Accession Number:



Strategic Communication Science and Technology Plan: Current Activities, Capability Gaps and Areas for Further Investment

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Warfare is changing. While that statement has been true throughout the course of military history, a compelling argument can be made today that the public perceptions and implications of military operations might increasingly outweigh the tangible benefits actually achieved from real combat on the battlefield. Additionally, the increasingly ubiquitous spread of wireless, cellular, and other networked telecommunications technologies is not only enabling the emergence of new conventional and non-kinetic capabilities, but is also conveying previously unseen advantages to our adversaries, particularly non-state actors. This view is supported by an increasing chorus of senior government leaders, who like Army Gen. Pete Chiarelli, have concluded that the commander who prevails in the information war is almost certain to win the war itself. The entire landscape of what connotes victory or defeat is increasingly managed, manipulated and controlled to influence public audiences and sway popular world opinion. Closely coupled to this change in warfare is the speed at which both information and disinformation can be marshaled in support of this battle to influence audiences that are constituted less by geography and more by shared identities and sympathies fostered by a global and dynamic information environment. Modern communication technologies, from SMS to electronic social media to satellite television, have virtually eliminated time and space. This is not traditional media but now media that is the first to present and interpret events to an audience. It used to be said that news organizations write the first draft of history, but as events are increasingly reported in real time, often without vetting, proper sourcing, editing, or context and replicated into the global now media information environment, those who are first out with the news - particularly citizen journalists - intentionally or inadvertently create the facts.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Radio Communications

Distribution Statement: