BBBHY | Mohamed Morsi | Abdel Fattah El Sisi

BACKGROUNDER | NO.

2821 JULY 11, 2013

very perceptions that inform decision making, from the context to the biases. Successful psychological operations will therefore have repercussions at every level of operations, influencing the course of the conflict. To be effective, however, psychological warfare operations cannot be limited to wartime. Instead, peacetime psychological operations are necessary, both to understand an opponent better and to lay the groundwork for effective wartime operations.

PLA writings emphasize that modern information technology blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime, between military and civilian, and among strategy, operations, and tactics.
Peacetime applications of psychological warfare techniques involve influencing and altering an opponent’s unconscious, implicit views in order to make that opponent more susceptible to coercion. By employing various forms of strategic communications, including diplomatic efforts, one can foster a positive national image and increase foreign sympathy and support for one’s own policies and goals. At the same time, such techniques attempt to isolate opponents, undermining their positions, portraying them as fostering ill intentions, and forcing them to react to a variety of charges so that their energy is dispersed. In addition, employing all the tools of communications, including various forms of media, emphasizes one’s own strengths as well as a willingness to employ that strength to deter and coerce opponents more effectively. All the while, one must be working to counter opponents’ efforts to foster their own image of strength and unity. It is also likely that an opponent will attempt to demoralize one’s populace and that appropriate defensive measures will have to be taken. In wartime, psychological operations shift emphasis towards more specifically military targets and goals. The primary objective of such efforts is to generate confusion, doubt, anxiety, fear, terror,

regret, and exhaustion in an opponent, especially among senior military and civilian leaders. Ideally, such a campaign will induce neglect and maximize the chances of an opponent making mistakes. Wartime psychological warfare operations also aim to generate a sense of uncertainty and indecisiveness at all levels, thereby degrading opposition decision-making processes. The ability to interfere with an opponent’s information systems, coupled with efforts to influence decision makers, can create a strong psychological impact. Another facet of wartime psychological operations is the sowing of discord and a sense of hopelessness in the enemy. Not only will this help generate war-weariness among enemy forces and populations and discourage resistance, but once the conflict is concluded, such operations may facilitate peace negotiations and induce more concessions. “When one defeats the enemy, it is not solely by killing the enemy, or winning a piece of ground, but is mainly in terms of cowing the enemy’s heart.”6 In order to undermine the opponent’s morale, one must emphasize information favorable to oneself through various forms of media as well as through third parties, friendly elements in the opponent’s society, and similar outlets. Finally, offensive psychological warfare operations must be complemented by defensive measures, since an opponent will also be trying to undermine one’s own forces, population, and leaders. One must therefore attempt to solidify popular support for the conflict, highlight one’s successes and the enemy’s failures, and instill confidence and support for the Party and the state. Such defensive measures require tight control of information flows in one’s own society and the insulation of one’s decision-makers and decision-making processes from enemy information warfare efforts. This need for control explains Beijing’s efforts to limit cyber access to the larger population, including the “Great Firewall of China.”

Chinese Concept of Psychological Warfare Tasks

For the PLA, psychological warfare is the resposibility of the General Political Department (GPD), working in coordination with the rest of the PLA. The GPD not only ensures political orthodoxy

6.

