This excellent posting is from Guerrillamerica.com and is Part-1 in a multiple-part series. For more great articles, go to www.Guerrillamerica.com. This is right in line with the overriding mission of Radio Free Redoubt.
Before we get into today’s post, I just wanted to let everyone know that a few friends and I are starting up Militia Magazine, a monthly digital publication focused on the militia. If you’re a Facebook user, would you mind heading over and liking our new page? Thank y’all!
Information Operations (IO) is a critical part of a resistance movement; and included within the IO family of effects are what I consider to be three of the most important to a resistance: Psychological Operations (PSYOP), Military Deception (MILDEC), and Operations Security (OPSEC). As long as you’re standing up an Analysis and Control Element (ACE), I would highly encourage you to, in addition to mastering the core functions of the ACE, learn about and implement, along with your command, these IO capabilities. This is a brief foundational overview of PYSOP.
The US military and other national-level Intelligence and LE agencies have long used PSYOP as a tool to influence the behavior of neutral and nefarious actors, degrade enemy morale, and destroy the enemy’s will to fight and/or obey. It was Sun Tzu who said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” PSYOP should be coordinated with your local militia/guerrilla elements as a combat support function, and should complement current and/or future operations.
Some of the early PSYOPs in Iraq or Afghanistan were those of the 82nd Airborne Division, or so the stories go. The rumor among Iraqis – the “target audience” – was that 82nd soldiers were part of a unit where each member had to kill a family member to join. Now in Iraq, everything is tribal; everything is familial: your lot in life is largely decided by your familial or tribal affiliation and connections. So killing a family member, especially a male, is a very dastardly and violent action. Those 82nd dudes must be some real bastards. The intent was to discourage and deter Iraqi military/militia attacks against those US Forces out of fear of reprisal. After all, if they would kill their own family members what might they do to someone else’s family, right?
There are two main types of information we want to present to our target audience: emotional and logical. Information that elicits an emotional response, especially images of injustice towards an individual or group of people identifiable with the target audience, can be very powerful. Look at photos from the Tienanmen Square tank incident, the Buddhist self-immolation photo, or the execution of a Viet Cong operative by South Vietnamese General Nguyen Loan (main photo). After the infamous execution photo was taken, the photographer was quoted as saying: “Two people died in that photograph: the recipient of the bullet and General Nguyen Ngoc Loan.” International outrage ensued after the photo so perfectly captured the brutality of the war. It didn’t matter that the man who died was responsible for the deaths of South Vietnamese police officers and their family members; all that mattered was this iconic photo and how it changed the minds or supported the already deeply-held beliefs about the war. Emotion is a great ally and so our PSYOP material must evoke emotions of outrage and encourage a call to action. Find a message, whether it be text or a photo, that predictably evokes a strong emotional response and you will reap its benefits among the target audience. Keep this in mind when formulating your PSYOP material.
As a part of resistance operations, we need to identify our goals. Some of those might be:
– Denying support to Anti-Constitutional Forces (ACF). We want to shape public opinion about ACF in order to have the populace shun ACF. Do you remember those WW2 propaganda posters than showed the buck-toothed Imperialist Japanese soldier ripping the American flag; or the shady-looking Nazi soldier with the text, “He’s Watching You!”? Those were successful attempts to vilify the enemy. Those posters removed the humanity from Japanese and Germans and made them hated figures. I see a lot of these kinds of things against our contemporary enemy on Facebook and I love them. Sometimes the populace supports whomever seems to be in charge at the moment. There are many villages in Afghanistan who appeared pro-Coalition when we rolled through town; and were pro-Taliban when the local Taliban members entered. The desires of regular Joe common folks around the world are nearly universal: they want to live in safety, have a good job, make a good living, and send their children to school to be educated. Yes, there are outliers but the large majority of people want the same thing for their communities. You give that to them, you stick around, and you provide for their safety and you will have their continued support. You take away their security or impede these common desires, and you’ll lose those people. If you can provide what ACF cannot then you need to exploit that. On the opposite side, there’s a critical need to exploit ACF missteps. Did ACF arrest an innocent person (whether that person is ‘innocent’ or not)? Then ACF is arresting people arbitrarily and denying them due process, etc. Did ACF rough up a few incorrigibles? Then ACF is abusive towards the population. Create an image that evokes an emotional response and shape public opinion.
