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Psychological Operations Analysis

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ANALYSIS PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATION IN PANAMA

According to the types of psychological operation general can be classified into three types, which were Strategic Psychological Operation, Tactical Psychological Operation and Consolidation Psychological Operation. During the psychological operation in Panama, there are two main types of psychological operation that been use which were loudspeaker and leaflets. The psychological operation that used in Panama can be classified as types of Strategic Psychological Operation.

Strategic Psychological Operation were activities that by using the political, economic, military, sociological and psychological against any group in the country either friendly, neutral or hostile group.[1] The aim of Strategic Psychological Operation was must be related to the support of civil population. The operation can increase the morale of friendly groups and at the same time can gain the support from the neutrals side. The America has using the loudspeaker operation in intervene of Panama. Before the America troop attack the enemy the loudspeaker of America will carry out messages as below[2]:

Message 1. Phase 1.

Attention, attention, attention. Everyone clear the building. Lay down your weapons. Come out one at a time with your hands on your head and you won't get hurt. The building is surrounded.

Message 1. Phase 2.

Attention, attention, attention. Everyone in the building. You have 5 minutes to lay down your weapons and come out with your hands on your head. We intend to destroy the entire building and kill all of you in it unless you do as you are told. You can't escape. The building is surrounded. Don't die when you don't have to. Your five minutes has started.

Why the America always have to give this two message before the troop start to attack the enemy? This is because America wanted to create a good image for them. Through the message carried out by the loudspeaker not even can hear by the enemy but by the population too. The messages can stressed the legitimacy of the America action because the population of Panama will think that America troop has given chance for the enemy to surrender before they take action. The America also had taken over of the TV2, which was the most population TV station in Panama.[3] By taken over the TV station the America can easily to take control of the media or news among the population. The TV station use by the Pennsylvania National Guard, serving to calm down the population in Panama which in fears or rumors.[4] The America has using the loudspeaker and TV station to achieve the aim of this Strategy PSYOPs, the America always give a message that their aim was the Noriega and his violent underlings but not the people of Panama.

If against the enemy, the Strategy PSYOPs can undermine the morale of enemy even can promote or encourage disagreement among the enemy’s organization.[5] The operation leaflet has been use by the America against the enemy to encourage them to surrender. A few of the leaflets was the theme of reward for weapons, the text of the leaflets has been carry out easily to understand with the amounts of rewards and the types of weapons with different amount of rewards, the leaflets not even ask the enemy to surrender their weapons but also ask the population the pointed the location of the enemy which hidden weapon. Besides that, America also have a poster which show that the Panamanians how to turn in their weapons.

The application of the Strategic PSYOPs was to destroy the image and organization of the enemy. The psychological operation in Panama has aim to destroy the image of the Noriega, which force the population to accept him as a winner in the election. From one of application that use by the America was dissension and dissatisfaction between enemy leaders and the people.[6] The America has aim on this application to intervene on Panama and at the same time America can gain the support from the population that against the Noriega. From the operation of loudspeaker that carries out a message that America was take action because of justice of democracy. The Cartoon Propaganda in Newspaper also used to against Noriega. The America has using the Cartoon to create black propaganda against the Noriega. One of the cartoon with the title “Church?” has showed that the Noriega as the Devil hiding behind a Christian Cross.[7] This can be seen as a propaganda that creates by the America against the population to believe that the Noriega was not a good leader. The America has influence the hearts and minds of the population either friendly, neutrals and the supporter of Noriega.

The Strategy Psychological Operation was a long term of operation, so the effect of the Strategy was difficult to evaluate. The Operation Just Cause has been ended with the surrender of the Noriega which defeat by the PSYOPs of loud speaker with Rock Music. The America also win the hearts and mind of the population of Panama, if not they would not success in the operation.

PSYOPs CAPABILITIES

They are some capabilities of psychological operation that involve in the Panama. The capabilities that have in the Panama were create or destroy images, morale, keep public informed and undermine the enemy morale.[8]

First create or destroy images, the image or moral of the person can be destroy by create some plan to exploiting the good or bad of the personnel. In the PSYOPs Panama the America has using the black propaganda against the Noriega, cartoon in the newspaper has destroy the images of the Noriega. Even the cartoon has been drew the Noriega as devil.

Second morale of the people, the PSYOPs can use to change or improve the morale of the civilians by using the credible propaganda. There was a leaflet that use in the population was the tittle “Law”. The leaflet had asked the support for the democracy, respect the law and report the criminal act. This leaflet was tried to influence the people which may in the side of neutral, to make their attention on the democracy in Panama. At the same time it also can increase the morale of the anti-Noriega which they can gains more supportive of the population.

Third keep public informed, the population must be keeping inform by the government about their objective or goals so can prove that they are carried the interest of the people and the nation. The loudspeaker and TV station has been use by the America to create their good image among the panama population. The America has told the population that because of the Noriega was not followed the democracy law, so he must be taken down. The America using the loudspeaker to act as they were the justice of democracy in Panama. Some of the leaflets also use to create a good image of America such as the leaflets with the title of “Christmas”, the text was much happiness and was for all the children of Panama. America has very active in create a good image among the population, may be this was some lesson learn from them during in the Vietnam War.

The forth was undermined the morale of the enemy, by pointing out the weaknesses of the enemy, a PSYOPs can easily to undermined the morale of the enemy. During the PSYOPs in Panama, in the final stage of Operation Just Cause there was a group of PYSOP troop played a rock music surrounded the Vatican Embassy which the Noriega taken refuge.[9] The music has been played 24 hour a day without stopping until Noriega cannot taken it anymore surrendered him selves. The PSYOPs that using the rock music to bombard has been successful to undermined the will of Noriega to continue the fight with America.

The fifth was encourage the defections and surrenders, the enemy can be encourage to surrender if they are been subjected to PSYOPs for a long time. The leaflets with rewards for weapons were PSYOPs that use to encourage the enemy to surrender their weapons. With the high rewards for the surrender the weapons, it will be the interest for the enemy. The loudspeaker also been use to encourage the enemy surrender themselves before they been attack.


[1] Reader Pack

[2] http://www.psywarrior.com/PanamaHerb.html

[3] http://www.psywarrior.com/PanamaHerb.html

[4] http://www.psywarrior.com/PanamaHerb.html

[5] Reader Pack

[6] Reader Pack

[7] http://www.psywarrior.com/PanamaHerb.html

[8] Reader Pack

[9] http://www.psywarrior.com/panama.html


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