Advancing U.S. Strategic Communication through Greater Civilian-Military Coordination and Integration
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
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Since the 911 terrorist attacks, the U.S. Government USG has placed greater emphasis on the importance of Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy to better understand, engage with, and influence foreign publics. The globalized and electronic-media driven information environment in particular creates new opportunities and vulnerabilities for the United States and its allies. As a nation at war, the United States has consistently responded with urgency to leverage all pillars of national power, including the information pillar. The USG deployed a robust information effort during the Cold War however, in recent times the USGs information capabilities have languished, and coordination among agencies remains a challenge. One of the most important recommendations coming out of a 10-year period of inquiry into Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communications is that the U.S. government should increase coordination of its civilian and military efforts in these disciplines to enhance overall effectiveness. While the current approach to coordination remains mainly ad hoc, this study analyzes some noteworthy initiatives in the direction of formalizing civilian-military coordination and integration between the Department of Defense and the Department of State. While these recent efforts have mostly focused on specific mission objectives in the current Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, this study shows that lessons learned from them can provide useful insights for formulating a common understanding of Strategic Communications concepts and working principles between military and civilian agencies, especially at the operational level.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations