Should Teams be Used to Conduct Psychological Operations?In Rhodesia, teams would deliberately violate local customs to alienate the people from the guerrillas. They would also target members of ZANLA and ZAPRA, pretending to be members of the other group. Ultimately, this led to some firefights between the two groups. Likewise, the Philippine government used similar tactics. Such operations certainly have had some success. Overall, however, they likely are not the best use of pseudo teams. Use of “dirty tricks” can create significant problems for governments when they are discovered. Also, these techniques can create a dangerous situation for civilians, either directly or as a result of guerrilla reprisals. There also is the problem of determining where to draw the line; as these operations develop, the risk of being “overly creative” in new tricks to try is very real.
Pseudo Operations and Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Other Countries by Lawrence E. Cline (US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute)