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Psychological Operations: The Need to Understand the Psychological Plane of Warfare
by Ryan Clow
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Historically, there have been a number of military philosophers and practitioners who spoke not only of a physical plane of war but also of the political, economic, and psychological (also known as moral) planes of war. Whereas Sun Tzu outlined five fundamentals of war, including weather and terrain, he also rated politics – or the wider context within which war is fought – as the first fundamental. Further, he included in his maxims “...[that] to win a hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence.”1 Providing more contemporary currency to those notions, General Vo Nguyen Giap,2 a brilliant North Vietnamese battlefield tactician and strategist, has been quoted as saying:
...for us, there is no such thing as a single strategy. Ours is always a synthesis – simultaneously diplomatic, military and political. Which is why, quite clearly, the Tet Offensive had multiple objectives....And that was our biggest victory: to change the ideas of the United States. The Tet Offensive had been directed primarily at the people of South Vietnam, but ...it affected the people of the United States more. Until Tet they thought they could win the war, but now they knew they could not. [President Lyndon] Johnson was forced to decrease military activity and start to discuss with us around the table of how to end the war.3
While modern warriors have been adept at ‘hoisting aboard’ the principles of surprise and momentum as fundamental to the physical plane of war, there has arguably been little appreciation for the wider psychological plane. Yet, as can be ascertained in words of great warriors, there is the implication that consideration of those other planes of war requires a great amount of attention, due to their inherent complexity, real or perceived, and their impact upon the overall end-state.
The psychological plane transcends the levels of command:
Strategic: To affect the global information environment – generally to achieve political objectives.
Operational: To influence the Joint Operations Area (JOA) as a means to achieve consistency between national and coalition objectives.
Tactical: To support specific Areas of Operation (AOs) to provide freedom of action to the tactical commander.4
For the tactical commander, effective Psychological Operations (Psy Ops) are his/her means to affect the psychological plane of war. Effective Psy Ops may be achieved through an appreciation of three fundamental factors:
- An understanding of key principles of Psychological Operations.
- An understanding of target audiences.
- An understanding of how to measure effectiveness.
Psy Ops, or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations, have been known by many other names or terms, including Psychological Warfare, Political Warfare, “Hearts and Minds,” and even Propaganda.5 Scholars of the subject trace the roots of modern Psy Ops to the “Congregatio di Propaganda Fide,” a Roman Catholic institution founded as a way to spread the Catholic faith in response to the Protestant Reformation.6 In terms of military history, Psy Ops are an aspect of war that has been much derided.
Psy Ops have become a fixture of the state at war, and did so largely during the last century.7 The birth of modern military Psy Ops occurred during the First World War through the actions of a Canadian self-styled aristocrat, Lord Beaverbrook, and his British contemporary, Lord Northcliffe.8 During this war’s immediate wake, the term propaganda truly gained its pejorative sense as a post-war world unfolded, and successful Allied propaganda that had demonized the enemy was scrutinized closely.9 And yet, it has been argued, “...why should there be such a stigma surrounding a process of persuasion designed to get people to stop fighting, and thus preserve their lives, rather than having their heads blown off?”10
The true heyday of modern Psy Ops undeniably occurred during the Second World War, when the adoption of the concept of ‘Total War’ gave way to state-run propaganda agencies, and they became important tools in warfighting arsenals. Although the efforts of the Third Reich’s massive propaganda machine, as well as those of the British (Ministry of Information and Political Warfare Executive) and their American (Office of War Information) counterparts are well chronicled in many volumes of published work, it is less well-known that Canada made important contributions in niche areas of Psy Ops through the initiatives of its Wartime Information Board.11 Then, in the aftermath of this second great global conflagration, Psy Ops continued to evolve as a tool of war in the hands of many nations.
Propaganda was a key Psychological Warfare instrument of both the Allied and the Axis powers during the Second World War, as embodied in the following propaganda posters
More recently, organized military Psy Ops units have continued to be a facet of modern war, from Vietnam, to Iraq (both during Operation Desert Storm and more recently), and in Afghanistan. Notably, Psy Ops have been as applicable to mass modern armies as they have been to the guerrilla, the freedom fighter, and the terrorist. We currently see the use of Psy Ops as common to both sides of the ‘Long War,’12 with our present foes, such as al Qaeda, making the psychological impact of an attack a hallmark of their actions.13
Arguably, we in the West have appeared slower to appreciate the power of the psychological impact – whether when used alone or to reinforce physical acts – than have our foes. As a result, while many modern armed forces include Psy Ops units in their Order of Battle, their actual effect upon the battlespace arguably has not been exploited to its full potential.
