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INTRODUCTION 1. The Mexican War, 1848 had the first professional journalists to cover armed conflict. A consortium of newspapers (largely from New York and New Orleans) sent five men in the field; their efforts had flaws but they demonstrated one truth: free press, enterprise and initiative are very important for democracy. Using combination of proprietary pony express, steamboats, railroads and the telegraph (only available over a very short distance), they were able to get their reports to Washington well before official Army reports. The government was not amused; several editors were arrested for violating postal regulations. 2. The first real "confrontation" between the military and the media was in the Crimean War. William Howard Russell of the London Times exposed incompetence within the British high command. He reported on British misadventures, poor execution of the campaign and neglect towards casualties. It reformed British Medical Services; Florence Nightingale entered into the war and raised Red Cross.1 Later, during the Spanish War, media was accused of stirring up a war fever in 1898. 2 The American Civil War raised a debate over publication of news which endangers the success of military operations3. 3. In this epoch of modern history the armed forces reflect the supremacy and the resulting dilemmas of a nation-state. National honour, sovereignty and power reside with the armed forces. The symbiosis of military machine, science and technology make armies a unique institution. The modern use of the army is deterring war instead of fighting. Armies are historical, social, political and universal institutions. 4. The Civil Military Relations (CMR) are complex but are interdependent. The interaction profoundly affects the society.4 The media work independently with little self imposed rules. The media wants to tell stories and the military wants to win the war. The media asks for freedom, full access to information but the military prefers control. There is a natural conflict between the military and the media because the military is populated by type A personalities who want control.5 Despite clashes, both military and media have worked together in the past. May it be in Vietnam War, Korean War, Gulf War and in the Liberation war of Bangladesh.
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Captain James B Brown, Media Access to the Battlefield, Military Review, Jul 92, p 10-20. Major Frederick J Chiventone, Ethics and Responsibility in Broadcasting, Military Review, Vol. 71, No 8, Aug 91, p. 64-77. ibid. The army is a purposive instrument. It is not a crevice institution like the church; it comes into being by flat. It is rationally conceived to fulfil certain objects. One may be to assist the civil power but the principal object is to fight and win wars. The highly peculiar features of its organisation flow from this central purpose, not from the secondary one, and find in it their supreme justification. These features are (1) centralised command (2) hierarchy (3) discipline (4) inter communication (5) esprit de corps and a corresponding isolation and self sufficiency. - S. E. Finer, The Man on Horseback: The Role of the Military in Politics (Harmondsworth: 2 nd. Enlarged edition. 1976).p.6. Colonel Frederick Peck, US Army.


RESTRICTED 5. The image and the message media project are powerful. Media can influence national policy. Dramatic visual presentations can rapidly influence public and therefore political opinion so that the political underpinnings of war and operations other than war (OOTW) may suddenly change with no prior indication to the commander in the field.6 6. At the strategic level the enemies centre of gravity consist of the military, the government and the will of the people.7 Today the war is an activity of interagency instead of military alone. Media coverage acts as a tool for decision making and an aid to shift political and military goals. The public debate is run not by events but by the coverage of the events.8 7. In Bangladesh the Civil Military Relations (CMR) were termed as a Civil Military divide. The atrocities by the then Pakistan Army gave birth of this undesirable relation. The Bengalese nurtured hatred for Khakis. Later Bangladesh Army had been accused of grabbing the power and overlooked the requirement to develop better CMR. The Armys changed attitude and the objective civilian control 9 paving the way for a better professional army, explaining military terms to media people with little exposure to the armed forces. The awareness regarding effective utilisation of media is on the way.10 8. In the 21st century, the media in Bangladesh has acquired an entirely new dimension. With the entry of the Internet (information super way), permitting operation of private TV channels (Channel i, ATN Bangla) Bangladesh thus face media explosion in information age. 9. We now stand in a democracy where the media need the military to fulfil its role of informing the public. Healthy media- military relationship is a pre-requisite for a nation to thrive in a conflict situation. The basic tenet must hold: an unfettered press is a burden to the military in the field, anathema at the seat of government and vital to a free, democratic society. Both the military and the media need to find out the balancing requirement, confer and agree. Despite the differences, it is a fact that both media and military are participants in conflict situations.11 Therefore, media- military relations require a detail study. 10. This paper while analysing the theme, evaluates the relationship prevailing between media and Army in Bangladesh. Basing on evaluations the paper ends with a few measures for improving the existing relationship. The paper also suggests policies and proposes limited reforms for Bangladesh Army to face future conflicts. A rehash on the CMR in Bangladesh, the role and significance of the media is purposefully included. To compare and analyse this paper highlights examples of USA, Philippines, India and Pakistan. The media- military relation in conflict situations is a wide study and therefore, the focus remains limited to the perspective of The Bangladesh Army.
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US Army Field Manual (FM) 100-5, (Operations), Washington DC, US Government Printing Office, 14 June 1993, p.1-3 Referred to collectively as Clausewitzs trinity. British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd. Civil military Relations: Bangladesh Perspective, A paper presented by Dr. Sayed Anwar Hossain at a seminar at Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC). Lieutenant General Hassan Mashhud Chowdhury, psc, Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army. Both war and OOTW are included in Conflict situations. The description of spectrum follows.



AIM 11. The aim of this paper is to analyse the importance of media-military relation in conflict situations with a view to suggest measures to make efficient and effective use of media by Bangladesh Army. UNDERSTANDING MEDIA AND CONFLICT SITUATIONS Functioning of Today's Media 12. Media is derived from the word medium, in relation to dissemination the expression implies the medium used to acquire, interpret and circulate. The media may be categorized judging its characteristics and impact.12 Bulletin boards on networks are in use by Western countries as a forum for exchange of information and views13. 13. Media organisations use every means of communication mentioned above to report the news. Services like Reuters, AP, BBC, CNN and large newspapers maintain correspondents and bureau in all parts of the world. There are various types of reporters, writers and editors to collect and prepare news and features. Military will be mostly involved with reporters, feature writers, foreign journalists and war correspondents. Nature of Today's Media 14. Todays media demand complete freedom. We experience a large growth in numbers of dailies and periodicals in both English and Bangla. The small newspapers and periodicals are financially non-viable in Bangladesh. We find an increase in commercial orientation of the media. Private media have an easy accessibility to satellite-based electronic media14. The Government controlled media seem to have less credibility but situation is improving now. 15 15.

