Pragmatic: Information operations versus physical operations

From Strategic Communication: A Primer [pdf]–

We typically design physical operations first, then craft supporting information operations to explain our actions. This is the reverse of al-Qaida’s approach. For all our professionalism, compared to the enemy’s, our public information is an afterthought. In military terms, for al-Qaida the ‘main effort’ is information; for us, information is a ‘supporting effort’.

~David Kilcullen, Countering the Terrorist Mentality, New Paradigms for 21st Century Conflict

The physical operations in Mumbai might have ended after 60 hours of gunfights. But is India geared up to undertake sustained and proactive information operations against the enemy. It is the question that the Indian establishment needs to answer, when the media and the establishment — politicians, bureaucrats, corporates and even generals — feed off each other in an incestuous and self-serving relationship.

Perhaps it is time that the common man, more than the Indian state, also took a fresh look at the role and responsibility of the Indian media — print, electronic and new age. This consideration will be the key battle-winning-factor in winning this asymmetric war launched against Indians and the Indian state. Ponder!


19 responses to “Pragmatic: Information operations versus physical operations

  1. The media is well cultivated by the civil govt. machinery. For the junior level reporters it is the SHO who provides them their daily bread by throwing tid-bits with stories like mickey mouse being raped by a dinasaur. The media went ga-ga over the Mumbai incident and then it was business as usual. There are channels which are advertised as ‘Refreshingly Different’. By what yardstick is manslaughter, political news or a terrorist attack refreshingly different? Their political alignment is also evident from their news presentation. After the Mumbai blast there was a channel which had its reporters trying to prove they were there first.
    Lets face it. Politics and media are no more about the truth and ideologies. Its a mugs game. TRPs count like votes. In the army a coward is dangerous so is a scribe with a biased pen. If Star plays diplomat while Time sidles to the Govt and Headlines is anti establishment who does the objective reporting?

  2. CST CCTV video footage of firefight between two terrorists & policemen:

    (Courtesy: Shadow Warrior’s blog)

  3. A huge crowd gathered Tuesday outside the red-brick Israeli headquarters of the Chabad movement, whose emissary to Mumbai, Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, 29, was murdered along with his 28-year-old wife, Rivkah. Their bodies — hers wrapped in a shroud, his in a prayer shawl — were laid out on a dais outside. They were later taken to Jerusalem for burial, accompanied by thousands of mourners.

    “We will answer the terrorists,” Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, a Chabad official from New York, vowed in the eulogy, his voice shaking. “We will not fight them with AK-47s. We will not fight them with grenades. We will not fight them with tanks.

    “We will fight them with torches!” he cried, referring to God’s teachings.

    He pledged to rebuild the Mumbai center — one of thousands of Chabad outreach facilities around the world — and name it after the Holtzbergs.

  4. Strategic communication!!!! These guys can’t even think straight.

    If they could think, they would have jumped at tha Paki’s offer to shift 100000 troops to the eastern front. If they could think then someone would have held a press conference and said that “This is a good development, these Paki’s are inept at fighting on the western front, the vacancy the create by moving Paki troops from the western front can be filled up by US and NATO troops. And for good measure Indian troops can patrol Afghanistan’s border with baluchistan “. Somebody should have put out this proposal and then we would have seen how they panic…….instead here we are already into no military action mode.

  5. >>But is India geared up to undertake sustained and proactive information operations against the enemy.

    Unfortunately & regrettably NO! given the fact that pusillanimous govt. is still in a daze as how to respond to this attrocious attacks…it seems to be bumbling from one option to another, in desperation trying to show its hapless citizens aswell as the world that its taking some ‘tough’ actions (my foot!)…starting off with demanding Pakistan to send in its ISI chief to now again demanding (notice no action so far) Pakistan hand over ‘suspected’ terrorists heads & underworld don Dawood…as if their wish would just be granted! What a joke! The absence of leadership, both @ the center as well state level is glaring…tis’ seems the govt. is still trying to get a foothold while @ the same time, it remains totally ‘clueless’!

    >>the role and responsibility of the Indian media — print, electronic and new age.

    Media is nothing but a farce! It has proved to be a total disaster in this crisis, & has seen to be in cahoots with the marauding army of terrorists, which became evident when, some media channel, to boost its TRP ratings, broadcasted the interview of one of the terrorists engaged in gunbattle with security forces, as if he was a celebrity on some noble mission – the excitement in the voices of the media personnel – as if they had landed the biggest scoop of their careers, one that will project them to stratospheric heights – doing the interview, was so utterly disgusting that it made one puke. I guess these media personnel in all their excitement proably forgot that they were simply providing a propoganda platform to the very terrorists who were destroying the nation, this simple & pretty obvious fact it seemed escaped these media morons….UNBELIEVABLE!!!

