TITLE: Psywar In Intelligence Operations
AUTHOR: John Brockmiller
VOLUME: 5 ISSUE: Sunnier
A collccilon ol articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and ihcoretical aspects ol intelligence.
All statements or Tact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of
the authors They do not neccssanly rellect official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency or any othei US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the conients should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsemenl of an article's factual statements and interpretations.
Interlocking aspects of the intelligence and psychological warfare functions.
PSYWAR IN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS John Brockmlller
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any Western nation engagedefense effort againsttno-Sovlct bloc and the world Communist movement has at least four major reasons to take an active interest inwarfare. First, much of the information he collects or analyzes Is of value primarily for psywar purposes. Second, psywar may, and does, Influence his operational environment and so affects the availability of Information to him. Third. Intelligence operations have an Intrinsic psywar significance, Immediate or latent. Intentional or unintentional. Fourth, psywar operations, under the specific condition of cold war with the Sino-Soviet bloc and the world Communist movement,effective clandestine support, which can be provided best by Intelligence personnel knowledgeable Ln the requirements of covert activity.
Psywar as Intelligence Customer
The Intelligence officer is not Inspired by the purpose of merely collecting and evaluating information or makingstudies. His mission Is not an end in itself,eans to ancontribution to the defense and foreign policy objectives of his country. His work Is therefore meaningful only to the extent that the Information he provides Is utilized through appropriate action. The Individual operator'sto be sure, does not lose merit if significantwhich he acquired in due time and reported to proper authority is not acted upon; but thehole has failed to function effectively If theit produces does not lead to some kind of policy de-termlnallon or action.
In some fields the relationship of an item of Informationourse of action Is simple and obvious. Dataew
enemy weapon, (or Instance, transmitted to the armedwill enable them toimilar innovation, toa defense against it, or at least to alert combat troops to the new hazard It represents. Or intelligence about another country's plans for tacticsiplomatic conference willthe collecting country's diplomats to adjust their own preparations accordingly. Less self-evident are the customer to be informed and the
"of psywarraditional political and economicIn addition to Its importance for policy agencies, often has relovance to psywarhift In Sovietfrom military hardware to consumer goods interests not only diplomats and military planners but also propagandists. Psywar needs sociological and psychological data which can be obtained by overt research, for example the relativeof established religion and atheist indoctrination on the populations of Communist countries. Operational data may be of psywar significance, such as the covert Communistof ostensibly non-Communist mass communications media or Communist Influence on political parties and other power factors in the non-Communist world-It is not enough that the intelligence operator shouldthe psywar value of his Information and transmit Itustomer authorized to act on it. In the Held ofwarfare, as in any other segment of intelligence collec Uon, the customer's requirements determine what Is to be collected, the priority assigned it, and whether onlyon the national, policy-making level or also particularized data on lower levels Is to be sought. These requirements of the customer depend in turn upon his plans and capabilities for action. The relationship between intelligence collector and customer In the psywar field must thereforeutual one. Support and guidance must flow both ways.
The Communist Intelligence officer has no problem inhis Information acted upon: the Party takes action either through Its own organization, usually the Agitprop orRelations department of its Central Secretariat, orthrough the government intelligence services or the front organizations It controls, on all Intelligence of psywar
value. The Western nations have no organs with functions even remotely comparable to thoseommunist party,one in power; they have to take action on psywarprimarilyovernment agency. Psywar as Intelligence Aid
The Intelligence operator's chances of success or failurenot only upon the dcteirruhatlon, skill, professional equipment, and otherfrlhat he-andriflgno bcar^but also upon the envlrTnmenTm whlclThe is operating. Some elements of this environment areense objective: he must travel and communicate over certainhe must avoid certain controls, be must counter the opposition. Other elements, however, areextent and intensity of friendliness or hostility with which his and the opposition's course are viewed by actual oragents, or by any personsosition to help or hinder their activities; the apparent superiority of one side or the other in the eyes of those in between; morale and loyalty in the opposition's ranks; and so forth.
These psychological elements in the operational cUmate can be of decisive importance. The operations of Hitler's Oestapo against the outlawed German Communist Party were greatly assisted by the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda In mobilizing the active support ot large parts of the population for this work. When the same Gestapo was later sent into France and other Nazi occupied countries to cope with theunderground there, it was far less successful. It must have been largely the change In operational climate, not any deterioration In the professional skill of Hitler's security and intelligence services, which led from the effective liquidation of the German Communist underground to the Nazis' failure to suppress the Communists in the countries their armies had effectively occupied.
Five years ago the West surfaced Khrushchev's secret speech ath CPSU Congress and gave the text world-wideThe Impact of this revelation of Stalin's crimes upon Communists and non-Communists alike benefited Westernoperations in many ways: it Induced defections, it lowered morale in Communist ranks, it increased people's
readiness to assist the West and thereby markedly Improved the operational climate.
Intelligence operators need not wait for windfalls tothe operational climate upon which so much depends in their work. They can contribute actively to psywarwhich, either as their main objective or as awill modify the operational climate In the desired Intelligence collection and psywar objectives coincide
Psywar as Intelligence Product
Some intelligence operations, especially onesactical and technical nature, carry, whether Incidentally or by mainignificant psywarsychologicalIs central to deception operations that mislead theby playing false information Into its hands or staging ostensible operationsalse target. The incidental psychological effect of other Intelligence operations maynot only the opposition but other groups andat large.