Characteristics. Bangladeshi Media has its inherent characteristics universal to

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a. Print Media. Print media remains as powerful as ever along with the newspapers, magazines, books, periodicals etc. b. Sound Media. Sound broadcasting or radio is still the most dependable means of reaching the most remote and inaccessible areas. c. Audiovisual Media. The audiovisual media includes the television, motion pictures, video, compact discs etc. d. Computer Networks and Information Super High Way. Large wide area networks such as INTRA and INTERNET are expected to be the principal media, especially amongst the opinion makers in developed countries. Information Super High Way is the latest and fastest growing media connecting millions of people around the world. It encompasses all print, sound and audiovisual systems. e. Wire Services. These organisations gather news and sell them to their subscribers who are the print and electronic media houses. f. Other Forms. These include art forms such as cinema and theatre, whose primary role is to entertain but do have a strong influence on public opinion. These are invariably privately owned. Alvin and Heidi Toffler, War and Anti-War (USA, Little Brown and Co, 1993). There is a revolution in technology of mass media, especially in the fields of communications, computer graphics, special effects and consequent easy availability of such technologies at affordable prices to small entrepreneurs. Dr. Shakhawat Hossain on 19 Oct 2002. Discussion on reasons of Government medias less credibility is beyond the scope of this paper.


RESTRICTED world media. a. Inaccuracy and Dramatisation. Modern news reporting is usually random, fickle and at times full of incompleteness. The news provides entertainment but lacks context. Media admit that the finished product conveys more of drama rather than real story. 16 b. Biased Reporting. There are problems in non-real-time reporting also. The styles of television analyses vary depending on the purpose. None is unbiased; they are set to achieve some predetermined result. This is done through the selection and inclusion of materiel. As Philip Knightly, a renowned journalist said, The camera can lie brilliantly by omission. c. Commercialism. The next characteristic is the commercialism. Not only the electronic media, but also the whole news media are commercial in nature 17. This drives them to make decisions based upon fiscal reality. They survive on the advertising revenue. Therefore, it is important to remember the difference between news and the truth. Please refrain from patronizing the act of terrorist by publishing the photograph of victims dead and tortured 18

Nature of Conflict

16. War and OOTW. US Army's concept of war follows traditional western definition, Clausewitzian in origin, which views war as a political extension. Under this definition, war is conventional; nation-states are wielders of political violence. The nationalism fuels ideology and war's purpose in this context is to preserve national sovereignty.19 OOTW is termed as Military activities during peacetime and conflict that do not necessarily involve armed clashes between two organised forces.20

17. Characteristics. War places a premium on aggressiveness once the enemy has been identified. OOTW differs from wartime environment and restraint in the use of firepower and violence. Instant response, junior leaders execution, political volatility and local customs add dimensions to ROE contrary to war. Formulating tactical-level Rules of Engagements (ROE) are difficult in OOTW. 21
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Presentation on Media by DSCSC Team, Group Captain Mahmud and Lieutenant Colonel Mozammel. Drama would satisfy this need, but the normality does not. The event shown may be dramatically different to what it should have been, either intentionally or due to misinterpretation. The price is the commercialization of everything that is supposed to be related to news and views, including values and human considerations. The fact is good exists with the bad and the ugly. ibid. The Bangladeshi media prints and publish victim's photo (raped, tortured and dead) and indirectly encourages the criminals for terror acts. The Honourable Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia in her speech to the nation on 11 Oct 2002 urged the media to follow some ethics in this regard and refrain from publishing such photographs. Robrt J Bunker, Rethinking OOTW, Military Review, November-December 1995, p36. FM 100-5, USA, Glossary p 6. United Nation's (UN) assignment in Peace Keeping, all have to display a high degree restraint. Although ROE would have permitted using deadly force, forces often held fire or relied on less-violent means. This has the positive effect of maintaining good relations with the community and saving many lives. Lorenz, F M , Colonel, US Marine Corps, Forging Rules of Engagement, Lessons Learned in Operation United Shield, Military Review, November- December 95.




Presence Humanitarian assistance (Disaster Management) National Assistance (In aid of Civil Power) Peace Keeping Counter Terrorism Peace Enforcement

Probability of Occurrence

Lesser Regional Contingency Major Regional Contingency

Short of War
Chemical Biological Nuclear Unknown

Conventional War
Weapons of Mass Destruction


Level of Damage to National Interest


Figure 1. Spectrum of Conflicts

18. Bangladesh Army's primary objective is preparing for war. Besides, the Army also take part in any of the spectrum described above. It acts in disaster management, CIO in CHT22, ensure law and order during National Parliamentary Election and prepare house for the destitute23. The country is proud of Bangladesh Army's image in Multi National Force (MNF)24 and as UN Peace Keepers. Recent employment against terrorism in Operation CLEAN HEART proves that versatile uses make Bangladesh Army prone to hostile media.

22 23 24

Operation POUNCING TIGER, Operation DABANAL, Operation UTTORAN. 'Ashrayon', 'Adarsha Gram' etc. Operation DESERT SHIELD and Operation DESERT STORM.



ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF MEDIA Role of Media 19. Peace Time Role. The main role of media is acquisition, interpretation and dissemination of news and other information needed to make the decisions required of a self-governing population. It creates a forum for development and exchange of public opinions and attitudes.25 Media acts as a watchdog26 for the people by preventing and revealing abuses of power. Media also educate and entertain people. 20. The Role of Image Building. The media plays a role of image building by projecting the correct image of the Army and avoiding adverse publicity. The main object of publicity is to stress upon the people that the Army is well equipped, well trained, they are in a high state of readiness and their welfare is being looked after adequately. It is not a mere publicity but a sustained, deliberate and well-planned effort to build the image of the Army. Our neighbour India brought out a massive media plan to uplift the image of their Armed Forces.27 21. Media as a Force Multiplier. Destruction of 'Enemy's Will' to fight is imperative. Annihilation of enemy armed forces and destruction of enemy states 'Will' enable defeating enemy with ease. The Armed Forces are applied in direct manner to produce tangible results (in military terms) immediately. Reduced 'Will' in the enemy nation and favourable public opinion at home plays a decisive role in war. Media is used to destroy or degrade the 'Will' of the target nation on one hand and generation of favourable opinion at home and abroad on the other. Armed Forces, diplomacy, economy and media are the tools for conduct of war between states. Success demands a fine mix of these tools.

