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Maurice.Kellett
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IAO = Information Awareness Office http://disc.server.com/discussion.cg...&article=19004

O.S.I. = Office of Strategic Influence http://disc.server.com/discussion.cg...&article=19055

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NY Times
O.S.J. = Office of Strategic Influence Fri Feb 22 03:32:46 2002
68.3.132.0

U.S. to create office for propaganda and disinformation

[q1]> Pentagon Readies Efforts to Sway Sentiment Abroad New York Times February 19, 2002[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> By JAMES DAO & ERIC SCHMITT[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> WASHINGTON**The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to[/q1]
[q1]> foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy[/q1]
[q1]> makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The plans, which have not received final approval from the Bush administration, have stirred[/q1]
[q1]> opposition among some Pentagon officials who say they might undermine the credibility of[/q1]
[q1]> information that is openly distributed by the Defense Department's public affairs officers.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The military has long engaged in information warfare against hostile nations**for instance, by[/q1]
[q1]> dropping leaflets and broadcasting messages into Afghanistan when it was still under Taliban rule.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> But it recently created the Office of Strategic Influence, which is proposing to broaden that[/q1]
[q1]> mission into allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and even Western Europe. The office would[/q1]
[q1]> assume a role traditionally led by civilian agencies, mainly the State Department.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The small but well-financed Pentagon office, which was established shortly after the Sept. 11[/q1]
[q1]> terrorist attacks, was a response to concerns in the administration that the United States was[/q1]
[q1]> losing public support overseas for its war on terrorism, particularly in Islamic countries.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> As part of the effort to counter the pronouncements of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and their[/q1]
[q1]> supporters, the State Department has already hired a former advertising executive to run its[/q1]
[q1]> public diplomacy office, and the White House has created a public information "war room" to[/q1]
[q1]> coordinate the administration's daily message domestically and abroad.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, while broadly supportive of the new office, has not[/q1]
[q1]> approved its specific proposals and has asked the Pentagon's top lawyer, William J. Haynes, to[/q1]
[q1]> review them, senior Pentagon officials said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Little information is available about the Office of Strategic Influence, and even many senior[/q1]
[q1]> Pentagon officials and Congressional military aides say they know almost nothing about its purpose[/q1]
[q1]> and plans. Its multimillion-dollar budget, drawn from a $10 billion emergency supplement to the[/q1]
[q1]> Pentagon budget authorized by Congress in October, has not been disclosed.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Headed by Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, the new office has begun circulating[/q1]
[q1]> classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the[/q1]
[q1]> Internet, but also covert operations.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The new office "rolls up all the instruments within D.O.D. to influence foreign audiences," its[/q1]
[q1]> assistant for operations, Thomas A. Timmes, a former Army colonel and psychological operations[/q1]
[q1]> officer, said at a recent conference, referring to the Department of Defense. "D.O.D. has not[/q1]
[q1]> traditionally done these things."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 'THE BLACKEST OF BLACK PROGRAMS'[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> One of the office's proposals calls for planting news items with foreign media organizations[/q1]
[q1]> through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon, officials familiar with[/q1]
[q1]> the proposal said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation[/q1]
[q1]> and other covert activities to "white" public affairs that rely on truthful news releases,[/q1]
[q1]> Pentagon officials said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "It goes from the blackest of black programs to the whitest of white," a senior Pentagon[/q1]
[q1]> official said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Another proposal involves sending journalists, civic leaders and foreign leaders e-mail messages[/q1]
[q1]> that promote American views or attack unfriendly governments, officials said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Asked if such e-mail would be identified as coming from the American military, a senior Pentagon[/q1]
[q1]> official said that "the return address will probably be a dot-com, not a dot- mil," a reference to[/q1]
[q1]> the military's Internet designation.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> To help the new office, the Pentagon has hired the Rendon Group, a Washington-based international[/q1]
[q1]> consulting firm run by John W. Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter. The[/q1]
[q1]> firm, which is being paid about $100,000 a month, has done extensive work for the Central[/q1]
[q1]> Intelligence Agency, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition[/q1]
[q1]> group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Officials at the Rendon Group say terms of their contract forbid them to talk about their Pentagon[/q1]
[q1]> work. But the firm is well known for running propaganda campaigns in Arab countries, including one[/q1]
[q1]> denouncing atrocities by Iraq during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The firm has been hired as the Bush administration appears to have united around the goal of[/q1]
[q1]> ousting Mr. Hussein. "Saddam Hussein has a charm offensive going on, and we haven't done anything[/q1]