The obvious success of an intelligence operation mayboth friend and foe. At one stage In World War H. Allied aircraftew underground headquarters of the German Supreme Command withinours after It had been put Into service; and years after the war the inhabitants of the area were still discussing with awe the efficiency of Western espionage. It does not matter whether that airwas really the product of espionage, the result of aerial reconnaissance, orucky accident: whatever thetruth, the depth of the psychological impactong time after the event was startling.
Although most intelligence operations are carried out with the knowledge ofery limited number ofarge-scale psychological effect is often produced when they are later exposed and publicized by the originating servicey the opposition. The results do not always coincide with the intentions of the side that provides the publicity.years ago. for Instance, the Soviets In Berlin discoveredestern service had tapped their communication lines by meansunnel dug under the sector border. Theyto give this perfidious trick as much publicity as they
could, and they brought busloads of correspondents, domestic and foreign, to the site. The ensuing publicity, however, was for the most part quite different from what they expected: many people In Germany and throughout Western Europe were Impressed by the feat and reassured by this evidence that the West was capable of matching wits with the Soviets.
Intelligence officers ought to give careful consideration to the potential of proposed operations .fprjsychologlcal flap or
should examine the possibilities for intentional psywar use of operations of their own or of the opposition.
Psywar as Covert
In the cold war, the United States and her allies findmostly on the defensive, which means, among other things, that their antagonists have the first choice ofbattlefields, and timetables. The Communists have chosen primarily politicaland propaganda, mass organizations, subversion. Although they do not eschew the use of more orthodox means in the International arena-armed forces, economic warfare,areto the political bias of the controlling Communist Party.
The cold war is therefore being fought mainly with theof psychological warfare, taken In its broadest meaning to denote the whole range of manifestations from propaganda
I and various kinds of national penetration to the pouUeal-psy-chological effects of the respective antagonists' achievement In orthodoxpower, economic strength,stability, national morale, and so forth. There are other reasons for this hegemony of the psychological, too, among them the reluctance of governments to risk nuclear war in pursuit of their national objectives, the extraordinary new efficiency, range, and speed of mass communications, and the rapid rise of literacy rates in all parts of the world.
the Communist side, these weapons are wielded mainly
by ostensibly non-government agencies, the Communistand their innumerable fronts and auxiliary organizations. This setupommunist government to disclaim for-
i rnally the responsibility for whatever these groups may be
; doing In another country. It alsouge, specialized
apparatus devoted largely to the conduct ol the cold war,with enormousommunist parties alone have more thanillion card-carryingof whom several hundred thousand are full-timebacked by the massive financial and technicalof twelve totalitarian dictatorships.
The mass organizations of the non-Communistparties, labor unions, veterans' associations, and the
no match for" thelst machine. Boost of them exist for some strictly limited purpose such as getting their representatives elected toor obtaining better working conditions for theirthey cannot competeovement whose central and pervasive purpose is to bring ail mankind under theof tbe proletariat and thus decisively to change the course of history. In countries where the Communistis comparatively weak, political groups, however anU-Communlst in their basic attitudes, naturallyar greater amount of their energies in competing with each other than in fighting the cold war. But even in countries like Italy, France, India, or Japan, where the Communists are strong and well organized, the spontaneous anti-Communist efforts of political parties and other mass organizations arebeing limited to opposing the local Communists at tbe polls and in shop steward elections and similar contests,mounting any effective counteroffensive against world Communism beyond their borders.
These private efforts canuccessful contribution in the cold war only if they are all coordinated, supported, and supplemented by government action. But since the psywar weapon chosen by the Communists involves activities which, when not entirely clandestine, must have their government sponsorship disguised, the regular agenciesemocratic government in peace time (and the cold war. for all that Its outcome will be of more decisive significance for mankind than thatood many shooting wars in earlier phases ofis technicallytate of peace) would find it difficult to meet the Communist drive on the scale and with the militancy required.
The conduct of the West's psywar effort Is thereforebound up with the Intelligence function. This phase of national defense has to be carried out by clandestine means not attributable to the sponsoring government. It has toon intelligence techniques such as cover, foreign agents, the penetration of hostile organizations, and third-country operations, as well as utilize information obtained bycollection. Organizationally, however, responsibility for psywar rnay be assigned^in any ot threethe same orgaruzatlon and the same personnel that collectto the same organization which collects Intelligence but to separate units and different personnel; or to anorganization, connected only through liaisonwith the collecting service.
The decision as to which of these three ways should be choseniven country andiven time has to be made at top level and will be governedariety ofRegardless which organizational form is selected for psywar. however, the Intimate relationships with intelligence outlined above will remain. We are faced with threein the coldsurrenderetter red thans the pacifistso leave the decision to World War in. or to fight world Communism at leasttandstill, forcing it by means short of general war. Le, by successful psychological warfare, to abandon its world drive. Taking cognizance that this is the choice, everyone in thecommunity, whatever his specific function, ought to give psywar operations his unstinting support.Original document.