Friday, October 16, 2009

Intelligence and Persuasion

Wednesday, September, 23, 2009

By Jessica Seipel, Northwest Missouri State University

Persuasion is the process by which a person's attitudes or behavior are, without pressure, influenced by communications from other people.  Intelligence means capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc. ( Persuasion tries to please both the persuader and the persuade.  Persuasion is when you try to get what you want out of the situation.  The art of persuasion is when you help other people get what they want.  People use intelligence to persuade.  People need to get to know their audience and who they are trying to persuade. 

Military’s use different ways of Mass Persuasion.  For example, in 2003 seventeen Iraqi soldiers surrendered to the US government.  They believed that this might have happened due to their mass persuasion before the war.  Military intelligence officers and psychologists sent e-mails, made phone calls and even dropped millions of flyers out of the sky to persuade Iraqi soldiers and fighters in the Republican guard to give up.  There were also the radio broadcasts that have been broadcasting to the enemies since the Vietnam War.  This was called Commando Solo.  They broadcast daily and usually consist of messages telling the Iraqi soldiers to go home, surrender, or stop shooting.  Flyers were another weapon used.  There were about nineteen million flyers dropped out of the sky telling Iraqi soldiers to not hurt any civilians, or use weapons of mass destruction, or to set the oil their oil fields on fire. The flyers also told the soldiers how to go about surrendering.  Another example, of Commando Solo was used during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 called, "Voice of the Gulf" radio.  Thousands of Iraqi’s who gave up said that their decision was influenced by the radio.  Commando Solo is considered to be the, “weapon of mass persuasion.”

Intelligence and Persuasion played a huge role in the War on Terrorism.  Military persuasion is the threat or use of armed force in order to get a needed political or military goal.  Military persuasion is also a psychological strategy where they try to pressure them into a decision.  Military persuasion has been around for a long time, war is mental and physical.  After the 9/11 the US government sought to bring whoever was responsible to justice for the lives of 2,800 men and women.  The United States attacked al Quida bringing the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan.

A form of mass persuasion took place September 21, 1943, by a very well known radio entertainer named, Kate Smith.  She ran a marathon war bond drive running for eighteen hours and making sixty-five appeals.  This showed a great success because by the end of that eighteen hours 31,000,000 dollars had been raised for war bond purchases.  Kate Smith’s intelligence to reach out to a wider audience through the radio was a success.



Cimbala, S(2006).  Military Persuasion, Intelligence and the War on Terror(Abstract). Defense and Security Analysis, 22, 61-72


Wilkinson, T(2003, March 20).  Military’s ‘Weapon of Mass Persuasion’.  Retrieved from




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