Academic journal article Military Review

Psychological Operations: Principles and Case Studies

Academic journal article Military Review

Psychological Operations: Principles and Case Studies

Article excerpt

PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERA

TIONS: Principles and Case Studies, edited by Colonel Frank L Goldstein and Colonel Benjamin E Findley Jr. 364 pages. Air University Press, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. (Available from the Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.) 1996. $21.00.

This collection of previously published works on psychological operations (PSYOP) gives the newcomer and experienced operator a coherent guide to US PSYOP principles and policies. Midcareer warfighters can learn how PSYOP efforts help achieve US objectives with the least use of military assets at strategic, operational and tactical command levels.

The authors want up-and-coming commanders and staff planners to see that PSYOP should be conducted early and constantly integrated into planning to maximize force effectiveness and resource use. They believe poor PSYOP application at the strategic level leads to ineffective resource use at the operational level. Conducting tactical PSYOP is effective when synchronized with effective force use.

The information in this book closely follows joint and Army doctrine. Each of the book's sections and articles can stand alone. Part I describes the nature and scope of PSYOP. Part II is about national policy and PSYOP planning. Part III explores strategic, tactical and operational PSYOP Part IV contains case studies of PSYOP applications.

The case studies point out tactical PSYOP effectiveness and US policy correctness in using truth as the bedrock of PSYOP messages. The studies also show that strategically applied PSYOP campaigns are highly effective in preparing populations to be predisposed to support or oppose an international or national entity's efforts. …

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