Role of Media in Low Intensity Conflicts (LIC) 22. Every instance of indiscipline by security forces becomes a massacre. Every building hit by bullet or a fragment becomes razed to ground and every act of an insurgent is a colossal failure of security.28 Because of the irresistible news value of terrorist actions a symbiotic relationship tends to develop between insurgents and media. The terrorists or insurgents stage events and media, perhaps helpless and unconscious of the consequences, reports them.29 This tendency is reinforced by the compunction of the reporters to get scoops, exclusives and investigative factual30 to score over their rivals. This leads to competitive sensationalism, nexus between insurgents and media to the
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27 28 29 30

Frederick J Chiaventone, Major, Ethics and Responsibility in Broadcasting, Military Review, Vol. 71, No 8, Aug 91, p. 64-77. A democracy consists of the Legislature, Judiciary, Executive and the Press commonly referred to as the 'Fourth Estate'. It has been given this crucial position as it wields enormous power over the other three pillars of democracy. The legislature formulates the policies which are implemented by the executive. It is incumbent on the judiciary to ensure that the policies of the government are correct and implemented accordingly. It boils down to the press to keep a close watch on all the above three, thereby acting as a 'Watch Dog'. India Today, 19 Aug 2002, The Army topped the list of 55 things that make India proud. MS Kahlon, India Today. Major Rajiv Kumar, Media Coverage of Counter Terrorism and LICO - Need for a Fresh Look, Trishul, Vol 3, No 2, Jan 91, p. 56-75. 'Scoop' is the digging out news story, ' Exclusive' is haunting privacy, 'Investigative Factual' disclose prohibited matters.


RESTRICTED extent of jeopardising operations.31


Psychological Operation (PSYOP) is a Prelude to War 23. The effective media campaign requires the early coordination and synchronization of Public Affairs (PA), Civil Affairs (CA) and PSYOP32. Each may use the same communication media to communicate massages to different audience. 33 The information warfare integrates media that become collaborators in launching PSYOP.34










33 34

Media provides the insurgents an exaggerated sense of importance as newsmakers. It also provides wide publicity to the terrorists and insurgents by propagating and enhancing the terror effect of violent acts. It displays the muscles of the terrorist and insurgent movement get wide publicity. It extends the local effect of violent acts to a wider area. It provides the terrorists and insurgents with a Figure 2. Information War and conveying large domestic and international audience. It confers recognition and status on the movement,Media that it is a struggle for a just cause'. Terrorists and insurgents also play with media and begin to manipulate it. Operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning and ultimately the behaviour of foreign governments, organization, groups and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behaviour favourable to the originator's objectives - commonly referred as PSYOP. US FM, 100 6. US FM, 46 1. a. Projecting information in war and OOTW. b. Creating Perceptions that fit Operational Security (OPSEC) activities. c. Creating Perceptions and attitudes that can be exploited by military deception. d. Integrating PSYOP actions with deception. e. Causing populace to flee targeted areas. f. Reducing collateral damage, limitations on destruction of adversary command and control (C2) infrastructure. g. Broadcasting PSYOP assets to disseminate products on adversary and influence their media. h. Developing messages for international media. j. Isolating target audience from conflicting requirements. US FM 100 6. op cit.



Media in Word War I and World War II 24. A complete restriction had been imposed by the US congress during World War I to deny any advantage to the enemy.35 During the same war the Chief of British Military Intelligence describes an ideal war correspondent as, He is a man who writes what he is told to be true, or even what he thinks to be true but never what he knows to be true. The Americans were equally adept at using media for propaganda36. 25. The use of media as an additional weapon of war assumed significance during the First World War and reached a level of higher sophistication in the Second World War.37 Particularly the use of radio and news agencies for management of information and disinformation by the Allies as well as Axis powers became very significant in the latter. The war correspondent was a loyal auxiliary force to a nations armed forces and even wore uniforms (although non-combatant) during two World Wars. Hence, media - military relationship was friendly and meaningful. Hitlers infamous minister Goebbels use of media for propaganda is well known. Media in Vietnam War 26. The era of partiality to the home team ended during the Vietnam War, which was also the TVs first war. It was also characterised by relatively free access to media and limited restrictions on it (though Americans made ample use of media for propaganda). The most glaring success of American news management was the suppression of the truth about the massacres during Operation SPEEDY EXPRESS. In 1971 the US Ninth Division killed 11,000 people in a so called pacification campaign38. 27. The persistent US propaganda 39was utterly dishonest and became untenable after the fall of Saigon in April 1975. The war was covered by 2000 reports, of which only 4 or 5 violated the ground rules.40 However, media was blamed by the military for its failure.
35 36

37 38



C P Snow, editor of the Guardian said, If people knew the truth the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they dont know, and they cant know. Kent Cooper writes in his autobiography, I never thought that American Government would ever secretly scheme to plant propaganda for war in the news at home. I was wrong. In 1912, our own Government followed the German lead and became the second in the history to successfully use news to incite the people to demand war. Shrivastava K.M., Media Issues (New Delhi, Sterling Publications Pvt. Ltd, 1992), p. 23. Though two diligent reporters of the Newsweek discovered that this was a mass slaughter in which almost half of these were civilians, only a watered down version of the story was allowed to appear six months later. ibid, p. 27. The Vietnam war was a conflict of Vietnamese against Vietnamese into which the Americans threw their weight on the side of democracy and freedom. Brown, James B, Captain, op cit.



28. Ho Chi Minh realised media's value and targeted American populace to erode its resolve and to generate favourable world opinion against the American involvement in Vietnam. Thus the advantages won by Americans by heavy bombings on North Vietnam in December 1972 were lost in the following months by loss of will at home41.

29. Therefore, a military commander must treat media as an ally42. The above were clearly the failings of an inept media handling policy of Americans in Vietnam. Despite superiority in number and quality of technological advancement they had to lose face and de-escalate the situation for withdrawal. Television Contributed heavily to the destruction of the American will to prosecute the war in Vietnam.43

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Figure 3. Tet Offensive44: Media's Influence Caused Shifting of Opinion in Vietnam War Korean War 30. The Korean War was a burning example of 'voluntary censor' by media. The self imposed rules had some security leaks and the US department of defence (DOD) imposed more censorship. General McArthur at last refused any media criticism on both the United Nations steps and troops operating in Korea. 45
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Sewal Brigadier RM, VSM "Media-the Force Multiplier", p 27. The images (Tet Photo) that haunted collective American people psyche and drove us to abandon the war were these; a Vietnamese ally, the Saigon Chief of Police using a small pistol to execute a "Charlie"; a vagabond Vietnamese girl running naked down a tarmac road, her village burning in the background from a US air strike; ditches filled with scores of bodies, clothes disheveled, faces contorted of women and children and old people; the inhabitants of My Lai, massacred by US soldiers- writes Maj Thomas J Begines, in Military Review of March 1992. Davidson, Phillip B., Vietnam at War, The History: 1946 1975 Presidio Press, USA, 1988, p810. The Tet photo. This photograph, taken just as the South Vietnamese officer was shooting a Viet Cong prisoner, became immortalized by the world press as a symbol of the brutality of the South Vietnamese government and the Vietnam War in general. No one reported the fact that the prisoner had just killed a police major, his wife and their six children. This Tet photo, named because it was taken during the 1968 Tet offensive, now hangs in a war museum in Hanoi, because it was such an effective propaganda tool in turning world opinion against the United States' effort in Vietnam. Source: Major Saif, -Ur Rahman, psc, AC. Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty A Study of War, Correspondents and Propaganda, first pub 1975(second publication).


