Skip to main content /US
CNN.com /US
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


COMPLETE COVERAGE | FRONT LINES | AMERICA AT HOME | INTERACTIVES »

military.desk.graphic.gif

Maj. Gen. David Grange: Information warfare as important as bombing
Grange
General David Grange.  


Update: The biggest thing that I've seen is that, because we don't have overlapping air and ground campaigns, or a ground campaign per se, we do have some ground stuff going on with information warfare and with the humanitarian assistance. That's very important, a key piece, as important as any bombing of any target. We now are having our adversaries manipulating the media. They are taking them to places where there has been some collateral damage or claims to of collateral damage, or injury to civilians, and they're propagandizing that, through disinformation and because there is a bit of a lull with the bombing and no other real combat going on, they are able to do that, to take advantage of that.

Impact: Our information operations campaign needs to get more aggressive. Leaflet drops are effective but they are really the elementary level of information operations, like loudspeaker teams. We've got to move into these miniature, hand-cranked transistor radios that can be dropped. We have got to get into miniaturized televisions that can be dropped, so you get the imaging effect. Right now, they are really pushing the information warfare hard, trying to discredit us, to get more people siding with the Taliban instead of the international coalition. They are trying to drive a wedge in the coalition, and trying to make it appear that we have this crusade against Islam. Granted it's only local people who are affected right now, but as this thing gets on television, others can see the anger of some Muslims over the non-combatant casualties and collateral damage, stuff that is non-military, non-terrorist oriented. So I think, unless we start doing some ground stuff, we are going to start phasing into an expansion of information warfare.

Strategy: The bad guys are going to nurture the risk that's already in place between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region and the lack of trust in the area. That's one reason, I gather, that Secretary Colin Powell went over there this morning. We know that this can really sway the very delicate situation in Pakistan. President Musharraf is on very thin ice. He's committed to the United States, but at the same time he's got some hard-line, Taliban supporters as adversaries who can tie that to Musharraf siding with India and the United States against Afghanistan. Then we're really going to have a problem with the propaganda from al Qaeda that this is a crusade against Islam. And because India and Pakistan are both nuclear powers -- and I think it might be suspect who has or could get control of some of the Pakistani nuclear weapons -- it's a very dangerous situation for the world. It could expand the regional conflict very easily. At the same time, if that starts erupting and something happens in Iraq, over our back shoulder, that's a very bad situation to be in.

Tactics: I think we are considering targets all over the world, and in Iraq, but it's a matter of how much we really want to chew right now. We have really got to look at our long-term capability to keep this thing going, and in Iraq, we know that Saddam's regime should go, or at least I think it should, but is the timing right? We have a very strong Western alliance, but we have a fragile Muslim alliance and there's a good chance that would break the alliance we have in terms of use of bases unless those countries are threatened. It's a little different from than Saudi Arabia when Kuwait was invaded. They don't have it on their backdoor, so they are not as concerned. So they would pull any support, probably pretty quick, if we started doing something in Iraq right now.


horizontal.rule.gif

U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark (retired), a former NATO supreme commander; U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David Grange (retired); and Air Force Maj. Gen. Don Shepperd (retired) are serving as CNN military analysts during the war against terror. Their briefings will appear daily on CNN.com.

EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN is sensitive to reporting any information that could endanger lives or operations.



 
 
 
 



RELATED SITES:
See related sites about US
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

U.S. TOP STORIES:

 Search   

Back to the top
s