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Field Manuals: fm 3-05-102 ARMY SPECIAL FORCES INTELLIGENCE
Operations and ARSOF
This chapter describes the range of military operations, characteristics of
ARSOF units and their missions, and considerations for their
employment. It provides an overview of concepts addressed in FM 3-05
(FM 100-25). The fundamental purpose of ARSOF intelligence operations
is to provide the commander with the information required to visualize
the adversary and the environment. This support will enable ARSOF to
successfully conduct worldwide special operations (SO) throughout the
range of military operations supporting the geographic combatant
commanders, American ambassadors and their country teams, and other
1-1. ARSOF are specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct SO
independently or in conjunction with the operations of Army conventional
forces, joint forces, and/or combined forces. ARSOF support the national
security strategy by:
• Enhancing security with their unique military capabilities.
• Promoting prosperity by supporting global and domestic stability.
• Promoting security through the development and preservation of
RANGE OF MILITARY OPERATIONS
1-2. ARSOF conduct operations throughout the range of military operations
(war and MOOTW). ARSOF provide geographic combatant commanders
additional means to shape the environment and respond to crises, while
preparing for future requirements (Figure 1-1, page 1-2). ARSOF can support
the joint force commander (JFC) at all levels—strategic, operational, or
• The strategic level concerns the broadest aspects of national and
theater policy. Decisions at this level reflect national and multinational
goals, integrate all the instruments of national power, provide forces,
and determine constraints and restraints on their use. The National
Command Authorities (NCA) and the geographic combatant
commanders determine the strategic-national and strategic-theater
objectives and the manner of use of military means to achieve them.
The NCA or the geographic combatant commanders may directly or
indirectly (through subordinate commanders) employ ARSOF in
pursuit of these objectives.
Survival-SHTF-Guide: fm 3-05-102 ARMY SPECIAL FORCES INTELLIGENCE
1-4. War is large-scale, sustained combat between nations or organized
groups within a nation. War involves regular and irregular forces in a series
of connected battles and campaigns to achieve vital national, tribal, or ethnic
objectives. War may be limited, with some self-imposed restraints on
resources or objectives. It also may be general, with the total resources of a
nation or nations employed and the survival of the nation at stake.
1-5. ARSOF can support a JFC in war through the conduct of a variety of
offense, defense, stability, and support actions. These actions may either
directly accomplish the JFC’s objectives or indirectly attain these objectives
through the directed support to other subordinate forces of the JFC. In war,
ARSOF are not normally the main effort, but rather supporting forces to the
major air, land, and maritime combat forces.
1-6. SO missions may require unorthodox approaches, but these approaches
do not negate the traditional principles of war. Rather, they place a different
emphasis on their combination or relative importance. In some SO missions,
surprise achieved through speed, stealth, audacity, deception, and new
tactics or techniques can be far more effective and efficient than traditional
conventional tactics that are based on massed firepower and tactical
maneuvers. The following discussion of the principles of war highlights their
application to ARSOF.
1-7. Direct every military operation toward a clearly defined, decisive, and
attainable objective. ARSOF objectives are as much political, economic, and
informational as they are military in nature. ARSOF planners must avoid
adding a secondary objective by balancing risks versus gain. They must have
a clear understanding of the capabilities and limitations of ARSOF. The
addition of secondary objectives erodes the definition and decisiveness of the
primary objective. The intelligence and mission support area of operation capabilities, military, army, and soldiers in the theater of ops. Training of wartime scenarios and other detachment force strength battalion skills…
1-8. Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative. ARSOF are inherently offensive
in nature because they seek to strike or engage an adversary to compel,
deter, or counter his actions. The strike or engagement conducted by ARSOF
may take place alongside or by effect of a surrogate force. This force may be
one that ARSOF has previously trained or is currently training. CA and
PSYOP exploit the initiative by gaining the support of the civilians in the area
of operations (AO).
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Field Manuals: fm 3-05-302 Tactical Psychological Operations Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures
Introduction to Tactical Psychological Operations
The mission of PSYOP is the same mission at all operational levels—to influence the behavior of foreign target audiences (TAs) to support U.S. national objectives.
Tactical PSYOP forces provide supported commanders a nonlethal fires capability to change the behavior of a local populace or adversary force in any environment. PSYOP support encompasses the planning, analysis, development, design, approval, production, distribution, dissemination, and evaluation of PSYOP series across the operational spectrum. At the tactical level, PSYOP forces are the supported commander’s most effective capability for communicating with foreign TAs. Whether providing information during foreign humanitarian assistance (FHA) operations or broadcasting surrender instructions while supporting combat operations, tactical PSYOP forces provide a powerful capability to the supported commander.
PSYOP CORE TASKS AND ROLES
1-1. To accomplish the PSYOP mission, PSYOP Soldiers perform six core tasks:
Develop. Development involves the selection of Psychological Operations objectives (POs) and supporting Psychological Operations objectives (SPOs), measures of effectiveness (MOEs), target audience analysis (TAA), series development, individual product development, and approval. The analysis of propaganda and the development of counterpropaganda begin during development but are embedded throughout the other core tasks.
