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Title:
Planning for Psychological Operations: A Proposal

Subject: The joint planning and coordination process required to influence an adversary's decisions relating to the use or possible use of their military involves psychological operations (PSYOP). The combined efforts of the military, State Department, Executive branch, and other organizations and the IOPs at their disposal must be closely coordinated to ensure the most advantageous synergistic effect. In order to accomplish this, the multidimensionality of PSYOP must be accepted and integrated into a national strategy.

Author(s): Lee-Volker Cox; Ralph P Millsap Jr. (Faculty Advisor)

DTIC Keywords: COERCIVE FORCE, DECEPTION, DECISION MAKING, DETERRENCE, INFORMATION THEORY, MASS DESTRUCTION WEAPONS, PROPAGANDA, PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS, PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE, PUBLIC RELATIONS

Abstract: It is incumbent upon the state to gain support for national objectives. Employment of instruments of power is designed to influence other nations and organizations to respond favorably. Therefore, impacting the decision making process is the underlying principle for IOP power projection and highlights the psychological element. During a period of declining resources and increased world competition, the United States must find new ways to reach out and promote American interests. In order to maximize the impact and exploit the influence events create, joint planning and interagency coordination of psychological operations are critical.

The current ad hoc interagency coordination and joint planning process do not maximize the psychological factors' impact and fully exploit its asymmetrical influence on a target audience's decision making process. Traditional views towards concepts, particularly military PSYOP, do not lead to the innovative solutions demanded by an environment of declining funds and resources. This study recognizes the multidimensional aspect of military PSYOP and calls for redefining an area of operations that has changed little over the years. Additionally, the establishment of an organization responsible for the development of a national marketing strategy integrating all IOPs to achieve objectives beyond the tactical level is advocated.

Reviewing subject matter literature from the last forty years provided the project's basis for concepts relating to PSYOP and the Soviet missile gap deception case study. Internet searches, interviews, and recent literature brought current issues to light and developed a picture of U.S. organizations involved in influencing target audiences.


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