10 Counterinsurgency And 'Psy-Ops' Tactics Companies Use Against Protesters

Army psychological operation soldiers

Photo: fh via flickr

Environmental activist Sharon Wilson showed up to an oil industry event in Houston last week and caught a startling glimpse into how the fracking industry approaches residents in towns where they drill.Wilson recorded industry insiders confirming they hire military psychological operation veterans, and use procedures pulled straight from the Army’s counterinsurgency manual.

The first half of the following slide titles are pulled exactly from the manual’s section on ASPECTS OF COUNTERINSURGENCY. The second half is our interpretation of how that directive would be employed in American towns.

The text in the slides is pulled directly from the manual as well, though references to government etc. are put in brackets and changed to [corporation] for context. The corporations are referred to as the counterinsurgency or COIN.

Legitimacy is the Main Objective: Insert the government of choice

Unity of Effort is Essential: Obtain full control of all government agencies

Understand the Environment: Become friends with the townsfolk

Isolate Insurgents from Their Cause and Support: Initiate legal action to cut protesters financial support

It is easier to cut an insurgency off and let it die than to kill every insurgent.

'Attempting to kill every insurgent is normally impossible.

It can also be counterproductive, generating popular resentment, creating martyrs that motivate new recruits, and producing cycles of revenge. Dynamic insurgencies also replace losses quickly.

... legal action might be required to limit financial support. As the host government increases its own legitimacy, the people begin to more actively assist it, eventually marginalizing and stigmatizing insurgents to the point where their legitimacy is destroyed.

Victory is gained not when this isolation is achieved, but when it is permanently maintained by and with the active support of the populace.'

Source: Army FM-34

Prepare for a Long-Term Commitment: Settle in and get comfortable, they'll be there 'til the hole runs dry

Manage Information and Expectations: Limit discontent and build support

Use Measured Force: Sometimes there's no other choice but to get physical

Learn and Adapt: Gather informants, create new laws and policies

Empower the Lowest Levels: Give every employee involved the ability to make decisions

Support the Host Nation: Develop local leaders to maintain corporate policy

Yes, US corporations admit to using these tactics on Americans

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