Warfighting in the Age of Information:

The most important report I've seen, from any government agency, is the Defense Science Board's report on Strategic Communications. It's being cited in a few places because the New York Times used it for yet another attack piece on the administration and its view of the world.

Leave the politics aside, though, and read through it. It demonstrates the need for a fundamental shift in the way we talk to each other, and the world.

Some of this will not be news to bloggers, especially after Rathergate:

New information
technologies often separate information from the sender’s identity and the social frames that provide credibility and meaning. Social context on the Internet, for example, is not self-evident. Nor is the identity of those who generate information. Terrorists use websites in ways that mask their agendas. Their web-based narratives usually do not celebrate violence so as to elicit sympathy and resonate with supporters. Information saturation means attention, not information, becomes a scarce resource.

Power flows to credible messengers. Asymmetrical credibility matters. What's around information is critical. Reputations count. Brands are important. Editors, filters, and cue givers are influential. Fifty years ago political struggles were about the ability to control and transmit scarce information. Today, political struggles are about the creation and destruction of credibility.
I read a lot of government reports, and I haven't seen that much insight crammed into that few sentences in ages. We've all been wondering if the government was paying attention to the changes we've been seeing.

They have. Read the rest. It's long, but settle in for it.

Those of you in the Military Science class: when you're done, read this. Now take the problems of the DSB report, the issues that Armed Liberal raises, and compare them to the issues of will and morale we were discussing last week. This is where the war will be won or lost: not in the hearts and minds of the enemy, nor even of the general run of Muslim populations, but in our own.

No comments: