Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wired Magazine Classifies PSYOP As Part of Future War

About half way through the article titled: How Technology Almost Lost the War: In Iraq, the Critical Networks Are Social — Not Electronic, the XO of 2nd Bn, 6th Marine Regiment credits PSYOP with helping to convince the people of Falujah that al Qaeda needed to be driven out. The XO notes that PSYOP working tools are simple such as posters, radio broadcasts and newspaper articles, but he is quick to point out that Arab culture is essentially an oral one and that conversation can be a potent weapon, especially if you can accomplish what the quoted PSYOP NCO does: “I find the right people to shape, and they shape the rest.” The article makes it clear that this NCO knows his business and the territory. It also details how he earns the respect of those he meets by knowing their culture, their history and perhaps most importantly their present.

Articles like these are important because they portray PSYOP soldiers in a supportive and professional way. They also allow the reader to draw the conclusion that pound for pound, dollar for dollar PSYOP is a price performer for the US government, even in spots like Iraq.

The takeaway here is that we shouldn’t be shy about promoting the good attributable to PSYOP especially if we, like all good professionals can put a face with the story. The need for positive PSYOP exposure is important in the days of budget in fighting. There are other implications as well. PSYOP must work closely with PAO and PSYOPers would do themselves a favor by learning some of the skills that PAO personnel employ every day. Remember the main difference between the two is that PAO seeks to inform the media so that they can inform an audience while PSYOP works inform the audience directly.

For the complete article see:http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/15-12/ff_futurewar?currentPage=4

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