• Defense Department,  Psychological Struggle

    Revising Information Operations Policy at the Department of Defense

    By Michael Clauser On January 25, 2011, Secretary Gates signed a memorandum (hereafter 1/25/11 memo) entitled “Strategic Communication and Information Operations in the DoD.”  The memo signals that the Pentagon’s “E Ring” is finally emphasizing the need for reform of interagency strategic communication (SC) and military information operations (IO). It’s frustrating that after eight years of irregular warfare in southwest Asia, it took an Act of Congress (literally) to sharpen the minds and pencils of the Pentagon to take the problems.  And now, Secretary Gates’ memo claims credit when it shouldn’t, takes for granted one of its most controversial statements, plays-up one minor bureaucratic re-organization while glossing over the disestablishment…

  • Defense Department,  Psychological Struggle

    Getting a handle on Strategic Communication

    I have been in many discussions over the past few weeks concerning DoD’s efforts at “Strategic Communication.” In one discussion I was asked, “just what is ‘strategic communication’ and why can’t DoD get a handle on it?” A fair question and one I’ve heard often. I thought it time to put this down in print. “Strategic Communication” is the deliberate application of information and boils down to: Who do I need to know What, Why do I need them to know it, When do I need them to know it, Where are they, and How do I reach them. A relatively simple task that scales with the complexity of the…

  • Interagency,  Public Diplomacy

    Whither Public Diplomacy? Sixty-six days (and counting) without an Under Secretary (Updated)

    As we approach the 100-day mark for the Obama Administration and despite the accolades bestowed on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her “e-Diplomacy” initiatives, as of March 23, 2009, the office of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs has been vacant for 63 days. Since the office of Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy was created, it has been vacant one-third of the time. Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Sworn In Resigned Days in Office Days Position Vacant Total Days Percent Vacant Evelyn Lieberman 10/1/1999 1/20/2001 477         1/21/2001 10/2/2001   254     Charlotte Beers 10/2/2001 3/28/2003 542      …