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CIA: Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters

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  • CIA: Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters

    CIA paper reveals plans to manipulate European opinion on Afghanistan

    Afghanistan: Sustaining West European Support for the NATO-led
    Mission—Why Counting on Apathy Might Not Be Enough (C//NF)

    The fall of the Dutch Government over its troop commitment to Afghanistan
    demonstrates the fragility of European support for the NATO-led ISAF mission.
    Some NATO states, notably France and Germany, have counted on public
    apathy about Afghanistan to increase their contributions to the mission, but
    indifference might turn into active hostility if spring and summer fighting
    results in an upsurge in military or Afghan civilian casualties and if a Dutchstyle
    debate spills over into other states contributing troops. The Red Cell
    invited a CIA expert on strategic communication and analysts following public
    opinion at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) to
    consider information approaches that might better link the Afghan mission to
    the priorities of French, German, and other Western European publics. (C//NF)
    Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters. . . (C//NF)

    The Afghanistan mission’s low public salience has allowed French and German leaders to
    disregard popular opposition and steadily increase their troop contributions to the
    International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Berlin and Paris currently maintain the third
    and fourth highest ISAF troop levels, despite the opposition of 80 percent of German and
    French respondents to increased ISAF deployments, according to INR polling in fall 2009.