Lieutenant Colonel Richard B. Davenport, USA, is the Chief of Training for Psychological Operations at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
Twenty-first-century warfare—where hearts, minds, and opinion are, perhaps, more important than kinetic force projection—is guided by a new and vital dimension, namely the belief that whose story wins may be more important than whose army wins. This is especially true if one avoids kinetic engagement altogether.
—Stefan Halper, China: The Three Warfares
It has been over 30 years since the first Department of Defense (DOD) Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Master Plan was published in 1985, advocating for a permanent joint psychological warfare element. Such an element could provide “DOD-wide psychological operations with strategic focus and the capability to orchestrate and coordinate the military PSYOP effort in conjunction with other U.S. Government agencies.”1 Since then, the authors of numerous other documents and members of working groups such as Unified Quest 2015 and 2016 have all advocated for some type of strategic influence command that could specifically align, synchronize, harmonize, unify, integrate, improve, counter, collaborate, direct, and deconflict all forms of influence and persuasion efforts among all elements of diplomacy, informational, military, and economic (DIME), and joint, interorganizational, and multinational organizations (JIMs).2 However, even with all of these voices and efforts spanning many decades, such an organization has not come to fruition.
Army Reserve Soldiers with U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) board CASA 212 aircraft during night airborne operation at Camp Mackall Airfield, North Carolina, March 12, 2013 (U.S. Army/Jacquelyn R. Slaughter)
Today, the current operational environment and information environment have fragmented and decentralized, causing ethnic, racial, religious, national, and tribal differences to increase and fostering complex hybrid warfare types of conflicts and scenarios all over the globe.3 To this mix we must factor in the growing and effective psychological warfare capabilities of the likes of China, which has a “Strategic Support Force . . . elevated to an equal footing with China’s other military services, the army, navy, air force”; Russia, which has “built up its muscle by forming a new branch of the military—information warfare troops”; and the so-called Islamic State (IS), which employs sophisticated propaganda efforts. Given these developments, there has never been a greater historical need and better opportunity to create this strategic joint influence organization and subsequent total joint influence force structure.4
This article lays out the evolution of psychological warfare (PSYWAR) as an organization and demonstrates the need to create three strategic influence organizations: a new Joint Influence Warfare Element (JIWE) to operate at the National Security Council, DOD, and Department of State levels; a subunified Joint Influence Warfare Command (JIWC) to operate at the DOD and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) levels; and Theater Director of Influence (TDI) organizations to operate at the geographic combatant command (GCCMD) levels.5
Struggle and Evolution of Unified Strategic PSYWAR
American PSYWAR has a long and storied history that can be traced back to the Revolutionary War, when Colonial forces threw strips of paper (containing promises of more money, food, land, and freedom) tied to rocks at Redcoats to induce surrenders.6 Today, DOD influence efforts are taking place in Syria and Iraq supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, with various technological dissemination platforms and messages being used to reach select foreign target audiences. The current PSYOP force structure dates to World War II, when PSYWAR was first officially institutionalized and formalized with the 1942 formation of the Psychological Warfare Branch, Allied Force Headquarters (PWB/AFHQ), which was led by the “father” of U.S. PSYWAR, Major General Robert A. McClure. The PWB/AFHQ supported PSYWAR efforts in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and southern France; in 1944, the Psychological Warfare Division, Supreme Headquarters Allied European Forces, was created by General Dwight D. Eisenhower to conduct PSYWAR in the European theater.7 Some of today’s PSYOP units can trace their lineage to those original organizations. However, today’s DOD influence force structure, specifically at the strategic level, has issues that need to be addressed and corrected.
Strategic influence has always been a problematic reality not only for DOD but also for the U.S. Government as a whole. In 1953, the U.S. Government under President Eisenhower established the United States Information Agency (USIA). The agency was highly successful for decades during the Cold War until it was officially shut down in 1999. It had a massive $2 billion annual budget focused on the ability “to streamline the U.S. government’s overseas information programs, and make them more effective” in speaking to the values and truths about the United States and countering the propaganda coming from Soviet active measures in about 150 different countries.8
The disestablishment of the USIA in 1999 created a void in the U.S. Government efforts for global strategic messaging that allowed adversarial states and nonstates the opportunity to dominate the narrative in multiple regions. This conceded global strategic space was then only contested through disorganized U.S. counternarratives that had no true unity of effort or synchronization. What made this problematic for DOD was that there was no strategic military organization that could act as a backstop or complementary function to conduct strategic influence planning and global synchronization. Some of these realities date back to the 1980s when the first major overhaul of U.S. military PSYOP took place.
