A report issued by CIMA in 2010, The Pentagon, Information Operations, and International Media Development, covered in great detail information operations activities of the Department of Defense (DoD) that caused tensions and difficulties for independent media and its developers. The activities included creating “good news” stories under fictitious bylines and placing them in media in Iraq; paying handsome sums to fledgling radio stations in Afghanistan to run military messaging, in some cases eroding their credibility. These and other activities occurred as the information operations apparatus at DoD was becoming an octopus with tentacles in a dozen agencies, with no one person in charge, and with a budget that was nearly impossible to track and analyze.
Since that report was issued much has changed. Information operations activity by the DoD has been reined in and its structure rationalized. Peter Cary, a veteran military affairs journalist and the author of CIMA’s 2010 report, takes another look five years later in The Pentagon and Independent Media–an Update, which CIMA is pleased to publish.