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Old 25 August 2016, 22:19
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The Future of PSYOP

I often find myself digging through information on the webs about the PSYOP community world wide and how it is doing. Majority of the time I find some links about some random leaflet drop or PSYACT somewhere throughout the world. That, or I will find links about other countries using PSYOP or examples of PSYOP, what could be taken as PSYOP, or what failed as PSYOP. Then, I occasionally find information on the purpose of PSYOP, is it actually useful? Where is the data and MOE's supporting PSYOP's role in the past 15 years. A lot of arguments go back to larger conflicts which concluded with more force on force battles, instead of this more asymmetrical environment we find ourselves in now.

So, once again this forces me to ponder upon PSYOP, it's role, and it's effectiveness. Do not get me wrong, I love PSYOP to death, and I absolutely believe it has a place. But what is the underlying issue with PSYOP, the community, and its ability (or lack there of) to truly produce rock solid quantifiable data for its work on the battlefield.

I am a history nut for PSYOP, I study it way more than I should, and I know our community history like the back of my hand from first hand experience, primary, and even secondary sources. Throughout history PSYOP has done GREAT things, however, in the past decade or so, though we personally feel we are making an impact in our AO's and AOI's, it is not noted.

Is it time for PSYOP to shift fire? It seems that following every major war or few decades PSYOP evolves. Aside from our nasty divorce in 2006 between the AC/RC components, and our god awful (failed) name change to MISO soup, we have not done a whole lot of evolving. If you check history, the U.S. Military PSYWAR/PSYOP etc... has changed at a pretty noticeable rate from WWI-WWII-Korea-Viet Nam, to the Gulf, and sense has been rather stagnate.

Our current environment is ever changing and quickly evolving, I personally fear, that unless the PSYOP community evolves quickly and expands our horizons we will quickly fall to the side and dwindle as other communities lay claim to our jobs. "But hey only we can do PSYOP" - that can easily become changed in the blink of an eye with a new approval process.

With that change, what comes? Is there actually a need? What do you suggest?
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Old 25 August 2016, 23:43
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IMO PSYOP needs to be looking critically at 2 things:

First, how will PSYOP remain relevant in the current fight? Most folks mess up by looking at the fight as it was yesterday, instead of looking at what it is today and what it will be tomorrow.

Second, how will PSYOP prepare for future missions? Not just combat, but the full range of DoD and interagency operations. Can you bring capabilities that our country needs, and can you convey those capabilities to decision makers at the appointed/elected levels?

You can and should think about these issues/challenges, but the future of PSYOP depends on how well your branch can convey the right answers to those challenges across the Army, DoD, the Inter-agency, and the Executive and Legislative branches.
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Old 2 September 2016, 13:37
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I'll put this out here. Just about everything you've brought up is being addressed between the two active groups, 1st SFC(A)(P), and the Commandant's Office down in SWCS. You're in the unfortunate position of not being in the communication chain. Not your fault, my friend.

Gavin's two points are spot on, as he usually is, and are also the subject of much discussion, analysis, and in some cases action.

Send me an official email address via PM and I'll send you what I can to help get you up to speed on some of the initiatives going on in the community. Keep in mind that most of what you'll see pertains to the active side of the community. As usual the RC side is hampered by time and $$$$.
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Old 13 January 2017, 19:22
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Pysop definitely needs to shift fire. How are they relegating and reconciling with afgh tribes in afgh? Id there any? What has psy/humint done for afgh. G heyve placed blame on ops and have fucked shit up. How many sigint etc are regional actors? How many know the region other than being given it by command? How many understand pashtunwali vs Islamism vs nationalism? Very few; we tend to lump everyone into one group when its a multifaceted approach. It's not Islamism in afgh we are just battling but nationalism & extremism mixed. Humint etc etc will never be profficient as they aren't 100% on ground with locals 100% of the time. Until we unfuck that it makes no difference.
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Old 14 January 2017, 09:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post
Pysop definitely needs to shift fire. How are they relegating and reconciling with afgh tribes in afgh? Id there any? What has psy/humint done for afgh. G heyve placed blame on ops and have fucked shit up. How many sigint etc are regional actors? How many know the region other than being given it by command? How many understand pashtunwali vs Islamism vs nationalism? Very few; we tend to lump everyone into one group when its a multifaceted approach. It's not Islamism in afgh we are just battling but nationalism & extremism mixed. Humint etc etc will never be profficient as they aren't 100% on ground with locals 100% of the time. Until we unfuck that it makes no difference.
Thanks for your insight.
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Old 14 January 2017, 10:34
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The elephant in the room when it comes to shaping the psychological terrain of the battlefield, is how do we as a country combat the modern techniques used to radicalize young Muslims and how can PSYOPS help combat that? I understand Intel Oversight, Posse Comitatus etc etc.

How has PSYOP adjusted to the concept of "Human Terrain" ?

Lastly, if you are looking at ways to stay relevant, well that in and of itself tells a story.
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Old 14 January 2017, 11:39
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The larger issue as I see it. Strategic Communication across the board is haphazard and completely disjointed from the highest levels on down. It's difficult to blame the end user when POTUS, DoS, and DoD, have no effective means of synchronization. Also, you can't couch a strategic capability underneath a tactical or operational construct and expect timely or effective MOE.

That's as far as I'll go in public.
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Old 14 January 2017, 11:58
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Originally Posted by 37F5V View Post
Also, you can't couch a strategic capability underneath a tactical or operational construct and expect timely or effective MOE.
Not only true, but should be self-evident, but is instead ignored or spun for political effect. Elected and appointed leaders must have a coherent policy, so that senior military leaders can derive a mission statement with an actual tactical task and a defined endstate that is concrete and objective (as opposed to subjective).
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Old 14 January 2017, 12:17
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Not only true, but should be self-evident, but is instead ignored or spun for political effect. Elected and appointed leaders must have a coherent policy, so that senior military leaders can derive a mission statement with an actual tactical task and a defined endstate that is concrete and objective (as opposed to subjective).
Amen...
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