Below, an internal Pentagon email from Rosa Brooks,
Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and International
Humanitarian Policy, explaining to senior Pentagon officials that the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has signed off on an effort to reduce the stigma of "psychological operations" -- "PSYOPS" -- by changing its name to "Military Information Support Operations" -- or MISO.
The e-mail was obtained by a source who supports the name change.
Yes, but it's a start.
According to official Pentagon policy, "PSYOPS" are "planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals."
That sounds a bit sinister, and so does "PSYOPS," which is why Adm. Eric Olson, the Commander in Chief of the Special Operations Command, decided that he wanted to change the name. Some PSYOPS are tricky and controversial, but most are benign. The post-earthquake radio broadcasts the U.S. military orchestrated in Haiti telling people where they could get food were technically PSYOPS, as are posters and radio ads in Iraq informing citizens that if they come across an IED, they should call a certain telephone number to report it.