The role of framing in counterinsurgency/counterterrorism operations the status of hearts and minds
Anderson, Todd A.
Baylouny, Anne Marie
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te with their public. Framing offers insights into terrorist and insurgent operations that are only recently being addressed but still not widely capitalized on by current U.S. Army operations in Iraq. My focus is on the role of framing in the U.S. counterterrorism effort, and I will demonstrate how insurgent and terrorist messages shape the information operations (IO) battlefield against U.S. and Coalition Forces in the Middle East. The thesis will show that the terrorist's message is just as important as the act of terrorism itself and these messages provide a window into understanding their operations, their ties to constituencies, and possibly their direction for future attacks. The concept of framing can serve as an aid to U.S. military leaders in addressing problems that the conventional forces face when tasked to fight an unconventional but highly organized enemy. Framing's application to military operations could help to better define the IO and PSYOP operations to maneuver commanders who are not as well versed in the use of non-kinetic offensive and defensive operations. Framing, as defined by social mobilization theorists offers a different perspective on the operational structure of insurgent leadership and can demonstrate weaknesses in the insurgent organization that can be capitalized upon with less threat to civilian life.
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