"Across all of our efforts, effective strategic communications are essential to sustaining global legitimacy and supporting our policy aims. Aligning our actions with our words is a shared responsibility that must be fostered by a culture of communication throughout the government. We must also be more effective in our deliberate communication and engagement, and do a better job understanding the attitudes, opinions, grievances, and concerns of peoples -- not just elites -- around the world. Doing so is critical to allow us to convey credible, consistent messages, develop effective plans and to better understand how our actions will be perceived. Our study has revealed the need to clarify what strategic communication means and how we guide and coordinate our communications efforts. In this report, we describe 'strategic communication' as the synchronization of our words and deeds as well as deliberate efforts to communicate and engage with intended audiences. We also explain the positions, processes, and interagency working groups we have created to improve our ability to better synchronize words and deeds, and better coordinate communications and engagement programs and activities. These changes are already producing visible results; however, we still have much ground to cover. We recognize the need to ensure an appropriate balance between civilian and military efforts. As a result, a process has been initiated to review existing programs and resources to identify current military programs that might be better executed by other Departments and Agencies. This process includes an interagency working group tasked to develop short-, medium-, and long-term options for addressing issues pertaining to budgets, personnel, and future programs and activities."
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