  6. India’s feeble response to Pak terror

    “BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley pounced on a dithering ruling alliance with a demand for “ stern action” against Islamabad. He avoided giving a direct call to arms, but he did note, “ Let us get one thing straight – what happened in Mumbai was India’s 9/ 11. And India’s response should be substantially closer to what the US did after 9/ 11.” On Monday the government took what at first sight appeared to be a tough step but which, on closer examination, appears to be a dose of failed medicine”

  7. ‘Pakistan will have to pay a heavy price’
    M J Akbar

    MY comments:
    There is nothing called Hindu terrorism, Stop the Hindu abuse

    MJ Akbar wrote in one length “People forget that India has fought back Muslim terrorism in Kashmir; Sikh terrorism in Punjab, Christian terrorism in Nagaland and Hindu terrorism in Assam, and amongst the Naxalites.”

    Muslims, christians and sikhs used religions to for their war, violence. So, there are muslim terrorism, chrsitian terrorism, sikh terrorism. But nowhere in the history of Bharat/India, Hindus used religion for war or violence.

    In Asom, ULFA don’t used religion for their war or violence. They fight for the whole old Asam, which comprise of all different religious people. So, as naxals and maoists. They don’t used hindu religion for their war or violence. There are chrsitians also in Maoists.

    MJ Akbar: Congress-UPA and sickular media has given you sickulars a term to abuse hindus. Even the alleagedly arrested few hindus didn’t used Hindu religion. We tell you, it is better for India and all, not to abuse Hindus. The provocation will one day turn into real, that would be very bad.

    Then he goes on:
    Another lie of MJ Akbar: “Indian Muslims have nothing to do with Pakistan. They have absolutely no sympathy for Pakistan.”

    Be honest MJ Akbar. It is Indian muslims, muslims from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, divided India. They asked for partition of India and seperate land for muslims.

    Whom do you try to fool, MJ Akbar? What is now Aligarh Muslim University, is the foundation of partition of India.

    Muslims of NWFF, Balochistan, Sind, even most of Punjab never asked for partition.

    Muslims didvided the India and 22% muslims got 33% landmass called Paksitan. All muslims should have leave India, as by defeault remaining part was Hindustan.

    Why live in Kafirs land? Still time, muslims should go to their Holyland, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    There was about 35% Hindus in two Paksitans, now less than 0.5% in pakistan and less than 5% in bangladesh. Both are Islamic nation and ethnically cleansed non-muslims.

  8. FYI:

    Hello Friends:

    Found this inspiring video on the work done by Seva Bharathi.

    Hope this interest you.

  9. Old scary article from past

    Queen of India and the Courtiers

    Posted March 3, 2005
    Pradeep Nair
    Aswathy, Thottadivila, Thiruvananthapuram.

    ‘I have asked the armed forces to take necessary action in Kashmir’ it was Sonia Gandhi the uncrowned queen telling the media in Jammu Kashmir the other day. Ofcourse there was this man, Panob Mukherjee, accompanying her as the news added, clutching her aprons but nowhere near her. This white women disikes the natives, even if that is the big names, as everyone in Delhi knows. Many have burned their fingers going too near. Ofcourse the real Prime Minister of India followed her foot steps a couple of days later to implement what she committed, was perhaps sent by the queen rather.

    Well the point is who is she to order the armed forces of India. Does India have a President or a Prime Minister to do that, under what constitutional and moral authority can she make such statements. Is this a banana republic where anyone can do that. Leaving aside the whole history of how the Italian lady befriended the son of the then Prime Minister of India while abroad, which may come to light some day, what is happening right now deserves attention. For it is a humiliation for every self respecting Indian that this happens. With a huge country with its millions of people remote controlled by the rich west in the era of globalisation an Italian in charge is disturbing.

    Going deeper in to the shadow cabinet that Sonia Gandhi keeps and the strings that extend from there one is afraid that it is part of a larger strategem. Thus we see Victor George, a Syrian Christian from Kerala, Tom Vadakkan, another from the same breed playing crucial roles there. That from the launch of the Gandhi family daughter-in-law a few years back on. There were the same people earlier, MO Mathai with Nehru, PC Alexander with Indira Gandhi. Sonia makes no pretensions when it comes to her faith, pushes the Christians wherever she can. Look at the Doordarsan or take any other forum. All the Popes were from Italy for centuries, till the present Polish man usurped the chair. So it is no coincidence that one sees. Though the naive, ill educated Indians may not see through the game.

