Monthly Archives: April 2008


Amid all the hoopla,  outrage,  paranoia, fear, uncertainty and doubt expressed over the influence operation pulled off before and early in OIF are occassional nuggets of PSYOP goodness like this:

From PSYOP to MindWar: The Psychology of Victory by Colonel Paul E. Vallely, 1980.

Yeah. That Paul Vallely. And I mean that in a good way.

 UPDATE:  Paul Vallely sees a high-profile New York Times story on military talking heads as a hatchet job.

“The American people will understand it’s bullshit. It’s bullshit coming out of the Times,” Vallely said. “Nobody ever directed what we said.”

“I’m not happy with the Defense Department backing down because of the newspapers, especially the New York Times,” Vallely said. “I think it makes it look weak.”

And Vallely is the host of a talk radio show called “Stand up America,” which is broadcast on the Internet. Some of his columns have appeared as guest opinions in The Daily Inter Lake.

“Everyone told it like it was except Wes Clark, who had a political agenda,” Vallely said.


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Filed under PSYOP

Steadfast Incomprehension

Had Karzai’s parade gone according to plan there would be no images of Sunday’s National Day ceremony now appearing on any of the international channels or newspapers. A burst of small arms fire and a few mortar bombs transformed it into a much more sensational event for the press who with steadfast incomprehension have filed exactly the images and moments that the Taliban’s own propaganda manager would have chosen himself. By doing so they boost up a global interest in the particular aspects of its disgrace, the sense of pantomime, the rout of be-medalled parade soldiers scampering across the parade square before the Taliban fire and worst of all rows of dignitaries diving for cover behind their seats on the flag decked parade stand. Thanks to the media all that remains of this tragic day are these relentlessly unforgiving and unqualified images.

The incident on Sunday demonstrates a classic propaganda of the deed partnership in which the insurgents with growing skill select a media-significant target and with witless incomprehension international reporters beam the most sensationally damning images of the event around the world so as to deliver the worst possible interpretation. There is no need for a Taliban subtext or even a photo caption, the images speak powerfully for themselves sending messages of a stricken regime put to flight in their gilded uniforms by the daring fighters of the Taliban.

The Taliban’s Propaganda of the Deed Strategy

But the press is not the enemy and it is self-defeating to treat them as such, so all you good little PA types go ahead and piss all over yourselves in your enthusiam to suck up to the press while Irregulars who declined to partake of the Kool-Aid retain sufficient visual acuity to notice and critique the Emperor’s wardrobe malfunctions.

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Filed under Old Media, PSYOP, The Forgotten War

“We’ve got to make sure that the people understand that the military is not influenced by the events of the day and what could be considered partisan politics.”

Beggin’ the Colonel’s pardon, but, with all due respect, sir, grass is not blue and the sky is not green.

Politicized Military Would Lose Public Trust, Official Says

The People have to understand that the military serves the political masters The People choose to saddle them with.  Enthusiastically, sometimes.  With gritted teeth, sometimes.  Professionally, almost always.

The People have to understand that the choices they make at election time have consequences.  Congress decides what the military gets paid.  Congress decides which generals and admirals get promoted.  Congress decides how large the military will be, where it will be stationed, and how much money will be spent on barracks maintenance, ammunition, body armor.   Presidents come and go.  Eight years and they’re gone.  Representatives stay decades.  The length of entire military careers.

The People have to understand that their choice for Commander-in-Chief has great bearing on who gets sent into harm’s way, for what purpose, whether they’re in it to win, lose or play patty-cake.  The People have to understand that their own answers to polling questions, their own support or opposition, their own grant or denial of legitimacy, plays out on the battlefield.  Somebody pays for The People’s resolution, or lack thereof, in blood. 

The People have to understand that nobody swore any oath to defend them.

My perception is being managed here to perceive attempted innoculation from post-Inaugural charges of being Former Regime Loyalists.

And they wonder why 73 plus percent of military members are registered as Republicans


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Filed under Idea War

High-Payoff Targets

From TF 134 Strategic Communications Plan:

In fire support terms, High-Payoff Targets (HPTs) are those targets whose loss to the enemy will most contribute to the success of the friendly course of action. In communication terms, high-payoff targets are most often referred to as Key Audiences—that is, those audiences who can appreciably affect the success or failure of the counterinsurgency mission here.
• The Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen of Task Force 134
• Internees and their families, Tribal Chiefs and Sheiks
• The Iraqi People and their Leaders
• The Middle Eastern Islamic Community
• Coalition Nations, United Nations Partners and Non-Governmental Organizations
Our Own Communities and U.S. National Decision Makers
We must never take for granted the support we have at home. Without it we would be unable to persevere; a necessity in times such as these. Sharing our successes with those at home is essential to preserving U.S. popular and political will.

Camp Cropper ain’t Luft Stalag III. That which we needed four years ago we now have in great abundance thanks to Lynndie England’s Blue Falconry.

In fire support targeting, the best places to engage HPTs are called Targeted Areas of Influence (TAIs). In communication planning, these points or areas where the organization can best influence a target are not only geographic, but modal as well. That is, organizational communication engages key audiences regionally and through various targeting modes to include traditional news media and interpersonal transactions that encourage supportive behavior.
• Command Leadership
• Iraqi News Media
Nearly 80 percent of Iraqis cite television as their most important source of information. We will be aggressive in securing their interest, and open to providing them the greatest access possible.
• Middle Eastern News Media
Arabic-language news organizations have tremendous reach; we will leverage this capability to speak to the greater Islamic community throughout the region.
• Arab Religious and Academic Influencers
• Senior Coalition, United Nations and Non-Governmental Leaders
• Western News Media
The western press is here in Iraq, and they are curious about what we do. Again, transparency is essential, and our enthusiasm in providing access speaks volumes of our intentions. The same can be said of the so-called “hometown” news agencies, which might not have a presence in Iraq, but can certainly be targeted through direct communication.

Enthusiasm? Stay tuned tomorrow


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Filed under G-2

These Clowns Failed

Rather than spin it as a propaganda victory, we should be ridiculing their incompetence.   A big deal should be made of the bravery and professionalism of the Afghans in  Karzai’s Personal Security Detail.  Pashtuns respect successful assassins.  They’ve been whacking each other since Alexander the Great came through.  Ridicule directed at the Taliban, and the surviving wannabe assassins, would embarass the hell out of old muj who still support this gang that can’t shoot straight.  Back in their day, they got their man, by cracky!

Making a harsh example of the Officer-in-Charge of event security and his chain of command would be good, too.  Dans ce pay-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un generale pour encourager les autres.

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Filed under The Forgotten War

Is PSYOP Based on Junk Science?

Psychology: The Hard Truth about a Soft Science

Genghis Khan didn’t have psychologists, but he did PSYOP.  Spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst one’s enemies has a much longer history than the “discipline of psychology.”

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Filed under G-2

30 Pieces of Silver or $150,000 USD

Taliban bitten by a snake in the grass

We’re across the Rhine and we don’t even know it.  Okinawa will be bad.  Victory is nigh. 

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Filed under G-2