(Institute of World Politics news release) Dr J. Michael Waller discussed “Foreign Propaganda, Perceptions and Policy: Countering Information Designed to Mislead or Persuade” at the 3rd Annual Irregular Warfare Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit is organized by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement.
Dr Waller spoke as part of the summit’s Psychological Warfare Focus Day.
Other panelists included:
- Ruth Wedgwood, Director of the International Law and Organizations Program at Johns Hopkins University;
- LTC Michael Lewis, holder of the Special Operations Chair at US Marine Corps University; and
- Matthew G. Devost, President of the Terrorism Research Center at Georgetown University.
Dr. Waller’s topic was “Psychological Warfare: A Low-Cost, High-Impact National Security Solution.” Here’s what I’ll be talking about, as described in the IDGA’s online announcement:
Synopsis: Psychological warfare helped beat the Nazis, and psychological strategy was crucial to defeating the Soviet Union without resorting to war. Since then, however, the US has effectively abandoned a strategic approach to the psychological side of conflict, even though the greatest threats to US interests leverage psychology as tactical and strategic weapons against us. It’s time for the US to embrace psychological strategy and psychological warfare as low-cost, high-impact solutions to defeat our enemies and adversaries both in tomorrow’s battlespaces and place all potential foes on the strategic defensive.
Points of the presentation:
- Terrorism and extremism are forms of psychological warfare, yet we have yet to master the battlespace;
- Psychological strategy saved the lives of countless Americans and innocent civilians abroad, by waging conflict against the Soviets while keeping the Cold War from becoming hot;
- Psychological strategy, and the strategic use of psychological conflict worldwide, are low-cost, high-impact solutions at a time when Americans are looking for doing more with less.
How the attendees will benefit:
- They will be able to find newer, cheaper, more productive uses for what they already know about defense and security.
- They will be able to take existing tactical tools and practices, and put them to use for strategic purposes.
- They will be able to devise new ways of defeating potential aggressors without having to fight them.