Shifting PSYOP Emphasis from Asymmetric Threats to Peers

Shifting PSYOP Emphasis from Asymmetric Threats to Peers While the threat from terrorists and other asymmetric enemies ruins real and potent – there is fantastic concern in this area historic and new peer-sized threats. The maturation of the cyber domain as a battlefield has brought with it a resurgence of nation-state enemies and adversaries. Chief amongst them is Russia. On November 1, 2016 Reuters reported “UK spy chief sees growing threats from Russian cyber- attacks, espionage” (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/britain-security-russia-idUSL8N1D22K7)In the days of the Cold War it was relatively simple to stereotype the Russians as illustrated by my friends to the right: Boris Badenov, Natasha Fatale and Fearless Leader; characters in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series. The Russians have always understood the need to control information that has also become a strategic imperative that they have passed by the side of to other countries within their political umbrella. The article clarification that cyber attacks and espionage are increasingly being used to advance Russian foreign policy goals.There were a digit of media reports indicating that the Russians had the capability to hack voting systems and thereby impact the US Presidential appointment.The PRC has also been reportedly active in cyber attacks, while perhaps not as subtle as their Russian counterparts, PRC hackers also represent a state sponsored well-resourced and sophisticated threat.The implications for US political and military strategies are profound and the appointment of an avid Tweeter as President may really be a clear sign for PSYOP. President-elect Trump, for all is other characteristics, is far more aware of the power of mass media and the importance of Social Media. Perhaps his new cabinet will be directed to formulate an shape strategy that will meld all of government’s shape resources – military and if not – as well as dedicate the cyber resources necessary to help such a strategy. Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Badenov

We were also found by phrases: Read more

PSYOP Comes To The Presidency

PSYOP Comes To The PresidencyIt is sweet clear that the President Elect understands the doctrine of PSYOP and marketing. Simple, direct messages targeted at a clearly defined consultation combined with concentrating your hard work where they will do the most excellent appear to have been keys to his unexpected success. Task and Purpose a military oriented site published an article (see: http://taskandpurpose.com/donald-trump-won-white-house-stunned-world/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=send by e-mail&utm_campaign=tp-today; which is also the photo source) which, in my view sums up how the President Elect defeated the ‘establishment’.The article and the campaign contain fantastic lessons for PSYOP, but the end results and the new Administration’s ability to craft a cohesive and workable political strategy and the military strategy behind it remain to be seen.The article summed up Mr. Trump’s success in one condemn: ““He benefited from a very simple to be with you and appreciate message: ‘Make America fantastic again,’ ... That’s not in this area Donald Trump; that’s in this area the American worker who used to be punching in at the textile plant.”Voters, especially those whose manufacturing jobs, and the economy surrounding them understood the Message, agreed with it and voted for the Messenger.We also learned that star is perhaps more vital in the U.S. than any sort of qualifications or experience. To be honest, Mr. Trump is a showman, and he may stand for the proposition that there are limits to political correctness.Mr. Trump also knew his target. While the media proclaimed that his sweet spot was “non-college-educated white voters”, anecdotally I know quite a few ardent Trump supporters who are to be sure college educated and the numbers are far too huge to include only this assemble.Trump targeted the voters who make up the majority of the electorate and according to the article, Secretary Clinton was not able to garner the kind of help that President Obama did either in the black or Latino community.Mr. Trump also did very well in the ‘up for grabs’ states. I’ve often posted in this area needing to concentrate on those on the fence rather than trying to go those on either end of your message’s spectrum.The Clinton campaign also had some PSYOP examples, sorry to say, not many of them are excellent ones. Her campaign seemed to appeal to educate elites and was more often focused on Secretary Clinton herself. The “I’m with her.” didn’t resonate because, only a few wanted to be and they were concentrated in the liberal blue states.The next test for Mr. Trump will be to appoint competent and experienced people to help him guide the nation and to control his mercurial nature. He may surprise us all, or in 2020 the US will tell him “You’re fired!”

