Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blog Entry, 30 June 09 – PSYOP Skating to the Puck

I’m generally much of a sports fan, but I do follow, rodeo, football and hockey. And while I don’t often employ sports analogies, ‘skating to the puck’ is a good one. It implies that the player must anticipate where the puck is going and be at the right place at the right time to make the winning play.

Countries with the largest Muslim population as of 2008:
Indonesia 204 Million
Pakistan 164 Million
India 154 Million
Bangladesh 128 Million
Turkey 76 Million
Egypt 74 Million
Nigeria 73 Million
Iran 65 Million
Morocco 34 Million
Algeria 33 Million
Afghanistan 32 Million
Saudi Arabia 28 Million
Sudan 28 Million
China 27 Million
Egypt 27 Million
Iraq 27 Million
Ethiopia 27 Million

Source: http://islam.about.com/od/muslimcountries/a/population.htm
In my view skating to the puck means employing Strategic PSYOP to addre
ss audiences in Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria, Morocco, and Algeria because while only Algeria has been in the news with respect to Al Qaeda (e.g. Washington Post @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/29/AR2007052901967.html) the other nations are critical to global long term peace and prosperity.

Indonesia should be at the top of the list because it has the largest Islamic population and because it is a keystone of Asia and a symbol to the rest of the world. According to the CIA Factbook “Indonesia's first free parliamentary election after decades of repressive rule took place in 1999. Indonesia is now the world's third-largest democracy, …. and home to the world's largest Muslim population. Current issues include: alleviating poverty, improving education, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing economic and financial reforms, stemming corruption, holding the military and police accountable for past human rights violations, addressing climate change, and controlling avian influenza.” (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ID.html)

Indonesia faces a myriad of issues and the USG clearly should have messaging that addresses many of them. Furthermore Indonesia’s role in Asia will become more pivotal as China’s political, economic and military influence continues to grow. Indonesia must receive significant strategic communications attention as a prophylaxis to alleviate potentially serious issues in the future.

USG strategic communications will of necessity combine Department of State and Department of Defense information engagement efforts. As a core principle of democracy, the Executive Branch’s civilians drive Strategic Communications under the direction of the Ambassador in line with guidance from the President and Secretary of State Clinton.

Admiral Timothy J. Keating, Commander of the Pacific Command has a number of informational resources at his disposal as does the Commander of the US Special Operations Command. These DOD resources ought to be ‘de-conflicted’ so that they are additive in effect. After all marketing is cumulative. These efforts will likely include traditional media and the Internet. Given the burgeoning growth of mobile phones in Asia, campaigns employing Text Messages, e-mails and social networking are also appropriate especially to reach the young adult population which is a very large chunk of the overall population.

Time in the posting does not permit an analysis of other countries and their potential for strategic communications. Suffice it to say that Turkey is critical the US and global security so that it should be singled out for special attention as well.

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