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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 andor the frame of mind of the opposing soldiers Psychological warfare is designed to affect the enemys mind influencing him to take an action even against his conscious will favorable to his opponent Pease xiii The United States government employs psychological warfare known as Psychological Operations PSYOP to secure national objectives in times of conflict as well as peace They are a vital part of the broad range of US political military economic and ideological activities The ultimate objective of United States military psychological operations is to convince enemy neutral and friendly nations and forces to take actions favorable to the United States and its interests This is accomplished with varied effectiveness through several methods and techniques both on the strategic and tactical levels Payne Psychological warfare is also utilized by the United States on civilians and the general population of liberated territories This branch of psychological operations is known as consolidation Pease 9 Strategic Tactical and Consolidation Psychological Operations On the strategic level psychological operations are utilized to accomplish long-term objectives Employed on a global scale strategic psychological operations are directed at a much wider audience or a few key communicators Hunter Strategic operations may also be used on a somewhat smaller scale known as the operational scale Here psychological operations are employed by theater commanders aiming at a specific group within the theater of operations The long term goal of strategic psychological operations may vary widely however from gaining support for American operations to preparing a battlefield for combat This
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