Psyops, or psychological operations, is a phrase utilized to illustrate the techniques of psychological manipulation applied in warfare.
These operations are employed to deceive, confuse, disrupt and demoralize the enemy, with an purpose toward weakening enemy resistance or even inducing enemy forces to surrender and enemy populations to capitulate.
As the flip-side to the ancient intelligence that knowledge is key to all effective warfare strategies, the art of intentionally sowing deception has been recognized and practiced for thousands of years.
Over 2000 years ago, the use of deception and psychological manipulation as a instrument of combat was detailed in Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu’s The Art of War:
“All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable of attacking, feign incapacity; when active in moving troops, feign inactivity.”
More than a simple theory, however, psychological warfare has been applied since the dawn of recorded history.
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