Guo, Psychological Warfare Knowledge, p. 14. 3

30. appropriately calculate gains and losses in a conflict. precisely strike predetermined targets. Informationalized Operations Theory Study Guide (Beijing.” This in turn requires the ability to collect. No. 1. makes clear-cut classifications of “military” and “civilian” almost impossible. and habits while at the same time strengthening friendly psychology. as well as information systems. “Study of the Journalistic Media Warfare in the Iraq War. and military realms. But in the Chinese conception of psychological warfare. especially those who are making decisions. New Theories of Information War (Beijing. PRC: Academy of Military Science Press. and exploit accurate information more quickly than an opponent. Operations Theory and Regulations Research Department and Informationalized Operations Theory Research Office. and even exploitation. The ability to triumph in future “Local Wars Under Informationized Conditions”—the most likely form of wars in the Information Age—rests upon the ability to secure “information dominance (zhi xinxi quan).” China Military Science. Military News Department Study Group. Because of the complex. it must deal with allied countries. and/or alter an opponent’s thoughts. p. but also against friends. it is applied against the enemy. 2 . affecting the 1. Psychological Warfare Knowledge (Beijing. 2004). operations. In this context. p. as only then can one scientifically establish operational plans. PRC: National Defense University Press. Efforts to secure information dominance. The interconnected nature of information. the implication is that information should be treated as an integrated whole. information warfare is the struggle to dominate the generation and flow of information in order to enhance and support one’s own strategic goals while degrading and constraining those of an opponent. which is integral to information collection and transmission. 404. Given the nature of modern technology and informationized societies. emotions. in order to comprehensively realize the various goals. psychological operations are seen as an essential part of future conflicts. 77–79. A product of the Information Age. with effective coverage of many areas. is not necessarily restricted by “wartime” versus “peacetime” categorizations.4 This philosophy is echoed in other PLA writings. and among strategy. 4 (2003). the users of information—both high-level decision-makers and lower-level policy implementers (individual soldiers.)—are as important as the computers and networks and the software that runs them. information collection. p. but also the human agents that interact with those data. 2. 2005). and seek the best strategic interest and long-term benefit. and one must rely on the media acting in multiple directions jointly. November 2005). 2008).3 Psychological Warfare and Information Warfare Psychological warfare operations are integral to the broad concept of information warfare (xinxi zhanzheng). 3. which emphasize that modern information technology blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime. operations designed to influence a rival nation can no longer be aimed solely at military leaders or reserved for wartime.2 The goal of psychological warfare is to influence. The Science of Military Information (Beijing. As one Chinese volume observes. PRC: National Defense University Press. whether by slowing down transmission or by introducing false or inaccurate data. Information dominance rests on two primary factors: modern information technology. Similarly. between military and civilian.BACKGROUNDER | NO. pp. Yuan Wenxian. therefore. Academy of Military Science. technical. but also the entire globe. 5. but also internally. manage. economic. and tactics. intertwined nature of modern international politics and economics: [I]t is necessary in peacetime to undertake information warfare in the political. it targets externally. appropriately control the level of attack. and the ability to degrade the quality of information. 4. PRC: Academy of Military Science Press. 2821 JULY 11.5 Rather than trying to draw artificial boundaries among these categories. Nanjing Political Academy. Li Naiguo. constrain. clerks. p. information warfare is constant and ongoing. Guo Yanhua. 154. will target not only the physical information infrastructure and the data that pass through it. 2013 Specifically: There are myriad targets and objects of psychological warfare. whether in wartime or peacetime. etc.

2013). Egypt’s army justifiably intervened to restore order in support of the majority of Egyptians who were rebelling against an Islamist authoritarian regime. Ansar al-Sharia in Egypt (Supporters of Islamic Law). a new Islamist group. Even in the unlikely event that the Muslim Brotherhood reins in its members as part of some deal to allow it to compete in future elections. a coalition of 1. he could be well suited to steering the writing of a new constitution to replace the Islamist document that Morsi had rammed through in December. has called for continued protests until Morsi is reinstated as president. Speaking at Cairo’s Rabaa Mosque during a demonstration on “Rejection Friday. 2013 opposition political parties.” was relieved of his duties and that the Islamist-written constitution was suspended. launched coordinated attacks against police facilities and an airport at El Arish. 2013. had been sworn in as interim president. “Post-Coup Violence Spreads in Egypt. chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court. and Tunisia have served as front groups for attracting recruits to al-Qaeda–like terrorist organizations.BACKGROUNDER | NO. Mohammed Badie. the military authorities announced that Adly Mansour. July 6.”1 Tens of thousands of Morsi supporters poured out of mosques on Friday to protest Morsi’s ouster.” Badie warned. and Reem Abdellatif. Mansour pledged to continue the democratic reforms of the 2011 revolution so that “we stop producing tyrants” and said that new elections were “the only way” forward. Similar organizations in Libya. Morsi has been detained at an undisclosed location. Matt Bradley. political leaders. a secular liberal who led the National Salvation Front. ProMorsi demonstrations were quickly countered by anti-Morsi protests in a highly charged atmosphere that degenerated into widespread clashes. The next day. leaving at least 36 dead and more than 1. more radical Islamists are sure to push back violently. but this appointment was later rescinded under pressure from the Nour Party. As a judge. 2824 JULY 11. this time the military sought the endorsement of religious leaders. frequently clashed with the United States over the Iran nuclear issue when he led the International Atomic Energy Agency. Under these conditions. social. the provincial capital. and youth activists. President Mansour initially chose former opposition leader Mohamed el-Baradei as prime minister of the interim government on July 6. Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced that Morsi.com/article/SB10001424127887323899704578587131736732940.wsj. many of whom shared the stage when General el-Sissi announced Morsi’s ouster in a televised statement. Tamer El-Ghobashy. Islamist militants in the northern Sinai. It is expected that President Mansour will soon announce the formation of a new government with a cabinet composed of technocrats and caretakers. Mansour is a little-known but respected low-key technocrat. but Islamist leaders have vowed not to give up without a fight. a hotbed of Islamist extremism. On Monday. Unlike Gamal Abdel Nasser’s coup in 1952 or the 2011 coup that brought down Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s mushrooming political violence will be hard to control. and political problems. The authorities have sought to arrest more than 200 top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations on charges of inciting their followers to kill anti-Morsi demonstrators. the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mohamed Morsi focused more on maximizing his own power and that of the Muslim Brotherhood than on addressing Egypt’s worsening economic. “We are all willing to sacrifice our necks and our souls for him. Baradei. Yemen. mr. which he linked to foreign conspiracies. During his year in office. leftist and liberal parties. although he gave no indication of when they would be held. one of the few Islamist groups that supported the coup.000 injured. who had “failed to meet the demands of the people. 2 . http:/ / online.” The Wall Street Journal.html (accessed July 8. announced its formation on an online forum for militants in the Sinai region and proclaimed that it will gather arms and train recruits for a jihad against Egypt’s new government. at least 51 of Morsi’s supporters were killed when troops responded to an attack on the Republican Guard headquarters where Morsi was last seen before his ouster. On July 3.

