Category: Counterinsurgency

USA Today: “US ‘info ops’ programs dubious, costly”

USA Today runs a lengthy front-page story February 29 about information operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that report is damning. I won’t summarize it here, but will encourage my students to read it thoroughly and critique it. As a spoiler, I must say that, based on working on information operations with the US military since 9/11, I agree with...

Dr Waller to speak at 3rd annual Irregular Warfare Summit

(Institute of World Politics news release)  On Wednesday, May 30, 2012, IWP professor J. Michael Waller, PhD, will discuss “Foreign Propaganda, Perceptions and Policy: Countering Information Designed to Mislead or Persuade” at the 3rd Annual Irregular Warfare Summit in Washington, D.C.  The summit is organized by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement. Please click here for more information.

Not getting it in time for Kandahar

It began as a brilliantly executed operation near the Taliban’s main stronghold: the Marine-led campaign to take Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, earlier this year. Now we’re finding that the operation is bogging down and that the Afghan people aren’t helping us as we had anticipated. Somewhere along the way, the Marines apparently diverged from the playbook. They engaged the population...

Partnership against heroin: Contractors help US combat narcotraffickers in Afghanistan

by J Michael Waller, Serviam, March-April 2008 Download PDF: Contractors_Afgh_Serviam Kabul, Afghanistan—“I used to wear a burqa. I will never wear one again. Except to fight drug traffickers.” That’s what a female police officer of Afghanistan’s Narcotics Interdiction Unit (NIU) says with a shy smile. The bad guys can’t recognize a heavily armed cop under the face-to-foot covering that all women...

Accountability and private security contractors: Visibility of operations is key to success

by J Michael Waller, Serviam, November-December 2007 When a private contractor for the U.S. government abides with the letter of the law, but the law is so flawed that it doesn’t correspond with reality, whose fault is it? The contractor’s, of course. That’s the apparent reasoning of critics in Congress and the press who blame private security providers for not...

Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War: Short-term message strategies to combat the terrorists

This ground-breaking monograph by J Michael Waller departs from the conventional view of public diplomacy and international communication in time of war and argues for deploying messages as weapons of attack against the terrorists and other extremists. Proposing an immediate-term strategy that requires no bureaucratic reorganization or major budgetary changes, Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War is designed for...

PSYOP by ridicule: New York Times says Waller’s paper got Pentagon review

The New York Times reports that officials in the Pentagon and Iraq have reviewed an academic paper that called for a strategic psychological campaign of ridicule against terrorist leaders and other adversaries. The paper “has been circulating at the Pentagon and among military commanders with experience in Iraq recently,” the New York Times reported in its May 6, 2006 edition. The paper,...

Ridicule: An instrument in the war on terrorism

This article is the seventh in a series of White Papers by J. Michael Waller about the transformation of American public diplomacy and strategic communication. USA Today featured this paper in its March 23, 2006 issue. Introduction Demonization of the enemy is the general default position of American message-making against international threats. The history of warfare shows, however, that while demonization can...

The Third Current of Revolution: The international support apparatus of El Salvador’s guerrilla war (1991)

Author. Publisher: University Press of America, 1991. Details TK