy the humanitarian resources or capture them and use them for their own ends so that security is also a major concern.
No matter how you slice it, the failed state scenario is a new contingency that MISO must prepare for.
Photo Source: TRADOC