Strategic Communication and the Geographic Combatant Commander: Using Principles of War to Win Peace
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Though the importance of strategic communication SC has been identified and often conceptualized at the NationalStrategic level, it is at the Theater level and below that much of the interaction with adversaries and potential adversaries takes place. As such, the ability of the U.S. to win the long war will rely heavily on the ability of geographic combatant commanders GCCs to effectively plan for and employ the instruments of soft power, including SC. Through these efforts, the GCCs will wage the battle of ideas and, in doing so, aim to prevent the creation of new generations of enemies. To achieve success, GCCs will need to treat SC as they would any other mission area by applying selected principles of war. Through the proper planning and employment of SC, utilizing the principles of objective, unity of commandeffort, offensive and mass, GCCs can defeat potential enemies before they reach the battlefield. This paper provides the current definition of SC, discusses the organizational framework supporting SC, analyzes the validity and necessity of SC as a GCC mission and examines SC efforts from the perspective of selected principles of war with a focus on how GCCs have used these principles to effectively employ SC. This paper concludes by providing recommendations for future employment of SC by the GCCs.
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