PSYOP in stabilization and reconstruction operations: preparing for Korean reunification
Mushtare, Jeremy S.
Porch, Douglas R.
Olsen, Edward A.
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Psychological operations (PSYOP) forces should undertake significant doctrinal, training, and operational reforms to ensure the viability of support provided to U.S. led stabilization and reconstruction efforts. Such operations involve increased civilmilitary interactions and necessitate effective cross-cultural communications with not only the indigenous populace, but a host of transnational actors as well. Today's PSYOP training is reflective of a persisting "Cold War mentality" that fails to adequately prepare soldiers for effective post-conflict situations such as the reunification of the Korean peninsula, whether brought about either through a renewal of combat operations or the result of diplomatic means. Meanwhile, North Korea's formidable and adept propaganda machine has persisted in isolating its populace from external influences for more than a halfcentury. Post-Korean War generation North Koreans have been successfully indoctrinated since birth to despise the United States. Furthermore, anti-U.S. sentiment has been on the rise in South Korea for a number of years. Under the current training model, contemporary psychological operations forces are ill-prepared to conduct effective operations in an environment involving two-way, face-to-face communications such as those required while stabilizing and reconstructing a nation. The case of Korean reunification serves as an extreme scenario that nevertheless depicts the drastic need for improvements in the capabilities of modern PSYOP forces.
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