Psychological Operations. These two words have become so controversial, that the U.S. Army in 2010 nonchalantly changed it to the rather bland and bureaucratic title Military Information Support Operations (MISO). Rosa Brooks, Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and International Humanitarian Policy explained, “The term PSYOP was anachronistic and misleading; Military Information Support is a more accurate description of the activities and programs at issue.“ But how necessary was this course of action? Enough concern apparently that our company command directed us to cover up the unit nomenclature anytime we took our vehicle off Fort Bragg for field exercises. The word “POB” (Psychological Operations Battalion) was apparently enough to strike fear in the masses.
According to the United States Department of Defense (DoD), Psychological Operations or PSYOPS is: “Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator’s objectives.”
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