Like many Americans, I am conflicted about recent events in Egypt and even more so about what the U.S. government should do.
On one hand, the United States has an immediate interest in the stability of Egypt and its government–and not just to keep the peace in the Middle East or secure the two million barrels of oil that pass through the Suez Canal every day. But also because ditching a longtime U.S. ally like Hosni Mubarak at his moment of need does not send a reassuring message to other embattled pro-American leaders in unstable countries. Especially when you consider what type of leader may be waiting in the wings in Egypt or elsewhere in the world.
“The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armory of the modern commander.” – T.E. Lawrence
Lawrence’s words continue to ring true. In conflicts from the First World War to Korea; from Vietnam to the Gulf War, the nation that wins the information battle tends to win the larger war. Today, America and her partners are engaged in a fight that is every bit as important as its earlier wars: ensuring that Afghanistan is secure, independent, and free of the forces that launched attacks on the people of the world on September 11, 2001. It is a contest that requires painful sacrifices of blood and treasure but one that, if the lessons of history hold, can only be won on the information battlefield.
NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) and its partners have been charged with assisting the Afghan government in building the capabilities and capacities necessary for the Afghan National Security Force to defend their homeland. While many of NTM-A’s efforts focus on enabling the Afghans to pursue the physical battle – improving skill with weapons, providing leadership and tactics training, and constructing logistics and intelligence systems – the organization has invested significant resources into assisting the Afghans in carrying the information fight to the Taliban and the nation’s other enemies.
Courtesy of Bruce Gregory, Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University:
July 7, 2009 Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest. Suggestions for future updates are welcome. Bruce Gregory Adjunct Assistant Professor of Media and Public Affairs George Washington University
America has the finest military and diplomatic leaders in the world. They know how to win on the battlefield and at the negotiating table. Yet, despite those winning ways, there are times when they become victims of circumstances rather than drivers of events. At such times, some may falter with the media and public, and when that happens, they too often lay blame the results on bad press coverage.