U.S. and Peruvian Military Discuss Information Operations in Lima

U.S. and Peruvian Military Discuss Information Operations in Lima

By Dialogo
June 21, 2013

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), recently completed a workshop about Information and Influence Activities, attended by police and members of civil organizations from the South American country.

The ten-day seminar, organized by the U.S. Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) and taught by WHINSEC specialists, gathered over 30 representatives from the Armed Forces, Police, the Peruvian Army’s School of Psychological Operations and the Peru’s National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs (DEVIDA), which develops and conducts policies against drugs in the country.

“Cooperation is crucial to confront common threats,” said Major Xavier Colón, chief of SOCSOUTH’s Military Information Support Operations when explaining the main reason they went to Peru. “As integration and interoperability is increased among military and police forces from our countries, it becomes more and more important to speak a common language, and information operations are not the exception,” he added.

The goal of the workshop, which was conducted from June 3 to 14, was to present the new doctrine of “Inform and Influence Activities,” adopted by the U.S. Army in early 2013. “Peru has an excellent psychological operations school, as well as subject matter experts, which facilitated discussions and debates on how to apply the new doctrine towards specific challenges faced by officials and civil personnel of the host nation,” Major Eduardo Larumbe, WHINSEC representative, said.

Colonel Jaime Malpica, director of the Peruvian Army’s School of Psychological Operations, stated that the course allowed them to better understand the Information Operations doctrine. “The knowledge we gathered offered a clear panorama about the importance of using this [discipline] today,” he said.

He added that what they learned will allow them to make proposals and recommendations to higher commands in order to further explore the importance of information operations in modern conflict. “The feasibility of these proposals would imply substantial changes in our doctrine, in our program structuring and maybe in our information system,” he specified.

To Major Larumbe, the main achievement of the seminar was to integrate elements that, in general, work independently. With this purpose, a final exercise in which participants used information and influence tools for planning a hypothetical operation was developed. “I was pleased to see how each one contributed with their perspective, and the solution was the result of combining all efforts in a coordinated way,” he stated.

WHINSEC, based in Fort Benning, Georgia, provides training for military, police and civil personnel from the Western Hemisphere, with the goal of encouraging mutual knowledge, transparency, trust and cooperation between nations.