• Psychological Struggle,  Smith-Mundt

    Strategic Miscommunication and Smith-Mundt

    Briefly, Andrew Exum wrote a very good response over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free to the media’s recoil that some their analysts, who weren’t vetted, may have been influenced by a skilled influence operation to manage the perceptions of Americans of the war.  What a shock.  Isn’t that why the media is supposed to vet their analysts in the first place?  In the rush to get a face on the air, and keep him (any “hers”?) there, they skipped the background checks or simply ignored what came back.  I can understand the one-off, but this was systemic and ongoing.  To my surprise, Smith-Mundt has not been recalled as often…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Understanding the Purpose Public Diplomacy

    While Public diplomacy is a nebulous concept without an agreed upon definition, a central tenant has always been to influence foreign audiences. At its heart, public diplomacy, and its precursors, has always been about advocating a position, inhibiting or preventing the adoption of adversarial positions, and is by nature a tool of national security, American or otherwise.

  • Counterinsurgency,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy

    IEDs as “Weapons of Strategic Influence”

    Armchair Generalist and Plontius discussed IED’s as Weapons of Strategic Influence last month. Some thoughts as Plontius apparently didn’t understand the real, and intended, ability of IEDs to influence public perceptions, and thus opinions, through both direct and indirect actions. First, Plotinius looked at the mission of the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). JIEDDO sees IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) for what they are: tools of influence. IED’s cannot kill enough personnel or destroy enough material to reduce or eliminate American operational capabilities. But through persistence, they can, and have, cause a change in tactics, and posture, to achieve or supplement other informational victories. IEDs, by forcing a change in tactics and openness alter…