St al em

Vi c

at e

70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Before Tet Offensive After Tet Offensive

RESTRICTED Media in Falkland Campaign 31. In Falkland war of 1982, the British Government would tolerate only propaganda sent from the Task Force. Each report was censored46, delayed and followed set rules.47 Media in Grenada and Panama (Invasion by USA) 32. During the US invasion of Grenada in 1983, the media was excluded in the initial stages, probably due to the residual impact of the Vietnam War. A second attempt took place of using the media pool during the US invasion of Panama in Operation JUST CAUSE in 1989. This failed miserably as the pool was flown to Panama late and then virtually barred from witnessing any fighting for fear that details of civilian casualties would be reported. Media in Gulf War 33. The Gulf War of 1991 finally approved that the media have a tremendous advantage in modern warfare. It became the best covered war because of the sophisticated US media policy and the media pool48 system. Twelve media pools were formed to cover the war in accordance with the guidelines issued49. Stories and video produced by the pools were made available to any interested agency after a joint security review50 at various levels. In addition, daily press briefings were held by General Norman Schwarzkopf or a senior officer at Riyadh. At the Pentagon also briefings were held every afternoon by Pete Williams, the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs, who brought in senior commanders to answer reporters questions.51 34. The result was a slick coverage52 of the war, the way the military desired. The news management was successful in conveying the impression that enough is being told without giving the real picture of the war. The Coalition forces succeeded in giving the impression that it was a clean war, in which the use of high-tech weapons resulted in negligible human casualties in spite of the fact that up to 1,00,000 Iraqi soldiers and an unknown number of civilians may have been killed. There were little coverage of the unpalatable aspects of the war such as death, injury and destruction both of the Coalition and the Iraqis. Instead, the foci were entirely on the accuracy and sophistication of a few new weapons.53
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51 52 53

Shrivastava, op cit, p 24. Robert Harris, Gotcha! The media, the government and the Falkland Crisis, UK, 1983. Furious protests by the media led General John W. Vessey, Jr. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to appoint a commission of leading journalists and Public Affairs officials of the US DOD headed by Major General Winant Sidle to consider future media-military relations. The result was the Media Pool system and a pool was fielded for the first time during the US Escort Operations in the Persian Gulf in 1987. Media Pool is a limited number of news media who represent a large number of media for news gathering and sharing. Two pools of eighteen reporters each, specifically covered the ground combat. Eight pools of seven reporters each covered the four US armed services. A five member pool covered the naval activities and lastly a quick reaction pool was held to be dispatched quickly to the scene of action. The media pools comprised mostly of members nominated by American news organisations though there were slots for one Saudi and one foreign journalist in each of the eighteen member pools. Brown, op cit. There was no direct censorship. Instead a system of joint security review by representatives of the media and the military at successive levels was introduced to ensure that the guidelines issued by the US DOD were adhered to. Shrivastava, op cit, p. 29. Major Gudhi Aniruddha, Management of Media by Armed Forces, Wellington Papers. ibid, p. 31.



35. This was achieved by a combination of methods that included censorship through access control, deluging the reporters with information and irresistible video recordings, subtle propaganda and disinformation. Though media questioned the propriety of the news management, it became tools of the authorities in making sure that the media war was also won by the US-led forces. The bias in reporting of the Gulf War is obvious from a comparative study of the phrases used by the Western media to describe similar events concerning the MNF and Iraq.54

Phrases Used for MNF Army, Navy, Air Force Reporting guidelines Press briefings Suppressed, eliminated, neutralised Dug in Pre-emptive strike Boys, lads Collateral damage

Phrases Used for Iraq War machine Censorship Propaganda Killed, destroyed Coward in foxholes Sneak attacks provocation Hordes, mob, crowd Civilian casualties


Table 1. Word Manipulation by the Media

World War I Less than 100 journalists covered 2,000,000 doughboys in Europe during World War I.

World War II 2,600 correspondents were accredited over four years to report on 12,000,000 troops deployed worldwide.

Vietnam War 464 members of the media covered a force of more than 500,000.

Gulf War 1,600 reporters, who covered 539,000 troops for six months in an area confined to the Saudi Arabian peninsula.

Table 2. A Simple Comparison of Media Coverage in Major Wars




RESTRICTED Media in Kargil 36. It was simply A WAR with our adversary. The war was over an area which rightly belonged to India, our nation wanted it back whatever the cost. Hence, with the entire country rallying behind the Armed Forces it was only natural that the media covered that turbulent period comprehensively. In hindsight, the media had and will always have an important role to play. That role is essentially to mould opinion in favour of our nation's action both at home and abroad.55 Between 1971 and 1999, the professionalism of the media has increased tremendously while on the other hand the SOP`s of handling the media by the Army has been amateurish. At times, the media has also been considered "a necessary evil", an evil that was ready to distort news and facts to suit its own purpose, which eventually found the Army at the wrong end of the barrel. However, a lot changed during the Kargil operations. In fact the Army became media savvy almost overnight. It was not only a pleasant change but more importantly it appears to be a permanent one. Over the past decade and especially after the Gulf war the status of the media as a force multiplier has been rightly recognized. The images of Operation VIJAY endeared the Army to all and sundry across the board in our land. The Army is once again the media's darling after 1971.The Indians regard Kargil incident as India's first war on television. 56In1971 journalists were given full liberty to cover the operations and hence they received excellent co operation. On the contrary, everything was kept secret in the Indian Peace Keeping Force's (IPKF) operation in Srilanka. The IPKF had a bad press and a failure operation.57These Statements bear the importance placed on media by India. Indian Media-Military Bonhomie and Media Aggression against Bangladesh 37. Indian media military relations always find a common ground against a defined enemy. The media aggression of India aims at weakening the Bangladesh Army. This mentality was amply clear in the PADUA-BARAIBARI incident. The media targeted the then Director General of BDR, Director General of DGFI, Chief of General Staff of Bangladesh Army, and Director General of NSI. They had been addressed as a dictator and threat to India.58 38. Side by side the propaganda mechanism projected Bangladesh as a barbarian state. Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of India painted story that five battalions of 19 infantry Division were on the way to assist BDR. 59 Indian propaganda machine also pick up any news that describe Bangladesh as a 'Fundamentalist Muslim Country'.

