Managing meaning: the role of psychological operations and public diplomacy in a national information warfare strategy
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Recent advances in both the speed and breadth of communications capabilities have drastically increased the value of Strategic Political Communications. The ability of individuals to gain exposure to information beyond the control of national authorities has greatly increased the level of public engagement in foreign relations and diplomacy. However, the much discussed 'Information Revolution' is not limited to the technical advances achieved in the hardware of communications. Both Military Psychological Operations and Public Diplomacy are crucial to ensuring national strategic objectives are obtained by helping to shape international perceptions of the United States, its way of life, and its national interests. The United States needs a national level agency tasked, and granted codified authority, to devise, coordinate and implement a National Information Strategy. A National Information Strategy will bolster the National Security Strategy by focusing the efforts of all agencies involved in disseminating information for the federal government. With an understanding of the role and power of information, this agency could provide the framework for an information campaign specifically targeted to the political-military situation of an emerging crisis.
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