Psy Ops have been defined as planned psychological activities designed to influence attitudes and behaviour affecting the achievement of political and military objectives.14 Arguably, part of the problem with effectively integrating Psy Ops into modern military tactics is the definition itself. As it stands, it says everything and nothing, all at once. As a result, Psy Ops can be an obtuse concept for the tactical commander, who may perceive their importance, but who has not been fully trained to leverage them for maximum effect.
To help try to clarify Psy Ops, it is suggested that a tactical commander focus upon two key aspects of the definition, namely: Psychological Activities, the ‘how’ of Psy Ops, and Attitudes and Behaviours, the ‘what’ of Psy Ops.
Psychological Activities. Success was achieved in many previous wars through words, whether they were dropped from the sky (leaflets), plastered upon walls (posters), or transmitted over the air (radio). As a result, when the term Psy Ops is used, these mediums commonly spring to mind. The obvious consequence is that this limited exposure to Psy Ops has created a rut in our line of thought when it applies to modern Psy Ops.
In essence, we tend to apply circa 1914 or 1945 thinking to modern Psychological Operations. Conversely, our adversaries, such as al Qaeda, have harnessed emerging technology as a medium for their planned psychological activities.
If we want to understand how al Qaeda has survived and adapted since the war in Afghanistan, how it has transformed itself...the most important single factor to look at is its use of the Internet. The Internet is a weapon of great power in twenty-first-century warfare...one recent example shows the effectiveness of this weapon in the hands of one of the most recent al Qaeda affiliates, al-Zarqawi’s group in Iraq. For the whole of 2003, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was known to the public only through leaks from American and Jordanian intelligence. Then, in little more than a month...he rocketed to worldwide fame, infamy if you will, by a deliberate combination of extreme violence and Internet publicity.15
While the term planned psychological activities is used for the sake of brevity in policy and doctrine, the tactical commander, in order to remain relevant and effective, must be sophisticated, innovative, and evolutionary in his/her interpretation of the term. Moreover, views must widen in terms of what is considered a planned psychological activity.
Attitudes and Behaviours. Simply stated, Psy Ops attempt to influence the attitudes and behaviours of selected target audiences. As such, all Psy Ops will have at their core one of three common objectives:
- Weaken the will of the adversary by lowering morale and reducing the efficiency of his force by creating doubt, dissonance, and disaffection.
- Reinforce feelings of friendly target audiences.
- Gain the support of uncommitted or undecided audiences.16
While the end state of Psy Ops is to produce changes in attitudes and behaviours, the effort must be correctly placed within a wider context, since the changes are fundamental to the very being of a person. As a result, in most cases, the effects of Psy Ops are not immediate, but, rather, are produced over time in an aggregated fashion. The results are seldom as definable as a ‘body count’ in a kinetic battle.
In developing a Psy Ops plan, a tactical commander needs to be aware of the fundamental principles of Psy Ops, so that both the advantages and disadvantages are weighed and understood – including the breadth of options available, but also the inherent limitations of the capability. Without an adequate understanding of these principles – namely, the ‘how’ and ‘what’ – it is impossible for a tactical commander to get the maximum return from this powerful tool.
Worldnews photo af8dea116e46649507fadfebdf69e197
The cornerstone of attitudinal and behavioural change, and the area wherein the greatest effort needs to be applied in the planning of effective Psy Ops, rests in understanding opinion. Simply put, the factors that influence how a person forms an opinion, and, therefore, how one will act in light of a given situation, need to be understood in order to shape attitudes and behaviour. Psy Ops planning requires a great amount of ingenuity, analysis, and time in order to achieve the desired effect upon a target audience.
Modern soldiers are trained practitioners of their craft, molded within the social norms of their society – something that occurs almost to a fault. In this respect, it is not uncommon to interpret others through one’s own experiences, and to judge others based upon one’s own expectations of acceptable attitudes and behavioural values. In many cases, this ethnocentrism inhibits appropriate interpretation of a situation, due to inherent biases. This thought process needs to be acknowledged and avoided, since others simply do not think and act necessarily as do Westerners. Culture, codes, norms, language, and history – to name but a few factors – have created the world disparately. Therefore, the inhabitants of various regions have adapted attitudes and behaviours, based upon surroundings and collective experiences. Simply put: to understand “them,” “we” must learn to think like “them.”
