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Tweeting Napoleon and Friending Clausewitz: Social Media and the Military Strategist

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Technical Report

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Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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This thesis analyzes the relevance of social media in developing military strategists and improving the quality of their work. Beginning with an overview of, and emphasis on, the importance of grand and military strategy, the author argues the availability of social media can play a pivotal role in a strategists development. By providing an additional avenue for lifelong learning, social media complements the more traditional methods of a strategists development professional military education and experience. After analyzing the historical use of social media, the author highlights social media in its modern form of the ubiquitous social networking sites. Created through the technological advent of the Internet, these websites provide tools for professions and professional development. By examining the uses of social media in medicine and academiaboth analogous to the profession of armsthe author demonstrates ways the Department of Defense can harness the same tools. When applied to military strategists, social media offers additional ways to acquire and analyze information, while simultaneously providing methods to improve the presentation and quality of strategic products. The final section of the thesis includes three broad axioms of social media use, and specific proposals for the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. These proposals may be modified for utilization by other professional development organizations as appropriate.

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