Psychological Operations or PSYOP
Posted in the Chicago Forum
#1 Aug 16, 2014
by Major Ed Rouse (Ret)
"Capture their minds
and their hearts and souls
Psychological Operations or PSYOP are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of organizations, groups, and individuals. Used in all aspects of war, it is a weapon whose effectiveness is limited only by the ingenuity of the commander using it.
A proven winner in combat and peacetime, PSYOP is one of the oldest weapons in the arsenal of man. It is an important force protector/combat multiplier and a non-lethal weapons system.
Psychological Operations (PSYOP) or Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR) is simply learning everything about your target enemy, their beliefs, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. Once you know what motivates your target, you are ready to begin psychological operations.
Psychological operations may be defined broadly as the planned use of communications to influence human attitudes and behavior ... to create in target groups behavior, emotions, and attitudes that support the attainment of national objectives. The form of communication can be as simple as spreading information covertly by word of mouth or through any means of multimedia.
A psychological warfare campaign is a war of the mind. Your primary weapons are sight and sound. PSYOP can be disseminated by face-to-face communication, audio visual means (television), audio media (radio or loudspeaker), visual media (leaflets, newspapers, books, magazines and/or posters). The weapon is not how its sent, but the message it carries and how that message affects the recipient.
For instance, our American flag, when it goes by in a parade do you feel a sense of pride? How about when you hear our national anthem played? How about "God Bless the USA", Lee Greenwood's song which became popular during Desert Storm? Music or sound can be a major factor in motivating emotion if it is associated with the right message. How many of you think about the pottery wheel scene with Patrick Swaytze and Demi Moore in the movie "Ghost" when you hear the theme song "Unchained Melody"?
It has long been said that: "The pen is mightier than the sword". That is because, if used properly, words can be an inspiration to motivate others. Some examples:
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