Foundations of Effective Influence Operations: A Framework for Enhancing Army Capabilities / Edition 1

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Interest has increased regarding capabilities that may allow the United States to effectively influence the attitudes and behavior of particular foreign audiences while minimizing or avoiding combat. This increase is largely the result of (1) the post-9/11 realization that the U.S. image in much of the Muslim world may be facilitating the mobilization and recruitment of global jihadists and (2) the difficulties that the United States has encountered in promoting stability and political reconciliation in post-war Iraq. Larson et al. aim to assist the U.S. Army in understanding "influence operations," whose purpose is to persuade foreign audiences. The authors identify approaches, methodologies, and tools that may be useful in planning, executing, and assessing influence operations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780833044044
  • Publisher: RAND Corporation
  • Publication date: 8/16/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface iii

Figures vii

Table ix

Summary xi

Acknowledgments xxi

Abbreviations xxiii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Defining Influence Operations 2

Study Questions and Approach 6

Organization of This Report 8

Chapter 2 Influencing Individuals 11

Engineering Attitude Change 18

Influencing Individuals: Conclusions 23

Chapter 3 Influencing Groups and Networks 29

Behavioral Perspectives Regarding Groups 29

Rational Choice Perspectives Regarding Groups 34

Influence in Social Networks 38

Influencing Groups and Networks: Conclusions 41

Chapter 4 Influencing Adversary Leadership Coalitions 43

Actor-Specific Models and Strategies 43

Agent-Based Rational Choice Models 46

Influencing Adversary Leadership Coalitions: Conclusions 51

Chapter 5 Influencing Mass Publics 53

Opinion Leadership and Media Communications 58

Content Analysis 59

Semantic Network Analysis 63

Assessing Mass Public Opinion 65

Lessons from Case Studies 67

Influencing Mass Publics: Conclusions 69

Chapter 6 A Framework for Influence Operations 71

Planning Requirements 71

Questions About Strategic Issues 71

Questions About the Target Audiences 74

Some Additional Planning Considerations 81

A Framework for Influence Operations: Conclusions 83

Chapter 7 Implications for Planners 85


A Case Study of Influence in Advertising and Marketing 89

B Case Study of Influence in Political Campaigns 111

C Case Studies of Influence in Public Diplomacy 133

D A Review of Planning Methodologies for Influence Operations 155

Bibliography 179

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