Pentagon studying Putin’s body language to predict his behavior
The Pentagon has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years so that researchers can study the body movements of foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in hopes of predicting future behavior.
An article published by USA Today reporter Ray Locker on Thursday and corroborated by documents discovered by RT provides rare insight into a scarcely-discussed military effort that for years has relied on the expertise of body movement analysts to interpret the nonverbal projections of Putin and other heads of state.
“US policymakers are seeking any advantage they can find,” Locker reported. In order to accomplish as much, he added, the United States Office of Net Assessment — a division of the Dept. of Defense — has since at least 1996 employed Naval War College research fellow Brenda Connors: one of only a few movement pattern analyst practitioners in the world to be sanctioned by the Motus Humanus organization, according to the military school’s Dr. Mary Raum.
Locker wrote that since 2009, Connors has worked on the ONA’s Body Leads project, an effort he believes has cost the Pentagon at least $300,000 in the last five years as officials have ramped up efforts to gather foreign intelligence.
Connors was writing about the “telling movement signature” of then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein for the Providence Sunday Journal a decade ago, but her work on Putin himself goes back to at least 2004.
Connors characterized Putin’s body language as a “highly restricted…head-to-tail spinal pattern similar to fish movement” in one 2004 report, according to her because he likely did not crawl as an infant.
“Putin’s bodily imbalance and self-image show him to be risk-averse — stuck in place and time — and extremely sensitive to criticism,” she wrote.
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