Mind games setting conditions for successful counterinsurgency military information support operations
Davis, Henry B.
Rothstein, Hy S.
Sepp, Kalev I.
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The purpose of this study is to determine what actions can be taken by American military forces to set conditions for conducting effective Military Information Support Operations (MISO) campaigns in counterinsurgency (COIN) conflicts. To find these actions, hypotheses built upon tenets found in American military Psychological Operations (PSYOP) doctrine were compared to empirical observations of PSYOP conducted in three COIN case studies from the 1950s and 1960s. Because COIN literature is ripe with assertions, such as Dr. Kalev I. Sepp's, that "effective, pervasive psychological operations (PSYOP) campaigns" are inherent in successful COIN operations, it is ironic that few works discuss specific recommendations regarding the design and conduct of such campaigns. This study begins filling this literature gap by showing that MISO relationship to other operations holds greater significance in effective MISO campaign design than internal details, such as the level of centralization. This finding supports contemporary calls for a more unified group of inform and influence practitioners within the United States military, as well as calls for the United States government to draft a National Information Strategy to better leverage this important element of national power.
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