Effective Use of Labels in Strategic Communication   [open pdf - 671KB]

A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Military Art and Science, Strategic Studies. From the abstract: "Labels and brands are designed to evoke emotion in all of us. With time, these labels enter common vocabulary in unique and specific ways. Organizational labels establish the tone for the specific group-- friendly groups as well as threat groups. The primary question is, 'Should the application of labels toward threat groups factor into the communication of national strategy?' Because President Barak Obama emphasized the employment of strategic communication in the 2010 National Security Strategy, the United States must consider the labels used to address emerging threats. The informational instrument of national power must lead the national reaction to global security issues. The United States must be in the forefront of the conversation as the global discussion continues of how to refer to adversarial or threat groups such as ISIS. [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate the importance the labeling of threat groups is to information as a source of national power. The efficient use of information will serve to set the tone for unified action against threat groups and adversaries. National leadership must clearly express the national strategic direction for all governmental, military, non-governmental, private sector organizations, and others to follow."

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