Strategic Communications: How NATO Shapes and Manipulates Public Opinion

“PSYOPS have been used throughout history to influence attitudes and behaviours of people, leaders and key communicators. The dense and ubiquitous nature of today’s global information environment, coupled with NATO’s involvement in non-Article 5 Crisis Response Operations, have dramatically increased the demand and importance of effective PSYOPS. In today’s Information Age, NATO can expect to operate for an extended period of time in an area where sophisticated, indigenous media compete for influence over the perceptions of local audiences. The organisation, state, or entity more able to effectively influence the understanding of a crisis or conflict, especially managing the perceptions of particular target audiences, will likely be the most successful. PSYOPS are conducted to convey selected information and indicators to governments, organisations, groups and individuals, with the aim of influencing their emotions, attitudes, motives, perceptions, reasoning and ultimately their behaviour and decisions.”

(Excerpt from “Strategic Communications: How NATO Shapes and Manipulates Public Opinion“, a declassified document released on Public Intelligence)

A diagram depicting the relationships between various components of NATO’s strategic communications efforts