The first modern-day overhaul and restructuring of the PSYWAR organization started during the Ronald Reagan era. An official directive came from the 1984 Presidential order that directed Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger to rebuild military PSYOP capabilities. This was followed by the development of the 1985 DOD PSYOP Master Plan, which Secretary Weinberger approved. One of the key findings by the Service authors of the PSYOP Master Plan was that subordination of PSYOP to special operations forces (SOF) was believed to detract from the recognition of the overall applicability of PSYOP in times of peace, crisis, and war. However, at that time PSYOP as an organization was a part of the 1st Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 1987, General Jim Lindsay, USA, the first commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), lobbied to overturn Secretary Weinberger’s decision on separation of PSYOP from SOF, as did the Army staff and Joint Staff. This decision was due to the loss of all Active component (AC) and Reserve component (RC) PSYOP units and all the congressional money for PSYOP, which would have made it more difficult to justify a four-star command. Secretary Weinberger then reversed his decision and assigned Army and Air Force AC and RC PSYOP units to USSOCOM.9 One could argue that since that decision, DOD has not had a true strategic influence command to plan, develop, manage, synchronize, and deconflict all influence activities. This has fostered a disorganized DOD-wide influence force structure with no true unity of influence command and with inadequate operational procedures for addressing transregional influence activities in the operational environment.10
Since 1987, Army PSYOP has fallen under USSOCOM and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). Part of the command structure at that time involved one AC and two RC PSYOP groups—the AC 4th PSYOP Group and the RC 2nd and 7th PSYOP Group, which fell under the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC), subordinate to USASOC. From a unity of command perspective, this was not a bad solution in that all of AC and RC PSYOP fell under one unified command structure. However, this changed with the events of September 11, 2001, and all the subsequent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Due to issues with long mobilizations of the RC PSYOP forces, in 2006 Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England signed a memorandum that reassigned RC PSYOP units from USSOCOM to the U.S. Army Reserve Command.11 This made the 4th PSYOP Group support primarily AC SOF. It also made both 2nd and 7th PSYOP Groups support AC general purpose forces, which was problematic because of a lack of year-round training support to AC forces on Active duty. Finally, it broke up true unity of command for all of PSYOP. Other dysfunctional influence efforts were coming from the information operations (IO) force structure.
Another byproduct of September 11 was the continued growth and solidification of the IO force. During the late 1990s, IO was a nascent idea where officers were selected to fill field support team positions at the corps and division levels. However, these positions were rarely filled, and the idea of synchronizing information-related capabilities was not well organized or managed by any one organization throughout DOD. In the late 1990s, the Army G3 reached out to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS), which at that time was the overall proponent for SOF, to see if SOF would want to take control of synchronizing information-related capabilities and filling the role of field support teams at corps and divisions. SWCS rejected the idea, and the Army G3 began formalizing the IO organization as well as creating a functional area for IO officers. Today, the IO force structure falls under U.S. Army Cyber Command. The ultimate issue has been a lack of true unity of command that could provide the leadership, vision, guidance, management, and synchronization of all influence efforts across not only the Army but also joint, DOD, and interagency elements.
