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Distilling Strategic Communications

October 7, 2008

Establishing a strategic communications process within the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch of the United States government, including within the military, continues to meet with broad bureaucratic resistance and outright suspicion. It is viewed by many as an effort by communicators to either unduly influence or even highjack the policy process, or to convert the offices of government into a collective propaganda machine.

At the same time there has been increasing collective anxiety within the government over presumed failures in the so-called “war of ideas,” resulting in wide agreement that national strategy and policy cannot now be effectively executed within the modern global communications environment without the participation of public information specialists. Such frustration was often expressed by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and has also been a frequent topic of discussion in the news.