Peacetime applications of psychological warfare techniques involve influencing and altering an opponent’s unconscious. In wartime.BACKGROUNDER | NO. Not only will this help generate war-weariness among enemy forces and populations and discourage resistance. including various forms of media. employing all the tools of communications. and among strategy. Psychological Warfare Knowledge. population. such operations may facilitate peace negotiations and induce more concessions. The primary objective of such efforts is to generate confusion. however. both to understand an opponent better and to lay the groundwork for effective wartime operations. one can foster a positive national image and increase foreign sympathy and support for one’s own policies and goals. Finally. 14. To be effective. PLA writings emphasize that modern information technology blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime. The GPD not only ensures political orthodoxy 6. operations. it is not solely by killing the enemy. one must emphasize information favorable to oneself through various forms of media as well as through third parties. and exhaustion in an opponent. and forcing them to react to a variety of charges so that their energy is dispersed. This need for control explains Beijing’s efforts to limit cyber access to the larger population. and tactics. In addition. doubt. 2013 very perceptions that inform decision making. since an opponent will also be trying to undermine one’s own forces. Such defensive measures require tight control of information flows in one’s own society and the insulation of one’s decision-makers and decision-making processes from enemy information warfare efforts. All the while. Ideally. portraying them as fostering ill intentions. and instill confidence and support for the Party and the state. By employing various forms of strategic communications.”6 In order to undermine the opponent’s morale. offensive psychological warfare operations must be complemented by defensive measures. The ability to interfere with an opponent’s information systems. thereby degrading opposition decision-making processes. and leaders. friendly elements in the opponent’s society. such a campaign will induce neglect and maximize the chances of an opponent making mistakes. can create a strong psychological impact. undermining their positions. but once the conflict is concluded. 3 . such techniques attempt to isolate opponents.” Chinese Concept of Psychological Warfare Tasks For the PLA. including diplomatic efforts. Successful psychological operations will therefore have repercussions at every level of operations. emphasizes one’s own strengths as well as a willingness to employ that strength to deter and coerce opponents more effectively. highlight one’s successes and the enemy’s failures. psychological warfare is the resposibility of the General Political Department (GPD). Wartime psychological warfare operations also aim to generate a sense of uncertainty and indecisiveness at all levels. fear. from the context to the biases. 2821 JULY 11. working in coordination with the rest of the PLA. “When one defeats the enemy. influencing the course of the conflict. and similar outlets. Another facet of wartime psychological operations is the sowing of discord and a sense of hopelessness in the enemy. regret. Guo. one must be working to counter opponents’ efforts to foster their own image of strength and unity. One must therefore attempt to solidify popular support for the conflict. terror. It is also likely that an opponent will attempt to demoralize one’s populace and that appropriate defensive measures will have to be taken. psychological warfare operations cannot be limited to wartime. p. Instead. including the “Great Firewall of China. but is mainly in terms of cowing the enemy’s heart. between military and civilian. implicit views in order to make that opponent more susceptible to coercion. peacetime psychological operations are necessary. psychological operations shift emphasis towards more specifically military targets and goals. anxiety. especially among senior military and civilian leaders. coupled with efforts to influence decision makers. or winning a piece of ground. At the same time.

