US military using psychological warfare on Americans

Paul J. Balles looks at how the US armed forces are now using psychological warfare not only to influence foreign foes, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in within the USA itself.

One big story of the last few weeks has the US military playing “mind games” with civilian leaders in order to get greater support for the war in Afghanistan.

Sometimes these mind games have been called brainwashing. Another name for them is psyops or psychological operations.

According to the US Department of Defence Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, “Psychological operations are planned propaganda operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behaviour of foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals.”

Psyops targeting foreigners

Until now, there’s been very little public complaint about the use of psyops to influence foreigners. Not many — outside of intelligence services, those involved and their critics — have even been aware that such operations have been going on.

Psyop activities include electronic warfare, computer network operations, military deception and operations security.

This is in concert with activities to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversaries’ decision making while protecting America’s.

In short, US psyops amount to psychological warfare, which has a history that goes as far back as World War I.

What makes the latest use of planned propaganda operations a matter of public concern? According to Rolling Stone Magazine the military has been propagandizing civilian leaders.

The ritual relationship between the military and civilians in America has traditionally kept the military under the control of a civilian secretary of defence.

Recently, the US Army Times carried a story about how a psyops sergeant broadcast the following message to the Taliban in order to draw them out in the open by insulting them:

“Attention, Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be.”

The psyop soldiers responsible were trying to harass the enemy, a common practice used by psyop teams in the past and widely publicized during its employment in the 2004 battle for Fallujah in Iraq.

Read full story here

I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

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