PsyOps, public affairs and war

Have you read the LA Times reporting on the coordination between psychological operations and public affairs on the ground in Iraq? You should. It dances around a very important question: at what point should a fighting force stop being transparent and attempt to deceive its enemy through obfuscation, implication or outright fabrication? I'll leave the moral handwringing and ethical debate to other fora. Maybe that freshfaced lieutenant shouldn't have lied right to CNN. But if you remember your military history, armies from many nations and cultures have a long history of deception and disinformation. The difference? The window of gullibility used to be very wide - weeks or even months - before opposing forces, reporters and the public caught on.

Today, it's minutes.

If you want a bit more information about the implications of information warfare, the CIA's unclassified journal has a dry, but informative, article.