The headline of a Stratfor Report struck me: “Divisions Could Weaken U.S.-Led Coalition in Iraq and Syria” (see: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/divisions-could-weaken-us-led-coalition-iraq-and-syria#axzz3F1ZUqLwJ, which is also the photo source.)
Working with other NATO Officers in Sarajevo was one of the highlights of my military career. Military people share a bond, regardless of country and strangely enough I felt that officers of the same rank faced many of the issues regardless of their country.
While we all worked well together at the personal level, each of us at our CDRs and their bosses and their bosses, etc. Ultimately each nation had an agenda and set of goals that were shaped by their political leadership.
Conceptually a strategy would be developed to achieve this end state and would orchestrate the ‘ways’ and ‘means’ to get there.
Would an accepted end state and a strategy mean synergistic influence operations? I don’t think so. Unlike combat operations where the Chain of Command has the vision and the final say, influence operations go through a tortious development and approval phase.
I have personally been in meetings with GOs who felt endowed with super human, almost divine judgment as to what needed to be changed in the PSYOP product or campaign they were being briefed on. Multiply this single GO by one per ally and you get quite the convoluted mess.
Bottom line: effective multinational influence campaigns are synergized and deconflicted at the Operational Level so that dynamic and responsive influence products can be fielded quickly. This assumes that higher echelons have approved metes and bounds describing what is and is not approved in products and that approval has been delegated down to the lowest level prudent under the circumstances.