but this appointment was later rescinded under pressure from the Nour Party.”1 Tens of thousands of Morsi supporters poured out of mosques on Friday to protest Morsi’s ouster. mr. and Tunisia have served as front groups for attracting recruits to al-Qaeda–like terrorist organizations. Unlike Gamal Abdel Nasser’s coup in 1952 or the 2011 coup that brought down Hosni Mubarak.” Badie warned. political leaders. a new Islamist group. Morsi has been detained at an undisclosed location. 2824 JULY 11. Tamer El-Ghobashy. and Reem Abdellatif. 2 . Egypt’s mushrooming political violence will be hard to control. July 6. this time the military sought the endorsement of religious leaders. President Mansour initially chose former opposition leader Mohamed el-Baradei as prime minister of the interim government on July 6. Egypt’s army justifiably intervened to restore order in support of the majority of Egyptians who were rebelling against an Islamist authoritarian regime. the provincial capital. Yemen. the military authorities announced that Adly Mansour. Similar organizations in Libya. a secular liberal who led the National Salvation Front. As a judge. more radical Islamists are sure to push back violently. social. but Islamist leaders have vowed not to give up without a fight. On July 3. leaving at least 36 dead and more than 1. Baradei. leftist and liberal parties. Mansour is a little-known but respected low-key technocrat. Mohammed Badie. one of the few Islamist groups that supported the coup. Under these conditions. ProMorsi demonstrations were quickly countered by anti-Morsi protests in a highly charged atmosphere that degenerated into widespread clashes.” was relieved of his duties and that the Islamist-written constitution was suspended. frequently clashed with the United States over the Iran nuclear issue when he led the International Atomic Energy Agency. http:/ / online. who had “failed to meet the demands of the people.” The Wall Street Journal. launched coordinated attacks against police facilities and an airport at El Arish. The next day. Islamist militants in the northern Sinai. 2013 opposition political parties. Mansour pledged to continue the democratic reforms of the 2011 revolution so that “we stop producing tyrants” and said that new elections were “the only way” forward. Matt Bradley. 2013. the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ansar al-Sharia in Egypt (Supporters of Islamic Law).html (accessed July 8. had been sworn in as interim president. which he linked to foreign conspiracies. many of whom shared the stage when General el-Sissi announced Morsi’s ouster in a televised statement. “Post-Coup Violence Spreads in Egypt. although he gave no indication of when they would be held. and youth activists.BACKGROUNDER | NO. and political problems. It is expected that President Mansour will soon announce the formation of a new government with a cabinet composed of technocrats and caretakers.000 injured. Mohamed Morsi focused more on maximizing his own power and that of the Muslim Brotherhood than on addressing Egypt’s worsening economic. a hotbed of Islamist extremism. Even in the unlikely event that the Muslim Brotherhood reins in its members as part of some deal to allow it to compete in future elections. “We are all willing to sacrifice our necks and our souls for him. Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced that Morsi. On Monday. chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court. has called for continued protests until Morsi is reinstated as president. announced its formation on an online forum for militants in the Sinai region and proclaimed that it will gather arms and train recruits for a jihad against Egypt’s new government. at least 51 of Morsi’s supporters were killed when troops responded to an attack on the Republican Guard headquarters where Morsi was last seen before his ouster. 2013). a coalition of 1.com/article/SB10001424127887323899704578587131736732940. Speaking at Cairo’s Rabaa Mosque during a demonstration on “Rejection Friday. The authorities have sought to arrest more than 200 top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations on charges of inciting their followers to kill anti-Morsi demonstrators. During his year in office.wsj. he could be well suited to steering the writing of a new constitution to replace the Islamist document that Morsi had rammed through in December.

it is not solely by killing the enemy. Such defensive measures require tight control of information flows in one’s own society and the insulation of one’s decision-makers and decision-making processes from enemy information warfare efforts. Not only will this help generate war-weariness among enemy forces and populations and discourage resistance.” Chinese Concept of Psychological Warfare Tasks For the PLA. 14. implicit views in order to make that opponent more susceptible to coercion.”6 In order to undermine the opponent’s morale. including diplomatic efforts. offensive psychological warfare operations must be complemented by defensive measures. however. but is mainly in terms of cowing the enemy’s heart. Another facet of wartime psychological operations is the sowing of discord and a sense of hopelessness in the enemy. fear. The GPD not only ensures political orthodoxy 6. one must be working to counter opponents’ efforts to foster their own image of strength and unity. and similar outlets. and forcing them to react to a variety of charges so that their energy is dispersed. one can foster a positive national image and increase foreign sympathy and support for one’s own policies and goals.BACKGROUNDER | NO. one must emphasize information favorable to oneself through various forms of media as well as through third parties. and exhaustion in an opponent. 3 . and tactics. The primary objective of such efforts is to generate confusion. highlight one’s successes and the enemy’s failures. between military and civilian. In addition. influencing the course of the conflict. anxiety. such a campaign will induce neglect and maximize the chances of an opponent making mistakes. By employing various forms of strategic communications. thereby degrading opposition decision-making processes. but once the conflict is concluded. especially among senior military and civilian leaders. Psychological Warfare Knowledge. and among strategy. 2013 very perceptions that inform decision making. friendly elements in the opponent’s society. “When one defeats the enemy. including the “Great Firewall of China. undermining their positions. Successful psychological operations will therefore have repercussions at every level of operations. Guo. population. operations. from the context to the biases. One must therefore attempt to solidify popular support for the conflict. and instill confidence and support for the Party and the state. Ideally. psychological warfare operations cannot be limited to wartime. All the while. doubt. working in coordination with the rest of the PLA. and leaders. Finally. emphasizes one’s own strengths as well as a willingness to employ that strength to deter and coerce opponents more effectively. This need for control explains Beijing’s efforts to limit cyber access to the larger population. coupled with efforts to influence decision makers. Peacetime applications of psychological warfare techniques involve influencing and altering an opponent’s unconscious. In wartime. The ability to interfere with an opponent’s information systems. psychological operations shift emphasis towards more specifically military targets and goals. Wartime psychological warfare operations also aim to generate a sense of uncertainty and indecisiveness at all levels. At the same time. since an opponent will also be trying to undermine one’s own forces. including various forms of media. both to understand an opponent better and to lay the groundwork for effective wartime operations. such operations may facilitate peace negotiations and induce more concessions. It is also likely that an opponent will attempt to demoralize one’s populace and that appropriate defensive measures will have to be taken. can create a strong psychological impact. regret. To be effective. PLA writings emphasize that modern information technology blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime. portraying them as fostering ill intentions. psychological warfare is the resposibility of the General Political Department (GPD). peacetime psychological operations are necessary. such techniques attempt to isolate opponents. or winning a piece of ground. terror. 2821 JULY 11. employing all the tools of communications. Instead. p.

