Strategic Communications: Leveraging this Line of Operation in the GWOT   [open pdf - 278KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The Global War on Terror (GWOT) is fought along different fronts and use different weapons to achieve success. As General Abazaid points out, a key aspect in the GWOT is the battle or ability of Arab extremists to influence the moderate populace. This is a war of ideals and persuasion fought mainly, but not exclusively, in the Arab streets. The American led Coalition must recognize this and appreciate the importance communications has in this fight. When leveraged properly, Strategic Communications (STRATCOMS) is an essential and formidable weapon that can achieve decisive effects. Strategic Communications must harness all functions associated with information management. Public Affairs and Information Operations (IO) often have a partial overlap of aims and objectives that are often unsynchronized. For instance, Information Operations are focused on the adversary while public affairs focus on the public perception of the unit. They often overlook the decisive audience: the average Arab on the street. The battle is to insure the moderate Arab understands what the American led Coalition is trying to accomplish. The decisive element of STRATCOMS is the ability to influence and inform the Arab population. The Arab piece would insure success with the western media. It is difficult for CNN or FOX to run negative stories on Iraq if the moderate Arab media outlets run positive stories. Credibility is a huge challenge when dealing with Arab media outlets and a thorough understanding of these outlets is essential."

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