[q1]> to counteract it," a senior military official said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Proponents say the new Pentagon office will bring much- needed coordination to the military's[/q1]
[q1]> efforts to influence views of the United States overseas, particularly as Washington broadens the[/q1]
[q1]> war on terrorism beyond Afghanistan.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> But the new office has also stirred a sharp debate in the Pentagon, where several senior officials[/q1]
[q1]> have questioned whether its mission is too broad and possibly even illegal.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Those critics say they are disturbed that a single office might be authorized to use not only[/q1]
[q1]> covert operations like computer network attacks, psychological activities and deception, but also[/q1]
[q1]> the instruments and staff of the military's globe-spanning public affairs apparatus. Mingling the[/q1]
[q1]> more surreptitious activities with the work of traditional public affairs would undermine the[/q1]
[q1]> Pentagon's credibility with the media, the public and governments around the world, critics argue.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "This breaks down the boundaries almost completely," a senior Pentagon official said. Moreover,[/q1]
[q1]> critics say, disinformation planted in foreign media organizations, like Reuters or Agence[/q1]
[q1]> France-Presse, could end up being published or broadcast by American news organizations.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are barred by law from propaganda activities in[/q1]
[q1]> the United States. In the mid-1970's, it was disclosed that some C.I.A. programs to plant false[/q1]
[q1]> information in the foreign press had resulted in articles published by American news[/q1]
[q1]> organizations.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 'IT'S SCARY'[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Critics of the new Pentagon office also argue that governments allied with the United States are[/q1]
[q1]> likely to object strongly to any attempts by the American military to influence media within their[/q1]
[q1]> borders.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "Everybody understands using information operations to go after non-friendlies," another senior[/q1]
[q1]> Pentagon official said. "When people get uncomfortable is when people use the same tools and[/q1]
[q1]> tactics on friendlies."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Victoria Clarke, the assistant secretary of defense for public information, declined to discuss[/q1]
[q1]> details of the new office. But she acknowledged that its mission was being carefully reviewed by[/q1]
[q1]> the Pentagon.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "Clearly the U.S. needs to be as effective as possible in all our communications," she said. "What[/q1]
[q1]> we're trying to do now is make clear the distinction and appropriateness of who does what."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> General Worden, an astrophysicist who has specialized in space operations in his 27-year Air Force[/q1]
[q1]> career, did not respond to several requests for an interview.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> General Worden has close ties to his new boss, Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense[/q1]
[q1]> for policy, that date back to the Reagan administration, military officials said. The general's[/q1]
[q1]> staff of about 15 people reports to the office of the assistant secretary of defense for special[/q1]
[q1]> operations and low-intensity conflict, which is under Mr. Feith.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The Office for Strategic Influence also coordinates its work with the White House's new counter[/q1]
[q1]> terrorism office, run by Wayne A. Downing, a retired general who was head of the Special[/q1]
[q1]> Operations command, which oversees the military's covert information operations.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Many administration officials worried that the United States was losing support in the Islamic[/q1]
[q1]> world after American warplanes began bombing Afghanistan in October. Those concerns spurred the[/q1]
[q1]> creation of the Office of Strategic Influence.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> In an interview in November, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,[/q1]
[q1]> explained the Pentagon's desire to broaden its efforts to influence foreign audiences, saying:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "Perhaps the most challenging piece of this is putting together what we call a strategic influence[/q1]
[q1]> campaign quickly and with the right emphasis. That's everything from psychological operations to[/q1]
[q1]> the public affairs piece to coordinating partners in this effort with us."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> One of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the Office of Strategic Influence[/q1]
[q1]> is the Army's Psychological Operations Command. The command was involved in dropping millions of[/q1]
[q1]> fliers and broadcasting scores of radio programs into Afghanistan encouraging Taliban and Al Qaeda[/q1]
[q1]> soldiers to surrender.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> In the 1980's, Army "psyop" units, as they are known, broadcast radio and television programs into[/q1]
[q1]> Nicaragua intended to undermine the Sandinista government. In the 1990's, they tried to encourage[/q1]
[q1]> public support for American peacekeeping missions in the Balkans.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The Office of Strategic Influence will also oversee private companies that will be hired to help[/q1]
[q1]> develop information programs and evaluate their effectiveness using the same techniques as[/q1]
[q1]> American political campaigns, including scientific polling and focus groups, officials said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "O.S.I. still thinks the way to go is start a Defense Department Voice of America," a senior[/q1]
[q1]> military official said. "When I get their briefings, it's scary."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/19/in...odaysheadlines

================================ ================================ =======

US plans to set up office of 'strategic influence'
http://www.hindustantimes.com/nonfra...02/dlfor30.asp

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