Using Social Influence Theory to Increase the Effectiveness of Influence Operations [open pdf - 3MB]
From the thesis abstract: Since its inception in 2001, the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) has been a geographically limited force addressing a problem that is not geographically constrained. ISAF operations were limited to Kabul initially. In 2003, the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution, UNSCR 1510, that expanded the ISAF mandate from Kabul throughout Afghanistan, but did not provide for operations external to Afghanistan. Recognition of Afghanistan's border by ISAF as a constraint on operations has provided a logistical and operational safe haven for insurgent Taliban forces and their allies working against security and stability in Afghanistan. Social influence operations provide a method for ISAF contributing nations to use existent relationships and non-kinetic operations to influence Taliban decision makers and constrain Taliban resource providers located outside of Afghanistan. Design of a social influence operation requires consideration of cultural and moral characteristics of the target population to maximize the effectiveness of the chosen social influence techniques. The cultural characteristics developed by Geert Hofstede and refined by the GLOBE project provide a cultural framework to analyze a target population. Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development provides a moral framework to analyze the spectrum of moral development in a target population. Bertram Raven's expression of the levers of social influence as bases of power provides the structural framework to develop an influence strategy. When developing social influence operations, integration of cultural and moral characteristics can maximize effects on specific target populations."
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