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Irregular Pen and Limited Sword: Psywar, Psyop, and Miso in Counterinsurgency

Irregular Pen and Limited Sword: Psywar, Psyop, and Miso in Counterinsurgency published on

Authored by U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Insurgency and counterinsurgencies differ from conventional warfare in that military strength alone cannot bring success. Insurgencies are “people’s wars” as the insurgent forces are dependent on the population for manpower, intelligence, logistics, and security. To combat this support drawn from the people, comprehensive measures are required consisting of political, military, economic, social, and psychological efforts. Of these efforts, many experienced counterinsurgents have heavily valued the psychological aspects of counterinsurgency warfare and employed a variety of means to exploit them. Exploiting psychological warfare means has been considered more than simply trying to gain the allegiance of a population, commonly known as “hearts and minds.” Thorough psychological exploitation consists of a systematic approach to combating insurgency, attacking the components that make up an insurgent organization, and degrading the conditions that facilitate it. This thesis attempts to comprehensively evaluate psychological warfare efforts to determine what lessons can be drawn from past conflict, theory, and doctrine and how to apply the lessons today.

Publication Date:
Sep 16 2014
1502388197 / 9781502388193
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism


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