They are soldiers who fight without shooting: their battlefield is our mind

Ghosts in the Machine: a strange enlistment video for very atypical soldiers

I have been watching recruitment spots from different armies for many years, and I had never seen anything like the video that I bring you today.

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The video was posted this week on Youtube. When you start watching it, it looks like a video edited by a group of hackers, but with outstanding quality. However, as the video progresses, it becomes clear that it is something else: the video warns that a threat is rising in the East, showing images of Chinese and Russian military parading. What the video seeks is to enlist soldiers who must fight a battle without shooting, perhaps one of the most important battles of our time, and at the same time one of the most unknown to the general public. A war whose battlefield is our mind:

The video has been published by the 4th Psychological Operations Group, a unit of the United States Army that is in charge of psychological warfare. Their mission is not to kill or wound, but rather to persuade and erode the enemy’s morale, even causing them to surrender, while motivating friendly forces.

The 4th Psychological Operations Group (4th POG) was created in 1967. To understand its importance, suffice it to say that it is part of the 1st Special Operations Command, the famous “green berets”, and as such is integrated into the Operations Command US Army Specials. The 4th POG is made up of four battalions, one of which (the 6th POB) has Europe as its field of operations.

A significant detail: the background of the group’s shield has three background colors: gray, white and black, common colors in the emblems of psychological operations groups (PSYOPS) since they identify the type of operations they usually carry out: white (the that can be officially recognized), gray (those in which the US does not recognize their authorship to favor the result of the operation) and black (those based on deception, generally presenting them as issued by a hostile element).

It is clear that some people may be repulsed by knowing that these types of operations exist, but it must be said that PSYOPS can save many lives, friends and enemies alike, by managing to avoid the fight. It is also about operations that have been carried out since ancient times. As a significant fact, the title of the video is “Ghosts in the machine”, which includes an expression coined by the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976) to refer to the Cartesian philosophy, which affirmed a dualism between body and mind.

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