During Phase I of operations the primary focus for the IO was to influence the local population to report on AQI elements operating in and around their homes. As a Task Force we continually communicated to the population that anyone attacking CF or ISF was assured defeat. This message was also carried by our kinetic response to attacks against CF and ISF. During this phase our primary target was the predominantly Sunni Baqubah city council and local leaders. The majority of the PSYOPs leaflets passed out during this period had to do with denouncing and reporting on AQI, supporting ISF and the GOI.
During the second Phase the IO message turned to a day of reckoning type theme. The build up of forces in the city was quite apparent and we made it clear that we were prepared to fight and overwhelm the enemy if they chose to oppose us. We disseminated products and messages that informed the population of the coming operations and what actions they were to take during the operations. After the initial build up was complete life in the city began to return to a sense of normalcy due to the great increase in security. The message then transferred to one that would instill a sense of urgency in the population and its local leaders. They were encouraged to support the security efforts, report on the remaining pockets of AQI, begin to establish essential services and work towards building a functioning and secure city. The largest product distributed during this phase was the Baqubah Hope Newsletter, published bi-weekly.
The Third phase of operations has been focused on reinforcing the success brought about by the increased security post Arrowhead Ripper. The main target is Concerned Local Citizens and Local Leaders. Both of those groups have been encouraged to ‘get on board’ with reinforcing the success. They have been charged with securing their own neighborhoods and forming councils to communicate with the Mayor of Baqubah and work towards returning effective essential services to their respective communities. The Baqubah Hope newsletter has also been largely distributed during this phase to highlight he success of the CLCs and CLNs.
See Below for a sample IO product, “Baqubah Hope.”