Effective 5 Aug 14 PSYOP units are back to being themselves. The derided and apparently ineffective switch to Military Information Support Operations (MISO) has been reversed with the unit naming convention going back to PSYOP.
At the time of the re-naming, it was contended that MISO gave PSYOP a less sinister perspective. Others argued that calling an elephant a giraffe didn’t make him one, and that the unit’s reputation or mission would be unaffected.
It’s refreshing to see common sense in action, especially in light of the world situation.
In other news, our good friends at USA Today on August 12, 2014 reported that USSOCOM is engaging in ‘market research’ in Colombia. (See: http://www.usatoday.com/story/nation/2014/08/12/socom-tries-again-with-propaganda-research/13961225/)
The essence of the article is: “SOCOM has tried for years to come up with a better way to determine if its propaganda programs, also known as military information support operations, actually work.”
The implications, at least in my mind, of the tone and choice of words are: USSOCOM is engaged in evil propaganda which Congress has already tried to stop, and is a waste of taxpayer’s money.
“McPaper” as USA Today was once called comparing it to journalistic fast food (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/17/business/media/17gannett.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) has published several articles in the same genre denigrating DOD influence efforts.
First of all, it strikes me that trying to find out what messages work is a good thing. Commercial marketing folks do that all the time. Does that mean it’s a slow news day for USA Today?
My first thought was that their ‘target audience’ is Congress. After all, what other group is so over-worked and under appreciated that they don’t have time to read ‘real sources’, especially since the bulk of Congressional work is done by staffers.
My second thought was, how nice of Congress to give SOCOM a plug and I wondered who else might have run a similar story, so I Googled “SOCOM propaganda Colombia” and found that AOL picked up the story and produced a video at http://www.aol.com/video/socom-tries-again-with-propaganda-research/518369638/. Be forewarned you will have to endure a terrible ‘quit smoking’ commercial – or at least I did.
Couple of points here -
USA Today may actually be more of an early morning source than an influencer in its own right.
Video clips may be the next big thing in ‘news’ if they are not already. This means tactical PSYOP forces will need to be more digitally mobile and capable than ever before.
Enjoy what’s left of your summer.
Photo source: Wikipedia