Capstone Essay Contest
The great Chinese military theoretician Sun Tzu included as Ta primary concept in his seminal work, The Art of War , the idea of subduing one's enemy without a fight. "To capture the enemy's army is better than to destroy it." He also believed that a confused army will lead to another's victory. Destroying an enemy's will to fight and creating confusion and dissension in the ranks are two of the functions of psychological operations (PsyOps). As one of America's two primary forcible entry capabilities, the modern Marine expeditionary unit (special operations capable) [MEU(SOC)] is a vital national asset and one of the crown jewels of the Marine Corps. But a major deficiency in today's MEU(SOC) organization is the lack of a PsyOps capability. This is in direct contrast to the 82nd Airborne Division which deploys PsyOps detachments with their ready brigades and engages them from the outset of an operation. An organic PsyOps capability would be a force multiplier for the small MEU(SOC) organization, act as an enabling force for later PsyOps campaigns, and provide a cost-effective and non-lethal option in operations other than war.