Monday, February 4, 2013

FM 3-13 Inform and Influence Activities

The Army has just released a new field manual entitled Inform and Influence Activities or FM 3-13 (dated 25 January 2013). It replaces the old FM on Information Operations dated November 2003. The chapters cover topics such as the construct, aspects, capabilities, roles (including role of S-7), organization, targeting, assessment and engagement aspects of Inform and Influence Activities. 

If you read the field manual you will come to the realization that the Army now has a new acronym - "IIA". I just think that "IO" is so much simpler to say. "IIA" just doesn't seem to roll off the tongue. According to page VI of the new FM terms such as "IO assets", "IO capabilities", "IO cell", and "IO concept of operation" have now been rescinded.

The first paragraph of the FM's preface describes the purpose of the manual (see text in quotes below).
 
Field manual (FM) 3-13 provides doctrinal guidance and directions for conducting inform and influence activities (IIA) and discusses the importance of information in operational environments. It describes the Army’s view of how IIA aid the commander to gain an advantage through information. It develops the other principles, tactics, and procedures detailed in subordinate doctrinal publications.
I haven't read the FM completely but I hope it helps fix the broke IO machine that we have seen in operation in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade. The IO effort has been ineffective, slow, bureaucratic and simply outpaced and outperformed by the IO efforts that the insurgents in both theaters have conducted. One of the few favorable efforts put forth by ISAF has been the Radio in a Box or RIAB program and this is (for some insane reason) being dismantled.

The FM is available at the link below:

https://armypubs.us.army.mil/doctrine/index.html

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