    Now going back to the Syrian Christians of Kerala, who are they. Refugees to Malabar, present day Kerala, like Parsees who came from undivided Syria, now part of Iraq, Turkey, Syrian etc. What did they do, they facilitated the European colonisation of India. When Vasco da Gama came in 1497 they went and told the Portugese sailors that
    they are ready to support and throw out the Hindu king, the Zamorin, who gave them refuge. That ‘thy kingdom come.’That is what the Portugese sources tell, look at the book ‘Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama’. Not many dared to write about that till the British left, even not now after five decades of independence.

    Later they did the same with the Dutch, French and British, local Bishops going to the ships and expressing their desire to have a Christian India and accepting their sovereignty. How during the British they became their allies and thus powerful, the British rules said that the local system of justice can not run over the faithful. Soon they were in charge of the conversion machinery, from a 20,000 strong community in 1497 they later made 20 percent of Kerala’s total population Christian. And now they rule Kerala with vote banks with the ‘secular’ communists on their pay rolls. The target now is
    India itself.

    They spread lies and exaggerated stories about upper caste oppression and got the Hindu community divided, got the leading communities portrayed as monsters, enemies. With 80 percent of Kerala media under their control they could propagate easily. With 85 percent of the education sector under them they could brain wash children in to believing that India was indeed a dark land before the missionaries. And who runs the conversion machinerry all over India, Syrian Christians of Kerala. Who channelises church money from abroad, the same people. And who runs the kitchen cabinet of Sonia Gandhi, Syrian Christians of Kerala. And as many invsetigative reports like the recent one in ‘Tehelka’ have brought to light there is a Christian game plan to take over India, that with its control room at the white house itself. May be we need to act before it is too late.

    Look at any state in India where conversions take place and you will find a Syrian Christian connection. No, not because they are saviours but because there is money in it. Apart from the global political and economic agenda of Christianity, now centuries old, these people also know how to fool pious international donors. They are immensely rich and only pool out bits of what they receive, How they have made a parallel Christian economy in Kerala. Driving out the Kerala Hindus like the Pandits of Kashmir, only here the enemy works silently. With their inter connections the Bush agenda of Conversion is easy to operate, there are Syrian Christians in key posts in the oval office as well. Not just in the shadow cabinet of Sonia Gandhi. If they could make Nagaland totally Christian in few years India is not far behind.

    So watch out.

  10. Civil war in intelligence agencies, PM must restore rule: BJP

    ““With agencies engaged in blame game and fingerpointing over Mumbai terror attack, BJP launched a sharp attack on the government saying it had lost the legitimacy to stop what it called “civil war” in the government.”

  11. from: Radha Rajan
    date: Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:54 PM
    subject: Fwd: Rahul parties!

    Rahul Baba parties as his mother plays the queen in alice in wonderland. Mama’s boy is Lalu’s gandhi!!!

    — RR

    * * *

    from: Radha Rajan
    date: Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 6:06 AM
    subject: On Sons and Daughters and grand children

    In the Congress choldren, grandchildren, foreign daughters-in-law of just one family get the privilege of being seen with power centers in their home. Matrgaret Alva was stripped of her CWC post because she wanted to know why her son/sons could not be given tickets.

    Vilasrao Deshmukh is facinf flak from arch sycophant Jayanthi Natarajan and Milind Deora because his son was accompanying him when he visited the Taj or was it Oberoi?

    Now why this selective outrage?

    Sonia Gandhi was invited to the Beijing Olympics because she is Congress president/UPA Chairperson. But mama gandhi went to Beijing with daughter, son-in-law, their children and Rahul Gandhi. We dont know if Rahul’s Columbine was with him.

    Next – when mama gandhi went to the UN to address some meeting on Gandhi, baba rahul went with her. She didnt take any other MP or Congress minister or Congress office -bearer with her. Only her beta.

    So, if Mama Gandhi can travel with children and grand children in tow with their spuses, what was wrong if Vilasrao Deshmukh took his son with him?

    If Mama Gandhi’s inane son who cannot put ten words together into a sentence coherently, can be made CWC member, why cant Margaret Alva promote her son?

    And Barkha Dutt thinks Deshmukh was foolish and his reply to the accusation even more foolish. Barkha Dutt must tell us why this double standards.



  12. off topic:

    i would like to point out that Mr ram jethmalani had commented to the pak news channel which aired their bull shit conspiracy theory on the mumbai terror attacks blaming it on “HINDU ZIONISTS”…his comments are totally against national interest of INDIA and the first thing should do is to get rid of the article glorifying him for lambasting the despicable media….this person deserves no respect….

    ps if ya have no idea of wat im speaking abt pls see this vedio on youtube..

