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10 February 2006

Yeoman’s work…

We wish to call your attention to a few otherwise quiet professionals who have been doing yeoman’s work analyzing one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Long War.

First, we highlight Cori Dauber of Rantingprofs. Ms. Dauber is an intellect of unique refinement and a blogger of long standing. She also happens to be an Associate Professor of Communication Studies (and of Peace, War, and Defense) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Research Fellow at the Triangle Institute for Security Studies.

Her writings have done much to call attention to the media aspects of enemy behavior, and the impact of Third Voice decisions – particularly by those in mainstream media organizations – on the contemporary information environment. Where she leads, others are advised to follow.

Right now, she is on point in analyzing the cartoon jihad– a major strategic event in the Long War that has not only crossed over from the Parallel Universe of cyberspace but has become the very embodiment of World Theatre.

The second is Dr. Michael Waller holds the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair in International Communication at the Institute for World Politics, and blogs at the Fourth World War. Most should recognize the allusion to former DCI James Woolsey’s and Eliot Cohen’s construction of the GWOT in this title.

Dr. Waller is notable for the depth and quality of his scholarship in areas relating to propaganda, information operations, and political warfare. His most recent paper, “The American Way of Propaganda”, is now available through IWP and promises to be a most interesting read. He has been a lone voice in the wilderness for many years now, and his work deserves close attention from intelligence professionals who wish to understand the IO environment.

The realm of soft power such as public diplomacy, information operations, and political warfare is among the most difficult instruments of national power to wield and to analyze. It is rarely taught and even more rarely incorporated into the body of intelligence literature. These individuals should be commended for their efforts and serve as a model others would do well to emulate.