The famous opinion theorist Walter Lippman formulated a model of attitudinal and behavioural change in terms of how opinions – as the basis for attitudes and behaviours – are formed. In Lippmann’s view, the danger is a view that assumes a ‘common will’ exists. In other words, that a group of people who share the same social context will share the exact same fundamental opinion as a basis for collective action.17
Rather, he theorized that people formed opinions (pictures inside their heads in Lippmann terms) that incorporated stereotypes (a term Lippmann coined) and the like to make sense of the world. This allows one to order a situation in a way that would allow him/her to react. He said, “...whatever we believe to be a true picture, we treat it as if it were the environment itself.”18 We do so by acting upon “...the pictures inside the heads of ...human beings, the pictures of themselves, of others, of their needs, purposes, and relationships are their...opinions. Those pictures are acted upon by groups of people.”19 In short, whether people share the same social context, they may form the same or different attitudes and behaviours as a result of their opinions, or their interpretations of a given situation.
The transformation of al Qaeda – the organization – into al Qaeda – the ideology – provides evidence to support Lippmann’s theory. Al Qaeda’s objective has been to recreate a Muslim caliphate, a trans-national confederacy. In order to achieve this objective, Osama Bin Laden has inspired terrorists from various backgrounds – from middle class Americans and European Muslims to poor Middle Eastern Muslim youth – to commit terrorist acts the world over. While these individuals come from different backgrounds, have had different life experiences, and, consequently, would have been expected to have opinions that reflect the ‘common will’ of their social context, this is obviously not the case. Rather, Bin Laden’s carefully crafted messages of Western persecution have created consonance in their attitudes and behaviours by influencing their personal opinions, so that they stand in direct opposition to what could be expected from their upbringing, if the notion of a ‘will’ truly existed.20
While this synopsis of opinion may seem irrelevant to a discussion concerning military Psy Ops, it is, in fact, a central consideration. To affect a target audience in a desired manner, Psy Ops practitioners must understand the complex nature of the target audiences, and must commit time and significant resources to defining the development of opinions within the target audience. In this respect, just as tanks, machine guns, and artillery are necessary in the conduct of war, so also are anthropologists, linguists, and historians.
Another key aspect of modern Psy Ops is that target audiences need to be carefully delineated. Often this aspect is seemingly overlooked, since, in many cases, there is only rudimentary, if any, delineation of target audiences in military Psy Ops at all. At the outset of the Psy Ops planning process, it is important to delineate target audiences in relation to the objectives and/or the desired effects of the mission. The exercise is analogous to how a tactical commander analyzes a piece of terrain in order to devise a scheme of manoeuvre for an attacking force.
In accordance with CF Doctrine,21 there are four categories for target audiences:
Ultimate: the real, intended, or final target of the message.
Intermediate: may or may not be part of the ultimate target audience [but are likely to have influence over the ultimate audience].
Apparent: audiences that appear to be the target of a message. However, they may not be the real, intended, or final target of the message.
Unintended: audiences that the planner did not intend to reach, but those who received the message directed at another audience.
The delineation of target audiences is a necessity for many practical reasons, notably for maximizing resources. However, it is most important to satisfy an important principle of war – the selection and maintenance of the aim. In this respect, it is now common – due to the influence of mass media, scrutinizing publics, demanding governments and technological advances, such as the Internet – for tactical commanders to spend a great amount of time and effort explaining actions on the battlefield to the wider international community. While the geopolitical reality begets this public affairs exercise, it must be addressed without sacrificing the effectiveness of Psy Ops in a theatre.
Ultimately, the question for the tactical commander is whether the people whose attitudes and behaviours that need to be addressed the most are those that want to kill you, or those that are undecided as to whether they want to help you. The wider audience should be dealt with through strategic communications and diplomacy, both of which are well beyond the purview of the tactical level. This is not to say that the wider context does not concern the tactical commander. Rather, it means that the tactical commander, while appreciating and addressing the wider context, must not mistake the task at hand for his/her level, and the same can be said of operational and strategic commanders. Consequently, their actions must be well meshed with those of the operational and strategic level through effective Information Operations, as opposed to Psy Ops, in order to have a consistent, coordinated, and direct effect upon the information environment writ large.22
The characteristics of the target audience that should be duly considered are conditions, receptivity, and vulnerability.
