The past few days in early August 2011 have not been good ones. A helicopter carrying a Seal Team was shot down in Afghanistan probably by enemy RPG fire; the City of London and other parts of the UK are ablaze with riots and crime; and of course the US stock market is a punching bag.
There was even more fodder for enemy propagandists as NATO troops and Afghan police engaged in a number of firefights with each other (see http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/world/20110810_ap_officialafghanpoliceclashwithnatotroops.html)
Each of these provides a basis for enemy propaganda across the combat spectrum and at all levels of information engagement. Our enemies will no doubt make good use of these events for their own good and we need to strike with aggressive information engagement before the enemy propaganda effort gains momentum.
On the tactical level, no doubt the Taliban and others will claim a miraculous victory and use their extensive ‘word of mouth’ network to spread their messages. ISAF’s best COA in my opinion is to continue their optempo at the same or greater level as before the incident. Concentration on a few high value targets (HVT) would increase pressure on those targets and send a psychological ripple through their respective organizations.
At the moment, it appears that the violence in the UK is racially rather than politically motivated, images of police attacking minorities is always useful to the enemy as a means of ‘documenting’ persecution by the infidels. Counter to this is to graphically show the criminal nature of the violence and if possible innocent victims.
As for the stock market – the target audience would have to be a sophisticated one so that this might figure into a long term enemy recruitment strategy showing how the Western promise of equal economic opportunity is a sham. Given the market’s recovery, the counter is what my financial advisor tells me and that is the market operates in cycles and what goes down invariably comes up.
We can suspect that as the 2012 presidential election comes closer, more measures will be taken by President Obama’s administration to make it appear that the economy is recovering.In any event, let’s all hope the news gets better over the next few weeks.