Information Operations

The Imperative of Doctrine Harmonization and Measures of Effectiveness

by Arturo Munoz, Erin Dick

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Research Questions

  1. What changes have taken place in U.S. military information operations (IO) since the publication of RAND's 2012 study on IO in Afghanistan?
  2. What is the status of doctrine development for IO?
  3. What progress has been made in the establishment of measures of effectiveness for IO?

In an update to a 2012 RAND report on information operations (IO) in Afghanistan, this Perspective describes the continuing challenges of IO doctrine integration and harmonization and the establishment of measures of effectiveness for IO within the Department of Defense. Despite recommendations made in the 2012 report, little progress has been made in these areas, which will have an even greater negative impact as the United States reduces the number of troops in theater and as resources to combat the enemy's propaganda offense remain limited.

Key Finding

While there have been some tactical IO successes in Afghanistan, little progress has been made in the area of doctrine integration and harmonization and the establishment of measures of effectiveness in the five years since the previous study period ended (2010).

  • This deficiency will have an even greater negative impact as the United States continues to reduce the number of troops in theater and as resources to combat the enemy's propaganda offence remain limited.

Recommendation

  • The Department of Defense should implement the recommendations made in RAND's 2012 report, U.S. Military Information Operations in Afghanistan: Effectiveness of Psychological Operations 2001–2010, especially those regarding integration and harmonization of IO doctrine and the establishment of measures of effectiveness for IO.

This research was conducted within the Intelligence Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation perspective series. RAND perspectives present informed perspective on a timely topic that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND perspectives undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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