CSC’s Steve Corman Receives ASU Founder’s Day Award

Professor Steven R. Corman, the Director of the Center for Strategic Communication and the Herberger Professor at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, received the ASU Alumni Association Founder’s Day Faculty Achievement Service Award yesterday (Thursday, February 21). From the award announcement on the Alumni page: Steven Corman is being honored for his service to the United States military and its allies related to his research on verbal and written […] Read more »

Review: “De-Legitimizing al-Qaeda”

by Jeffry R. Halverson The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) has released a short monograph, De-Legitimizing al-Qaeda: A Jihad-Realist Approach, by sociologist Paul Kamolnick, a professor at Eastern Tennessee State University. Kamolnick criticizes current US efforts to counter al-Qaeda’s messaging and recruitment strategies as ineffective, and proposes an alternative two-fold solution to marginalize and defeat al-Qaeda. However, Kamolnick’s proposed strategy is problematic for several reasons. In the first component of his proposed strategy, Kamolnick suggests that […] Read more »

Suharto Era Comops Backfire in 2012 Indonesia

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremists continue to portray Ambonese Christians as engaged in separatist rebellion against Indonesia, and a crusade against Muslims. This isn’t true, but raises the question: where on earth did they get this idea? The adage that if a lie gets repeated enough times it becomes true is, apparently, applicable in Indonesia’s Ambon region. It was home to a brief separatist insurgency following the Indonesian revolution (1945-49).  Following their defeat in 1950, […] Read more »

The Aftermath of Another Affront

by Chris Lundry (with R. Bennett Furlow) It did not take long for the images of the US Marines urinating on corpses of Taliban fighters to go viral. A moment of lapsed judgment will circulate as long as anyone is interested in seeing it, certainly long after short attention spans move on to other things and the fallout – including, presumably, disciplinary actions for the soldiers – settles. Predictably, extremist sites have been all over […] Read more »

NATO Q&A Highlights Strategic Comm Challenges

by Scott W. Ruston* In December, COMOPS was invited to participate in a question and answer forum with General Stéphane Abrial, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, hosted by Atlantic-Community.org. Atlantic-Community is a leading European online think tank focused on transatlantic relations. The Q&A reveals that General Abrial has an integrative, forward-looking conceptualization of the role of strategic communication in NATO.  A close read also suggests that NATO faces both internal, as well as external, strategic […] Read more »

Wiki-leaked Docs a Threat, but Maybe Not How Pentagon Thinks

by Cameron Bean and Bennett Furlow On Friday, October 22, Wikileaks released almost 400,000 documents on the Iraq War.  At first Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell seemed to downplay the release, claiming the documents were “essentially snapshots of events” and do not “tell the whole story.” But chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen condemned the release, tweeting: “Another irresponsible posting of stolen classified documents by Wikileaks puts lives at risk and gives adversaries […] Read more »

Predator Video Hack Has SC Consequences

by Scott W. Ruston Recent headlines revealed that video feeds from the Predator, the US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used for surveillance and targeting in both Iraq and Afghanistan, have been intercepted by insurgents in Iraq.  Early follow up analysis focuses on whether the intercept of Predator video feeds qualifies as a “hack” or whether that term has over-sensationalized the situation.  This attention to semantics strikes me as a repeat of the “how are men […] Read more »

Blatant Colonialism in the Malay Muslim “Deep South” of Thailand

by Mark Woodward and Mariani Yahya* Thai-Buddhist colonialism? That is a strange concept, but it is reality as far as the Malay-Muslims of the “Deep South” of Thailand are concerned. Edward Said noted that the representation of political- and military-subject people as less than fully human is among the basic elements of the culture and ideology of colonialism. He also observed that despite other differences, in this respect all colonialisms are the same. In the […] Read more »

Recent Developments in Indonesia’s Anti-Terrorism Efforts

by Chris Lundry In the aftermath of the 17 July bombings at the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, some interesting developments have emerged in Indonesia’s anti-terrorism efforts. The incident has shattered the illusion that Indonesia was safe from the threat of terrorism following four years without a major terrorist incident.  It also led to some puzzling rhetoric from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in which he likened terrorists to vampires, speculated that some of his political rivals […] Read more »

DoD Inspector General Questions Public Affairs Activity

by Steven R. Corman Yesterday that the DoD Office of Inspector General released a report with the unparsimonious title “Organizational Structure and Managers’ Internal Control Program for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) and American Forces Information Service” (H/T WaPo). It’s main conclusion has to do with the “Managers’ Internal Control Program established at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) (OASD[PA]) and the American Forces Information Service (AFIS).”  It’s “what […] Read more »