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Atal Behari Vajpayee, in a speech in Zee Tv. Major General Ashok Mehta, Fighting The Real Battle, Sunday, 4-10 July 1999, p. 20 Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on releasing Lieutenant General Depinder Shings book on November 1991 at New Delhi. The Pioneer, 23 April, 2001. Hindustan Times, Saturday, 21 April, 2001.



Media in OOTW 39. Haiti. Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti showed there could be common ground and accommodation between media and military in covering Armed Forces deployment. In this operation, the media were assigned to unit spear-heading the planned invasion60. Thus, it is to the military's benefit to cooperate with the media because We don't win unless CNN says we win. This phrase, developed during the Haiti operation's planning stages, captures the realities of today's media environment. 40. Somalia. Some innocent civilians were killed by Pakistani and American soldiers in two different incidents leading to their withdrawal from the UN mission in Somalia. Though the action was on self defence the entire incident was mushroomed out of proportion due to live media reporting. It strengthened the resolve of the 'Somalian Faction Forces' and discredited the two nations attempting to perform their job. Sometimes, television images may appear to contradict underlying facts61. Media Against Terrorism: In Afghanistan 41. The War against Afghanistan is the latest example of PSYOP by the propaganda machine of USA. We are engaged in a media warthere is an active struggle, said Jamie Metzl, DOD, US State Department.62


National Security, The Armed Forces And Media A Bangladesh Perspective

42. Constitution of Bangladesh, The Armed Forces and Media. In the article 39 of The Constitution of Bangladesh, the fundamental rights of citizen are granted 63. There are certain regulations in Army Rules64 regarding media, interview and publication aspects. Basing on the AR(R) s and The Official Secrets Act-1923, Army Headquarters (AHQ)


62 63


Even after the invasion was called off, reporters in Haiti had unparalleled access to American troops. As one brigade commander said, Letting reporters in to my unit was the smartest thing I ever did. While operations in Haiti may not be the new paradigm for the media-military relationship, it certainly greatly improved it. The US Army Rangers won a highly publicized fire fight in Somalia, but that fact was lost among the casualty figures and other images that were broadcast. Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia termed as 'an abortive mission' following a failure to manage the press. The author served in United Nation's Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). Janes' Defence Weekly, 24 October2001. Freedom of press is also a fundamental right of a citizen. It is clear that although freedom of thought and conscience is unlimited in Bangladesh, freedom of speech, expression and press suffer from some restrictions, Abu Nasr Md Gaziul Haque, Mass Media Laws and Regulations in Bangladesh, AMIC , published in Singapore, 1992,24-26, AR(R) 299 to AR(R) 308.


RESTRICTED has formulated certain instructions about media and publication for the members of Army65.

43. How Media Affects National Security? The decision making powers lie with the politicians who rules the country through government institutions. The question is can media play a vital role in promoting national security when the decision making powers do not rest with it.

44. Why A National Media Policy? The national security of a state can be guaranteed by the mutual connection among a democratic political system, its defence and information systems. However, there are some difficulties in the smooth cooperation among these three areas.66 It is essential for democracy and national security to find a middle way to avoid clash between rights and needs. The antagonism between the media and the defence establishment is also the product of this problem of secrecy.

45. The Core Issue. The media aggression against us is aimed mainly towards armed forces. Our big brotherly neighbour wants to be proud of their army and make us ashamed of our army. Padua-Baraibari border clash amplified the intent. The media aggression launched against us and our army is evident in all Indian dailies. Though the world media opined in our favour yet the photographs of mutilated bodies of BSF, dead bodies carried with bamboos exhibit us as 'Barbarians'. As such The National Media Policy in addition to self imposed rules is of paramount importance for Bangladesh.

Civil Military Relations (CMR) In Bangladesh - A Pre Requisite Of An Effective Military Media Interactions


a. The member of the Army is not authorized to contact media or to give an interview on private or official reasons. However, for a particular reason after according necessary clearance from Army Headquarters contact may be made with media or interview may be given. b. Any information or news which demands to be published in the print media, the only agency through which it is to be done is Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) directorate. In case of the requirement of electronic media the request is to be made through ISPR Directorate. c. Any violation of the above is considered an offence which has serious consequences, and a violation of Official Secrets Act 1923 and AR(R) s: Major Md. Khalequzzaman, psc, Peace Time Media Functioning in the Army and Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR), Bangladesh Army Journal, June 2002. Members of a democratic society consider it their right to know every major or minor matter. They want that nothing should be kept secret from them so that they can freely examine them. The defence system wants it to remain secret. In their opinion the disclosure of defence policies is like the strengthening of the enemy's hands. Their attitude is close to being inimical towards those who want to maintain secrecy. However, the media realise the importance of confidentiality pertaining to activities, policies and plans of defence.



46. Past Nature of CMR. A number of indicators suggest that CMR in Bangladesh has not been desirable. These indicators may be identified from both the military and civilian perspectives. 67 47. Review of CMR: 1972-1990. Bangladesh confronted formidable task of nationbuilding since independent where military and civil institutions pointed fingers at each other. In this country political supremacy over military was not used for national gains. Moreover, contradictory decisions of government made divisions in the armed forces. The lack of experience of political leaders and absence of a future vision wrongly led the government institutions. Organizational deprivation, internal rivalry and ideological conflict had been common and an ascendance of military and civil bureaucracy over political elements took place In Bangladesh.68 48. Post 1990 CMR. The CMR in Bangladesh is taking a new optimistic shape on the basis of mutual trust. The democracy is making a strong set up and taking control of state policy by a parliamentary form. We now see a professional army aware of political situation denying the utilization of military power in achieving political gain. The Army is concerned about bridging the gap in CMR. We have a growing Awareness on the importance of media for a comprehensive national security. There is no point of pointing your fingers to other institutions of the country; we all are part of the country and have to work together.69 CMR assume great significance since the consolidation of democracy has both substantially removed the misconceptions about the military and raised new expectations about the role of the military in the changed scenario. 70 The tension between the military and the society could be lessened if society adopted a more sympathetic understanding and appreciation of the military view point and military needs.71 Burying the past CMR, Bangladesh looks forward to necessary changes involving both sides of the equation.

