Due parole chiave che leggo sul Corriere della Sera di oggi, 13 Maggio 2004.
Ernesto Galli della Loggia cita il Psychological Warfare Branch a proposito dell' intendenza USA operante in Italia nel 1944, sessant'anni fa, nel suo editoriale in prima pagina (Se l'America perde se stessa)
Di quell’esercito che sessant’anni fa ci portò alla libertà, e di cui tra poche settimane ricorderemo l’arrivo, ci colpirono subito tre cose: il tratto disinibito e cordiale dei suoi uomini, senza distinzione di rango; la prodigiosa ricchezza dell’intendenza, vera cornucopia di ogni bendiddio (dalle uova in polvere alla penicillina alle calze di nylon); e infine la quantità di occasioni culturali e d’intrattenimento che facevano da contorno alla sua presenza: i film, i libri, i giornali, le trasmissioni radio, i cicli di conferenze, i circoli per soldati, ai quali anche la popolazione del Paese vinto (spesso anzi essa per prima) ebbe immediato e largo accesso. Per noi l’America fu subito ognuna di quelle tre cose, e tale essa è rimasta e forse rimarrà per sempre, inafferrabile e struggente come il richiamo della libertà.
Ma di quelle tre cose, così vive nella nostra memoria e legate alla presenza dell’esercito a stelle e strisce, in Iraq non abbiamo visto neppure la più pallida ombra. Neppure i primi giorni abbiamo visto per le vie di Bagdad soldati che non fossero in assetto di guerra, banchetti coperti di pacchetti di sigarette americane o ragazzini con la bocca sporca di cioccolato made in Usa . Neppure nei primi giorni ci è giunta l’eco d’una conferenza, di uno spettacolo cinematografico organizzati da una rediviva Psychological Warfare Branch.
In The United States PSYOP Organization in Europe During World War II leggiamo:
Civilian Organization of Propaganda
On 16 August 1940, Nelson Rockefeller was named Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA), with responsibility for disseminating news, films, and radio to Latin America. CIAA retained its independent existence throughout World War II, despite the formation of several other information organizations...
...In the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, OSS-MEDTO was originally (in 1943) designated the 2677th Headquarters Company (Provisional) G-3. To increase its autonomy, in May 1944 the unit was designated a regiment, officially the 2677th Regiment OSS (Provisional). The regiment was activated in July 1944 with headquarters near Caserta, Italy, when North African Theatre of Operations military headquarters (NATOUSA) moved from Algiers to Caserta. The regimental commander was Colonel Edward Glavin, a Strategic Services Officer of MEDTO. Most of the black propaganda produced by the OSS originated with MO Rome, which was organized in mid-1944.
The OSS was disbanded on 1 October 1945.
OSS Morale Operations (MO)
The Morale Operations Branch of the OSS was created in early January 1943, and by March was ready for action. Its primary function was to attack "the morale and the political unity of the enemy through...psychological means operating or purporting to operate within the enemy or occupied territories." Chiefs of MO include Frederick Oechsner (began in early 1943), COL Kenneth D. Mann (replaced Oechsner in May 1944), Charles Healy, Patrick Dolan, Morton Bodfish, Howard Baldwin (active in late 1944), LTC J. Roller (chief in February 1945), and LTC Herbert S. Little (chief on 30 November 1945, after the dissolution of OSS). (The names are not necessarily all in order of service).
Di PsyOps parla invece, a pagina 8, il soldato Lynndle England: «Quel guinzaglio? Eseguivo ordini E i superiori mi dicevano: brava»
Voleva essere ripresa in quella foto?
«Io non volevo essere ripresa in nessuna delle foto».
C'è una fotografia in cui è ritratta con un prigioniero iracheno al guinzaglio. Com'è successo?
«Ho agito sotto istruzioni dei miei superiori».
E l’altra, quella in cui ride?
«Le istruzioni erano di fermarsi lì, "alzare i pollici", sorridere, mettersi in posa dietro quella piramide di iracheni nudi».
Chi le ha detto di farlo?
«Persone di rango superiore».
Cosa pensava quando sono state scattate quelle foto?
«Pensavo che il tutto era piuttosto strano».
