U.S. Governmental Information Operations and Strategic Communications: A Discredited Tool or User Failure? Implications for Future Conflict   [open pdf - 3MB]

"Today America's uniformed military leaders and civilian defense officials are developing ways to use national power more effectively and efficiently. Gone are the days when the United States had such extensive economic and military resources that it could largely disregard the costs of its strategy. The quest to bring costs and benefits into balance places the most fundamental concepts of American strategy under scrutiny. One important initiative in the quest for increased effectiveness and efficiency has been the Strategic Landpower Task Force. A joint effort of the Army, the Marine Corps, and the Special Operations Command, this task force was created to remind the Joint Force and policymakers that armed conflict remains a clash of interests in which the antagonists attempt to impose their will on each other. Ultimately, what might be called the human domain of conflict is decisive. Thus, strategic effectiveness and efficiency require an understanding of human objectives and psychological effects. This is challenging. The profusion of information sources, and interconnectedness of the modern world, make it difficult for strategists to gauge the effect which a given action or statement will have on its intended audience. That many U.S. military activities take place in cultures very different from the American one only adds to this difficulty. But however difficult it is to gauge these effects, it is also vital to do so."

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Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College: http://www,strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/
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