Design. Design is the technical aspect of taking what was conceptualized in the development stage and creating an audio, visual, or audiovisual prototype. This task demands technical expertise in many communication fields.
Produce. Production is the transformation of approved PSYOP product prototypes into various media forms that are compatible with the way foreign populations are accustomed to receiving information. Some production requirements may be contracted to private industry, while other requirements may be performed by units attached or under the tactical control (TACON) or operational control (OPCON) of PSYOP forces.
Survival-SHTF-Guide: fm 3-05-302 Tactical Psychological Operations Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures
ELEMENTS OF COMBAT POWER
1-5. The elements of combat power are building blocks that underlie the generation of combat power. In land operations, commanders combine and apply the elements of combat power—maneuver, firepower, leadership, protection, and information—to meet constantly changing requirements, to produce overwhelming effects, and to defeat the enemy. Of the five elements of combat power, PSYOP are considered both an element of information and an element of firepower. By definition, PSYOP fall under the element of information because they are normally within the context of offensive information operations (IO); however, PSYOP are also considered an element of firepower because they are a means of nonlethal fires.
1-6. To envision the part of the information environment within their battlespace, commanders determine the information activities that affect their operation and the capabilities of their own and opposing command and control (C2) and information systems. They must understand conceptually how the area of interest (AOI) and area of influence lie within the information environment (Figure 1-2). Operationally, PSYOP take place within the information environment.
1-7. The battlefield organization is the allocation of forces in the area of operations (AO) by purpose. It consists of three all-encompassing categories of operations—decisive, shaping, and sustaining. Purpose unifies all elements of the battlefield organization by providing the common focus for all actions.
1-8. PSYOP are primarily shaping operations. Shaping operations at any echelon create and preserve conditions for the success of the decisive operation. They include lethal and nonlethal activities conducted throughout the AO. Shaping operations support the decisive operation by affecting enemy capabilities and forces or by influencing enemy decisions.
1-9. Within the battlefield organization of decisive, shaping, and sustaining operations, commanders designate and shift the main effort. Thus, PSYOP, as a shaping operation, may be a unit’s main effort before the execution of the decisive operation.
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Field Manuals: FM 3-05-301 Psychological Operations Tactics, Techniques
All military action is intertwined with psychological forces and effects.
Carl von Clausewitz On War, 1827
PSYOP are planned operations that convey selected information and
indicators to foreign target audiences (TAs) to influence their emotions,
motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately, the behavior of foreign
governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
The purpose of all
PSYOP is to create in neutral, friendly, or hostile foreign groups the
emotions, attitudes, or desired behavior that support the achievement of
U.S. national objectives and the military mission. In doing so, PSYOP
influence not only policy and decisions, but also the ability to govern, the
ability to command, the will to fight, the will to obey, and the will to
The combination of PSYOP products and actions create in the
selected TAs a behavior that supports U.S. national policy objectives and
the theater commander’s intentions at the strategic, operational, and
The nature of PSYOP is varied and ever changing. PSYOP personnel
must support a broad range of missions and force structures in
environments ranging from austere to highly sophisticated. PSYOP are
planned, coordinated, and executed before, during, and after conflicts,
and must be integrated at all echelons to achieve its full force-multiplier
A force multiplier of special operations forces (SOF), PSYOP forces are
assigned to the United States Special Operations Command
(USSOCOM), based on the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Department of
Defense (DOD) Reorganization Act.
PSYOP units deploy to conduct
missions in support of geographic combatant commanders and their
subordinate joint task force (JTF) and component commanders. PSYOP
forces may also support U.S. Ambassadors, allies, alliance and coalition
partners, and other government agencies (OGAs).
Survival-SHTF-Guide: fm 3-05-301 Psychological Operations Tactics, Techniques
1-3. PSYOP are conducted at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of
war to influence foreign audiences. PSYOP forces provide a nonlethal
capability in conveying information to selected TAs and governments to
influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and behavior. PSYOP
Soldiers perform the following five principal missions to meet the intent of
the supported commander:
• Advise the commander on Psychological Operations actions (PSYACTs),
PSYOP enabling actions, and targeting restrictions that the military
force will execute. These actions and restrictions minimize adverse
impacts and unintended consequences, attack the enemy’s will to
resist, and enhance successful mission accomplishment.
• Influence foreign populations by expressing information subjectively to
influence attitudes and behavior, and to obtain compliance or
noninterference. These actions facilitate military operations, minimize
needless loss of life and collateral damage, and further the objectives of
the United States and its allies.
• Provide public information to foreign populations to support
humanitarian activities, restore or reinforce legitimacy, ease suffering,
and maintain or restore civil order.
• Serve as the supported commander’s voice to foreign populations to
convey intent and establish credibility.
• Counter enemy propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, and
opposing information to portray friendly intent and actions correctly
and positively, thus denying others the ability to polarize public
opinion and political will against the United States and its allies.
The PSYOP capabilities in the field and abroad, include equipment, intelligence,
solders of the army and others, to achieve objectives and doctrine and influence
the audience with special forces and others. Psychological warfare and psychological
operations include propaganda and other techniques to target the foreign nation.
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