Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Public Affairs Shura - Nangarhar Province

Information Operations plays an important role in the counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan. Representatives of various Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) organizations held a provincial (Nangarhar) Public Affairs Shura at Operation Base Fenty on November 12, 2014. The Afghan representatives in attendance were public affairs officers from the Afghan National Army (ANA), Afghan National Police (ANP), the spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor, and other elements of the ANSF. In addition, U.S. advisors and Public Affairs Officers (PAO) were in attendance. The PAO shura provides an opportunity for the ANSF to synchronize messages and create more transparency among the different government, military, and police organizations. It is hoped that future media conferences (possibly held monthly) will provide a steady flow of information to the different media outlets (radio, TV, newspaper, social media, etc.) and provide a central location and/or organization for journalists to obtain information. One concern expressed during the conference was the transfer of a "Radio in the Box" to the control of Afghan information operation officers. This would seem to indicate a disconnect between the Afghan PAOs and the Afghan IO organizations in the region. Of course, this is not surprising as within our own military community there is a misunderstanding (at least to the outsider) of the different roles and responsibilities involving Public Affairs, Information Operations, Inform and Influence Activities, Military Information Support Operations, and Psychological Operations personnel. Read more in "Nangarhar public affairs shura includes ANSF pillars and provincial government", DVIDS, November 17, 2014.

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