Information operations, an evolutionary step for the Mexican Armed Forces
Schulz, David Vargas
Berger, Mark T.
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This thesis will focus on the Mexican Armed Force's ability to deal with existing and future unconventional threats and insurgencies. The modern Mexican Armed Forces are the result of an enduring evolutionary process, which has made the necessary changes to deal with the emerging threats against the state. Mexico's criminal threat has evolved because of 9/11 and because of the U.S.-led crackdown on Colombian drug cartels. Mexico's modern adversary is well versed in waging mass media campaigns and uses terrorist tactics to instill fear in Mexico's population. Mexico's current threats consist of drug trafficking, which has resulted in increased levels of violence and rebel insurgencies that have also transitioned from revolutionary nationalists to violent criminals. Therefore, to positively counter the rise of social and political violence, Mexico's government needs to carefully plan its response to insurgencies. Mexico must develop alternate and unconventional remedies to preserve its national security. Current Mexican military strategies rely on the mass mobilization of ground and air troops for mainly search and destroy operations. Although, the evolving threat warrants an unorthodox military strategy, this thesis will only focus on the Mexican Navy's ability to take the lead in dealing with the nation's rising unconventional threats. This thesis uses both the insurgency and counterinsurgency model developed by Gordon H. McCormick, known as the "Mystic Diamond," and Information Operations to frame the unconventional state strategy. This analytical tool offers a better understanding of how an insurgency works, as well as the interaction and relations among the different actors involved. The study presents an in depth case study of Colombia and the development of Information Operation capabilities to support its policies and objectives. Furthermore, this study also presents a concise case study of Mexico and describes how the country has managed its challenges without an Information Operations capability. Using McCormick's Model of Counterinsurgency, this thesis proposes that the development of an Information Operations capability within the Mexican Armed Forces will increase operational effectiveness against internal and external threats, influence public opinion to support government actions, preserve tranquility, and ensure national stability during crises. States in general and Mexico in particular, should continue to use Information Operations and Psychological Operations in order to deal with the enemy of tomorrow while maintaining popular support.
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