• Defense Department,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy

    Guest Post: Sometimes it is Not Okay to be a Silent Professional

    From the students at the School for Advanced Military Studies, Ft. Leavenworth, KS As part of our studies we are looking at Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) within the Army. In considering STRATCOM, we are similarly considering the perceived culture of reticenece within the Army and its effects on operational effectiveness. We are fundamentally interested in what others have to say about this culture. Soldiers have often prided themselves in being known as “quiet professionals.” The Army is steeped in traditions and values that encourage reticence among its service members. One of the Army’s seven core values, selfless service, is ingrained in soldiers and officers throughout their careers. Humility and a desire…

  • Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy,  State Department

    The Real Psychological Operation for Afghanistan

    This article is cross-posted at the George C. Marshall Foundation. Also at AOC’s IO Blog. On December 1, 2009, President Obama announced his Afghanistan strategy and what immediately followed was an expected and unoriginal cacophony of sound bites based on selective memories of the past and shallow and ignorant visions of the present and future. The decline in the public’s support for the struggle is surely a delight for Al Qaeda and the Taliban who, unlike our pundits and some in Congress, understand this is foremost a psychological struggle for the minds of people in “Af-Pak” and around the world to affect their will to act.

  • Non-State Actors,  Now Media,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy,  Social Media

    US Government Meets New Media

    From Helle Dale at The Heritage Foundation, Public Diplomacy 2.0: Where the U.S. Government Meets “New Media”: Public diplomacy and strategic communications experts within the U.S. government are exploring the potential of the new social media in the effort to win hearts and minds abroad, especially in the Muslim world where today’s war of ideas is being fought. Enemies of the United States are already expert in using these low-cost outreach tools that can connect thousands, potentially even millions, at the touch of a computer key or cell phone button. As public affairs blogger Matt Armstrong writes, In this age of mass information and precision guided media, everyone from political…

  • Events,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs

    Risk Communication in a Constrained Information Environment

    Last week at the Heritage Foundation, I sat on a panel with CBS News correspondent Kim Dozier, former Director of External Affairs for FEMA Jonathon Thompson. The panel was moderated by my friend Dennis Murphy, professor at the US Army War College. The two-day event, Homeland Security’s Wicked Problems:  Developing a Research Agenda for Homeland Security, was webcast live. Our panel was on day 2 of “Wicked Problems” and is now available here or below.  I am third to present, after Jonathon and Kim, and come in around the 43rd minute. The proceedings for Day 1 are not yet online.

  • ICT,  Media,  Now Media,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy,  Social Media

    Bullets and Blogs: New Media and the Warfighter

    From the US Army War College’s Center for Strategic Leadership and The SecDev Group comes “Bullets and Blogs: New Media and the Warfighter” (2.7mb PDF). The report is based on a three-day workshop that took place at Carlisle Barracks in January 2008, one of the best events I have attended. It is required reading for anyone (e.g. more then than the Defense community) involved in the modern information environment. This report is rich with soundbites and recommendations supported by examples, including operations where the insurgents were the first to write the first draft of history, the draft that usually sticks especially when a factual challenge is not made within days…