PSYOP Operatives Claim Afghan Elections will not be Jeopardised by Violence

Apr 03, 2014, 08:51 ET from Defence IQ

LONDON, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

With Afghanistan's third presidential and provincial council polls taking place on April 5 and wih coalition forces scaling down their presence, the country is set to face an independent road ahead. However, the weekend will inevitably see violence and voter fraud, according to those at ISAF who are now helping to assist the Independent Electoral Committee (IEC) in keeping the polls open and free of corruption.

Speaking exclusively to Defence IQ ahead of June's annual Information Operations Global conference in London, members of the Combined Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (CJPOTF) explained how coalition forces are promoting confidence among the Afghan population in spite of threats from extremist groups.

"We will not tell the Afghan people that there will be a one hundred percent secure election environment, so go forth and vote," says CJPOTF civilian consultant Stephen Harley. "The fact is, there will be incidents and people are going to get killed, but from a security perspective, it's the degree to which we can limit that." This full article can be downloaded at:

The emphasis for ISAF is now on a positive PSYOP campaign instead of a focus on ground security previously seen in the 2009 election, an approach that commanders have since admitted was a poor strategy. The levels to which ISAF can influence the population lies in its exploitation of mass media - including TV, radio and mobile phone - to keep civilians informed of all they need to cast their vote. Women voters are of particular importance to the strategy.

Ben Heap, the chief representative for CJPOTF, will be attending Information Operations Global 2014 to relate the results and lessons to fellow PSYOP and strategic communications operators. Other discussions will revolve around current information strategies taking place in Eastern Europe, Syria and the Central African Republic.

The event will be taking place between 17-19 June 2014 at the Kensington Close Hotel, London.

Other speakers on the panel include:

  • Stephen Jolly, Director of Defence Communications, UK MOD
  • Air Commodore C E J Brazier, Head of Military Strategic Effects, UK MOD
  • Colonel Matthew Venhaus, Director of MISO Policy, Office of the US Assistant Secretary of Defense
  • Colonel Bryan Sparling, IO and Special Activities Director, US EUCOM

More information is available at:


Tel: Richard Jones +44-(0)20-7368-9737