ONE PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND BULLETS: THE POWER OF PICTURES AND VIDEOS TO COMBAT FOREIGN ADVERSARIES AND INFLUENCE PERCEPTIONS
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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This research answered the question, how can pictures and videos be exploited as an effective weapon to combat foreign adversaries, counter propaganda and influence perspectives It focused on the substantial persuading capacities that result from incorporating photography and videography into messaging and the implications they have as a battlefield multiplier. The methodology used to do this was an assimilation of adapted case studies from across the fields of psychology, sociology, marketing studies and semiotics to extrapolate a primer for combatant commanders to better utilize their photo and video specialist. An analysis of the data led to the conclusion that pictures surpass any other visual medium to best combat foreign ideologies and influence perspectives. This research recommended mirroring marketing campaigns by creating brands, which denote messaging, through which visual imagery can influence and persuade. Imagery also has to be the predominate focus of any visual messaging since it provides critical psychological stimuli to the observer, increasing emotional response and retaining memory. Commanders must employ their visual information specialist across a plethora of operations ensuring they are completely engaged at the tactical level, and restrain from solely focusing military photography and video assets on just U.S. troops and instead use the tools to promote partner nations and assist sympathetic audiences in order to garner prodigious messaging potential. Only by fully comprehending the magnitude of effects imagery can have and the substantial power pictures possess to motivate behavior can their potential be methodically exploited. Once that is understood and achieved, then comes the realization that a picture truly is worth ten thousand bullets.