Thursday, March 27, 2014

MISO: Into the Dark with Special Ops?

According to Time Magazine’s website on 27 Mar 2014, Special Operations Forces were seeking geospatial data on places where data was hard to come by. (see

The article references a Statement of Work (SOW), which can be found at:

The initial data set is described as: Jordan, Djibouti, Burma (Myanamar), Honduras, Iran, Morocco, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Burkina Faso, S. Sudan, N. Korea and China’s Guangdong province.

Among the data sought is:
Media outlet locations and coverage (IId)
GSM tower locations
Internet café locations and ownership information

At first I was tempted to put on my MI hat to figure out how this particular list of countries came about. Of course, that would have caused me to wonder why there would be geospatial gaps in places you might consider our metaphorical backyard such as Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago.

Nevertheless, I am going to avoid that temptation and consider what are the MISO/PSYOP aspects involved. I’m sure that I have posted about the lack of good media related data I found when I served in Bosnia and how the traditional CJ2 channels were of no help either. I reasoned that because there was no commercial interest in the country, advertisers would be scarce and logically there wouldn’t be a need for data related to media to bolster a non-existent advertising marketplace.

A logical starting point for MISO planning would be to determine what military operations would likely be conducted (if any) and to what extent these operations might require MISO support. Alternatively a MISO planner would have to consider which of these countries would not likely host military operations, but where the influence battle might be fought in the civilian media.

Alternatively, it would be prudent to consider which of these countries might be the site of violence and loss of government control to the point where a NEO or humanitarian/disaster relieve operation may be appropriate.

No matter what your view, these are exciting times to ponder the future of MISO, especially in what the Special Ops calls ‘dark’ places and I often refer to as “off Broadway”

Reader input invited as always.
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