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Identification of Behavioral Indicators in Political Protest Music

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Planning and preparing to influence the behavior of foreign target audiences TA is an immense and complex task. Current military information support operations MISO rely on content-based understandings of standard source material, such as traditional news sources. This approach is limited because each TA has cultural traits that may not be revealed by standard sources. Unconventional sources may supplement current practices and assist in identifying the motivations behind a TAs behavior, which can lead to ways to influence that behavior. Political protest songs are one such source. Protest music is goal-oriented, and lyrics often parallel movement goals of potential TAs. This thesis examines how political protest music can help identify conditions and vulnerabilities that may explain TA behavior. It takes the first step forward in exploring the value of political protest music to the MISO process by employing network text analysis to illuminate symbols, buzzwords, stereotypes, and factoids that reveal behavioral indicators. What is challenging for practitioners is that there is no single method that best identifies all behavioral indicators with political protest music. It remains that results may simply identify behavioral indicators, and that any full explanation of behavior must be developed as part of the whole MISO process.

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