– Encouraging support to the resistance. The flip side of this coin is that we want the populace to support us. Further, we want the populace to support us even when our presence isn’t visible. More importantly, unlike the Afghans who supported either team depending on who was around, we want the populace to support us even when the up-armored humvees roll into town. This means that we want them to risk their necks by getting us off the street and into their home, garage, storage shed, or underground shelter. That means that we want them to feed us, supply us, give us intelligence information, whatever it takes. Refusing to cooperate with ACF is one thing; risking their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in the process of supporting Liberty is something else entirely. If found aiding and abetting the resistance, they could very well get rounded up into the local jail along with the other reprobates. The federal regime will threaten the resistance; and threatening the populace causes resentment. Fear and resentment only causes the populace to want you gone. We use this to our benefit and so the narrative that evokes an emotional response goes something like this: we know how things are run now. This community, this state, this region is on a crash course with tyranny. Marxists in our government are contorting our founding principles and, as a result, life for the average American is getting worse. If you want to be secure in your present and future; if you want to keep the fruits of your labor; if you want your children to get a quality education and not a state education; if you want them to grow up and be freer than you are now, then you have one hope. We identify the duality of the competing factions – tyranny or Liberty – and you let them decide. You can’t allow them to remain neutral on a moving train. You can do this now by simply talking to people, getting (re: asking) their opinion on the situation, and leading them in the direction of Liberty. If you make contact on this issue with just one person a day, you’ll be creating Patriots every week… and you’re going to need these people in the future.
– Countering regime propaganda. Taken directly from the Army PSYOP manual:
In times of war, PSYOP strive to undermine the enemy’s will to fight. This is, in fact, the chief mission of PSYOP during hostilities. PSYOP personnel will use various media, such as loudspeakers, radio broadcasts, and leaflets, to instill fear of death, mutilation, or defeat in the enemy and undermine the enemy’s confidence in their leadership, decreasing the enemy’s morale and combat efficiency, and encouraging surrender, defection, or desertion.
In the event of major, sustained operations in the Homeland, your ACE Civil Team needs to be able to recognize enemy propaganda and counter it. Information Operations is a two-way street with the populace stuck in the subsequent exchange. Maintaining the support of the populace will go a long way in countering regime propaganda but exposing regime PSYOP material as statist propaganda; and undermining the regime’s legitimacy are the two most effective counters. We identify regime PSYOP material and publish our response. A direct response isn’t always the best policy and won’t always be effective. We may need to co-opt, create, or pirate other sources to disseminate our response. There are three categories of propaganda material that we can publish: White, Gray, or Black. We’ll cover those in a future post.
Our PSYOP material does no good if it doesn’t get into the hands of the populace. Whereas the US military drops leaflets, runs pro-Coalition programming on local radio stations (Radio Free Whatever), or uses tactical call-outs to get the word out; the ACE is going to be severely limited by resources as well as risk. Printing out 1,000 pages of 4×4 leaflets (4 leaflets per page for 4,000 leaflets total) and distributing them takes time and money, not to mention the means of distribution. It could entirely be the case that distributing pro-Constitution (or anti-ACF) material is against the law or could cause undue scrutiny from ACF. (A couple months ago I wrote a post about Biometrics. I didn’t go very far into what’s known as sensitive site exploitation (SSE) but you can rest assured that your leaflets are going to be collected as evidence and exploited for your latent prints. Once they start to match latent prints to other latent prints – “latent to latent” matches – they’re going to assign an identity to who created or processed these leaflets.) One great way we can distribute material is to use the internet. Posting on blogs and using social media like Twitter and Facebook are great ways to do disseminate material although it carries certain privacy risks. Traditional methods of dissemination are going to better in more permissive environments.
No mission is really complete without an After Action Review so we need a mechanism to judge the efficacy of our PSYOP efforts. Is our message shaping public opinion and, if so, how? How are we influencing the battlespace, or are we not? We can do this by coordinating with our HARC in the ACE to gather reflections from the populace. Could our message be more effective if it’s worded in a different way or have another image or design? If it doesn’t work, fix it.
Call it PSYOP or propaganda (they’re not entirely the same), either way, we craft a message and we get it out into the eyes, ears, “hearts and minds” of the public. You can start today by getting a group of your cohorts to pitch in to purchase a local billboard for $100-200 per month and posting your own pro-Second Amendment or anti-statist message. You’ll reach thousands of people and you will make it known to your community that there are Patriots who live nearby.