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Alfred de Grazia: Discovering National Elites





Research in evaluation and communication is useless unless it is operational. By operational is meant that the procedures for discovering fact are included in the work process itself, instead of being separated from it, and the work process is guided by the findings. Operational research means that the research becomes part of standard operating procedure and so established in routine that the operation cannot occur without, at the same time, accomplishing the intelligence function and incorporating the results of that function. Research that is not operational becomes simply gratuitous advice and is an expensive waste of time.

This section intends to point up what has been the theme throughout the manual, that a thorough knowledge of priority targets is an essential part of regular short-term and long-term propaganda operations. Although many suggestions have already been made that fit easily into established common procedures among information officers, this section is intended to make the problem more conscious and systematically solvable. It is to answer some of the questions of the operator who may say, . Very well, I know now a great deal about my local elites, after I. ve done some of the work prescribed in the manual. Now what difference does that make to me between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. of the working day?


XXXI-1. Local material design. Adequate elite analysis should facilitate the local design of materials, establishing standard and controls outside of the individual preparing materials and allowing local artistic talent to be held within the limits of objective analysis. Frequently, the local design of materials has suffered from the lack of knowledge of the behavioral sciences of the only local people who can produce messages in suitable media form.

XXXI-2. New media. Elaborate priority target analysis exposes time after time the inability of traditional and customary media to deliver messages to top-priority targets. Hence, knowledge of what the target is really like and what its communication channels are, in detail, by groups, by individuals and all other combinations, should foster development of new media. When it is not based on elaborate target analysis, propaganda tends to degenerate into simplism and pure formalism, using traditional mass media on a superficial level of operation.

XXXI-3. Distribution of materials. A set of books on the elite should prove efficient, easy, flexible, and inexpensive access to precise targets. The physical locations of the targets are specified. Their place in the social structure is known. Moreover, specification sheets for the distribution of material are more easily drafted when a systematic identification of priority targets is available.

XXXI-4. Design of general materials. Local availability of target analysis that is standardized in relation to the elite of other groups within the area, in adjoining areas, in whole regions, and universally, should assist in constructing general propaganda materials for the use of operators in several different areas. A quantitative rank ordering of generality of use can easily emerge from the Central Office if the Central Office has designed materials with a full and precise awareness of the condition of a target in a whole group of countries, by standard criteria.

XXXI-5. Mailings. Mailings are a common, time-consuming, and expensive facet of everyday operations. Target analysis books should serve to reduce expenditure of both time and money.

XXXI-6. Personal Approaches. Adequate target analysis should facilitate greatly personal relations with the local elite that may otherwise be engaged in haphazardly, without prior knowledge of the persons contacted and without preparation as to the kinds of information required from the influential about other individuals, groups, and issues.

XXXI-7. Matching elite elements with media capabilities. In a number of cases, one knows the capabilities and the medium in which a message is contained better than the target for which it is intended. Knowing the elite allows a better judgment on the probable effects of the medium and its message in reaching the elite.

XXXI-8. Reporting. The standardized systematic features of the procedures outlined in the manual should be emphasized, for they facilitate standardized reporting, both of all materials within a given group or country, and among several reporting centers from different countries or cultures. This enables the Central Office, in a truly comparative fashion, to judge the targets and their conditions in the several countries, to prepare better forms of media and methods /effects analysis and evaluation, and to design better messages and materials.

XXXI-9. Directive construction. Given the better reporting that results from systematic analysis, the development of country plans, directives, strategy and tactical plans will be facilitated in a country headquarters and central offices. Frequently directives have been couched in general, ambiguous and vague terms because of lack of precise conception of the targets and their locations in the countries and groups at which the directive is aimed. Elimination of such faults should be cumulatively successful, without resulting directives having much greater utility as they specified less ambiguously and with greater detail and a realistic perception, the tasks that are to be carried out by the operators.

XXXI-10. Operational planning locally. Local planning for long and short-term periods should be facilitated by checks and tests on the condition of the elite targets at periodic intervals. The availability of great detail on the targets should allow for more elaborate and precise planning.

XXXI-11. Preventing oversights. Like prolonged and magnified scrutiny of photographs of artillery target areas, that can bring to light many more targets than an observer can see at first glance, extensive and intensive target analysis of the elite will reveal a number of targets that do not at first seem approachable, will suggest means of reaching others and will reveal new target elements that previously had been known to exist only generally.

XXXI-12. Relating target intelligence to directives. If propaganda operations are to be conducted according to plan, and there is to be any scientific value as well as any possibility of the execution of country plans, target analysis is necessary. The attached and accompanying hypothetical country plan reproduce from the book Truth is Our Weaponby Edward W. Barrett has been footnoted with the contributions that the work described in this manual could make to the effectuation of the plan and to the further clarification and development of this plan in future revisions.


