Psychological Operations Quotes

A hearty thank you to Psywarrior for maintaining this website over the years. Below I provide only snips from his more complete list here:

"Credibility and truth do not necessarily march in step in psychological warfare. What is said, written, printed or broadcasted in the field must be credible within the terms in which it is projected; it need not necessarily be the truth in every instance. In fact the truth can in certain circumstances defeat credibility." ~ Psychological Warfare, by Charles Roetter, B.T. Batsford, Ltd. London, 1974

"If your opponent is of choleric temper, try to irritate him. If he is arrogant try to encourage his egotism. (If the enemy troops are well prepared after reorganization, try to wear them down. If they are united, try to sow dissension among them." ~ General Tao Hanzhang, translated by Yuan Shibing, Sun Tzu's The Art Of War

"All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself." ~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"), Vol. I

"...there was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, 'and this will always be the man in the street.' Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology...Hatred and contempt must be directed at particular individuals." ~ H. Trevor-Roper (ed), The Goebbels Diaries, p. XX, cited in Regan, Geoffrey. 1987. Great Military Disasters. New York: M. Evans and Company.

"The real target in war is the mind of the enemy command, not the bodies of his troops. If we operate against his troops it is fundamentally for the effect that action will produce on the mind and will of the commander; indeed, the trend of warfare and the development of new weapons – aircraft and tanks – promise to give us increased and more direct opportunities of striking at this psychological target." ~ Captain Sir Basil H. Liddell Hart, 1944

"The nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to have its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards." ~ Sir William Francis Butler

"If you give a man the correct information for seven years, he may believe the incorrect information on the first day of the eighth year when it is necessary, from your point of view, that he should do so. Your first job is to build the credibility and the authenticity of your propaganda, and persuade the enemy to trust you although you are his enemy." ~ A Psychological Warfare Casebook Operations Research Office Johns Hopkins University Baltimore (1958)

"In effect, the human being should be considered the priority in a political war. And conceived as the military target ... the human being has his most critical point in his mind. Once the mind has been reached, the 'political animal' has been defeated without necessarily receiving bullets." ~ US Central Intelligence Agency training manual

"Truth is the best PSYOP." ~ Colonel Fred Walker, USSOCOM


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