In “Planning to Influence: A Commander’s Guide to the PA/IO Relationship“, United States Marine Corps Major Matt Morgan analyzes restraints on effective information activities within the Marines, but it speaks to the whole of Defense communications. Adapted from the executive summary of his masters thesis at Marine Corps U., it is a must-read for anyone interested in the subject. Matt couldn’t get it published when he wrote it two years ago so today it is posted here with his permission.
More than a decade of innovation in the global information environment has radically changed the way the world communicates, and our enemies have gained new advantage in building support for their causes and inciting hostility against us. While Marine Corps leaders have long understood the importance of information in the form of command, control, communications, and intelligence, it is only relatively recently that influence and perception have become widely recognized as critical factors in all aspects of military operations. Dealing with perception in operational design, however, is complex, and integrating influence into the Marine Corps Planning Process proves difficult. Complicating factors include a lack of naval doctrine on the conduct of information operations (IO) and policies that restrict collaboration between the primary activities dealing in the cognitive dimension of the information environment—that is, public affairs (PA) and psychological operations (PSYOP).
Who is MAJ Morgan?
Maj. Morgan is currently serving in Iraq as the Strategic Communication Policy Advisor to the Commanding General, Task Force 134, Detainee Operations. Additionally, he has served as Chief of National Media Outreach, MNF-I Strategic Effects, and was deployed in 2003 to the Horn of Africa as Public Affairs Officer for CJTF-HOA. Maj. Morgan is a graduate of Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the principal author of the United States Marine Corps Strategic Communication Plan.