Written by Cdr Steve Tatham, Royal Navy, “Tactical Strategic Communication!” (PDF, 192kb) is a necessary read for communities interested in strategic communication and the operations of our adversaries. Steve is a Director of Research at the UK Defense Academy and the author of Losing Arab Hearts and Minds: The Coalition, Al Jazeera and Muslim Public Opinion.
“Tactical Strategic Communication!” describes how strategic communication must be holistic, agile, and awareness of both the adversary and the target audiences (related: Call Haji Shir Mohamad ASAP!). In a twist on the “guy in a cave” mantra popular on this side of the Pond, Steve notes how the Taliban transformed and adapted to their new environment:
The early years of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan were not known for their press freedom. Technology was unwelcome, images of human beings considered apostate and world public opinion largely irrelevant to an organisation that actively sought to return afghan society to that of the Prophet Mohamed’s time. Yet the success of Al-Qaeda’s manipulation of the media in its global insurgency, and more latterly in its operations in Iraq, had not gone unnoticed.