Special forces and the art of influence a grassroots approach to psychological operations in an unconventional warfare environment
Thomas, Joel W.
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This thesis researches the elements of the art of influence in an unconventional warfare environment to develop a model of influence that can be utilized by Special Forces conducting unconventional warfare. The research was based on several premises: (1) the strategic utility of Special Forces (SF) lies in its ability to influence a target audience in an unconventional warfare (UW) environment; (2) the nature of UW necessitates a bottom up and nonkinetic approach to influence in order to have lasting effective results. Chapter II focuses on the elements of influence derived from the academic literature and from commercial and political applications of cognitive and social psychology. Chapter III examines key elements of influence derived from the Huk Rebellion in the Philippines and the Malayan Emergency. Chapter IV reviews several relevant models and uses them, along with the analysis of the key elements of influence identified in prior chapters, to develop a new grassroots influence model The results of the research are eight principles of grassroots psychological operations. The GRP model is intended to work in conjunction with or in support of other models that encompass the entire spectrum of activities in an UW conflict.
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