Conditions. Generally, conditions are those influences exerted upon a target audience over which the target audience has no control. Issues such as poverty, climate, or location constitute examples. Not only is it important to identify the condition, but, more specifically, to define how the condition actually affects the attitudes and behaviours of the target audience. A carefully orchestrated line of persuasion can be articulated in order to inspire action by identifying a condition of a particular target audience, and then setting about to affect – whether to alleviate, to improve, or simply to exploit – the condition in a way that the target audience cannot do.
During the 1940s, the Communist movement in Vietnam sought to leverage the condition of widespread poverty as a catalyst for action among the rural population in an attempt to expand the appeal of the Communist ideology. General Giap explained the line of persuasion:
Before we had leaders who talked about independence, but they did not give rice fields to the farmers so they could not motivate them. It was my belief that socialism would motivate the farmers and the workers.23
It was in this manner that Giap organized common people into effective soldiers that brought about the end of colonial rule in Vietnam. Yet, without discrediting Giap’s military prowess, it has been argued that precise identification and the subsequent exploitation of the condition was the catalyst for success.24
Receptivity. To understand how a person best receives information is crucial. Psy Ops must be planned and conducted with great attention paid to a variety of influences on the situation at hand, which, in turn, affect attitudes and behaviour, ranging from culture to language to history. As such, while an appeal may appear as a simple message on a leaflet, the message must be crafted in a way that may go beyond a simple suggestion for it to be followed. It must have an inherent appreciation for how the reader thinks, and for how he or she will react, based upon the influences exerted.
US Psy Ops practioners learned this lesson during the Second World War, when attempts to persuade Japanese servicemen to surrender were obfuscated by language. By changing the language on leaflets from “I Surrender,” to “I cease resistance,” the US was able to produce a better result. They did so by nuancing the appeal of the act in order to capitalize upon the concept of “saving face.”25 In all cases, the underlying consideration must be selecting the method that best suits the target audience, not the practitioner’s tastes.
Vulnerability. Depending upon the aim and target audience of Psy Ops, vulnerabilities should be exploited. If, as an example, the target is a rogue leader who has a propensity towards vice, or his actions contradict cultural and social norms, these realities should be incorporated as themes or messages in order to elicit a desired response from another target audience.
During counterinsurgency operations in Malaya conducted from 1948 to 1960, the British exploited just such vulnerabilities amongst the insurgent leadership:
Unofficial [sexual] liaison between male and female comrades in the jungle was severely frowned upon by the Communist hierarchy. Nevertheless many senior comrades took ...females to the jungle couches.... Countless examples of these liaisons were reported...and it became obvious that such ‘unfair’ advantages were strongly resented by the ‘other ranks’ who enjoyed no such benefits. Naturally the inequality of life between the leaders and the led...was fully exploited....”26
Understanding the target audience is fundamental to effective Psy Ops. Without an appreciation of how opinions are formed and how they affect attitudes and behaviour, without the clear delineation of target audiences to maintain the aim, and without defining the characteristics of the target audience, Psy Ops are not only expected to be ineffective, but they are arguably impossible. Without this well-rounded understanding, the tactical commander will be unable to develop the correct posture, presence and profile for the Area of Operations. Miscalculation in this respect is likely to lead to mixed messaging and/or unintended effects, both of which have cascading consequences for which the tactical commander may be unequipped to deal.
Photograph VA001467 Douglas Pike Collection, The Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University
Measures of Effectiveness
A final comment on effective Psy Ops concerns Measures of Effectiveness (MOEs). Quite simply, determining if Psy Ops are having an effect, and, indeed, the desired effect, is crucial. As part of the discussion with respect to attitudes and behaviours, it was stated that Psy Ops effects were generally obtained in an aggregated format over long periods of time. Therefore, rigorous and iterative MOEs are critical in demonstrating ongoing effectiveness to the military chain of command.
A common mistake of MOEs is that quantifying our effort does not measure effectiveness, but, rather, it measures performance. In the past, it was common to express a Psy Ops MOE in terms of numbers, such as how many leaflets were air-dropped, or how many newspapers were distributed. While this could demonstrate to skeptics that the Psy Ops element was, in fact, doing something, it more likely produced a detrimental effect in that it could show no result for a given effort. Therefore, it is imperative to derive indicators – either direct or indirect – in order to tangibly express that Psy Ops ‘Action X’ has a correlation to ‘Result Y.’
