Employing the Social Psychology of Persuasion and Influence to Win the Global War on Terrorism   [open pdf - 91KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The mid-range theories of the social sciences can provide the United States and its allies useful frameworks for amplifying civil and military actions to defeat Islamic Totalitarianism. The United States' experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq have once again demonstrated the limitations of conventional, kinetic military force, regardless of its precision and lethality. The effective use of information can demonstrate to vulnerable populations the disingenuousness of Islamic Totalitarianism's message and help garner greater acceptance of the United States' culture, history, governmental policies, and role in the world. Today, technology dramatically increases the rapidity and breadth of information exchange. Technological advances in the future are likely to further increase the interconnectivity of the world and magnify the results of well-conceived and well-coordinated communication efforts. To defeat the ideology of Islamic Totalitarianism, the United States and its allies must amplify civil and military actions by harnessing the social psychology of persuasion and influence. The Global War on Terrorism, as largely a war of ideas, can only be won by employing the social sciences as the essential amplifiers of successful performance. This paper presents three social psychology theories and then highlights two or three ways each might be employed in the Global War on Terrorism to defeat Islamic Totalitarianism?s ideology when used to amplify traditional counterinsurgency lines of operation (LOOs) such as security, governance, justice, humanitarian assistance, indigenous security forces, and economic development. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate, not just the utility, but also the urgency of the U.S. Government collaborating with experts in the social psychology fields to win the current conflict."

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