  13. Mumbaikars are getting this SMS:

    Terrorists don’t just come on boats, they also come through votes

    Heh! Junta Maino pe bahut mooteli hai..


    Suraj Baliga: Yes, I do agree with you. He is the most despicable person. He has respect and love for Pakistan and other Islamic nations. Then why did he migrate to India ? He should be happy to live in an Islamic country as a dhimmi. When taking up the cause of smugglers, murderers, rapists, looters etc., and miniting money are the life’s only purpose, where is the necessity for patriotism, principles, ethics etc.,? Vermins have also have to lead a life putting others into misery.

  15. Good point, pragmatic.

    Every action of Indian media needs to be evaluated by the yardstick of whether it is in the nature of defeating the terrorist or in the nature of giving succor to him.

  16. From today’s Hindu – exactly what all of us have mentioned …

    Navy chief upset with electronic media

    NEW DELHI: The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, has expressed anger at the electronic media’s coverage of the Mumbai terror attacks.

    Addressing a press conference on the eve of Navy Day, he also pulled up the media for casting aspersions on the Navy’s sinking of a pirate vessel in the Gulf of Aden by “going all the way to the house of the vessel’s Thai owner” to interview him.

    “All for brownie points”
    The competition among news channels to score brownie points reminded him of the “famous shot” during the Kargil War that led to the destruction of an ultra-powerful artillery gun of the Army. Three soldiers died and the Colonel, who yielded to a woman reporter’s entreaty to fire the gun for the camera’s benefit was dismissed from service.

    Senior government officials have been chafing at the “intrusive coverage” by the electronic media.

    Admiral Mehta said he was disturbed by the “extra heavy reporting” on the attacks. “When operations are taking place, you are reporting that two commandos are going inside. They [terrorists] were in live contact with their masters, who were telling them what the channels were reporting. I think it requires a certain amount of restraint in ongoing operations. Do you really have to give minute-by-minute coverage? Media is an enabling instrument. Today it is a disenabling instrument.”

    On the media’s coverage of the INS Tabar’s anti-piracy operations off the Gulf of Aden when the warship intercepted and sank a pirated Thai trawler, the Navy chief said he was disappointed. For the media, more “eye catching” was the owner’s claim that was unquestionably accepted.

    “The Thai vessel was a pirated trawler. The ship was operating there for a long time. The ship was doing what it should not be doing. You went to his house to interview him. Those reports are now floating worldwide. The media should have asked what the trawler was transporting between Yemen and Oman for such a long time. What cargo was it carrying? If it was low on fuel, how come the fireball was so bright? It was because of all the ammunition that was lying on the ship. There is nothing wrong your Navy has done,” asserted Admiral Mehta.

    Referring to frequent reports where he was said to have been pulled up by Ministers, Admiral Mehta said: “You have put my reputation in the dock. By the amount of pulling up I am subjected to, I should have been taller by a couple of feet. I don’t know if that is why I meet Ministers. The press has a responsibility. Be more cautious. I am not asking you to be more careful but you must be more cautious. Are you working for some masters? I leave it to your conscience.”

    The Navy chief also criticised two TV correspondents for “breaking their assurance” not to air his interview which was recorded in advance for Navy Day (December 4).

    “It was a breach of privilege by these two gentlemen. Just as well that they are not there.” Finding that one was present, he asked the “offender” to tell what was promised. As the journalist sought to give excuses, the Navy chief shot back, “Don’t tell me what happened. The interview was not to be played till day after tomorrow. But both went on air to score brownie points.”

    Systemic failure
    He said the entry of terrorists into Mumbai by a trawler appeared to indicate a “systemic failure” by the law enforcement agencies. “It needs to be taken care of.”

    The Navy, he said, was reviving a seven-year-old proposal to ensure better coordination among security agencies and establish a system for identifying Indian fishermen.

    “We are looking at creating a proper infrastructure, where all the information we get is exchanged. We had prepared the proposal seven to eight years earlier. We are now pushing it up once again to bring about greater synergy among different forces,” he said.

    Admiral Mehta said the present arrangement of naval ships taking care of the security of 200 nautical miles from the coast and the Coast Guard being responsible for the inner layer would continue. The territorial waters would also continue to be looked after by the coastal police.

  17. Sky

    To augment to your comment check this out

    Burqa Dutt is even responsible for the death of few of our soldiers

  18. really you are proving what the people say about the bloggers,that you are a bunch of egoistic and self serving are accusing the same press who held the politicians accountable after the attack and forced homeminister patil to resign.are you guys really independent bloggers or paid cronies of bjp?

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