The first idea for a strategic joint-level organization that could plan, coordinate, and synchronize influence operations began with the 1985 and 1990 DOD PSYOP Master Plans, which advocated for the creation of a Joint PSYOP Center. There were several key features and recommended functions. The plan would:
- preferably be subordinated directly to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- act as the organizational and institutional front for PSYOP within DOD
- be located in the National Capital Region
- function as the key element for interagency coordination and cooperation
- have representation from Department of State, Intelligence Community, U.S. Information Agency, Voice of America, and Board for International Broadcasting
- be responsible for long-range strategic PSYOP plans
- be responsible for the planning, coordination, and direction of the DOD portion of national PSYOP activities.12
However, this type of joint influence organization as originally conceived would not come to fruition until 2004, when the Joint Psychological Support Element (JPSE) was established. But decisions were made to keep the organization under the command and control of USSOCOM and not the JCS. Additionally, the JPSE (which was renamed the Joint Military Information Support Command [JMISC] in 2009) did perform some of those key functions as articulated in the 1985 DOD PSYOP Master Plan, but the joint organization lasted only 7 years and was disestablished in 2011. It did not have an opportunity for continued growth and therefore was unable to reach its full strategic potential. Part of the decision to disband the JMISC was to form a new command at Fort Bragg, the Military Information Support Operations Command (MISOC), to conduct and manage worldwide influence as well as have better command and control of all of AC and RC PSYOP forces.
One aspect of the worldwide influence vision for the formation of the MISOC was to move the RC 2nd and 7th PSYOP Groups from the USACAPOC to the MISOC for better unity of command for influence. However, this was a short-lived experience; in 2014, USASOC reorganized the MISOC into the U.S. 1st Special Forces Command with the 4th and 8th PSYOP Groups under its command and control structure, and with the 2nd and 7th PSYOP Groups remaining under USACAPOC. All these decisions led to another strategic influence gap for DOD and no true unifying type of command for all things influence. Adding to these issues was the lack of accomplishments coming from the strategically focused Global Engagement Center (GEC).
In 2015, Major General Christopher Haas, USA, the USSOCOM Director of Force Management and Development, testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Russian and IS propaganda. Congress had recognized that our adversaries were successful in the art and science of influence and were asking the U.S. military why we were falling behind in countering those efforts. In Crimea, the Russians had been overwhelmingly successful in conducting hybrid warfare, which as its primary effort was the use of propaganda and disinformation to achieve its ends.13 On the other side of the coin was the rise of IS and its sophisticated and professional use of propaganda. In 2016, the Department of State responded to these congressional observations by rebranding its Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications as the GEC.
From 2010 to 2015, State had been unsuccessful in its online social media operations to counter IS global propaganda efforts. One reason for its lack of success against the warlike nonstate actor is that State is primarily staffed by civil servants who are trained to conduct diplomacy, not warfare. Additionally, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016, which advocated for the creation of the Center for Information Analysis and Response.14 This bill was signed by President Barack Obama in December 2016 and became a part of the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
These global organizations, however, do not have a unifying vision. On the one hand, the GEC approach to counterinfluence is using primarily Web 2.0 platforms. On the other hand, the future Center for Information Analysis and Response will handle both Russian and Chinese propaganda efforts using various other platforms and means to influence. The result will be no true unified joint influence organization that can synchronize and deconflict all the DOD influencing efforts with those coming from interorganizational and multinational influencing entities. Additionally, having so many interorganizational entities for influence and a disorganized joint influence force creates a complex approach to managing influence efforts and therefore results in a lack of critical mass for influence against adversarial states and nonstate actors.15 Due to the identified strategic influence gaps and lack of a unified influence command structure for the entire joint force, the recommendations in the following section provide innovative solutions to fix the DOD and joint strategic influencing force structure gap.
Solutions for an Innovative Structure
To fill the strategic influence gap, DOD should consider the creation of a Joint Influence Warfare Element, a Joint Influence Warfare Command, and five to six regionally aligned Theater Director of Influence organizations. Additionally, a newly formed U.S. Army PSYWAR Command and all three Service influence organizations and entities would fall under the command and control of the JIWC. These organizational changes would ensure that all joint influence organizations maintain their unique culture and identity at all levels of war and across all domains and spaces—physical space and cyberspace.
JIWE would provide the highest level of strategic influence representation at the National Security Council, DOD, and State Department levels. It would carry out specific influence strategy-making responsibilities with an effort on ensuring interagency, specifically State (also the GEC and Broadcasting Board of Governors), newly formed Center for Information Analysis and Response, and Central Intelligence Agency deconfliction and synchronization. Greater synchronization of a national narrative would be of the utmost importance at this level.
