You are on page 1of 7


Psy Ops is defined in Joint Publication 1-02 as the 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 originators objectives.

Psy Ops shall be aimed to reduce potential enemys moral basis for waging war and create
conducive international environment to force the enemy to prematurely end his contentious
actions. It shall be coupled with proactive and aggressive diplomacy and conducted through
effective employment of social, print and electronic media. Outdoor media such as posters,
cinema slides, etc may be exploited as well.

Presently, US terms PSYOPS as Military Information Support Operations (MISO).

Milan Vego on PSYOPS in Martime Environment

In his book Operational Warfare at Sea: Theory and Practices, Dr Milan Vego said,

In a maritime theatre, PSYOPS has generally much less role than they have in war
on land. Yet they can be used to some effect in case of major naval operations
conducted in the littorals. PSYOPS can be possibly effective in influencing the enemy
naval operational commanders decision making process over time. They can be also
used as part of an integrated plan for lethal and non-lethal operational fires.

Employment of Media in Conflict

0401. The essence of successful warfare is secrecy; the essence of successful journalism is
publicity.1 Yet, role of media in any conflict cannot be overestimated. Hence, a cooperative
relationship has to be developed to effectively employ media for managing any conflict or
war situation.

0402. Employment of Media Before War.Like the past, future conflicts may not
accompany formal announcements after a decisive opening shot. More often, war is likely to
result from long term planning and germination during the tension phase.

1 Susan L Carruthers, The Media at War,Palgrave Macmillan: New York, 2000, p 5.

Use of Media by BD Armed Forces

various strategic uses of media are briefly discussed below:

a. Shaping the Public Opinion. The media influenced and shaped the peoples
opinion against the political decisions taken by the then West Pakistan.

b. Shaping World Opinion. Photograph published in News Week and other

international print media shaped the national and international public opinion against
the then West Pakistan.

c. Growing Hatred. The popular programme "Jallader Darbar" potraying the

heinous acts of West Pakistan Military created a sense of hatred against the
occupation force among the general mass and international community.

d. Influence for Struggle. Repeated broadcast of 7th March Speech of

Bongabondhu and LW declaration from Kalurghat Betarkendra had everlasting effect
on people. Apart from these, many other print media published photographs on
genocide which influenced people to take up arms against the occupation force.

e. Flow of Information. Media including Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra,

BBC, etc kept the general population updated about the development of events which
played an important role in keeping the population united for the cause of LW.

12. Operational and Tactical Level. Media also played important role at operational and
tactical level, which are discussed below:

a. Strength to Fight. News and other programmes of BBC and Shadhin Bangla
Betar Kendra through patriotic songs and motivating dialogues could successfully
infuse the people to organize, take up arms and fight collectively.

b. Degrading Enemys Morale. The broadcast of atrocities of Pakistani

soldiers by BBC and various motivating programme of Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra
for our people and Muktibahini shattered the morale of occupation forces.
c. Command and Control. Freedom Fighters and the general people used to
depend much on media to determine their next course of action. The political and
military leadership used to reach the people with their directives through media. The
Operation Jackpot, was conducted through the song (putul jabe shashur bari).

d. Psychological Operations (Psy Ops). Extensive use of Psy Ops by radio

and print media disoriented and isolated the Pakistanis from all kind of support of the
general people. Chorompotro was the most effective programme in the conduct of
Psy Ops.
e. Deception. In the LW, the media was used to deceive the Pakistanis
regarding the strength and preparation of Mukti Bahini and Niomito Bahini by many
radio programmes and other print media.

15. Means of Communication. Media can serve as means of communication between

leaders and their constituencies. The speech of Bongabondhu on 07 March 1971 and the
declaration of LW by the then Major Ziaur Rahman are citable examples.

16. Creating Public Opinion. Todays war in media age is not limited in the purview
of Political Masters and their Generals; it is an activity of great magnitude that engulfs the
whole nation. Media plays a key role as principal source of information that the people need
to form their opinion. The all out participation of general people in the LW is worth

17. Intelligence Gathering. Analysis of media report on defence related matters

provide state of defensive preparation of a country. The required intelligence may be obtained
from the detail analysis of the information received from media.

18. Armed Forces Image Building. In a democratic society the role of popular
acceptance or approval of the armed forces is an important factor in the fulfillment of its
given objective and mission. To create right perception in the mind of the people, military
needs to project true image through media. Reflection of correct decision in the time of crisis
and in turn its projection through media increases the image of the Armed Forces to the
19. Media as a Force Multiplier. Media can affect the political decision by
creating public opinion of a nation, which ultimately can influence the military course of
action. Thus media coverage of military operations can act as a force multiplier.

