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Behavioural Conflict Blog

Why Understanding People And Their Motivations Will Prove Decisive In Future Conflict

Behavioural Conflict in today's Observer newspaper

I have to admit that I am not a natural Observer / Guardian newspaper reader, although in fairness ...

..............Social influence has traditionally been conceptualised as winning hearts and minds, but many military thinkers are now focused on a new approach informed by the behavioural sciences. A milestone in this approach has been the book Behavioural Conflict by Major General Andrew Mackay and Commander Steve Tatham, who co-ordinated influence-informed British military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book has become a core text for a new generation of officers and argues that changing behaviour – not beliefs or perceptions – is the key to military influence. This is an alternative to the propaganda or public relations model that says that getting the target audience to share your beliefs and understand key information is central, despite well-established research showing that beliefs and attitudes are relatively poor predictors of behaviour................

Tagged in: Guardian Observer

A book by Major General Andrew Mackay and Commander Steve Tatham

The Eagle 2012The Eagle 2012 - produced by St John’s College, University of Cambridge. Review of ‘Behavioural Conflict’

The Eagle 2012
The Eagle 2012 - produced by St John’s College, University of Cambridge. Review of ‘Behavioural Conflict’

imageIn the great US series ‘Band of Brothers’ Major Dick Winters, in an interview to camera, recalls a letter he received from Sgt Mike Rannay:  ”I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, ‘Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’ Grandpa said ‘No… but I served in a company of heroes.’”

This weekend I had the privilege of marching alongside over 10,000 heroes who descended on Whitehall from every corner of the world.  It was both a humbling, emotional and hugely fun day. The banter amongst the assembled marching platoons was full on; the now rather elderly ladies of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (F.A.N.Y) blushed red as they moved onto parade to the sound of wolf whistles from chaps who really were old enough to know better and the Navy PTIs marched to cat calls of ‘feet together - begin’ (you have to be ex military to understand that).  But as Big Ben chimed eleven, quiet descended and people were left alone with their thoughts.

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Tagged in: Attitudes

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