As an example, if the objective was to increase support for a particular faction, opinions of who is seen as a credible source for information – either the ‘good guys’ or the ‘bad guys’ – could be measured as an indicator of an increase or decrease of support for the desired faction. Due to a variety of factors, ranging from the inherent bias/limitations of measurement techniques to the permissiveness of the environment to the nature of opinion as discussed herein, both subjective and objectives measures should be undertaken concurrently.
Measures of effectiveness can be broken into two primary types:
Quantitative Measures. Techniques such as questionnaires and surveys are excellent tools for canvassing large groups. However, the validity of the results depends upon the quality of the respondents, and it can suffer from factors such as illiteracy, the administrator’s manner, and analytical flaws. While there are inherent biases, quantitative measures are a valuable source of input when care is taken to rigorously craft those measures.
Qualitative Measures. Techniques such as focus groups are invaluable to complement quantitative measures. While a poll may provide a statistical indication that a certain opinion exists, a focus group can provide the opportunity to delve into why trends exist. Focus groups are also excellent tools since they are generally less resource-intensive; using a representative sampling means that valid conclusions can be drawn from a much smaller group. However, qualitative measures are not without their own biases that can include language barriers, personality conflicts, and the trepidation of the respondents – whereby they answer as they feel the administrator wishes them to do, particularly if the administrator is wearing a uniform and carrying a gun. Simple solutions exist to limit the shortcomings, such as using local employees, interpreters, and controlled settings – such as being kept away from the prying eyes of peers.
While an understanding of some of the principles of Psy Ops and the target audience is fundamental to effective Psy Ops – since they are cornerstones of the craft – MOEs are fundamental to successful Psy Ops when done properly through an effective pairing of quantitative and qualitative methods. MOEs are the linchpins needed to bring it all together.
DefenseImagery.mil photo 020114-N-8242C-005
War is a complicated phenomenon. While the physical act is seen by most to be the most accurate representation of war, when taken in the broadest sense war also includes other political, economic, and psychological planes. Psy Ops are one means that the tactical commander can employ in order to understand and affect the other planes of war. And this article represents a case study of but one of those other planes of war: the psychological plane.
Psy Ops have longstanding roots in military operations. However, the effectiveness of Psy Ops has been inconsistent. Arguably, in contemporary terms, the disparate success has been the result of a lack of understanding of this capability by tactical commanders. By casting a wider net in terms of an appreciation both for the psychological aspects of the fight and the understanding of a few fundamental factors of Psy Ops, it is possible for the tactical commander to have a greater effect upon the modern battlefield.
In defence of our soldiers who risk their lives every day doing what they believe is right and good, “...it is always easier to discover and proclaim general principles than it is to apply them.”27 Yet, our adversaries continually demonstrate that a need exists to develop this understanding of the psychological plane of war. By adapting their tactics, techniques, and procedures – whereby the overall impact of their physical actions is supported and amplified by force multiplying factors, such as psychological operations – our adversaries have clearly demonstrated that they can sustain themselves in terms of a ‘Long War.’ The question is: Can we?
The author would like to thank Colonel J.P. de B. Taillon, for his time, advice and support in the preparation of this paper.
Oliver Ryan Clow is a former soldier and is now a civilian employee with the Department of National Defence. He holds an MA degree from the Royal Military College of Canada, and has been published in the RUSI Journal and the Royal Air Force Airpower Review.
- General Tao Hanzhang, Sun Tzu’s Art of War: The Modern Chinese Interpretation (New York: Sterling Publishing, 1987), pp.13-15.
- Giap was a political activist turned soldier, who spent much of his adult life in combat, during both the French Indochina War and the Vietnam War. Giap rose from being a tactical commander to the senior command of the North Vietnamese Army. His tenure of command included many decisive battles, such as Bien Den Phu, Khe Sanh, Dak To, Ia Drang and the Tet Offensive. For a complete account of Giap’s career, see Peter MacDonald, Giap: The Victor in Vietnam (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993).
- Ibid., p. 268.
- CF Psychological Operations Doctrine articulates three categories of Psy Ops: Strategic Psy Ops (SPO), Crisis-Response Psy Ops (CRPO), and Combat Psy Ops (CPO). These categories generally conform to the levels of command, yet what is perceived to be the relevant aspects of each category have been used herein to illustrate the main effort at each level of command.