JIWC would be a subunified strategic influence command that falls directly under U.S. Strategic Command with direct coordination with DOD, JCS, and JIWE, and where all joint Service influence organizations fall under its command and control. The organization would act as a joint global influence synchronizer and provide the ability to primarily coordinate and deconflict strategic influence with national messaging efforts to include perception and narrative management. JIWC would also provide strategic advice and strategy options on whole-of-government and unified action global programs. All influence messaging efforts would be better synchronized between all organizations to include the GCCMDs, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational entities. It would make greater efforts to diffuse crises, reduce confrontations, and counter all forms of propaganda, whether state-run or nonstate influence efforts, through Web 2.0 platforms. Additionally, greater synchronization and deconfliction with contractors who are influencing within various regions would take place. JIWC would be staffed with civilian personnel who have expertise in media and data analysis and in research and survey analysis, to include polling experts. The organization would have streamlined program approval mechanisms in place that would provide for efficient and timely approved influence programs for the entire joint force.
TDI would be collocated at the theater level and support both the GCCMD and the Theater Special Operations Command (TSOC). It would be designed to be regionally aligned where it could support the conventional Regionally Aligned Forces or Security Force Assistance Brigades and SOF within the region. Each TDI would have transregional authorities and would coordinate for regional PSYWAR assets and dissemination and tactical assets, and would possess a theater Strategic Studies Detachment/Cultural Intelligence Element cell. The organization would also possess a hybrid Army AC and RC PSYWAR element as well as other joint Service influence representatives, giving it a true joint influence capability. Additionally, there would be a mix of interorganizational personnel, Army civilians, and contractors who would provide various types of support. TDI would have the capability to deploy from out of the GCCMD/TSOC location and be able to form a JIM influence task force if need be.
Soldier with 303rd Psychological Operations Company and Marine with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 watch leaflets fall over southern
Afghanistan, August 28, 2013, in support of operations to defeat insurgency influence in area (U.S. Marine Corps/Demetrius Munnerlyn)
This article has articulated the need to create an innovative unified joint PSYWAR force structure that can adequately conduct strategic and operational influence. The gap in capabilities has been evolving since the conclusion of World War II and the Korean War. Few successful strategic influence organizations exist outside of DOD and the JCS with the exception of the USIA. However, that organization was disestablished in 1999 and has yet to be properly reestablished in some way in order to fit 21st-century warfare realities. The State Department created the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications in 2010, but after years of failed influence operations, it was rebranded the GEC in 2016. Then there was the disestablishment of the JMISC in 2011 and the MISOC in 2014. Throughout all these attempts and evolutions, DOD has never had a subunified influence command to coordinate the proper aligning, synchronizing, harmonizing, unifying, integrating, improving, countering, collaborating, directing, and deconflicting of all forms of influence and persuasion efforts among all elements of DIME and JIMs. The suggestion to fill that void is to create a new joint influence force structure consisting of the Joint Influence Warfare Element, Joint Influence Warfare Command, and Theater Director of Influence organizations. If these recommended changes are made, the joint influence force will be in a much better unified position to support and defend the Nation’s strategic interests against all propaganda efforts coming from the likes of adversarial states and nonstate actors well into the foreseeable future. JFQ
1 Department of Defense Psychological Operations Master Plan (Washington, DC: Department of Defense [DOD], 1990), 10, available at <www.DOD.gov/pubs/foi/Reading_Room/Other/349.pdf>.
2 Documents advocating the need for some type of strategic Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Command that could properly synchronize all our influence and persuasion efforts include Psychological Operations into the 21st Century: A Critical Assessment (Fort Bragg, NC: U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, 1997), 31–32; Presidential Decision Directive 68, International Public Information, April 30, 1999; Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on the Creation and Dissemination of All Forms of Information in Support of PSYOP in Time of Military Conflict (Washington, DC: DOD, May 2000), 15–18; Dave Acevedo, PSYOP: Coordinating Worldwide Psychological Operations—Is There a National Requirement for a Strategic Psychological Operations Organization? (n.c.: BiblioScholar, 2012).
