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Interest has increased regarding capabilities that may allow the United States to effectively influence the attitudes and behavior of particular foreign audiences while minimizing or avoiding combat. This increase is largely the result of (1) the post-9/11 realization that the U.S. image in much of the Muslim world may be facilitating the mobilization and recruitment of global jihadists and (2) the difficulties that the United States has encountered in promoting stability and political reconciliation in post-war Iraq. Larson et al. aim to assist the U.S. Army in understanding “influence operations,” whose purpose is to persuade foreign audiences. The authors identify approaches, methodologies, and tools that may be useful in planning, executing, and assessing influence operations.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Influencing Individuals

  • Chapter Three

    Influencing Groups and Networks

  • Chapter Four

    Influencing Adversary Leadership Coalitions

  • Chapter Five

    Influencing Mass Publics

  • Chapter Six

    A Framework for Influence Operations

  • Chapter Seven

    Implications for Planners

  • Appendix A

    Case Study of Influence in Advertising and Marketing

  • Appendix B

    Case Study of Influence in Political Campaigns

  • Appendix C

    Case Studies of Influence in Public Diplomacy

  • Appendix D

    A Review of Planning Methodologies for Influence Operations

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by RAND Arroyo Center.

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