phsycological warfare Essay

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Psychological Warfare in the United States military

The use of psychology in war is as old as war itself. In ancient Greece, Thermistocles sent his men ashore to carve messages urging the Ionians not to fight against the Athenians (Pease 3). Known as psychological warfare, it is the attempt by one nation to gain an advantage over another by exploiting fear, mistrust, suspicion, rumor, prejudice, and uncertainty to influence international opinion and/or the frame of mind of the opposing soldiers. Psychological warfare is designed to affect the enemy's mind, influencing him to take an action, even against his conscious will, favorable to his opponent (Pease xiii). The United States government employs
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Tactical psychological operations are much more limited in audience, serve to accomplish substantially shorter-term goals, and are multitudinous, especially in time of conflict. In this environment, psychological warfare aims to lower the morale and efficiency of enemy forces (Hunter). Psychological warfare is a bloodless, inexpensive, sometimes unethical and ineffective means of "wounding" the enemy (Pease xiii). It is accomplished through the use of leaflets and loudspeakers (Pease 8).
     Consolidation psychological operations are designed for use on civilians, often in a newly liberated territory. It has proven extremely valuable, aiding in convincing the population of the liberated territories that they are better off under the new government. It also ensures that the population is not a guerrilla force that will resist against American activities. Consolidation psychological operations utilize leaflets and newspapers that offer assurance, aid, and information to achieve their goal (Pease 9).

Methods and Techniques Utilized in Psychological Warfare
     Propaganda is the material and ideas that psychological warfare and operations are designed to spread. Defined as, "the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person," numerous tactics, techniques, and methods of spreading propaganda in

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