Following is a hypothetical plan to illustrate the approach used by U.S. Information Services is tailoring the information program to a target country.

Revised August, 1952.
Country X
Priority III, Y million population.

Situation Analysis.

The primary political objective of the United States is to keep Country X an independent, sovereign nation, free from domination by an aggressive Communist power and to encourage social and economic betterment which will stem social unrest in the country.

To this end U.S.I.S. objectives are:

1. To convince the people of country X that the United States provides positive and stable leadership in the free world, that our policy is not imperialistic and respects the sovereignties of the nations with whom we deal (1).

To expose the nature of communism, its debasing effects on living conditions and its negation of freedom and human dignity, its threat to national sovereignties and particularly country X (2).

* Footnotes which follow presuppose that the operator would make use of sections of the manual dealing with the overall elite network (such as I, II, IV, XII, XIII and XIV) with informal groups and leaders (VIII,IX, and XI ), and with the implementing of intelligence (XXIX, XXX, and XXI), even though they are not cited. Without fitting knowledge of both formal and informal groups into the overall elite network, without checking informal elite groups and individuals, and without correct operating procedures, the operation would be incomplete and disorganized. The specific citations are to sections or paragraphs which offer suggestions directly applicable to the particular problem raised by a detail of this hypothetical country plan.


(1) (XXV, XXVI-6)

(2) (XXI - int ; XXIV-int.)

3. To stimulate optimum use of the assistance available under American and UN technical and economic assistance programs, to encourage the people of country X to raise their standard of living by developing their own resources. (1).

4. To give full publicity to the work of American technicians in X and to inspire confidence of X in itself to solve problems arising by virtue of its . transitional. state and accompanying social unrest, in co-operation with the technical assistance available (2).

5. To support X. s participation in the U.N. framework (3).

6. To build an enduring foundation of understanding between America and the people of X, based on mutual respect and appreciation of the respective cultural heritages (4), to correct distortions of the American scene, particularly with regard to color problems. (5) .


Aspirations. Freedom from unwelcome pressure of interferences from any foreign source (6); intense pride in their national heritage, former influence and culture (7); the improvement of political, economic and social conditions by the gradual adoption of modern methods (8); avoidance of provoking any foreign power to take action which would impair or destroy the sovereignty of country X(9); more constructive government leadership at all levels (10); with increasing responsibilities and power in rural officials(11), combined with attempt to hold neutralist position (12) insuring X. s independence through manoeuvering big power interplay.

Towards U.S.S.R. : Traditional mistrust of Russian motives (13); concern about the communist menace though not sufficient to inspire government action to prevent growing strength of communist-infiltrated popular-front movements(14).


( 1) (XXVII-6; XXIV-7)
( 2) (XXIV-7; XXVII-5,6)
( 3) (IV-5; V-3; XXII-6; XXIV-8)
( 4) (III; IV; V)
( 6) (XXVIII-1,2,4)
( 7) (III,IV-8,10; V-3)
( 8) (III,V-6,7;VII-20;XV-7,10,12,13,14;XVI-2;XVII-5;XXII;XXIV-7;XXV-8)
( 9) (IV-5;V-3,5, 6,7; XXIV-9)
(10) (V;VII;X;XVII)
(11) (XX)
(12) (XXV-4)
(13) (III;IV-5;V-3)
(14) (XV-3,6,7,8;XVI-1,2,3,4,5;XXI-9)

Towards Britain: Previous ties have been prejudiced by resentment at Britain. s . colonial attitude (1); frequently depreciated in nationalistic press as waning power which tends to cling to outmoded empire (2); some doctors and professionals British-trained (3).

Towards Germany: Respect for come-back in industrial potential since the war (4); some of X. s professionals are German-educated (5).

Towards France: Residue of cultural leadership (6), though no longer looked upon as great political or military power

Towards neighboring states: Traditional rivalry, friendly veneer.


Favorable - Traditionally friendly relations with United States based on United States philanthropic, educational and medical activities (7); increasing evidences of benefit from American economic (8) and technical assistance(9); growing realization in provincial areas of the benefits of aid projects (10); distrust of age-old Russian imperialism; basically energetic people when self-advantage can be demonstrated, national characteristics - quick mind, lively imagination, adaptability, facility to learn quickly (11).

