According to Dominating Duffer’s Domain book’s plot, CPT Hindsight goes through six dreams, gaining new lessons about information operation (IO) planning and integration. Each of the listed goals brings unique experience, which leads to a better understanding of how the military process should be structured and held. In the second dream, Hindsight describes an attempt to connect with the local population, which fails for several reasons.
The narrator finds herself involved in a humanitarian operation in the fictional country of Atropia. To achieve the best result of the process, CPT Hindsight is authorized to use IO to plan troops in the specified region. A large-scale work was carried out, including the preparation of alternative plans of action in case of unforeseen circumstances (Cristopher and Marcellino 2017, 10). Moreover, a public relations specialist prepared a material including templates for projects and messages in point of incidental contact with the local population. Moreover, for more effective interaction with residents, leaflets were prepared to describe the actions of the American troops as friendly. However, the further progress of integration with the local population showed a low level of preparedness and coordination between individual units. Their units inadvertently blocked audio broadcasts prepared by military information support operations (MISO), so contact with the population occurred only through the distribution of paper leaflets. The organizers of the process did not take into account the factor that the written and spoken languages of the region differ, the majority of the local population was poorly educated and perceived the actions of the peacekeepers as aggression.
During the dream, several lessons became apparent that were not taken into account during the preparation. First, the coordination between IO and MISO should be well-organized, otherwise, it will lead to misdirection. Second, the interaction between all units should be at the maximum level during the operation. Third, prioritizing one branch over another is a mistake; preparation must be comprehensive. Fourth, when planning information-related actions, time must be taken into account, since despite the hypothetical possibility of instantaneous response, some tasks require waiting. Fifth, during an operation, military or peacekeeping, information is a valuable resource that can be exchanged for additional privileges. Thus, the low level of preparation of the procedure along with weak interaction between the units caused negative consequences that could be avoided by a more detailed study of the goal, objectives and the course of the mission.
During the operation, a low level of effectiveness of contact between peacekeepers and the local population was revealed. CPT Hindsight did not take any action to resolve the situation, within the framework of the description of this dream, only the prerequisites and consequences of the steps were indicated. When preparing an operation involving contact with the local population, it was necessary to study the culture and language of the region, and this is a prerequisite for interacting with residents. If these steps were taken, the communications department would be more aware of the strategy to take to get in touch. However, the unprofessional approach has led to the intensification of local radical protest movements, media attention, conflicts with civilians, and legal proceedings. Presumably, CPT Hindsight did not act to normalize the situation due to lack of experience and poor coordination between the units involved in the operation. If prepared properly, and increased networking opportunities, the department would gain less global attention for its actions without discrediting United States foreign policy.
Paul, Christopher and William Marcellino. 2017. Dominating Duffer’s Domain. Lessons for the U.S. Army Information Operation Practitioner. RAND Corporation.