- In this context, the terms are viewed as synonymous. Propaganda is seen, as are the other terms, as a ‘value neutral’ term without the pejorative context of lies and trickery. It is seen in the truest sense of the word, i.e., in propagating an idea.
- Dr. Philip Taylor, Munitions of the Mind, 3rd Edition (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2003), pp. 2-8
- Dr. Philip Taylor, in K.R.M. Short, (ed.) Film and Radio propaganda in World War II (Knoxville, TE: University of Tennessee Press, 1983), p. 20.
- “...the nation that finished the conflict with reputedly the most successful propaganda was Great Britain. This was despite the fact that in 1914 Britain possessed nothing that could even remotely be described as an official propaganda department. This impressive exercise...culminated in the establishment of a full Ministry of Information under Lord Beaverbrook, and a separate Enemy Propaganda Department at Crewe House under Lord Northcliffe.” Ibid., p. 21.
- “...at the end of WWI, the British government had regarded propaganda as politically dangerous, financially unjustifiable and morally unacceptable in peacetime....associated with subversion of the freedom of thought ...[propaganda] was a ‘good word gone wrong ....” Ibid., pp. 24-25. In addition, Edward Bernays wrote “...[that] once the thrill of victory [World War One] had faded...the sordid details of the propaganda drive against the “Hun” began to circulate....Throughout the press, “propaganda” was now commonly condemned; and, for the most part, not the same as some dark alien force, unloosed upon our culture by the Prussians and/or Reds, but – far worse – by propagandists of our own.” Edward Bernays, Propaganda (New York: IG Publishing, 2005), p. 28.
- Taylor, Munitions of the Mind, p. 8.
- For a well-rounded account of Wartime Information Board, see Gary Evans, John Grierson, and the National Film Board, The Politics of Wartime Propaganda (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984). For a comprehensive summary of the Wartime Information Board’s psychological warfare operations abroad, see Oliver Ryan Clow, “Ottawa Calling: Canadian Psychological Warfare, 1939-45,” in Royal United Services Institute Journal, Vol. 151, No. 2, April 2006, pp. 76-81.
- The term ‘Long War’ is an emerging nomenclature for the ‘Global War on Terror.’
- “They [terrorists] learned that a single attack by influencing public opinion and morale can alter the behavior of great nations.” Excerpts of testimony given by Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, in Stephen Strasser, (ed.), The 9/11 Investigations (Washington: United States Department of Public Affairs, 2004), p. 126.
- Canada. Department of National Defence. Psychological Operations. B-GJ-005-313/FP-001, p. 7.
- Paul Eedle, in Karen Greenberg, (ed.), Al-Qaeda Now. Understanding Today’s Terrorists (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 124.
- Canada. Department of National Defence. Psychological Operations. B-GJ-005-313/FP-001, p. 8.
- Based on comments by G.K Chesterton, cited in Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (New York: The Free Press, 1965 [Originally published in 1922]), p. 14.
- Ibid., p. 4.
- Ibid., p. 18.
- For well-researched and well-rounded discussion on the development of Bin Laden’s and al Qaeda’s philosophy, see Peter Bergen, The Osama Bin Laden I Know (New York: The Free Press, 2006), and Greenberg.
- Canada. Department of National Defence. Psychological Operations. B-GJ-005-313/FP-00. Annex C, p. 58.
- To amplify this point, there must be a clear understanding of Psychological Operations versus Information Operations. Psychological Operations, in most cases, is a tactically focused exercise. Information Operations is the coordinating function for core capabilities such as Psy Ops, but also includes Deception, Operations Security, and related capabilities, such as Public Affairs – all of which comprise the ‘psychological plane of war.’ Information Operations are the mechanism for influencing the wider information environment; linking messages from the strategic to the tactical and between the military and wider governmental communications apparatus.
- MacDonald, p. 25.
- A Giap biographer wrote, “...[that] no general, however brilliant or fortunate, wins battles by himself. It is the nature of the population from which soldiers are enlisted, and the fervour of their motivation, that determines the success....” Ibid., p. 36.
- Available on-line at: <http://www.psywarrior.com/ICeaseJap.html>. Accessed 16 August 2006.
- Archie Derry, Emergency in Malaya: The Psychological Dimension (London: National Defence College, 1982), Chapter 5, p. 4.
- Winston Churchill, in Dominique Enright, (ed.), The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill (London: Michael O’Mara Books, 2001), p. 149.