This need for control explains Beijing’s efforts to limit cyber access to the larger population. terror. portraying them as fostering ill intentions. At the same time. one must be working to counter opponents’ efforts to foster their own image of strength and unity. however.BACKGROUNDER | NO. such techniques attempt to isolate opponents. including diplomatic efforts. emphasizes one’s own strengths as well as a willingness to employ that strength to deter and coerce opponents more effectively. One must therefore attempt to solidify popular support for the conflict. anxiety. and exhaustion in an opponent. Not only will this help generate war-weariness among enemy forces and populations and discourage resistance. between military and civilian. such operations may facilitate peace negotiations and induce more concessions.” Chinese Concept of Psychological Warfare Tasks For the PLA. and similar outlets. especially among senior military and civilian leaders. including the “Great Firewall of China. thereby degrading opposition decision-making processes. undermining their positions. working in coordination with the rest of the PLA. but is mainly in terms of cowing the enemy’s heart. PLA writings emphasize that modern information technology blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime. or winning a piece of ground. one can foster a positive national image and increase foreign sympathy and support for one’s own policies and goals. fear. The GPD not only ensures political orthodoxy 6. Ideally. and tactics. Such defensive measures require tight control of information flows in one’s own society and the insulation of one’s decision-makers and decision-making processes from enemy information warfare efforts. All the while. but once the conflict is concluded. p. Wartime psychological warfare operations also aim to generate a sense of uncertainty and indecisiveness at all levels. psychological operations shift emphasis towards more specifically military targets and goals. Successful psychological operations will therefore have repercussions at every level of operations. implicit views in order to make that opponent more susceptible to coercion. Finally. including various forms of media. population. It is also likely that an opponent will attempt to demoralize one’s populace and that appropriate defensive measures will have to be taken. In addition. can create a strong psychological impact. The primary objective of such efforts is to generate confusion.”6 In order to undermine the opponent’s morale. doubt. Another facet of wartime psychological operations is the sowing of discord and a sense of hopelessness in the enemy. employing all the tools of communications. and instill confidence and support for the Party and the state. “When one defeats the enemy. 14. one must emphasize information favorable to oneself through various forms of media as well as through third parties. offensive psychological warfare operations must be complemented by defensive measures. both to understand an opponent better and to lay the groundwork for effective wartime operations. and leaders. highlight one’s successes and the enemy’s failures. operations. and among strategy. By employing various forms of strategic communications. psychological warfare operations cannot be limited to wartime. Guo. peacetime psychological operations are necessary. To be effective. regret. Peacetime applications of psychological warfare techniques involve influencing and altering an opponent’s unconscious. 3 . since an opponent will also be trying to undermine one’s own forces. psychological warfare is the resposibility of the General Political Department (GPD). In wartime. coupled with efforts to influence decision makers. from the context to the biases. 2821 JULY 11. and forcing them to react to a variety of charges so that their energy is dispersed. friendly elements in the opponent’s society. such a campaign will induce neglect and maximize the chances of an opponent making mistakes. influencing the course of the conflict. it is not solely by killing the enemy. Psychological Warfare Knowledge. Instead. 2013 very perceptions that inform decision making. The ability to interfere with an opponent’s information systems.

