Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Academic Research and PSYOP – Can It Help?

There is no doubt that the terrorist is today’s enemy. The global violence stretching from Paris to San Bernadino, CA is proof positive of this. Modern day PSYOP has proven generally ineffective in dealing with this amorphous and ruthless enemy.

We all quote the adage “We’re always ready to fight the last war.” How can we approach PSYOP for Counter-Terrorism?

Consider the following:
Measuring the effectiveness of counterterrorism efforts requires detailed problem analysis to quantify the specific behavioral problem sets and to identify the enablers (i.e., conditions, who is doing what, etc.) The goal is to gain a better understanding of the problem, so precise solutions (both preventions and interventions) can be developed for implementation. Program goals that are measurable end-states help assess the impact the program is intended to have, while supporting PSYOP objectives focus on the measurable means to attain them. Series objectives provide the comprehensive strategies necessary to achieve the goals and objectives by focusing on the knowledge, belief and intermediate behaviors required from each of the identified target audiences”

The author is a rare combination: PSYOPer and Scholar. MAJ Seese’s work, like that of COL (R) Al Paddock, COL, (R) Bob Schoenhaus and others can provide food for thought as we move through the 21st century.

There is a crying need for independent research and analysis in the PSYOP community. It would be appropriate for the “Schoolhouse” (JFK Special Warfare Center and School) to act as a catalyst, sponsor and repository for this needed research.

Reader input on ways we can expand our intellectual horizons in these challenging times is very much appreciated.

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