Synchronization Takes Precedence at Chile-U.S. Information Exchange

By Dialogo
December 04, 2012

Close to three years after changing their doctrine and adopting a law to bring together their forces under a joint command, Chile is taking forward steps in adapting to this approach. For this purpose, a committee of 18 members of the Chilean Armed Forces, from their Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Northern and Southern Joint Commands arrived in Miami, Florida, for a Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) with the Information Operations (IO) divisions from U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Special Operations Command – South (SOCSOUTH), taking place from December 3-7.

During his opening remarks, Chilean Air Force Major General Jorge D. Robles Mella emphasized the fact that Chile brought two representatives of each service and command because they consider it of the utmost importance to exchange information, learn from – and teach the United States, especially after having already held four other Chile-U.S. joint exercises and events throughout 2012.

“We realized we have a lot to learn from each other … our interest in [Information Operations] comes from this being a fairly new topic; if it’s new for you, for us it is still nascent,” said Maj. Gen. Robles. “IO has been traditionally based on decisions made by our commanders, and we want to consolidate these across our services. So we hope that our present committee has the capacity to convey to their commanders what we learn here this week,” he added.

For his part, U.S. Army Colonel James Miller, director of Operations at SOCSOUTH, stated that “Information Operations is a more powerful and more kinetic tool than dropping a bomb or series of bombs.” Col. Miller explained that IO has a broad reach through a series of very short-term impacts, “it has the potential to cause a bigger response from the public, a more significant response both within a country’s borders as well as out.”

The exchange produced extensive information on the U.S. experiences in planning and synchronization efforts to their Chilean counterparts. Representatives from SOCSOUTH and SOUTHCOM’s Information Operations, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs divisions, as well as U.S. Army South, offered detailed explanations of the quick tactical, operational and political coordination of efforts that a country and specifically a country’s military joint command, like the one that Chile is in the process of building, has to enable across services and departments to reach one same goal.