a hotbed of Islamist extremism. mr.BACKGROUNDER | NO. chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court. leftist and liberal parties. this time the military sought the endorsement of religious leaders. Yemen. Speaking at Cairo’s Rabaa Mosque during a demonstration on “Rejection Friday. although he gave no indication of when they would be held. a coalition of 1. ProMorsi demonstrations were quickly countered by anti-Morsi protests in a highly charged atmosphere that degenerated into widespread clashes. more radical Islamists are sure to push back violently. 2013 opposition political parties. The authorities have sought to arrest more than 200 top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations on charges of inciting their followers to kill anti-Morsi demonstrators. but this appointment was later rescinded under pressure from the Nour Party. social. The next day.” Badie warned. Matt Bradley. Even in the unlikely event that the Muslim Brotherhood reins in its members as part of some deal to allow it to compete in future elections. Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced that Morsi. Mohamed Morsi focused more on maximizing his own power and that of the Muslim Brotherhood than on addressing Egypt’s worsening economic. Mansour is a little-known but respected low-key technocrat.html (accessed July 8. many of whom shared the stage when General el-Sissi announced Morsi’s ouster in a televised statement. and Reem Abdellatif. http:/ / online. he could be well suited to steering the writing of a new constitution to replace the Islamist document that Morsi had rammed through in December. a new Islamist group. On July 3. July 6. the provincial capital.” was relieved of his duties and that the Islamist-written constitution was suspended. 2 . Ansar al-Sharia in Egypt (Supporters of Islamic Law).com/article/SB10001424127887323899704578587131736732940. at least 51 of Morsi’s supporters were killed when troops responded to an attack on the Republican Guard headquarters where Morsi was last seen before his ouster. Tamer El-Ghobashy.wsj. As a judge. Under these conditions. Egypt’s army justifiably intervened to restore order in support of the majority of Egyptians who were rebelling against an Islamist authoritarian regime. and Tunisia have served as front groups for attracting recruits to al-Qaeda–like terrorist organizations. launched coordinated attacks against police facilities and an airport at El Arish. “Post-Coup Violence Spreads in Egypt.”1 Tens of thousands of Morsi supporters poured out of mosques on Friday to protest Morsi’s ouster. Islamist militants in the northern Sinai. the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. one of the few Islamist groups that supported the coup. a secular liberal who led the National Salvation Front. On Monday. “We are all willing to sacrifice our necks and our souls for him. Egypt’s mushrooming political violence will be hard to control. Similar organizations in Libya. 2824 JULY 11. has called for continued protests until Morsi is reinstated as president. Mansour pledged to continue the democratic reforms of the 2011 revolution so that “we stop producing tyrants” and said that new elections were “the only way” forward. leaving at least 36 dead and more than 1. and youth activists. Unlike Gamal Abdel Nasser’s coup in 1952 or the 2011 coup that brought down Hosni Mubarak. but Islamist leaders have vowed not to give up without a fight. and political problems. 2013. President Mansour initially chose former opposition leader Mohamed el-Baradei as prime minister of the interim government on July 6. announced its formation on an online forum for militants in the Sinai region and proclaimed that it will gather arms and train recruits for a jihad against Egypt’s new government. It is expected that President Mansour will soon announce the formation of a new government with a cabinet composed of technocrats and caretakers.” The Wall Street Journal. Mohammed Badie. the military authorities announced that Adly Mansour. Morsi has been detained at an undisclosed location. During his year in office. which he linked to foreign conspiracies. frequently clashed with the United States over the Iran nuclear issue when he led the International Atomic Energy Agency. 2013).000 injured. who had “failed to meet the demands of the people. had been sworn in as interim president. Baradei. political leaders.

Such expansion will be supported by manipulation of an enemy’s leadership. as well as dedicated psychological operations units. To avoid being psychologically outmaneuvered by a PRC intent on winning without firing a shot. NE Washington. It is therefore essential that the United States counter such psychological operations now while preparing to use its own arsenal of political warfare weapons should a conflict ever arise. 2013 Winning Without Fighting: The Chinese Psychological Warfare Challenge Dean Cheng Abstract Beijing hopes to win future conflicts without firing a shot. must strengthen its own psychological warfare capabilities. the People’s Republic of China has exhibited growing interest in waging asymmetrical warfare. This distinction both obligates the PLA to help maintain the CCP’s grip on power and gives it an additional set of tools with which to defend the CCP and the Chinese state.org/bg2821 Produced by the Asian Studies Center The Heritage Foundation 214 Massachusetts Avenue. Psychological warfare is in some ways the most far-reaching of the “three warfares.BACKGROUNDER No. The PLA is. How? By using psychological warfare to manipulate both a nation’s leaders and its populace—affecting the thought processes and cognitive frameworks of allies and opponents alike.” It involves the application of specialized information and media in accordance with a strategic goal and in support of political and military objectives. Indeed. it is also preparing to conduct “political warfare. and deception. psychological warfare. ■■ ne of the elements distinguishing the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from many of its counterparts is its continued role as a Party army. the U. and psychological warfare. legal warfare. public diplomacy. involving the direct or indirect use of military forces) to the more political. including strategic communications. O ■■ ■■ ■■ This paper. and legal warfare. To this end. Key Points ■■ Over the past decade. The “three warfares” represent the PRC’s commitment to expanding potential areas of conflict from the purely military (i. in its entirety. the PRC released “political work regulations” for the People’s Liberation Army addressing the importance of waging “the three warfares”: public opinion warfare. the PRC’s psychological warfare operations are already underway despite the fact that there is no active conflict. can be found at http://report.S. first and foremost.heritage. the PLA is not only planning for operations on the physical battlefield. alienation.e. the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). At the moment. including through intimidation and coercion.. and media outreach capabilities.org Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.1 Such efforts are aimed at a variety of potential audiences and usually involve operational missions against an opponent’s psychology and cognitive capacities. . 2821 | JULY 11. DC 20002 (202) 546-4400 | heritage.” including what is termed the “three warfares”: public opinion warfare.

