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.