Research / BFI Working PaperApr 02, 2021

Information Operations Increase Civilian Security Cooperation

Information operations are considered a central element of modern warfare and counterinsurgency, 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 as well as a series of novel placebo tests and latent radio signal propagation approaches. The paper demonstrates that information campaigns can lead to substantive attitudinal and behavioral changes in an adversarial environment and substantially improve battlefield outcomes.

More Research From These Scholars

BFI Working Paper Jul 12, 2021

Refugee Return and Conflict: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Christopher W. Blair, Austin Wright
Topics:  Uncategorized
BFI Working Paper Dec 7, 2020

Security Transitions

Thiemo Fetzer, Pedro CL Souza, Oliver Vanden Eynde, Austin Wright
Topics:  Uncategorized
BFI Working Paper Apr 30, 2021

Losing on the Home Front? Battlefield Casualties, Media, and Public Support for Foreign Interventions

Thiemo Fetze, Pedro CL Souza, Oliver Vanden Eynde, Austin Wright
Topics:  Uncategorized