from Marketing Memetics, by Michael Taylor
Wars are fought by people. The best technology is rendered useless if nobody’s willing to use it. Only 15% of soldiers ever fire directly at the enemy, explaining why the U.S. military expends 300,000 rounds of ammunition per insurgent killed. Humans are programmed to avoid killing fellow humans, which is why propaganda always seeks to dehumanise the enemy. Wars are mostly decided by the will to fight. The Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars show the U.S. isn't willing to win at any cost. After each major conflict, military doctrine gets swiftly adapted to reflect the importance of ‘will to fight’, only for those painful lessons to fade as veterans retire.
The lesson being learned from today’s ‘war on terror’ is the power of memes to affect the will to fight. “[Our enemy] has said that 50 percent of the current struggle is taking place in the arena of public information. That may be an understatement.” claims Rumsfeld, ex-Secretary of Defence. Jihadist terrorists have been winning the ‘war of ideas’ with memes, radicalising new recruits via social media. The military began researching Memetics in 2001, though early campaigns were abject failures. Meme wars by their nature favor insurgencies because they weaken monopolies on narrative, empowering challenges to authority. Yet the U.S. won’t always be Goliath: where direct military intervention is off the table, even vast advantages in conventional warfare are neutralised. Expect memetic warfare capability to catch up quickly.
Academic journal "Defence Strategic Communications" Vol1
If You Miss the First Time, Try Firing Another 300,000 Rounds
Is America Prepared for Meme Warfare?
Killer Instinct; How Many Soldiers Actually Fired Their Weapons in Past Wars & How Has Simulation & Other Training Helped?
Presentation Military Memetics Tutorial 13 Dec 11.pdf
Will to Fight