Nations wage psychological wars, and their impact always remains in the lives of these victim peoples, touching even their postulates and making societies turn against each other in a genius dynamic. They also do not hesitate to wage “spiritual wars”: they are dwarfing and demonizing religion by poisoning concepts and spiritual and moral values, and crafting ideas Individuals and groups isolate spiritual values from societies.
Psychological warfare (forced persuasion operations) works on manipulating peoples’ minds through brainwashing, changing ideas with various uses such as creating public opinion and public mood, systematic skepticism and propaganda marketing convictions, and cultivating exclusionary pride from the outlets of religion, origin, separation, ethnic, national, tribal, family, and geographical affiliation , and other factors that emphasize the concept of inside and outside the group, belonging to a group and not others, following the majority, social obedience, programmatic repetition, and connecting the human being until his own self-suggestion is outside his control.
Colonel “Blow” is considered the first to lay the foundations of psychological warfare in 1935, as he was serving as head of the psychological laboratory at the US Department of Defense, while the first appearance of this term officially was by the American “Linbarger” in 1954, where he says: It is the organized use of propaganda Approaching media measures, with the aim of influencing the opinions and emotions of foreign groups in hostile countries in order to achieve national policy or military goals, and the concept has evolved over the years, until it has become one of the most important weapons of developed countries to defeat opponents and undermine the national will of peoples, while psychological warfare research focuses In the military sphere, the processes of transmitting information and selected indicators to the masses, in order to influence their emotions, motivations, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
On the other hand, the use of psychological warfare has expanded in commercial, industrial, political, social, cultural and other aspects of life. To weaken the opponent’s ability to conduct or sustain military or economic operations, as well as disrupt, confuse and prolong the opponent’s decision-making process, which undermines command and control, threatens unity of effort, and wastes national resources and capabilities.
Today, psychological warfare is blended as part of political engineering with the integrated use of the basic capabilities of electronic warfare, artificial intelligence, social media, computer network operations, intelligent psychological operations, deception and collective delusion to influence, disrupt, or corrupt hostile decision-making, whether human or mechanical.
Media and entertainment, artistic, sports, cultural, and even scientific materials have become today the largest and most important arena for recruiting peoples as a mass and not as individuals. Buying a need, disliking a character, or practicing a certain behavior and accepting those who practice it, admiring a culture or a global personality and making it a role model and example.
These are experiments initiated since 1957 by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), using subliminal messages as a form of manipulation and planting ideas, understanding the operational capabilities of unconscious cognition, and using the findings of social psychology and behavioral economics to determine the news we read and watch, the products we buy, and the fields The cultural and intellectual in which we live, and the social networks on the Internet and in the real life of which we are a part, and therefore we must not be led by slogans such as “free elections” and “the peoples choose the representative they see fit for them.”
* Emirati writer and researcher in the affairs of peaceful coexistence and intercultural dialogue.