Army Drops 'Psy-Ops' Name as Too Sinister

Introducing 'Military Information Support Operations'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2010 10:42 AM CDT
A young boy looks as an Iraqi man displays leaflets that were dropped by the U.S. military in Baghdad, Iraq.   (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

(Newser) – In its battle to win hearts and minds, the Army doesn't want to sound too devious. Therefore, it's changed the Vietnam-era name of "psychological operations"—or "psy-ops" as it's been depicted in countless movies—to the bureaucratic-sounding Military Information Support Operations, reports AP.

The program mostly drops leaflets or runs radio broadcasts, and the Army thought the name conjured images of sinister brainwashing. "One of the catalysts for the transition is foreign and domestic sensitivities to the term 'psychological operations' that often lead to a misunderstanding of the mission," explains a military official. But a retired colonel who used to run the program accuses the military of being too politically correct. The name's got "baggage," he says, but it "can be overcome."

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