Small Wars Journal

Host Nation Information Requirements

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Host Nation Information Requirements

Achieving Unity of Understanding in Counterinsurgency

by Colonel George Franz, Lieutenant Colonel David Pendall and Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Steffen

Download the full article: Host Nation Information Requirements

Understanding the complex operational environment in Afghanistan means seeing the local conditions and activities and how they affect people's lives. If the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are truly focused on gaining the support of the people, we must better understand the lens through which the people are watching our efforts play out and we must know what may drive them away from supporting the government. This means understanding not only the nature of the threats to security posed by negative influences, insurgents, and terrorists but also the aspects of Governance and Development that most impact their daily lives. Host Nation Information Requirements (HNIR) is a category of reporting on these critical factors affecting the people in Afghanistan.

More important than the structure of government, the people are most concerned about the extension of governmental services and the ability for their national and local officials to deliver basic necessities and support for a functioning community—to include security. But the operating environment in Afghanistan is much more complex, nuanced and dynamic than answering the question of satisfactory governance- rendering a basic collection of facts, polling data, anecdotal references and statistics insufficient for true understanding within the partnered commands.

The NATO International Security Force- Afghanistan (ISAF) Joint Command (IJC) is instituting a bottom up, inclusive information system to answer key information gaps and assist ISAF and Afghan Partner Commander Critical Information Requirements (CCIR). More than just asking the right questions, the ISAF and Afghan operating forces along with civilian partners in the field, must understand what the answers are that will drive resources and prioritization, providing better insight into the real issues and perceptions at local levels. The IJC has created a reporting system and fusion process to bring this information to the command in a timely, accurate and comprehensive way.

Download the full article: Host Nation Information Requirements

Colonel George Franz is the Chief, Combined Joint Analysis and Control Element for the ISAF Joint Command, Kabul, Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel David Pendall is the Chief CJ2 Planner for the ISAF Joint Command Future Operations Planning Team in Kabul, Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery Steffen is Senior Analytic Fusion Chief, within the Combined Joint Analysis and Control Element, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

About the Author(s)


Richard Bauchspies (not verified)

Mon, 10/11/2010 - 5:55pm

I am trying to get in touch with Col. George Franz regarding a personal issue. If he could contact me at I would appreciate it.

Many thanks,

Richard E. Bauchspies, Jr.
283 Carriage Drive
Portsmouth, RI 02871
(401) 847-2953

a US Army MAJ (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 9:26pm

Determining the host nation information requirements is key. Being able to rapidly and transparently share that information, with as few go betweens as possible, with both Afghan forces and ISAF forces will be critical to successful implementation of this program.