2008). and the ability to degrade the quality of information. 2 . Because of the complex. The Science of Military Information (Beijing. the users of information—both high-level decision-makers and lower-level policy implementers (individual soldiers. intertwined nature of modern international politics and economics: [I]t is necessary in peacetime to undertake information warfare in the political. Li Naiguo. especially those who are making decisions. but also against friends. but also the human agents that interact with those data. PRC: Academy of Military Science Press. p. it must deal with allied countries. which emphasize that modern information technology blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime. and seek the best strategic interest and long-term benefit. manage. The ability to triumph in future “Local Wars Under Informationized Conditions”—the most likely form of wars in the Information Age—rests upon the ability to secure “information dominance (zhi xinxi quan). Similarly. and military realms. A product of the Information Age.BACKGROUNDER | NO. Information dominance rests on two primary factors: modern information technology. New Theories of Information War (Beijing. and tactics. In this context. constrain. PRC: National Defense University Press. and exploit accurate information more quickly than an opponent. 154. p. Given the nature of modern technology and informationized societies. as well as information systems. and even exploitation. As one Chinese volume observes. PRC: National Defense University Press. appropriately calculate gains and losses in a conflict. 2. p. economic. Informationalized Operations Theory Study Guide (Beijing. information collection. and among strategy. and habits while at the same time strengthening friendly psychology. PRC: Academy of Military Science Press.4 This philosophy is echoed in other PLA writings. pp. etc. Yuan Wenxian. Operations Theory and Regulations Research Department and Informationalized Operations Theory Research Office. 5. 4. 77–79. but also internally. is not necessarily restricted by “wartime” versus “peacetime” categorizations. information warfare is constant and ongoing. with effective coverage of many areas. Academy of Military Science. therefore.5 Rather than trying to draw artificial boundaries among these categories. 404. but also the entire globe. and one must rely on the media acting in multiple directions jointly. No. as only then can one scientifically establish operational plans. whether by slowing down transmission or by introducing false or inaccurate data. precisely strike predetermined targets. Nanjing Political Academy. makes clear-cut classifications of “military” and “civilian” almost impossible. psychological operations are seen as an essential part of future conflicts. clerks. November 2005). whether in wartime or peacetime. “Study of the Journalistic Media Warfare in the Iraq War. 1. Military News Department Study Group. p. But in the Chinese conception of psychological warfare. Guo Yanhua. operations. appropriately control the level of attack. Psychological Warfare Knowledge (Beijing. Efforts to secure information dominance. between military and civilian. 2004).3 Psychological Warfare and Information Warfare Psychological warfare operations are integral to the broad concept of information warfare (xinxi zhanzheng). 2821 JULY 11. The interconnected nature of information. emotions.” This in turn requires the ability to collect.2 The goal of psychological warfare is to influence. will target not only the physical information infrastructure and the data that pass through it. 2013 Specifically: There are myriad targets and objects of psychological warfare. information warfare is the struggle to dominate the generation and flow of information in order to enhance and support one’s own strategic goals while degrading and constraining those of an opponent. 4 (2003).)—are as important as the computers and networks and the software that runs them.” China Military Science. technical. it is applied against the enemy. and/or alter an opponent’s thoughts. affecting the 1. 30. 2005). 3. which is integral to information collection and transmission. in order to comprehensively realize the various goals. it targets externally. the implication is that information should be treated as an integrated whole. operations designed to influence a rival nation can no longer be aimed solely at military leaders or reserved for wartime.