Role of Bangladeshi Media



69 70 71

The military, or at least a handful of them in collusion with some political elements, have assassinated two presidents (the first one, father of the nation, killed along with most members of his family and relatives), and killed the four leaders of the liberation war while in captivity in the Dhaka central Jail. The military have subjected Bangladesh to a series of coups and attempted coups thereby disrupting the political and constitutional process of the country. The suspension of the constitution and political process for eight years during the military rule have impacted negatively on the political culture of the country and, which is now considered something like a built-in hindrance to the functioning and institutionalisation of democracy. Third, allegations of human rights violation mostly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts are levelled against the army by the hill people, some political elements and intellectuals. Such allegations have also been heard from the donor agencies and countries in the aid consortium meetings. Occasionally, strident voices are raised from the political quarters and from amongst the intellectuals decrying the larger budgetary allocation in the defence sector. The army has also been accused of providing the bastion of power for undemocratic rulers between 1975 and 1990. A paper presented by Dr. Sayed Anwar Hossain in a symposium of CMR in Bangladesh in DSCSC. Till 1990 , what to talk About good or bad, media-military had no relation at all, Mahfuz Anam, Editor , The Daily Star in a lecture at DSCSC, 22 October 2001,Source: Paper by Major Saif-Ur Rahman, psc, AC Lieutenant General Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury, psc CAS, Bangladesh Army in a lecture at DSCSC, October 2002. A paper presented by Major General A M. Mansur Ahmed, psc, in the symposium on CMR at DSCSC. Major General Jalaluddin Ahmed, ndu, psc.Civil-Military Relations: National Security Perspective, A paper presented in the symposium at DSCSC.


RESTRICTED 49. Media in Liberation War. At the beginning of Bangladesh War of Independence, media was not much flourished72. The propaganda machinery of Bangladesh Government mobilized world opinion in its favour by arranging briefing of 250 foreign correspondents, radio-television teams and international agencies. 'Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra' had a great effect in the minds of the freedom fighters and general people throughout the war. It became the only source of information to learn the development of life struggle of the Bengalese. The broadcasting of 'Chararm Patra' and other famous nationalistic songs inspired the freedom fighters and helped reducing the sufferings of the people.73 50. Analysis of Role of Media (1975-1990). Since Independence, military matters have not been discussed or debated by the media to that extent. The Army had been viewed as isolated organisation. This has led to a state where military matters have not benefited from a wider set of opinions and in the bargain the media and the common man have tended to ignore issues related to the Army. Because of this the only news of the Armed Forces that made it to the media was invariably those that damaged the image of the said organisation. Added to this was also the fact that the government did not also want the Army being too close to the media. With the rules of interacting with the media being strict and cumbersome it was no surprise to see that the top brass of the Army were not also keen to discuss on this issue. 51. Post 1990. With the nourishing of democracy and a more viable CMR, the media is keen to project a well trained and well equipped Bangladesh Army. If only the Army could avoid military way of handling the media then the scope and keenness would increase in near future.74

Bangladeshi Media in Counter Insurgency Operations (CIO) at CHT 52. Two sayings or comments may be recalled. Some say the Vietnam War was lost in American homes rather than in the jungles of Vietnam. Some comment that the media is the best friend of the terrorist or insurgents. These sayings or comments indicate that the counter-insurgents are probably inept at handling media. Occasionally it appears that there exists hostility between media and military operating in counter-insurgency situation. 'National media policy'75did not exist and thus never backed Bangladesh Army who did not enjoy full support and sympathy of the media. This in turn did not focus attention on resource constraints, inhospitable condition of the operational area and supreme sacrifices for the national interests. Bangladesh Army started counter insurgency


73 74 75

Few daily newspapers used to be published only from Dhaka and Chittagong. Due to severe fighting in these two cities no daily newspaper could be published. However, a daily newspaper from Naogaon 'The Joi Bangla' continued its publication. The 'Joi Bangla' was the only daily and became a source of inspiration for the independence-seeking people of the then East Pakistan. Besides, the weekly newspaper 'Mujibnagar Sangbadpatra' (English) used to publish the horror acts by the West Pakistan Force for the international world. Hassan Hafizur Rahman, Mukizuddhe Baro Mash. Volume vi (Bangla), Peoples' Republic Of Bangladesh, Dhaka:1982 This comment was common while answering questions during interview. Shykh Seraj, Director and Head of News, Channel i. Bangladesh does not have any National Media Policy till now. But the Government is seriously thinking on it and trying to formulate a National Media Policy basing on National Consensus. The Honourable Information Minister Mr. Tariqul Islam in an interview with author on 25 July 2002.


RESTRICTED operation since 1973 but the first utilization of media came into being in 1988. 76 Unfortunately this proves there had been a little awareness about the role of media as force multiplier. Major General Arjun Ray narrated in Indian Defence Review "LIC is a platoon commander's war, and it is at platoon level that the information war has also got to be fought and won". In this aspect Bangladesh Army though successful at CIO neglected the requirement of training NCOs and JCOs on Media matters. 53. In Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), the media seemed allergic to the uniform and resistant to management. The military had been suspicious and shy of media. Entire relationship between military and media had been clash of logic in which each had its own peculiar reasons for interest. The Army had been accused of putting up its best face in hopes of influencing the reports. It is a natural outcome in a decision dilemma to take reporters to a site of success instead of failure. The military understood this and projected its own image. Not all this went well with the so-called politicians and intellects who identified media as government puppet or anti-establishment and the Army abusing human rights. Even there was a cry to expose the insurgent's cause as a 'just cause.' Military-Media Clashes: Bangladesh Perspective 54. In the Western Countries the public and the press are very well informed about the defence forces. However, in Bangladesh, defence has always been considered a Superior and Elite Organisation and the result is: there hardly been any rapport or interaction between the defence and the media. 55. In the Army there is a deliberate attempt to suppress information and deny interaction between servicemen and media. For media, the majority persons display an abysmal paucity of specialised knowledge about the Defence Services.

56. The media is forced to give undue publicity to terrorist activities. The terrorists survive on publicity, media coverage of senseless killings, bomb blasts. Kidnappings and coercion are sensational news and give boost to the image of the terrorists. It leads to a cycle of more such acts. Media agree that there exists media aggression against Bangladesh.77 At times, there is unwillingness from the media to correct mistakes made in earlier programmes. This adds to the general inaccuracy of real-time reporting. In addition, there is a lack of understanding of the military resulting in honest mistakes.


