Featured Article: Optimizing a U.S. Communications Strategy…
Optimizing a U.S. Communications Strategy through Structure and Design
by Sharon Engelmeier
The endurance of Syria’s Assad regime, Russia’s defiant maneuvering in eastern Ukraine, and the Islamic State’s encroachment on Iraqi territory stand as staunch reminders to those within U.S. government strategic communication fields that they remain deficient in comparison to their adversaries’ savviness and enhanced influence capabilities. These entities display their abilities to harness and maximize information effects tactically and strategically through deliberate, agile, and focused information operation campaigns, while the U.S. struggles within its antiquated bureaucratic system. As the communication environment becomes more integral and complex, the need increases for an advisory council that is able to develop focused strategic communication plans and is empowered to synchronize the multitude of U.S. government communication entities.
This article discusses one possible organizational structure for optimizing the U.S. government’s external counterterrorism (CT) communications. It is by no means the perfect solution; however, discussions must begin to improve the U.S. government’s ability to promote and preserve its interests abroad by shaping and leading the discourse of local and regional narratives that comprise the mega-narrative. So often quoted as the war of ideas, the U.S. government’s diminishing ability to project influence and confidence in its moral values and ideals has affected its ability to maintain its interests abroad. This article proposes that the government regain focus through the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications…
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Major Sharon Engelmeier is an Army officer currently earning a M.A. in Strategic and International Studies at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. In 2011, she served with the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara as the Regional Information Support Team Commander, where she collaborated with U.S. Embassies on a holistic interagency approach to countering violent extremist organizations.