Pensava che ci fosse qualcosa di male in quelle foto, nel mettersi in posa e in tutto quello che stava succedendo?
«Mah, le foto erano per le PsyOps (operazioni psicologiche n.d.r.) e le operazioni funzionavano, quindi per quanto ci riguardava stavamo facendo il nostro lavoro, cioè facevamo quello che ci veniva ordinato di fare, e il risultato era quello che i superiori volevano. Tornavano, guardavano le foto e dicevano: "Bene, è una buona tattica, continuate così...la tattica funziona, continuate a fare quello che state facendo, i risultati ci sono"».
Inserendo psyops nella casellina di ricerca di Google, compare una lista di 29.200 link...
Il sito iwar.org.uk evoca Napoleone e definisce il concetto:
There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind. (Napoleon Bonaparte)
Definition of Psychological Operations:
Psychological Operations: 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 originator's objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also consolidation psychological operations; overt peacetime psychological operations programs; perception management. ' US Department of Defense
Civil Affairs - The activities of a commander that establish, maintain, influence, or exploit relations between military forces and civil authorities, both governmental and nongovernmental, and the civilian populace in a friendly, neutral, or hostile area of operations in order to facilitate military operations and consolidate operational objectives. Civil affairs may include performance by military forces of activities and functions normally the responsibility of local government. These activities may occur prior to, during, or subsequent to other military actions. They may also occur, if directed, in the absence of other military operations. (Joint Pub 1-02)
Consolidation Psychological Operations - Psychological operations conducted in foreign areas inhabited by an enemy or potentially hostile populace and occupied by United States forces, or in which United States forces are based, designed to produce behaviors by the foreign populace that support United States objectives in the area. (Joint Pub 1-02)
Overt Peacetime Psychological Operations Programs - Those programs developed by combatant commands, in coordination with the chiefs of US diplomatic missions, that plan, support, and provide for the conduct, during military operations other than war, of psychological operations in support of US regional objectives, policies, interests, and theater military missions. Also called OP3. (Approved for inclusion in next edition of Joint Pub 1-02)
Propaganda - Any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly. (Joint Pub 1-02)
Psychological Operations - 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 originator’s objectives. Also called PSYOP. (Joint Pub 1-02)
"Capture their minds and their hearts and souls will follow"
recita il titolo dell'Home Page di psywarrior.com
Psychological Operations (PSYOP) and Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR), these words generate thoughts of North Vietnam's "Hanoi Hanna", Japan's "Tokyo Rose" and more recently the Iraq's infamous "Baghdad Betty" of Desert Storm. To others the words psychological operations and psychological warfare conjure up images of our military playing mind games with the enemy. PSYOP is all this and much more, for you see there are essentially two great forces in warfare:-the physical and the moral. These two forces suggest two distinct approaches to warfare. One a "direct" approach, concentrating on the opponent's physical forces, and the other an "indirect" approach, focusing on moral forces. Both of these approaches have been tried throughout history, with a noted lack of emphasis on the indirect approach until more recent times. This website will attempt to give new emphasis to the indirect approach by conveying a better appreciation for the application of psychological operations. So sit back and join me on a tour of the history of Psychological Operations, and what PSYOP is today.
Alla pagina PSYOPS History leggiamo:
All three types of psychological operations - - Tactical, Strategic and Consolidation--- can be employed to produce the following desired effects:
Reduce moral and combat efficiency within the enemy’s ranks.
Promote mass dissension within and defections from enemy combat units and/or revolutionary cadre.
Support our own and allied forces cover and deception operations.
Promote cooperation, unity and morale within one’s own and allied units, as well as within resistance forces behind enemy lines.
Ricca anche la pagina dei PSYOPS and Military Links
Links on PSYOP in action in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Grenada, Haiti, Korea, Kosovo, Iraq (Desert Storm & Operation Iraqi Freedom), Panama, Somalia, Vietnam and World Wars I and II. Also samples of leaflets and unusual PSYOP themes used by both sides in conflicts from World War I to the present, information on the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC), the Psychological Operations Veterans Association (POVA), the PSYWAR Society, a Gulf War Photo Gallery, the Son Tay POW Rescue Raid, plus stories about two of our nation's heroes, and much more.