Friday, March 18, 2016

State Department to Lead New Global Counterterrorism Communications Office

The White House issued an Executive order on March 16, 2016 establishing the Global Engagement Center (GEC) “which shall lead the coordination, integration, and synchronization of Government-wide communications activities directed at foreign audiences abroad in order to counter the messaging and diminish the influence of international terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al Qa'ida, and other violent extremists abroad”

Here are a couple of highlights of GEC’s responsibilities taken from the Executive Order:

1.     coordinating, integrating, and synchronizing all public communications of the United States Government directed toward foreign audiences abroad in order to counter the messaging and diminish the influence of international terrorist organizations and other violent extremists abroad;
2.     identifying, engaging, employing, or acquiring the best available talent across the U.S. and from global private sectors, academia, and elsewhere to support the Center's mission;
3.     identifying shortfalls in any U.S. capabilities in any areas relevant to the Center's mission and implementing or recommending, as appropriate, necessary enhancements or changes; and
4.     (developing, supporting, and sustaining networks of governmental and non-governmental partners, to provide original content and disseminate messaging products to foreign audiences abroad and to create, develop, and sustain effective positive alternative narratives consistent with U.S. policy objectives.
The order also indicates that other departments are to cooperative in this venture.

What does this mean to the MISO Community?

For one thing it’s recognition of a worldwide communications challenge that needs to be globally managed. It also properly recognizes that communications outside the US is a diplomatic job and puts the onus where it belongs.

Conceptually at least this may mean an opportunity for members of the MISO community to be loaned out for TDY to help out. This may also mean that appropriate MIST teams may find themselves engaged with a fledgling entity.

In any event, it looks like a reasonable way to approach a growing challenge. 

Why the Gecko? Well GEC seemed to lend itself to the acronym and the linkage - after all, many people had quite a bit of fun with the swap of PSYOP for MISO. (Photo Source:

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