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Information Operations Increase Civilian Security Cooperation

DATE: 2020-12-30
VIEWS: 1

By Sonin, Konstantin and Austin L. Wright

The Economic Journal, Vol. 132, Issue 643 (Apr 2022): pp. 1179-1199.

Date Issued: Apr 2022

Date Published: Dec 30, 2021


 

Information operations are considered a central element of modern warfare and counter-insurgency, yet there remains little systematic evidence of their effectiveness. Using a geographic quasi-experiment conducted during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, we demonstrate that civilians exposed to the government’s information campaign resulted in more civilian security cooperation, which in turn increased bomb neutralizations. These results are robust to a number of alternative model specifications that account for troop

presence, patrol-based operations, and local military aid allocation. The paper demonstrates that information campaigns can lead to substantive attitudinal and behavioral changes in an adversarial environment and substantially improve battlefield outcomes.


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