An interesting document made its way to MountainRunner: DOD’s approved Strategic Communication Plan for Afghanistan (which I’ve made searchable) approved by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England.
In order to augment our ongoing efforts in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense has developed the attached DOD Strategic Communication (SC) Plan for Afghanistan. This SC plan supports and complements NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations.
This SC plan directs all DoD organizations to begin execution immediately according to their specified duties and responsibilities. The plan is dynamic, and will continue to be updated and modified as Coalition efforts in Afghanistan evolve. To ensure the successful execution of this plan, DoD leaders are requested to provide the appropriate support to the designated lead organizations. Please review the attached SC plan to identify your responsibilities.
The DoD Strategic Communication Integration Group (SCIG) Secretariat stands ready to work with you and your staff on this important effort.
There’s a lot in this document, including hits and misses. Addressed only to the DOD members of the Strategic Communication Integration Group, and not the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, it identifies key elements of strategic communications, including those in which DOD is not the lead.
For example, Provincial Reconstruction Teams are listed as "strategic communicators and listeners".
- Assess benefit and availability of Afghan, U.S., Allied, and coalition PAOs for assignment to PRTs
- Assess requirements to expand PRT Executive Steering Committee into an effective coordinating body
- Assess cost and feasibility of incorporating/adjusting PA/SC predeployment training and in-theatre distance learning for basic, tailored public affairs training for U.S. and non-U.S. PRT officers
Other tools and enablers include:
- Senior Afghan Government, DSG, and NATO officials as strategic
- DoD Regional Centers as strategic communicators
- NATO Media Operations Center as a strategic enabler
I encourage you to take a look at the plan and comment. As I noted above, there are "misses" in the document, but I’ll hold my comments until later.