Inform and Influence Activities (IIA)



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Afghan War News > General Info > IO > Inform and Influence Activities (IIA)

Inform and Influence Activities (IIA)

IO is now IIA. What used to be known as Information Operations or IO is now called Inform and Influence Activities or IIA. This change took place over the last few years (2011 - 2012) and was introduced on a wide scale in January 2013 with the introduction of FM 3-13 Inform and Influence Activities dated 25 January 2013. You can read more about the FM at the link below.

IIA Instructor Guide. Fortunately the Army has provide us with documentation to make the transition from IO to IIA.  It has developed an Instructor's Guide to Inform and Influence Activities - provided by the U.S. Army Information Proponent Office dated August 2011. You can access this document at the link below.

Radio in a Box or RIAB. The RIAB is one of the most productive tools that the U.S. military has deployed to Afghanistan.  You can read more about the RIABs here.

Information Operations (IO) News Reports. A listing of IO news reports can be found here.

Afghan Information Dissemination Operations (AIDO) Course. This three-week program teaches the principles of effective tactical and operational messaging. The training adds to the growing influence capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and is reflective of the importance of strategic communication in ANSF operations. The ANSF IO capability had a slow start and is only starting to get some effectiveness after over 13 years of war. The course continues to enjoy support from ISAF's Combined Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (CJPOTF). 1.

Publications and Papers on IIA or IO


Hampsey, Russ, Realpolitik in Afghanistan: Pragmatic Influence Required, Afghan War News, February 2018. Hampsey was a member of the Counterinsurgency (COIN) Advise and Assist Team (CAAT) and also worked as a member of the Military Information Support Task Force (MISTF). In total he spent 36 months in Afghanistan.


RAND Corporate, Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade, by Christopher Paul, March 2017.


DeRosa, John. "Revising the Battle of the Narrative", Small Wars Journal, July 16, 2015. The author states that the U.S. has been slow to recognize the importance of IO and provides recommendations on how to improve.

Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade, RAND Corporation, April 17, 2015.
Desk Reference
Handbook for Practitioners
Annotated Reading List

DoDIG, Information Operations in a Contingency Environment: Summary of Weaknesses Identified in Reports Issued from October 6, 2006, Through November 7, 2013. Project No. D2015-DODOCF-0108.000, DODIG-2015-100, March 27, 2015. This report says that 1) communication activities were not optimal at the operational level in Afghanistan, 2) there was a lack of a fully integrated IO capability in Afghanistan, and 3) there was a need for strengthened controls over IO assessments in Afghanistan.


USASOC, Cognitive Joint Force Entry - White Paper, United States Army Special Operations Command, September 26, 2014.

Jefferis, Jennifer. "A Fight for Narratives in the Battle Against Extremism", Small Wars Journal, August 1, 2014.

Ingram, Haroro, Three Lessons from the Modern Era of Small Wars, International Relations and Security Network (ISN), May 26, 2014. A look at IO, COIN, and Afghanistan.


Defense Horizons, Sharing to Succeed: Lessons from Open Information-sharing Projects in Afghanistan, National Defense University, July 2013.

Porche, Isaac R. et al, Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World, RAND Corporation, 2013.

Waage, Erick. "Applications of the Memetic Perspective in Inform and Influence Operations", Small Wars Journal, August 13, 2013. Accessed here.

Beljan, Robert. "Lessons Learned from an ISAF Perspective", Small Wars Journal, May 30, 2013. See section on Information Operations.


Lazzara, MAJ Frank (USAF), Information Operations, Finding Success as Afghanistan Draws to a Close, Naval War College, Newport, R.I., May 4, 2012.


USMC CFLL. Information Operations in Afghanistan. Lessons and observations from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RC Southwest. Covers period from March 2009 to October 2010.


Tim Foxley, "Countering Taliban Information Operations in Afghanistan", The Prism, 1, No. 4, September 2010, pages 79-94. Foxley is a researcher in the Armed Conflicts and Conflict Management Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Accessed here on Nov 9, 2012.

Altai Consulting, Afghan Media in 2010, October 13, 2010. Report in conjucting with USAID. 178 page PDF document.


Tim Foxley, The Battle for Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan: the effectiveness of Taliban Information Operations and related communications activities, March 2009. A paper for the Swedish Armed Forces accessed here on Nov 9, 2012.


FM 3-13 (FM 100-6), Information Operations: Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures, November 2003. The Army replaced FM 3-13 with the new Inform and Influence Activities field manual. . . . .pdf

Social Media and IO / IIA

Lindsey, Richard A. "What the Arab Spring Tells Us about the Future of Social Media in Revolutionary Movements", Small Wars Journal, July 29, 2013.

Websites about Propaganda and Information Operations

Afghan Hindsight.  Posts about IO and propaganda.

See Radio In A Box or RIAB for information on the economical and very useful radio stations used to broadcast music, news, and the ISAF and Afghan government message in remote areas of Afghanistan.

Inform and Influence Activities or IIA. The Army is changing the name of Information Operations (IO) to Inform and Influence Activities (IIA).

Videos about Information Operations in Afghanistan

November 2, 2012. "RIAB Disassembly at COP Sharp". DVIDS Video.  In a controversial move the U.S. military is disassembling RIABs throughout Afghanistan that will be stored in a JPAT on a large FOB in Afghanistan and then finally destroyed prior to 2014 rather than turning the inexpensive and outdated equipment over to the ANA or the local provincial or district government allowing the Afghans to continue the information operations messaging that is so important in a COIN fight. Why are we shutting down the RIABs? No one seems to have a good answer for it.

November 2, 2012. "RIAB Tower Disassembly at COP Marjeh". DVIDS Video.  The Radio in a Box is turned off at COP Marjeh, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

October 4, 2011. "Influence Through the Airways - RIAB Messages". DIVIDS Video. RIAB messages provide local area residents of Khan Neshin with fast and reliable way of remaining informed on various topics.


1. For more on the AIDO course see "Afghan soldiers honored at graduation", ISAF News, November 11, 2014.



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