I’ve been writing much over the past few months about how modern psychological operations (PSYOPS) have been underestimated since their very inception, and how such ignorance about their potential has undermined military strategy on modern battlefields like Afghanistan and Iraq. Lessons should have been learned and applied, but a multinational coalition is currently bombing ISIS with a crucial asset still being neglected.

Even when PSYOPS assets get deployed, they manage to screw it up because of an obvious lack of seriousness when planning and conducting operations. Case in point, the recent leaflet drop over Raqqa, Syria, ISIS’ ‘capital city.’

This is the leaflet in question (shown below). Its relative simplicity doesn’t require any further explanation.

The intended message is quite clear: ISIS is a death machine. The expected effect of this message is to scare the hell out of the civilian population in order to undermine support to ISIS as well as the latter’s recruitment efforts.