Some definitions and explanations from:
Psychological Warfare - Second Edition
Paul M.A. Linebarger
Combat Forces Press - Washington 1954 (first edition 1948)
Definition of Psychological Warfare
Psychological warfare seeks to win military gains without military force. In some periods of history the use of psychological warfare has been considered unsportsmanlike. It is natural for the skilled soldier to rely on weapons rather than on words, and after World War I there was a considerable reluctance to look further into that weapon - propaganda - which Ludendorff himself considered to be the most formidable achievement of the Allies.
Nevertheless, World War II brought a large number of American officers, both Army and Navy, into the psychological warfare field: some of the best work was done without civilian aid or sponsorship. (Capt. J. A. Bürden on Guadalcanal wrote his own leaflets, prepared his own public-address scripts, and did his own distributing from a borrowed Marine plane, skimming the tree tops until the Japanese shot him down into the surf. He may have heard of OWI at the time, but the civilians at OWI had not heard of him.)
Psychological warfare has become familiar. The problems of psychological warfare for the future are problems of how better to apply it, not of whether to apply it. Accordingly, it is to be defined more for the purpose of making it convenient and operable than for the purpose of finding out what it is. The whole world found out by demonstration, during World Wars I and II.
Psychological warfare is not defined as such in the dictionary. Definition is open game. There are three ways in which "psychological warfare" and "military propaganda" can be defined:
first, by deciding what we are talking about in a given Situation, book, conversation, or study course;
second, by determining the responsibilities and authority involved in a given task;
or third, by stating the results which are believed to be accomplishable by the designated means.
Plainly, the staff officer needs a different definition from the one used by the combat officer; the political leader would use a broader definition than the one required by soldiers; the fanatic would have his own definition or - more probably - two of them; one (such as "promoting democracy" or "awakening the masses") for his own propaganda and another (such as "spreading lies," "corrupting the press," or "giving Opiates to the people") for antagonistic propaganda.
Definition is not something which can be done once and forever for any military term, since military operations change and since military definitions are critically important for establishing a chain of command.
-The first method of definition is satisfactory for research purposes; it may help break a politico-military Situation down into understandable components.
Since the first lesson of all propaganda is reasoned disbelief, it would be sad and absurd for anyone to believe propaganda about propaganda. The "propaganda boys" in every army and government are experts at building up favorable cases, and they would be unusual men indeed if they failed to work up a fine account of their own performance. Propaganda cannot be given fair measurement by the claims made for it. It requires judicious proportioning to the military operations of which it is (in wartime) normally a part.
Broad and Narrow Definitions. The term propaganda springs from the name of that department of the Vatican which had the duty of propa-gating the faith. A multitude of definitions is available. Among Ameri-cans, Walter Lippmann, Harold Lasswell and Leonard W. Doob have done some of the most valuable critical, analytical, and historical writ-ing, but a host of other. scholars have also made contributions, some of them works of very real importance.
For the purposes of explaining what this book is about, propaganda may be defined as follows:
This may be called the broad definition, since it would include an ap-peal to buy Antident toothpaste, to believe in the theological principle of complete immersion, to buy flowers for Uncles on Uncles' Day, to slap the Japs, to fight fascism at home, or to smell nice under the arms. All of this is propaganda, by the broad definition.
Propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of public or mass-produced communication designed to affect the minds and emotions of a given group for a specific public purpose, whether military, economic, or political.
This may be termed the everyday definition of propaganda, as it is used in most of the civilian College textbooks.
For military purposes. however, it is necessary to trim down the definition in one more direc-tion, applying it strictly against the enemy and making it read:
Military propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of communication designed to affect the minds and emotions of a given enemy, neutral or friendly foreign group for a specific Strategie or tactical purpose.
Note that if the communication is not planned it cannot be called propaganda. If a lieutenant stuck his head out of a tank turret and yelled at some Japs in a cave, "Come on out of there, you qwertyuiop asdfgs, or we wil zxcvb you all to hjkl, you etc.'s!," the communication may or may not work, but - in the technical sense - it is not propaganda because the lieutenant did not employ that form of communication planned and designed to affect the minds or emotions of the Japanese in the cave. Had the lieutenant given the matter thought and had he said, in the Japanese language, "Enemy persons forthwith commanded to cease resistance, otherwise American Arrny regrets inescapable conse-quences attendant upon Operation of flamethrower," the remark would have been closer to propaganda.
Furthermore, propaganda must have a known purpose. This element must be included in the definition; a great deal of communication, both in wartime and in peacetime, arises because of the pleasure which it gives to the utterer, and not because of the result it is supposed to effect in the hearers. Sending the Japanese Cartoons of themselves, mocking the German language, calling Italians by familiar but inelegant names - such Communications cropped up during the war. The senders got a lot of fun out of the message but the purpose was unintelligently con-sidered. The actual effect of the messages was to annoy the enemy, stiffening his will-to-resist. (Screams of rage had a place in primitive war; in modern military propaganda they are too expensive a luxury to be tolerated. Planned annoyance of the enemy does, of course, have its role - a minor, rare and special one.)
Psychological warfare comprises the use of propaganda against an enemy, together with such other operational measures of a military, economic, or political nature as may be required to Supplement propaganda.
However, this is only one of several ways of using the term, "psychological warfare." There is, in particular, one other sense, in which the term became unpleasantly familiar during the German conquest of Europe, the sense of warfare psychologically waged. In the American use of the term, psychological warfare was the supplementing of normal military operations by the use of mass Communications; in the Nazi sense of the term, it was the calculation and execution of both political and military strategy on srudied psychological grounds. For the American uses, it was modification of traditional warfare by the eff ective, generous use of a new weapon; for the Germans it involved a transformation of the process of war itself. This is an important enough dis-tinction to warrant separate consideration.
Linebarger also writes:White Propaganda is issued from an acknowledged source, usually a government or an agency of a government, including military commands at various levels. This type of propaganda is associated with overt psychological operations.
Grey Propaganda does not clearly identify any source.
Black propaganda purports to emanate from a source other than the true one. This type of propaganda is associated with covert psychological warfare operations.
And Linebarger further writes:Strategie propaganda is directed at enemy forces, enemy peoples, and enemy-occupied areas in their entirety, andin coordination with Strategie planningis designed to effectuate results planned and sought over a period of weeks, months, or years.
Tactical propaganda is directed at specific audiences, usually named, and is prepared and executed in Support of localized combat operations.
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