How Special Operators Trained for PSYOP Operations Before the Mosul Fight

Source: Defense One

There are two battles occurring in Mosul today. One is in the streets, where  coalition forces are exchanging fire with ISIS remnants entrenched around Iraq’s second-largest city. The second is taking place on screens, on Twitter, and in the minds of residents and of fighters on both sides. Mosul is an information battlespace as much as it is physical location, and you can’t achieve victory on one battlefield without achieving it on the other.

So in the months leading up to the Mosul offensive, the Joint Staff hosted a highly unusual war game. The goal: train Special Forces operators to disrupt ISIS’s ability to command and control forces and “neutralize its ability to increase morale,” according to a Defense Department official.

Defense One obtained a writeup of the exercise, which provides a rare glimpse into psychological operations, or PSYOPS.

“Focusing on PSYOP as the main activity of a wargame, rather than as part of a full spectrum of Diplomatic Information Military and Economic, DIME, activities, is quite rare within the professional defense community,” the writeup notes.

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