The Bangladesh Army deals with media through ISPR which is directly under


In the months of April-May 1988 Shanti Bahini launched a massive offensive against Bengali villagers in Khagrachari District and burnt their houses and killed many settlers. Instantaneously at the initiative of the local Commander a TV team was brought to the spot to record the brutal activities of the Shanti Bahini. When it was broadcast over national TV the people of the rest of the country became for the first time aware of the barbaric acts of the Shanti Bahini. National attention was focused on the issue and the general people developed hatred for the Shanti Bahini. It also discredited them and the supporters and sympathisers of the dissident outfit were cornered. Major General (Retired) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, Bir Prarik, psc ,Mirpur Papers,December 1995. Gias Kamal Choudhuri, a lecture at DSCSC on 20 Oct 2002.


RESTRICTED Ministry of Defence (MOD). Military intelligence Directorate (MI-4) vet and sort out the requests for media coverage for Army. The concept is centralized control. The system does not allow the ground commander to give out media pictures of the action and certainly loose the news value.

Formation Headquarters Military Intelligence Directorate (MI-4) Army Headquarters ISPR Ministry of Defence Print Media Electronic Media

Figure 2. Hierarchy to Deal with the Media 58. ISPR. ISPR78 hardly had any role for the Armed Forces in the past. With the changed attitude and a military person taking the charge of ISPR, this has a better role to cover the Armed forces79. Organisation held by India and Philippine are attached as annex A and B for comparison. 59. Official Secrets Act 1923. This act inhibits reporting on defence. The armed forces are very secretive of everything including unclassified matters. There are Army Orders and Army Instructions which act as barriers in interacting with the press. The army tends to be a closed society and keeps its activities to itself. This itself is an anathema to media and its survival.




The media handling and effectiveness of ISPR need a further detail study and is beyond the scope of this paper; as such only the problem areas are mentioned. The recent coverage of Operation Clean Heart bears the evidence of a better role of ISPR.



60. Delegation of Authority. Press release responsibilities should be delegated to the immediate commander in the scene of events80. For implementing, it is imperative that the staff officers at grade 2 levels undergo a course in dealing with the press, formulating press releases and allied matters. 61. Reforms. The ISPR needs to be revamped.81 Director ISPR should be serving officer, knowledgeable on defence matters. He should understand what his colleague did and why they did so. For a better role, ISPR should be put under Armed Forces Division and have detachments with formations. A proposed hierarchy is attached as annex C. 62. Budget and Resources. The budget of a defence establishment to maintain liaison with media be introduced. Expenditure on training and provision of resources such as having Grade 2 staff dedicated solely for media, their transport, equipment and communications may be introduced in the formations. 63. Statement of Media Policy. The media policy should address the core issue of defining the degree and kind of restraints to be placed on the media during peace, OOTW and war. Positive media coverage to be ensured without loss of credibility, while maintaining operational security and troop's safety. It must lay down media objectives, priorities, methods, means and constraints for conflict situations. 64. Evolution of Media Policy. It is important that the media be taken as a participant while evolving such a policy at national level.82 A list of sensitive issues on which the media must exercise restraint and different sets of security guidelines for covering defence matters during peace, exercises, OOTW and war must be evolved in consultation with National Media Policy. 65. Feedback System. The Army should institute a regular feedback system to gauge the effect of media coverage of defence related issues on different categories of audience, troops and families of troops83. Well known private organisations may be hired for survey at intervals of time84. This information will be basis for formulating media objectives and propaganda themes. 66. Transparency and Media Pools. Transparency must form a corner stone of the media policy. This will lead to greater public understanding and awareness which in turn will lead to greater confidence on the army. This openness must reflect in media to cover operations and exercises without endangering operational security and troop's safety. An

80 81 82

83 84

More than 95% of the impact of any news item is its speed of communication and thus shorter the channel the quicker the speed. The functioning and new outline of ISPR needs a further elaborate study that is beyond the scope of this paper, too. Considerable open debate and discussion with eminent media persons, public relation experts, eminent civil affairs person, defence experts, institutions such as the PIB, NIMCO and academic bodies involved in teaching mass communications must precede declaration of the media policy. Military Intelligence (MI) Directorate should set up measures to get direct feedback from troops and their families. Countries like USA, India hire civil companies to propagate for military organizations and carry out necessary survey.


RESTRICTED effective way of achieving this is by forming Media Pools at different levels.85 67. Accreditation of Defence Correspondents. A degree in defence studies and courses alike should be made available for a journalist to be accredited as a defence/war correspondent. The accreditation to be reviewed periodically and attending a refresher / specialisation course must be insisted. Efforts must be made to grant accreditation to adequate number of representatives of local media especially in LIC areas. 68. Security Review. Introduce a system of joint security review in consultation with media associates and eminent media persons to replace the system of censorship during conflicts. This will enhance the credibility of the army. 69. Rapport with Media. Building up a rapport with media at all levels require a conscious effort. Interaction by organising seminars and guest lectures, mutual visits, inviting articles of eminent media persons in professional military journals and writing papers for professional media journals by Army officers should be encouraged at all levels. On ground interaction with soldiers on the battlefield, CHT and UN Mission will obviously win even the most hard core media personality86. Such a policy should be aimed to achieve dividends in the longer perspective. 70. Official Secrets Act. The Official Secrets Act 1923 should be revised. Such a step will be a big stride towards recognition of the right to know in a democracy. 71. Training of Grade 2 Staff Officers. Upon selection for the dedicated staff officer for media, all officers should be put through a course in media management for minimum six months. The syllabus and course materiel may be evolved in consultation with leading Universities, NIMCO and media organisations including the PIB. The faculty may be drawn from various organisations. A refresher course should be compulsory after another five to six years of service. Officers may be encouraged to obtain degrees in mass communications, public relations and journalism. These officers should continue to attend all arms courses as applicable for others. Director General, NIMCO on principle agrees to educate their student on defence matters/correspondence provided the Government agrees upon the proposal.87 72. Training of Other Officers. Media and its handling must form part of the curriculum at all stages of an officers career starting from Bangladesh Military Academy, postcommission training, in all arms courses, Staff College and National Defence College. Formations should hold cadres, seminars and study period on this subject for the benefit of other officers. Innovative methods of media training should be incorporated in all exercises for commanders and staff officers.

86 87

These pools may be composed of accredited and security-cleared representatives of different national and local media. These pools must be activated during war, OOTW and kept in readiness to be moved to the scene of action at short notice. Such a system will facilitate the media to cover operations in remote locations by being present at the scene of action, which it cannot otherwise do. The media team in Sierra Leon became almost a fan of the BANBAT contingent. Mr. Shujauddin Khan, Director General, NIMCO in an interview with the author on 03 Oct 2002.


