U.S. strategic communications against Islamic fundamentalists
Schouten, Dustin J.
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Strategic communications play a vital role in the fight against terrorist groups, especially in Muslim nations. This thesis analyzes the United States’ policies and strategic communications in the post-September 11, 2001 war against Islamic fundamentalists to determine if U.S. strategic communication policies have been effective in countering Islamic extremism. From the findings, it is evident that U.S. strategic communications have failed in countering radicalization and moderating the minds of Muslim populations overseas—or among diaspora populations in Western countries. Marginalization and poor assimilation strategies; awkward distribution of competencies between the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, and the State Department; a lack of global perspective; and failure to learn from past military operations are some of the factors that have contributed to the problem. Reinstatement of a central agency for strategic communications, modeling of solutions for specific groups, and analysis of historical war successes and failures are important in ensuring the effectiveness of strategic communications in the fight against terrorist groups.
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