Bizzare New Army Video Lures Soldiers to Join Secret Psyops Operations

The Special Operations Command of the Army is recruiting new members with the help of troops trained in psychological warfare. The bizarre and surreal recruiting film, titled “Ghost in the Machine 2,” highlights the efforts of these troops to shape both domestic and international sentiment. Recruits for the Army’s Special Operations are bringing in around 650 active-duty troops annually for psychological operations, which is approximately 75% of their ultimate target of 3,000 to 4,000.

Most enlistment objectives set by the Army have fallen far short in recent years, adding to the organization’s woes. The Army’s Special Operations recruiters bring in recruits for the Green Berets, Civil Affairs, Delta Force, Psychological Operations, and the Night Stalkers of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

The Army still has trouble filling its ranks despite its intentions to reduce the number of psyop personnel. Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, a psyop soldier who died in Afghanistan along with other American military personnel, tried to lead the panicked Afghans using a bullhorn.

Assistance to Ukraine is a more contemporary example; since 2014, U.S. psychological operations personnel have counseled and supported Ukrainian forces as they fight Russian propaganda efforts. Following Russia’s invasion in February 2022, the Ukrainian military used several strategies to instruct and convince Russian soldiers to surrender.

The bulk of the Army’s personnel are young individuals who enroll and are recruited from inside the current ranks. But, unlike in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, regular troops and special operations personnel don’t interact as often, which makes the recruiting process more difficult. Because of this, psyops troops, who are not necessarily well-known or understood, have it tough.

To get around this, the latest “Ghost in the Machine” video introduces psychological operations but doesn’t explain them verbally. According to recruiters, the initial video demonstrated the power of psyops to influence and alter behavior, contributing to its success. Recruits at the Military College of South Carolina recently found that the movie influenced potential psyop mission participants to varying degrees. The second video takes a similar approach, building to a climax with soaring music, visuals of marching soldiers, and a question on the impact of thoughts and words.

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