The primary objective of such efforts is to generate confusion. population. In wartime. influencing the course of the conflict. In addition. both to understand an opponent better and to lay the groundwork for effective wartime operations. “When one defeats the enemy. undermining their positions. 2013 very perceptions that inform decision making. Not only will this help generate war-weariness among enemy forces and populations and discourage resistance. but is mainly in terms of cowing the enemy’s heart. portraying them as fostering ill intentions. terror. 2821 JULY 11. Guo. and instill confidence and support for the Party and the state. such techniques attempt to isolate opponents. one must be working to counter opponents’ efforts to foster their own image of strength and unity. PLA writings emphasize that modern information technology blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime. between military and civilian. working in coordination with the rest of the PLA. Successful psychological operations will therefore have repercussions at every level of operations. Such defensive measures require tight control of information flows in one’s own society and the insulation of one’s decision-makers and decision-making processes from enemy information warfare efforts. and tactics. Finally. including diplomatic efforts. p. emphasizes one’s own strengths as well as a willingness to employ that strength to deter and coerce opponents more effectively. psychological warfare operations cannot be limited to wartime. Instead. and forcing them to react to a variety of charges so that their energy is dispersed. 14. doubt. especially among senior military and civilian leaders. The ability to interfere with an opponent’s information systems. regret. and similar outlets. One must therefore attempt to solidify popular support for the conflict. Wartime psychological warfare operations also aim to generate a sense of uncertainty and indecisiveness at all levels. it is not solely by killing the enemy. and among strategy. Peacetime applications of psychological warfare techniques involve influencing and altering an opponent’s unconscious.”6 In order to undermine the opponent’s morale. fear. All the while. At the same time. since an opponent will also be trying to undermine one’s own forces. including the “Great Firewall of China. highlight one’s successes and the enemy’s failures. implicit views in order to make that opponent more susceptible to coercion. can create a strong psychological impact. psychological operations shift emphasis towards more specifically military targets and goals. from the context to the biases. or winning a piece of ground. The GPD not only ensures political orthodoxy 6. employing all the tools of communications.BACKGROUNDER | NO. By employing various forms of strategic communications. including various forms of media. one can foster a positive national image and increase foreign sympathy and support for one’s own policies and goals. Another facet of wartime psychological operations is the sowing of discord and a sense of hopelessness in the enemy. anxiety. Ideally. such operations may facilitate peace negotiations and induce more concessions. psychological warfare is the resposibility of the General Political Department (GPD). and leaders. thereby degrading opposition decision-making processes. peacetime psychological operations are necessary. This need for control explains Beijing’s efforts to limit cyber access to the larger population. however. To be effective. one must emphasize information favorable to oneself through various forms of media as well as through third parties. coupled with efforts to influence decision makers. offensive psychological warfare operations must be complemented by defensive measures. operations.” Chinese Concept of Psychological Warfare Tasks For the PLA. and exhaustion in an opponent. It is also likely that an opponent will attempt to demoralize one’s populace and that appropriate defensive measures will have to be taken. but once the conflict is concluded. Psychological Warfare Knowledge. friendly elements in the opponent’s society. such a campaign will induce neglect and maximize the chances of an opponent making mistakes. 3 .

and among strategy. friendly elements in the opponent’s society. Guo.BACKGROUNDER | NO. PLA writings emphasize that modern information technology blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime. The GPD not only ensures political orthodoxy 6. and instill confidence and support for the Party and the state. however. terror. since an opponent will also be trying to undermine one’s own forces. 2821 JULY 11. Ideally. highlight one’s successes and the enemy’s failures. Wartime psychological warfare operations also aim to generate a sense of uncertainty and indecisiveness at all levels. 2013 very perceptions that inform decision making. By employing various forms of strategic communications. such techniques attempt to isolate opponents. can create a strong psychological impact. The ability to interfere with an opponent’s information systems. 3 . Such defensive measures require tight control of information flows in one’s own society and the insulation of one’s decision-makers and decision-making processes from enemy information warfare efforts. but is mainly in terms of cowing the enemy’s heart. especially among senior military and civilian leaders. anxiety.”6 In order to undermine the opponent’s morale. portraying them as fostering ill intentions. All the while.” Chinese Concept of Psychological Warfare Tasks For the PLA. implicit views in order to make that opponent more susceptible to coercion. One must therefore attempt to solidify popular support for the conflict. Peacetime applications of psychological warfare techniques involve influencing and altering an opponent’s unconscious. influencing the course of the conflict. thereby degrading opposition decision-making processes. such a campaign will induce neglect and maximize the chances of an opponent making mistakes. employing all the tools of communications. one can foster a positive national image and increase foreign sympathy and support for one’s own policies and goals. including diplomatic efforts. In wartime. emphasizes one’s own strengths as well as a willingness to employ that strength to deter and coerce opponents more effectively. and exhaustion in an opponent. “When one defeats the enemy. In addition. To be effective. such operations may facilitate peace negotiations and induce more concessions. fear. and tactics. it is not solely by killing the enemy. one must emphasize information favorable to oneself through various forms of media as well as through third parties. including the “Great Firewall of China. Successful psychological operations will therefore have repercussions at every level of operations. and forcing them to react to a variety of charges so that their energy is dispersed. undermining their positions. Another facet of wartime psychological operations is the sowing of discord and a sense of hopelessness in the enemy. Finally. 14. offensive psychological warfare operations must be complemented by defensive measures. one must be working to counter opponents’ efforts to foster their own image of strength and unity. population. both to understand an opponent better and to lay the groundwork for effective wartime operations. and similar outlets. psychological warfare is the resposibility of the General Political Department (GPD). p. working in coordination with the rest of the PLA. Instead. and leaders. At the same time. coupled with efforts to influence decision makers. Psychological Warfare Knowledge. The primary objective of such efforts is to generate confusion. including various forms of media. or winning a piece of ground. regret. from the context to the biases. psychological operations shift emphasis towards more specifically military targets and goals. This need for control explains Beijing’s efforts to limit cyber access to the larger population. but once the conflict is concluded. operations. Not only will this help generate war-weariness among enemy forces and populations and discourage resistance. psychological warfare operations cannot be limited to wartime. between military and civilian. peacetime psychological operations are necessary. It is also likely that an opponent will attempt to demoralize one’s populace and that appropriate defensive measures will have to be taken. doubt.

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