We were also found by phrases: Read more

The PSYOP of Elections

The PSYOP of ElectionsWith the 2016 US Presidential appointment only 5 days away and media of all sorts bombarding us with exhortations to vote their way, I plotting it appropriate to make a few comments in this area PSYOP in the context of political shape.Rather than descend into the cesspool like depths of the media barrage in the Presidential race, I felt it more edifying to look at a particular piece. There are 17 Propositions on the California ballot this year – not counting local ones. They range from repealing the fatality penalty to deciding whether starts in porn flicks should wear condoms.Behind every proposition there are people with an agenda. While some propositions are clearly worded, others are not. Wording can obfuscate the right purpose of the proposition or can be a governmental hodgepodge of sentences thrown together.To the right is a predictable direct mail piece. The focus is on personalizing the proposition in a way that the voter identifies the picture with the proposition. In this case we have a likeable sufficient looking family. Since there is no Dad in the picture we could also jump to the conclusion that this is a single Mom raising three young children. The outcome on the right is missing her front teeth possibly indicating that she is a second grader or in need of some dental help. Proposition E is a San Jose Rate that would require businesses with over 35 employees to offer extra hours to part-time workers before hiring new ones.  While the motivation behind the rate might be to give a break to those part time workers who work multiple jobs and don’t have benefits, this is not the case according to the major local newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News which said “Voters are likely to approve this feel-excellent rate, but it would be a mix. It adds confirmation-keeping burdens and lawsuit risks no other city in this district places on industry — at a time when San Jose is already is struggling to attract business and build its tax base. Vote no.”  (See: http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/10/24/editorial-san-jose-rate-e-a-excellent-thought-terribly-implemented/)In addition to personifying the message, the direct mail piece offers some general innuendos at the top right. By agreeing with these oversimplified statements the reader/voter might very well want to ‘help out’ by voting yes, which, according to the facts (or the newspaper) would be a mix.Hopefully the appointment will be over soon to clean up the airwaves.

We were also found by phrases: Read more

How do you influence the PAO?

How do you influence the PAO?The October 17, 2016 Defense News ran an article “DoD is Losing the Online  Fight to Win Hearts & Minds” (see: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/dod-is-losing-online-fight-to-win-hearts-and-minds; which is also the photo source). I was attracted to the article because of the title and probable to see yet one more treatise on how the overpaid contractors exciting with executing the DOD on-line shape war  were not doing their job. Fascinatingly, the article makes the case that a major problem with the US on-line shape programs is the resistance from Public Affairs.The article describes how NATO is trying to recognize the significance of the shape issue by forming a strategic communications directorate and that the US is the only holdout. The article’s author, Robert T. Hastings should know in this area Public Affairs because amongst other assignments he served as acting secretary of defense for public affairs from 2008 to 2009.PAO has generally taken the view that they must remain and chaste and pure, avoiding any disgrace of ‘shape’. Having had the opportunity to work Joint Exercises at DINFOS, the DOD school that trains Public Affairs Officers, I’m of the opinion that the ‘new generation’ of PAOs has a much more profound appreciation for social media and the on-line world than their top brass. The inability to integrate PAO hard work into the shape fight dilutes our shape hard work and has to stop, the sooner the surpass. While I’m generally not one to editorialize, the DOD is a sweet simple organization; it works from the top down. SECDEF needs to bring MG Malcolm B. Frost, Chief of Public Affairs (see: https://www.army.mil/info/institution/publicAffairs/chief/)  into his personnel by the side of with General Raymond A. Thomas III, CDR, USSOCOM (see: http://www.socom.mil/Documents/Command_Bios/Gen%20Thomas%20Official%20Bio.pdf) and have an open discussion in this area DOD’s need for unity of effort with regard to Public Affairs.The buck has to stop somewhere, and it looks like it needs to be at the top or we will continue to lose shape ground to our enemies and adversaries.