3 Global Trends: Paradox of Progress (Washington, DC: Director of National Intelligence, 2017), 26–27, 43–44, 59, 61, 110, available at <www.dni.gov/index.php/global-trends/letter-nic-chairman>; Mathew Burrows and Robert Manning, eds., Global System on the Brink: Pathways toward a New Normal (Washington, DC: Atlantic Council, 2015), 1, 4, 15, 19, available at <www.atlanticcouncil.org/images/publications/Global_ System_on_the_Brink.pdf>; Robert Kagan, “Backing into World War III: America Must Check the Assertive, Rising Powers of Russia and China Before It’s Too Late,” Foreign Policy, February 6, 2017, available at <http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/06/backing-into-world-war-iii-russia-china-trump-obama/>; The National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015 (Washington, DC: The Joint Staff, 2015), 4, available at <www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Publications/2015_National_Military_ Strategy.pdf>; Michael Miller, “Hybrid Warfare: Preparing for Future Conflict,” Air War College, 2015, 7–14, available at <www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc/2015_miller.pdf>; and Brad Allenby and Joel Garreau, “Weaponized Narrative Is the New Battlespace,” Defense One, January 3, 2017, available at <www.defenseone.com/ideas/2017/01/weaponized-narrative-new-battlespace/134284/>.
4 There have been numerous publications on the rise and effectiveness of U.S. adversarial influence capabilities, such as Bill Gertz, iWar, War and Peace in the Information Age (New York: Threshold Editions Publishing, 2017), 281; Stefan Halper, China: The Three Warfares (Washington, DC: DOD, 2013), available at <https://cryptome.org/2014/06/prc-three-wars.pdf>; Valery Gerasimov, “The Value of Science Is in the Foresight, New Challenges Demand Rethinking Forms and Methods of Carrying out Combat Operations,” Military Review (January–February 2016), available at <http://usacac.army.mil/CACOMMAND%20AND%20CONTROL%20/ MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20160228_art008.pdf>; Vladimir Isachenkov, “Russia Military Acknowledges New Branch: Info Warfare Troops,” Associated Press, February 22, 2017, available at <http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8b7532462dd0495d9f756c9ae7d2ff3c/russian-military-continues-massive-upgrade>; Charlie Winter, The Virtual “Caliphate”: Understanding Islamic State’s Propaganda Strategy (London: Quilliam, July 2016), available at <www.stratcomcoe.org/charlie-winter-virtual-caliphate-understanding-islamic-states-propaganda-strategy>.
5 Harold D. Lasswell, “Political and Psychological Warfare,” and Roland I. Perusse, Psychological Warfare Reappraised,” in A Psychological Warfare Casebook, ed. William E. Daugherty and Morris Janowitz (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1958), 13, 17, 23, 26. One of the first definitions for U.S. PSYWAR that was agreed upon by the Services was “the employment of any non-lethal means designed to affect the morale and behavior of any group for a specific military purpose.” Additionally, the Army defined PSYWAR as “the planned use by a nation in time of war or declared emergency of propaganda measures designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes and behavior of enemy, neutral or friendly foreign groups in such a way as to support the accomplishment of its national policies and aims.” Lastly, Paul M.A. Linebarger defined PSYWAR as “the use of propaganda against an enemy, together with such other operational measures of a military, economic, or political nature as may be required to supplement propaganda.” Halper states that psychological warfare:
seeks to influence and/or disrupt an opponent’s decision-making capability, to create doubts, foment anti-leadership sentiments, to deceive opponents and to attempt to diminish the will to fight among opponents. It employs diplomatic pressure, rumor, false narratives and harassment to express displeasure, assert hegemony and convey threats. China’s economy is utilized to particular effect: China threatens sale of U.S. debt; pressures U.S. businesses invested in China’s market; employs boycotts; restricts critical exports (rare minerals); restricts imports; threatens predatory practices to expand market share, etc.
