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Akash asked: What is the new perception management doctrine for Army?

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  • S. K. Chatterji replies: The doctrine published is by the Integrated Defence Staff, the apex Joint Services HQ of the Indian Armed Forces. The doctrine addresses Perception Management and Psychological Operations. It is not a doctrine published by the Indian Army. Indian Army has an existing doctrine on Information Warfare, which also addresses Psychological operations. Perception Management and Psychological Operations address common issues, the latter being a precursor of the former.

    The doctrine being classified, cannot be commented upon. However, perception management operations are essentially endeavours at shaping attitudes and inclinations of a target populace. They include messages that are truthful and activities that address the apprehensions and causes of alienation of the targeted segment. These operations are launched at all three levels: Strategic, Operational and Tactical, and serve to reduce the need of application of kinetic means of war.

    It is also not uncommon for militaries to have both joint doctrines for tri-service joint operations, and also service specific doctrines. The US Armed Forces have both joint and service specific doctrines on numerous operational disciplines. At times, these do not even conform fully with each other.