Blogs: The Skeptics

Obama Ramps Up Anti-ISIL ‘Messaging’ Surge

Is the Social Media Battle Against ISIS Futile?

The Skeptics

Yet what positive impact can this impressive array of organizations and technology have on the Sunni Arabs when they see their homes ripped apart by U.S. and allied bombs and missiles? Secretary of State John Kerry said the new Center “will lead the effort to synchronize messaging to foreign audiences that will counter the destructive messages of violent extremist groups.” When these foreign audiences—like the Sunni Arabs we desire to see turn against ISIS—hear such positive U.S. messages telling them they’d be better off rejecting extremist groups and siding with U.S.-friendly Arab regimes, the incongruence between the message and what they experience on the ground renders our labors futile.

ISIS does present a threat to American interests, and they are vicious, inhumane and brutal in the extreme to those Arabs living under their oppressive rule. Countering such brutality ought to be relatively easy. But so long as we continue to maintain the enormous gap between our actions and our messages, we will continue to founder in our strategic communications efforts. We will have a chance at success if we retool our regional strategies in ways that actually aid those in need and then draft messages that line up with it.

Fail to make that change and we lock in futility.

Daniel L. Davis is a widely published analyst on national security and foreign policy. He retired as a Lt. Col. after twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, including four combat deployments. The views in these articles are those of the author alone and do not reflect the position of the U.S. Government. Follow him on Twitter @DanielLDavis1.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/VOA.

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Why Are America’s Allies So Persistently Pathetic?

The Skeptics

Yet what positive impact can this impressive array of organizations and technology have on the Sunni Arabs when they see their homes ripped apart by U.S. and allied bombs and missiles? Secretary of State John Kerry said the new Center “will lead the effort to synchronize messaging to foreign audiences that will counter the destructive messages of violent extremist groups.” When these foreign audiences—like the Sunni Arabs we desire to see turn against ISIS—hear such positive U.S. messages telling them they’d be better off rejecting extremist groups and siding with U.S.-friendly Arab regimes, the incongruence between the message and what they experience on the ground renders our labors futile.

ISIS does present a threat to American interests, and they are vicious, inhumane and brutal in the extreme to those Arabs living under their oppressive rule. Countering such brutality ought to be relatively easy. But so long as we continue to maintain the enormous gap between our actions and our messages, we will continue to founder in our strategic communications efforts. We will have a chance at success if we retool our regional strategies in ways that actually aid those in need and then draft messages that line up with it.

Fail to make that change and we lock in futility.

Daniel L. Davis is a widely published analyst on national security and foreign policy. He retired as a Lt. Col. after twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, including four combat deployments. The views in these articles are those of the author alone and do not reflect the position of the U.S. Government. Follow him on Twitter @DanielLDavis1.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/VOA.

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Are U.S. Interests in Iraq Any More Secure After Ramadi?

The Skeptics

Yet what positive impact can this impressive array of organizations and technology have on the Sunni Arabs when they see their homes ripped apart by U.S. and allied bombs and missiles? Secretary of State John Kerry said the new Center “will lead the effort to synchronize messaging to foreign audiences that will counter the destructive messages of violent extremist groups.” When these foreign audiences—like the Sunni Arabs we desire to see turn against ISIS—hear such positive U.S. messages telling them they’d be better off rejecting extremist groups and siding with U.S.-friendly Arab regimes, the incongruence between the message and what they experience on the ground renders our labors futile.

ISIS does present a threat to American interests, and they are vicious, inhumane and brutal in the extreme to those Arabs living under their oppressive rule. Countering such brutality ought to be relatively easy. But so long as we continue to maintain the enormous gap between our actions and our messages, we will continue to founder in our strategic communications efforts. We will have a chance at success if we retool our regional strategies in ways that actually aid those in need and then draft messages that line up with it.

Fail to make that change and we lock in futility.

Daniel L. Davis is a widely published analyst on national security and foreign policy. He retired as a Lt. Col. after twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, including four combat deployments. The views in these articles are those of the author alone and do not reflect the position of the U.S. Government. Follow him on Twitter @DanielLDavis1.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/VOA.

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It's Time for the Real Questions on Candidates' Military Plans

The Skeptics

Yet what positive impact can this impressive array of organizations and technology have on the Sunni Arabs when they see their homes ripped apart by U.S. and allied bombs and missiles? Secretary of State John Kerry said the new Center “will lead the effort to synchronize messaging to foreign audiences that will counter the destructive messages of violent extremist groups.” When these foreign audiences—like the Sunni Arabs we desire to see turn against ISIS—hear such positive U.S. messages telling them they’d be better off rejecting extremist groups and siding with U.S.-friendly Arab regimes, the incongruence between the message and what they experience on the ground renders our labors futile.

ISIS does present a threat to American interests, and they are vicious, inhumane and brutal in the extreme to those Arabs living under their oppressive rule. Countering such brutality ought to be relatively easy. But so long as we continue to maintain the enormous gap between our actions and our messages, we will continue to founder in our strategic communications efforts. We will have a chance at success if we retool our regional strategies in ways that actually aid those in need and then draft messages that line up with it.

Fail to make that change and we lock in futility.

Daniel L. Davis is a widely published analyst on national security and foreign policy. He retired as a Lt. Col. after twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, including four combat deployments. The views in these articles are those of the author alone and do not reflect the position of the U.S. Government. Follow him on Twitter @DanielLDavis1.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/VOA.

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