|U.S. Army Special Operations Command
& Psychological Operations Command (CAPOC)
"Capture their minds and
their hearts and souls will follow"
Psychological Operations are a
vital part of the broad range of U.S. political, military,
economic and ideological activities used by the U.S. government
to secure national objectives. PSYOPS is the dissemination of
truthful information to foreign audiences in support of U.S.
policy and national objectives.
Used during peacetime,
contingencies and declared war, these activities are not a form
of force, but are force multipliers that use nonviolent means in
often violent environments. Persuading rather than compelling
physically, they rely on logic, fear, desire or other mental
factors to promote specific emotions, attitudes or behaviors.
The ultimate objective of U.S. military psychological operations
is to convince enemy, neutral, and friendly nations and forces
to take action favorable to the United States and its allies.
This Gulf War
PSYOPS leaflet portrays the Iraqi soldier thinking:
Here Means Death"
Psychological operations support
national security objectives during peacetime, contingencies and
war. They provide commanders a critical, force-multiplying
capability that can be used at tactical, operational and
strategic levels of operations.
operations advance broad or long-term objectives. Global in
nature, they may be directed toward large audiences or at key
communicators. Operational psychological operations are
conducted on a smaller scale. They are employed by theater
commanders to target groups within the theater of operations.
Their purpose can range from gaining support for U.S. operations
to preparing the battlefield for combat.
Tactical psychological operations
are more limited, used by commanders to secure immediate and
near-term goals. In this environment, these force-enhancing
activities serve as a means to lower the morale and efficiency
of enemy forces. Both tactical and theater-level psychological
operations may be used to enhance peacetime military activities
of conventional and special operations forces operating in
foreign countries. Cultural awareness packages attune U.S.
forces before departing overseas'. in theater, media programs
publicize the positive aspects of combined military exercises
have you considered the power of the coalition
This illustrated Gulf
War PSYOPS leaflet portrays the massive Air Power and
bombing capability of the allied forces. This leaflet
would usually be dropped following a limited bombing.
The message informed the Iraqi forces that the bombing
they just experienced was nothing compared to what would
be coming if they were foolish enough to not surrender.
The Iraqi soldiers quickly learned
that this was no idle threat.
In addition to supporting
commanders, psychological operations provide interagency support
to other U.S. government agencies. In operations ranging from
humanitarian assistance to drug interdiction, psychological
operations enhance the impact of actions taken by those
agencies. Their activities can be used to spread information
about ongoing programs and to gain support from the local
Psychological operations units of
the U.S. Army are language and culturally oriented. The 4th
Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C.,
the only active Army psychological operations unit, constitutes
26 percent of all U.S. Army psychological operations units. The
remaining 74 percent are in the Reserve component.
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unofficial document and does not represent information
endorsed by the United States Government, the United
States Special Operations Command or the United States
Army Special Operations Command. However, most
information is derived from those sources and has been
checked for accuracy. For comments, questions, and
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