Define PSYOPS tactics and discuss three “low” shock strategies in PSYOPS.

Expert Answers
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

PSYOPS attempts to disrupt enemy operations by decreasing morale, encouraging dissension in the ranks, and giving false information to confuse the enemy. When American forces are operating in foreign environments, PSYOPS is often aimed at civilian populations as well in an attempt to "win hearts and minds," support for American troops and opposition to the enemy. Both of these objectives involve the dissemination of information, and though the advent of digital technology may lead to changes in PSYOPS, written material is still the cheapest and most efficient means of disseminating information without risk of being censored by enemy authorities.

When the United States invaded Panama in Operation Just Cause (1989) to capture dictator Manuel Noriega, who had been implicated in drug trafficking, PSYOPS blanketed the Panamanian countryside and cities with flyers detailing the crimes Noriega had committed and offering a reward for information leading to his capture. PSYOPS also bombarded Noriega's compound day and night with music blared from loudspeakers to break down his will to resist.

Similar tactics have been used in the war on terror, and in the most recent war in Iraq, when US forces dropped flyers with instructions on how to surrender to Iraqi forces, many of whom accepted the invitation. PSYOPS is, in short, heavily dependent on propaganda, which of course often involved the use of printed material.