RESTRICTED 73. Training of Troops. Media education for troops should begin at the level of junior and non-commissioned officers. The training capsule should be practical and form part of the training of a unit. Dealing with media may form a part of promotion cadres for Non Commissioned and Junior Commissioned Officers. In addition, troops must be briefed regularly and practised in handling media during exercises. Media exercises may be introduced in all formation level exercises. 74. General Staff Training Pamphlets (GSTP). All aspects of media management by the army including the role and effect of media in various operations may be published as a GSTP. Current series of publications on Infantry Division, Brigade and Battalion in Battle, Operations of War (Yellow Book) and Counter Insurgency Pamphlets may be modified to incorporate a chapter on media in each operation. 75. Dealing with Media on the Battlefield. While media should be encouraged to report on operations being present at the scene of action, certain ground rules should be formulated according to the requirement of the operation88.

76. Training of Media Persons. Media organisations, Universities conducting courses in journalism should incorporate defence awareness programmes and specific aspects of defence journalism in their curricula. Provision of Defence Correspondent 89 may be introduced and advanced course should be designed for interested defence correspondents. Training may also be imparted by incorporating media people in various formation level exercises. Of course this sort of exercise should take place once the Army have equally trained Officers, JCOs and NCOs. 77. Awareness of Defence Issues. The media should improve its awareness of defence related issues by making concerted efforts in conjunction with National Media Policy and the Ground Rules90. The media should utilise every opportunity to interact with the defence services by way of seminars, courses and visits. The Army should reciprocate to enhance the awareness drive.


89 90

Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) Newsletter No 93-8, Operations Other than War Vol 4, (USA, HQ Department of the Army, Dec 93), p. XIV-1-2. a. No access to classified information for media persons. b. Always escort media persons in sensitive areas such as air fields, defensive positions, assembly areas etc. c. Do not release tactical information. d. Media persons must adhere to unit standards of camouflage and concealment. e. Media persons will not stray away from their escorts when organised in pools. f. Operational considerations must dictate granting of permission to media persons to accompany any specific combat mission. g. Personal safety of media persons is neither a responsibility nor the primary concern of the army. There is no such subject in our Universities. On being formulated.


RESTRICTED 78. Military leaders have always acknowledged the impact of media on the conduct and outcome of modern day wars. Revolutionary developments have taken place in mass communications technology. The democratic demand for more information on all spheres of governmental activity including military is a new trend. The resultant capability of the media and graphic coverage of operations have transformed media into an important war winning factor. Today media management stands no more; media is taken as a participant by the side of the armed forces. For the country's survival, Bangladesh Army and Media both need each other. A collaborative, healthy media military relationship is essential for the mutual good of both to counter the 'media aggression'. The media can contribute in the decision making process when the environment is healthy and free from bureaucratic pressures. Media can help the nation building process in a democratic society where the decisions are result of consensus and not on personal whims or notions.

79. Establishment of mature military - media relationship is necessary for the success of any information or media campaign. Both military and the media must recognise that it is not combat success alone but the political impact of combat that wins wars. Political impact depends largely on the communication of combat to the citizens by the mass media. Thus military and media should see themselves as equal partners in successful conduct of wars. Media has an even greater impact on all the participants of a LIC, namely, government including security forces, militants and the society. However, media is vulnerable to manipulation by the militants and sometimes an illegitimate relationship develops between these two. The media struggle against all kinds of secrecy as part of their professional duty. As the army do not have a monopoly of patriotism and the truthfulness is not the article of faith for the media world only then a middle-way is possible to achieve cohesion of ideas. By formulating a comprehensive media policy the media will meet the demand of patriotism and the demand of national security, too. 80. The nature of military - media relationship is a complex one. It is simultaneously complementary (in contributing to the outcome of wars), and symbiotic (both need each other to fulfil their roles). It is adversarial (while military protects information and attempts propaganda / deception, media attempts to pry open the shroud of secrecy and see through propaganda) and subversive (military can prevent effective media coverage and media can assist the enemy and adversely affect the outcome of battle). There exists a time lag, credibility gap, mutual distrust between them. 81. Current state of media management in Bangladesh Army has a number of serious lacunae. There is no national media policy. Army policy is largely a legacy of the colonial days. The emphasis is more on guarding information from the public and less on sharing. While most modern democracies recognise citizens right to know, we are yet to take any concrete measures in that direction. Our organisation is not responsive enough and displays lack of a creative and innovative approach in handling media and arranging publicity. There are drawbacks in its organisational structure and training, too. 82. Wars are shared responsibility of the soldiers and people. A war is prosecuted by application of soldiers in their physical being on the battlefield strengthened by their 'will' and backed by the 'will' of the nation. In its ramification for success, it would imply 22 RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED destruction of enemy soldiers and their 'will' on one hand and preservation of the same on own side, on the other. In its third dimension, building up of favourable world opinion is also crucial. Though the physical destruction of enemy is achieved by weaponry at the disposal of a military commander, the destruction of 'will' can be achieved only by the media. Hence media can be employed or orchestrated to win any conflict.91 83. The attitude of Bangladesh Army to media had been harsh and a 'close door policy'; Bangladeshi media on the other hand published the 'bad messages' more. Bangladesh from its birth had been under 'media aggression' by our big brotherly neighbour. Effective utilization of own media is necessary to counter a hostile media especially that of our neighbours. Media today, is a combat support activity and as such is an essential function of command and staff at all levels. This is the basis of the major recommendations for improvement of media-military relations and effective utilisation of media. 84. The relation had been a mutual distrust of each others intentions and capabilities. Bangladesh Army lacks in understanding media and media lacks in empathy for Bangladesh Armys roles, motivations, strengths and weaknesses. The hope is both media and military of Bangladesh are aware of the need for a healthy relationship and looking forward for a better interaction.

RECOMMENDATIONS 85. In view of above options and discussions, the followings are recommended for efficient utilisation of media and a better mediamilitary relationship: a. A proactive attitude and a realistic media policy to counter media aggression. b. Incorporating innovative training on media at different levels. c. Arrange more media-military interactions. d. Director ISPR should be a serving officer. Limited reforms and restructuring and a further detail study on ISPR. Major Alam Tareque

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a. Build and sustain the national (including armed forces) 'will' and faith in the cause so that a nation develops cohesion and stands united above personal and political prejudices. b. Aim to undermine the 'will' of the adversary by playing up and exploiting internal dissension and vulnerability. c. Generate favourable world opinion and Counter media aggression.