Journalism vs. Information Operations

From the LA Times article today:
As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.

Many of the articles are presented in the Iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists. The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the
How ridiculous is this? Are we seriously applying Columbia School of Journalism standards to a IO (information Operation) campaign in a young democracy embattled in counterinsurgency operations? Give me a break, LA Times. Check this out, from the OC Bookshelf:
FM 3-13: Information Operations:Doctrine, Tactics,Techniques, and rocedures.

Army forces routinely employed the elements of IO separately in past conflicts. Psychological operations, operations security, military deception, physical destruction,and electronic warfare were viable tools of Army commanders during World War II. The Gulf War demonstrated the benefit of employing these elements together and synchronizing them with ground operations.
…. Because adversaries have asymmetric abilities to counter finite friendly IO capabilities, the probability of maintaining information superiority over long periods is unlikely. Therefore, commanders execute IO to gain information superiority at times and places where it supports their intent and concept of operations.
Which is EXACTLY what this incident was- an IO operation targeted at countering terrorist propaganda (some of it no doubt delivered in mosques, where we cannot interfere with actual free speech.) The LA Times is presenting a distinctly liberal, uneducated, and knee-jerk slant on this. Let me break it down for them:

If printing bald-faced lies in Iraqi papers save American lives, we should do it, and not feel the least bit upset about it. If printing truth does the same thing- why is this even a news story? Could this have even been reported in WWII?

Remember Folks, we’re in a media war here. Is it any surprise that we’ve dug in?


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