What could be considered a subset of PSYWAR is media warfare (also known as public opinion warfare), a “constant, on-going activity aimed at long-term influence of perceptions and attitudes.” It leverages all instruments that inform and influence public opinion including films, television programs, books, the Internet, and the global media network (particularly Xinhua and CCTV) and is undertaken nationally by the People’s Liberation Army and locally by the People’s Armed Police and is directed against domestic populations in target countries. Media warfare aims to preserve friendly morale, generate public support at home and abroad, weaken an enemy’s will to fight, and alter an enemy’s situational assessment. It is used to gain “dominance over the venue for implementing psychological and legal warfare.” Today, PSYOP or military information support operations (MISO) are defined as “planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.” See Joint Publication (JP) 3-13, Information Operations (Washington, DC: The Joint Staff, 2014), II-9, II-10. The problem with PSYOP is the word operations, which are a subset of some type of overall strategy or war. A campaign even has operations or battles. PSYOP is a subservient term to something larger. PSYWAR puts it at a much higher level and also takes on a more serious connotation. The use of the term MISO is also problematic. The PSYOP community is the only DOD organization designed to influence and persuade. Information is not about an aggressive approach to influence; it is about informing. When we send B2 bombers to the Republic of Korea or aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean, are we trying to inform decisionmakers or influence them? Moving strategic and operational assets is an aggressive action to influence, just as PSYWAR is an overall aggressive approach to influence. Lastly is the use of the word support in the term MISO. This is problematic as well because it gives the impression that influence is subservient to other organizations. However, there are some cases when PSYWAR is the main effort and other organizations are the supporting effort. Ultimately, terminology for influence and persuasion against U.S. adversaries has always been a contentious issue among U.S. officials and senior leaders. We have gone from the term propaganda, which was used in World War I, to PSYWAR in World War II, to PSYOP during the Cold War, and now MISO during the war on terror, and yet they have all been relatively defined the same.
6 Daugherty and Janowitz, 60.
7 U.S. Army Special Operations Forces, Psychological Operations, A Historical Primer (Fort Bragg, NC: 3rd PSYOP Battalion, 2014), 12–14.
8 Gertz, 20.
9 Alfred H. Paddock, Jr., “No More Tactical Information Detachments: U.S. Military Psychological Operations in Transition,” in Psychological Operations: Principles and Case Studies, ed. Frank Goldstein and Benjamin Findley, Jr. (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 1996), 37–41.
10 JP 3-0, Joint Operations (Washington, DC: The Joint Staff, 2016), A2–A3, states, “Unity of command means that all forces operate under a single commander with the requisite authority to direct all forces employed in pursuit of a common purpose. During multinational operations and interagency coordination, unity of command may not be possible, but the requirement for unity of effort becomes paramount.”
11 Alfred H. Paddock, Jr., “The 2006 ‘Divorce’ of U.S. Army Reserve and Active Component Psychological Operations Units: A Re-Examination,” Small Wars Journal, March 2, 2012, available at <http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-2006-%E2%80%9Cdivorce%E2%80%9D-of-us-army-reserve-and-active-component-psychological-operations-units>.
12 Department of Defense Psychological Operations Master Plan, 10.
13 Neil MacFarquhar, “A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories,” New York Times, August 28, 2016, available at <www.nytimes.com/2016/08/29/world/europe/russia-sweden-disinformation.html?_r=0>.
14 Bob Portman, “President Signs Portman-Murphy Counter-Propaganda Bill into Law,” December 23, 2016, available at <www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2016/12/president-signs-portman-murphy-counter-propaganda-bill-into-law>.
15 JP 3-0 states:
simplicity is to increase the probability that plans and operations will be executed as intended by preparing clear, uncomplicated plans and concise orders. . . . mass is to concentrate the effects of combat power at the most advantageous place and time to produce decisive results. In order to achieve mass, appropriate joint force capabilities are integrated and synchronized where they will have a decisive effect in a short period of time. Mass often must be sustained to have the desired effect. Massing effects of combat power, rather than concentrating forces, can enable even numerically inferior forces to produce decisive results and minimize human losses and waste of resources.
Currently, influence efforts are not simplistic because they are being done by many organizations with no unity of effort, therefore creating issues with massing influence efforts against various adversaries, state and nonstate.