Operations Fact Sheet (text version)
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. PSYOP is the dissemination
of truthful information to foreign audiences in support of U.S.
policy and national objectives.
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.
operations support national security objectives at the tactical,
operational and strategic levels of operations. Strategic psychological
operations advance broad or long-term objectives. Global in nature,
they may be directed toward large audiences or at key communicators.
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.
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.
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 and deployments.
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 populace.
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, split between the 2nd and 7th Psychological
Operations Groups, are in the Army Reserve.