20. Shaping up the Future Battlefield. Propaganda is an essential element of

Psy Ops, which media can launch to set condition for battlefield. It can also bring
international support in favour of the war effort. Media can be used to counter enemys
propaganda effort, deception and to destroy enemys will to fight.

Media and Psychological Operations

Capacity of social media in fomenting Tahrir Square movement in Cairo has been dramatic.
Now, military forces are also integrating social media in their psychological operations
(PSYOPS) philosophy. PLA(N) Internet Brigade is long known. Beside, the British Army is
bringing in a new brigade, specialising in psychological warfare, and particularly the use of
social media. The 77 brigade will be an operational body of as many as 1,500-2,000 men and
women. Each brings their own specialism from sub-units allocated to the brigade from the
Army, Navy and Air Force. Among them will be experts in psychological operations, media
information operations and the stabilisation support group. These are groups mostly
concerned with using words and ideas over violent means. Around 42% of the brigade will be
made up of reserve weekend warriors.

The unit will carry out information operations through virtual domain mediums including
social media but desk-based work may well be complimented by more hands-on soldiers,
conducting civil affairs duties in the field.

This became particularly clear during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Winning hearts and
minds may have become a banality, but the way events are framed and presented to overseas
populations, as well as the British public at home, is incredibly important. The appropriate
story needs to reach the right audience. The new brigade is founded on lessons from these
recent counterinsurgencies and irregular wars.
What really makes this new brigade different is its non-violent and non-lethal ethos. It will
shape the environment using information online, as opposed to arms and ammunition. It
might be used, for example, to support peacebuilding, humanitarian intervention and
development in insecure and failing states. Often, narratives promoting grievances and
warmongering proliferate in the wake of conflict and need to be counteracted for reform to

Social media and dynamic narratives as part of psychological warfare are very important. The
internet is a contested space as much as the physical battlefield and foreign powers have
proven adept at claiming their stake.

The Israeli Defence Force, for example, has long used its digital presence to put out carefully
crafted narratives its twitter spokesperson being a particularly noteworthy example.
Russia, more aggressively, used campaigning of this kind to great effect in 2014 when it
needed to add legitimacy to the hastily organised referendum on whether Crimea should
become part of Russia or Ukraine. A narrative of a shared history had to be propagated and
online media proved extremely useful for doing it.

Islamic State have also adopted information and media campaigns to disseminate their
propaganda. They use polarising internet videos both to subvert and recruit.
Psychological operations is defined in Joint Publication 1-02 as the 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 originators objectives.

Similar PSYOPS Bde should be built in developed.
a. Composition. Young university graduates in ICT in permanent and temporary
attachments, section representing and appointed by three services HQ, section
representing Ministry of mass communication and MOFA.
b. Tasks:
(1) To develop creative narrative for strategic communication.
Strategic Communication
Broadly, any aspect of communication that involves the strategic interests of Bangladesh
should be considered Strategic Communication (SC). Communication strategically involves
creating creating meaning through the use of symbols (communicating) in support of
national objectives (strategically).2 During the Cold War, programs such as Voice of America,
Radio Liberty and the like were used to propagate the massage of the inequalities of the
Soviet system and offer alternative sources of news. This caused significant irritation for the
Soviet leadership. SC has also been predominant in recent Global War on Terror (GWOT). In
fact, the selection of the term GWOT itself a sort of SC. Global signifies that US will fight
anywhere terror raises its head and the word war calls to mind the greatest struggles of
nations history.

Following factors shall be considered for designing SC:

a. Pervasiveness.
b. Proactive Engagement. SC shall be suited to the culture of the audiences hence
shall follow cultural understanding.
c. Unity of Effort. Uncoordinated messages from different agencies would
degrade the effect of SC.
d. Credibility. The gap between say-do can create lack of credibility.
e. Timeliness. The 21st century new cycle is an increasingly rapid one. Thus
SC shall be timely.

Following instruments shall be planned:

a. Public Diplomacy. Lead ministry is MOFA. May be promulgated through
web portal of MOFA and all Bangladesh Embassies around the world, Op-eds in
foreign newspapers by foreign service officers, publications, public dialogue, speech,
b. Social Media. Amnesty International (AI) defines their e-activist as an
individual who uses information and communication tools such as mobile
phones, blogs, emails or social networking sites to act for human rights. He or
she may also organize, mobilize and inspire online communities of individuals to take

2 Stigler, Andrew L. The Challenge of Strategic Communication. Newport, R.I.: Naval War College
faculty paper, May 2008, Revised 2010.
action for human rights. 3 Similarly, blogs, emails, face book and other social media
sites, messages in mobile phones, etc will be used to shape public opinion in favour of
national interests of Bangladesh. DGFI is the lead agency with Cyber Bde.

3 Charles Jeter, Cyberwar PsyOps: e-Activism and Social Media, SC Magazine, February 17, 2011,