Unfavorable - Almost morbidly obsessed with importance of X as a peg of international security (12); unstable and inefficient government (13) which takes credits for all successes, blames foreigners for all mistakes, paradoxic combination of characteristics of mercurial emotional range and widespread defeatism; concentration of wealth (14); backward attitude towards women, private capital unwilling to invest widely in national projects(15) lack of social consciousness among rich business


( 1) (XXVII -7)
( 2) (IV-5; V-3; XXIV-8)
( 3) (XXIV-3,4; XV-16)
( 4) (XV-10)
( 5) (XXIV-3,4; XV-16)
( 6) (XXVII-7)
( 7) XXVIII-5,6; XXIV-8
( 8) III-6,7; V-6; VII-10,20:XXII
( 9) XXIV-7
(10) XX
(11) XV-5; XVI-3; XVIII-4
(12) IV-5; V-3
(13) XVI, XVII
(14) IV-7; XV-7,12; XVI-2; XVII-7; XVIII-5;XXII; XXIII; XXIIV
(15) XXII

interests(1); excessive illiteracy in rural areas (2); youth is unstable, cynical, socially insecure, energetic but intrained for citizenship responsibilities or work (3); heavy bombardment by Soviet radio propaganda (clandestine and openly operated) and subsidized press in the capital (4).

Soviet communist activities - Local communist party, though outlawed, actively agitates, has reportedly increased in strength during past year (5), concentrates among restive student (6) and labor groups (7), particularly in factories in provincial areas and among large groups of unemployed who have flocked to the capital as a result of recent national economic difficulties (8). Publishes clandestine newspapers, organizes demonstrations, has several front organizations Soviet broadcasts in X dialects totaling 24 hours a day blanket some portions of the country (9). Extent of covert activities not known but believed widespread.

Other foreign interests, activities. British and French continue efforts to maintain influence through information and cultural services; B.B.C. has good signal; Reuters, B.I.S. and A.F.P news agencies operate (10).

Other united states programs - United states military mission has trained X army, reorganized military practices (11), substantial economic and technical assistance program. (12).

Non-Government United States factors - Rockefeller Foundation has operated some health and educational programs; now being co-ordinated with United States technical assistance programs (13). Minimum American business activity - local representatives of larger United States firms in international field, especially automobiles (14). United States News Services, A.P. and U.P. (15).


( 1) XXII
( 2) XX; VII-18
( 3) VII-18
( 4) XXV-3,4; XXVI-6
( 5) VII-2,16; XVI
( 6) VII-18, XXIV
( 7) XXI
( 8) III-3,4
( 9) XXV
(10) XXVII-1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
(11) XVIII
(12) III-3,4,5; XXVIII-6; XXII-9
(13) XXVIII-5
(14) VII-20, XXII
(15) XXVIII-2

Mass communications channels:- Press: 109 dailies and weeklies, estimated 175,000 circulations; 19 magazines, Radio: estimated 90,000 sets, mostly in cities: four government stations operate locally (1). V.O.A. heard shortwave, signal medium to strong (2) films; Hollywood mostly, occasional Soviet, some British and French (3), censorship required. United States publications, some in the capital but expensive (4). Other: rural coffee houses(5)

Attitude forming groups - Religious : 95 per cent belong to state religon, especially effective rurally (6). Education: elementary system growing through curricula (all learning by rote) (7); danger communist penetration among industrial workers (8); government-supported union formed to counter communist-dominated union, but government program ineffectual(9). Military: conscription, attempt now being made to give positive educational value to military service period (10). Governmental: leaders 4,000 (11) and civil servants 100,000(12).

Priority target groups-

1. Leaders in :
a. government (13); b. education (14); c. press (15)

2. Leaders of :
a. farm organizations (16); b. labor unions (17).

3. Intellectuals and professionals (18).

4. Youth: university level (19).

Significant current documents -

Reports on mass media and public opinion study by Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University:

OIR Report, CS 5.5. Part III, December 25, 1951 (Secret).

NIS Survey (Secret).

USIS Semi-annual reports.


( 1) XXV-3,4,5,6,7; XXVI; XXVII
( 2) XXVII
( 3) XXVII-8
( 4) XXVI-7
( 5) XX
( 6) VII-17; XIX; XX
( 7) VII-8, XXIV
( 8) XXI-9
( 9) XXI-10
(10) XVIII-1,2,3,4,5,6.
(11) VII-1,16; X-1,2,3,4,6,7; XVI
(12) VII-6,9,12; XVII
(13) VII-1,6,7,16;X;XVI;XVII
(14) VII-17;XIX;XX;XV-16
(15) VII-22;XXIV-4,10;XXVII
(16) XX
(17) VII-21;XXI
(18) XXIV;XV-16;XIX-12
(19) VII-18.

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