One of the topics on everyone’s mind at the recent Association of Ancient Crows (the trade association for EW vendors and their customers) was “Managing The Chaos of Electronic Combat” (see: (see: http://breakingdefense.com/2014/10/battle-management-cuts-through-chaos-of-electronic-combat/ which is also the photo source. The point of the article is contained in one key paragraph:“Once upon a time, the “ducks” we had to keep track of were relatively few and well-defined: Soviet air-defense radars and center of operations telephone system transmitters, for example. But today there are more cellphone users in Afghanistan than people who know how to read, and some of them are Taliban, using those cheap, low-power, and widely available civilian systems to coordinate military operations.”An incredible array of potential targets which is the same challenge facing PSYOP as well. The information battlefield is strewn from rural, undeveloped lands where literacy rates approach 100% to urban mega cities where mobile phones are nearly ubiquitous as cockroaches. Given the tightening budget noose and the constant struggle between domestic and defense needs, the PSYOP Community faces the demoralizing challenge of being prepared to tackle the range of information landscapes lacking the luxury of plotting that went into previous war plotting hard work. Large national potential foes such as the USSR and North Korea spawned libraries of possibility plotting, OPORDERs, exercises, etc. Today’s political and economic climate does not foster such background type plotting. While templating might have worked to lay out how a Russian Division might have been deployed, there is no such template for how non-state actors such as ISIS fight or communicate or what axis of shape may continue income.How do we meet these challenges? 1. Stay knowledgeable – be aware of how the world’s events are taking shape.2. Use non-US sources to appreciate viewpoints outside the US.3. Recognize the evolution of information channels in the same way we understood Lines of Communication, Main Surface Roads, etc.4. Work with individuals or groups that were a part of the target or at least have the capability of mirroring target response.5. Travel when you can – doesn’t matter where, just as long as it’s somewhere you’ve never been. Look, listen, eat and delight in. You’ll be absorbing the culture as a by-product of your adventure.