Sebastian Gorka & David Kilcullen on strategic communication

From the department of “it’s a small world,” Sebastian Gorka (before he was famous) and David Kilcullen co-wrote an interesting chapter “Who’s Winning the Battle for Narrative,” which was published in my 2007 edited volume Influence Warfare.

Here is an excerpt:

To simplify matters, and given the urgency of the task, we can boil the above down into three fundamental questions the United States and its allies must answer if they are to have any chance of building a coherent strategic communications platform which can delegitimize al-Qaida.

These are:

1. Who is the enemy? The answer to this question should be short and simple.
2. Who are we? What do we believe in and what do we stand for as a nation and what we require of others nations that hold themselves to be part of the community of peace-loving and freedom-loving countries?
3. What are the core values which inform our behavior and our policies and which are not negotiable?

Given the weakness of communications to date, we would suggest one additional twist. At the moment it would be a waste to spend significantly more money on trying to make the United States or the “West” look good in the eyes of non-Western audiences. This will most likely come when we are judged by our actions. Instead we should focus on making the enemy look bad. For example, how is it that a man without any clerical qualifications issues fatwas and why is it that since 9/11 al-Qaida has been responsible for the death of far more Muslims than Westerners? This is how one can delegitimize and marginalize bin Laden.

You can download and read the full chapter here.

Please note: I should have done a better job editing & proofreading. Blame me for the grammatical mistakes you see here and there.

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