Terrorism as a psychological operation : a comparative analysis of the Zionist and the Palestinian terrorist campaigns
Boyd, Curtis D.
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Terrorism is a quintessential psychological operation involving the use of violence to convey a message to multiple audiences. As a psychological operation, terrorism produces two effects; one propaganda and the other psychological warfare. The propaganda effects are informative, persuasive, or compelling among neutral, friendly or potentially friendly target audiences. The psychological warfare effects are provocative, disruptive, and coercive among enemy or hostile target audiences. By comparing the Zionist and the Palestinian terrorist campaigns, this thesis demonstrates how terrorism produces psychological warfare and propaganda effects on multiple audiences and the consequences of each. The success of the Jewish resistance resulted from a strategy of terrorism that identified the psychological vulnerabilities of certain audiences, controlled for the psychological warfare and propaganda effects on those audiences, and anticipated audience response. By comparison, the Palestinian resistance did not control for the psychological warfare and propaganda effects on multiple audiences. Palestinian terrorism was exclusively psychological warfare, which failed to propagandize the cause beyond their national constituency. In either case, the success or failure of terrorism should be understood in part by viewing their campaigns of terror through the prism of psychological operations
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