Senior IDF Officer: Concept of victory overrides outcomes in the field

Col. Shai Stern speaks of IDF (Zahal) preparations against the growing trend of spreading misinformation in the media

Date: 08/09/2011, 1:38 PM     Author: Daniella Bokor

Col. Shai Stern spoke of the growing role of the media in modern battlefields at the Fifth Annual Latrun Conference on Wednesday (September 7).

Col. Stern explained that due to the widespread use of internet exposure and cell phones anyone can become a resource for information and allow inaccurate information to spread.

“Spreading misinformation is becoming popular and we must manage it and refute it,” he added. “Today, we find that the concept of victory overrides the actual outcome in the field.”

Col. Stern spoke of last May’s provocative Gaza flotilla as a turning point in the IDF (Zahal)’s use of media. “For the first time ever, the army provided helicopters to document the occurrences and efficiently transmit the footage to the media,” he said.

The helicopters were then used to evacuate the wounded, incorporating the military’s fundamental mission to care for any injuries.

Col. Stern went on to delineate the various courses for officers and soldiers in charge of IDF (Zahal) in the media. High ranking commanders will also be trained in coping with the growing media struggle and understand its role in the battlefield.

Combat soldiers partake in the publicity struggle as well, with the Combat Camera Course that teaches soldiers in the field to film and document the occurrences in real time.