We were also found by phrases: Read more

Self-Help PSYOP Against North Korea

Self-Help PSYOP Against North Korea The NY Times, October 15, 2016 US photograph edition ran an article “Subverting North Korea, One Bundle of Leaflets at a Time”. The Asian version ran a day earlier and lead with “A ‘Balloon Warrior’ Subverts North Korea, Thousands of Leaflets at a Time" (US version at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/15/world/asia/south-north-korea-balloon-drop.html?_r=0, which is also the photo source.) In the day and age of Tweets and FaceBook it’s somewhat refreshing to see ancient school operations. According to the Times, Lee Min-bok is a North Korean defector with a self-avowed mission to foster well loved insurrection hostile to the North Korean government.Mr. Kim’s hard work do not receive any government help. Rather he supports himself through lecture fees and receives donations from innumerable groups. According to the article, A Japanese assemble because they want him to send leaflets to help find Japanese citizens in North Korea. Other donors include Christians who provide Bibles and food. Kim summed up his hard work this way “My leaflets are a poison for Kim Jong-un’s regime, because they help North Koreans wake up to his lies”. The leaflet bundles are high sufficient to avoid small arms fire. Kim has developed is own ‘timer’ that opens the bundles allowing the leaflets to drop down.While Kim receives security help from the Republic of Korea, his hard work are chiefly his own and is only job. While we can only assess Mr. Kim’s production and not his effectiveness, his report is an fascinating one. On the launch end Mr. Kim choses to assume a low profile and not launch from villages or populated centers so as to avoid conflicts.One wonders if this type of grassroots approach could be adopted in other areas, especially where a regime controls the information channels. Of course leaflet drops are wind dependent and the getting terrain must be open sufficient to allow the leaflets to get to their targets.Readers are invited to contribute any other examples of Self-Help PSYOP.

We were also found by phrases: Read more

PSYOP History – Hanoi Hannah Passes Away

PSYOP History – Hanoi Hannah Passes Away Tokyo Rose (see: http://www.biography.com/people/tokyo-rose-37481) was a footnote in history to we veterans of the Viet Nam Conflict. It’s probably honest to say that Hanoi Hannah is the same to Post 9/11 veterans. The NY Times featured an obituary of Trin Thi Ngo, surpass known as Hanoi Hannah in its 5 October edition (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/world/asia/trinh-thi-ngo-hanoi-hannah-vietnam-war.html, which is also the photo source.) John McCain was one of her regular viewers although not by choice because loudspeakers were prominent in the prison where he was a POW.Personification is a fantastic shape tool that I have written in this area on a digit of occasions including last week’s posting on what local TV producers are looking for. Female voices were generally used because it was felt that since service members were predominately male, they would be more favorably inclined to listen to a female voice.Well loved music was played but the goal of the content was to wear down their viewers. Hanoi Hannah used to read the names of recent American KIA as a part of her broadcasts in an effort to deflate her viewers. More recently there was Baghdad Betty. She was not very competent according to then LTC Jeff Jones, CDR of the 8th PSYOP Bn who said: “Her broadcasts proved the Iraqis didn’t be with you us at all," Jones said. "Her ignorance was pervasive. She was never sure of her sources, and announce ancient information based on dated news." (See: http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/showthread.php?6011-What-ever-happened-to-Baghdad-Betty). Jones went on to be CDR of the 4th PSYOP Assemble and ultimately Defense Attaché to the French Embassy. It was my pleasure to nominate Jeff for the Gold McClure Award, which he received shortly before his fatality.While the PSYOP Regiment is a relatively new entity in the US Army we owe it ourselves to be mindful of our history and to learn from it – both excellent and terrible. While we don’t want to fall into the trap of being prepared to fight the last war, we don’t want to repeat the same mistakes either.

We were also found by phrases: Read more