RAND Corporation: Psychological Warfare | RAND - Renamed from PSYOPS to MISO - military information support operations
The RAND Corporation "The Game Theory" - March 1979
The Rand Corporation: The Think Tank That Controls America | Mental Floss
RAND Corporation: Psychological Operations by Another Name Are Sweeter | RAND
The solution is simple. To protect military information support operations from developing the same sort of taint that psychological operations now have, they should be made unambiguously truthful. PSYOP (now MISO) doctrine should be rewritten to ban misleading or false content or disseminating messages with false attribution. Clear (and publicly stated) policies prohibiting falsehood and MISO doctrine that is free from "black" tools and approaches will signal to U.S. allies and target audiences alike that MISO personnel are honest, credible and trustworthy sources of information. Credible sources are, after all, the most persuasive.
There may still be times when the Department of Defense wants and needs to mislead or manipulate an enemy. Most of these will be tactical and short-term needs, and either directly protect the lives of U.S. forces or trick adversaries into exposing themselves to harm, or both. To preserve U.S. credibility in those cases where "black" tools are necessary, they should be separated completely from military information support so that MISO is never touched by the taint of falsehood.
Commanders who desired such capability could employ it, but the “black” tools would be separated with a policy firewall from truthful efforts to inform, influence, and persuade. This would promote greater collaboration with public affairs and civil affairs, and would facilitate the realization of strategic communication principles. And, to keep things honest, the residual "black toolkit" could be called something evil-sounding, like "deceptive manipulation" or even....PSYOP.
Dr. Christopher Paul is a social scientist at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis. He is the author of Whither Strategic Communication?, Information Operations - Doctrine and Practice, and co-author of Enlisting Madison Avenue.
Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade: Desk Reference | RAND
To achieve key national security objectives, the U.S. government and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) must communicate effectively and credibly with a broad range of foreign audiences. DoD spends more than $250 million per year on inform, influence, and persuade (IIP) efforts, but how effective (and cost-effective) are they? How well do they support military objectives? Could some of them be improved? If so, how? It can be difficult to measure changes in audience behavior and attitudes, and it can take a great deal of time for DoD IIP efforts to have an impact. DoD has struggled with assessing the progress and effectiveness of its IIP efforts and in presenting the results of these assessments to stakeholders and decisionmakers. To address these challenges, a RAND study compiled examples of strong assessment practices across sectors, including defense, marketing, public relations, and academia, distilling and synthesizing insights and advice for the assessment of DoD IIP efforts and programs. These insights and attendant best practices will be useful to personnel who plan and assess DoD IIP efforts and those who make decisions based on assessments, particularly those in DoD and Congress who are responsible for setting national defense priorities and allocating the necessary resources. In addition to identifying where and why efforts have been successful, assessment can help detect imminent program failure early on, saving precious time and resources. An accompanying volume, Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade: Handbook for Practitioners, offers a quick-reference guide to the best practices presented here for personnel responsible for planning, executing, and assessing DoD IIP efforts.
The RAND Corporation Waging the ‘‘War of Ideas’’ . . . PSYOPS
‘‘Wars of subversion and counter subversion are fought, in the last resort, in the minds of the people,’’ a leading British authority on counterterrorism concluded in 1971.1 More than three decades later, there is growing recognition among U.S. government officials, journalists, and analysts of terrorism that defeating al-Qaida— arguably the preeminent challenge to U.S. security—will require far more than ‘‘neutralizing’’ leaders, disrupting cells, and dismantling networks.
The much greater threat is posed by the global jihadist movement that Usama bin Ladin continues to inspire. That move- ment, characterized by some observers as a worldwide insurgency,3 threatens the United States’ interests in regions as diverse as central Asia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
In war everything is simple, but even the simple things are extremely difficult. Although the United States and its allies have waged successful campaigns to discredit totalitarian ideologies such as fascism and communism, these operations have never come readily to liberal democracies. Part of the explanation can be found in the uneasiness open societies tend to have about engaging in psychological manipulation, lying, and other mendacious and ‘‘underhanded’’ practices that are likely to be part of any full-scale campaign against a hostile ideology.7 That this campaign would necessarily involve efforts to discredit a religious viewpoint—no matter how extreme that viewpoint might be—also clashes with liberal notions about the importance of religious liberty and the need to maintain the separation of church and state. More fundamentally, waging a blatantly ideological struggle seems quite unnatural to Americans and other Westerners, who tend to downplay intangible factors such as ideas, history, and culture as political motivators, preferring instead to stress relatively more concrete driving forces such as personal security and physical well-being.
RAND Corporation: Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military: Volume 2. Estimates for Department of Defense Service Members from the 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study | RAND
In early 2014, the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office asked the RAND National Defense Research Institute to conduct an independent assessment of the rates of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination in the military — an assessment last conducted in 2012 by the Department of Defense using the Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members. The resulting RAND Military Workplace Study invited close to 560,000 U.S. service members to participate in a survey fielded in August and September of 2014. This volume presents results from this survey for active- and reserve-component service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. It includes estimates of the number of service members who experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or gender discrimination in the past year, as well as detailed information about the characteristics of those incidents, decisions to report, and experiences with response and legal systems for both male and female service members. It also describes service members' beliefs and attitudes about these problems.