STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 53
(Extensions of Remarks - April 27, 2005)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E781-E782]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                      STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION ACT

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. MAC THORNBERRY

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, April 27, 2005

  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I agree with those who say that the 
Global War on Terrorism is actually a Global War of Ideas and that 
terrorism is one of the tactics used in that War. Military power, 
alone, will not win this War nor can it ensure our safety against those 
willing to destroy themselves as they murder as many Americans as 
possible.
  The Global War of Ideas must be waged on many fronts--military, 
diplomatic, economic. It must include intelligence activities abroad 
and homeland security efforts here at home. It

[[Page E782]]

must involve our allies and friends around the world.
  One critical aspect of this War involves what I believe can best be 
labeled as ``Strategic Communication.'' Strategic Communication is not 
marketing; it is not simplistic slogans; it is not simply looking for 
better ways to tell the world how good we are. Strategic Communication 
is deeper and more sophisticated than that. It is how we communicate 
with--and thus relate to--the rest of the world.
  It includes public diplomacy (how we communicate with people outside 
of the United States), public affairs (how we communicate with 
Americans and the media), international broadcasting, and various 
governmental information operations programs. It must, of course, 
utilize and take into account ever-evolving technologies.
  Any communication begins with listening and understanding, which is 
certainly where Strategic Communication must begin. We cannot conduct a 
poll or two and assume we know what the people think. We have to 
understand history, culture, traditions, values, and anxieties. Without 
that understanding, any attempt at communicating, much less 
influencing, will be futile. Our understanding must extend to networks 
of influence within societies and to the factors which influence human 
behavior.
  In addition to understanding attitudes and cultures, Strategic 
Communication involves engaging in a dialogue of ideas, advising policy 
makers of the implications of various decision choices, and developing 
and implementing communication strategies that can help shape attitudes 
and behaviors. It involves the work not only of the Department of 
State, but also the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, 
and others.

  Needless to say, Strategic Communication is a massive job that 
directly affects the national security of the United States for 
generations to come.
  A number of studies since the 9/11 attacks--and some even prior--have 
emphasized the importance of Strategic Communications and have also 
found that the United States efforts have been quite deficient. One 
recent report, which I found particularly helpful, was issued by the 
Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication, chaired by 
Mr. Vincent Vitto.
  The Defense Science Board report provides a context for the 
importance of Strategic Communications, and it offers a number of 
recommendations. Many of those recommendations require action by the 
Executive Branch, but some require Congressional action as well. The 
report's bottom line is that the U.S. needs a ``dramatically more 
disciplined, methodical, and strategic approach to global 
communications.''
  In considering the many aspects of Strategic Communications, there 
are some things only government can do. But, government does not have 
all of the answers or all of the expertise needed to successfully wage 
this War. Those outside government have much to contribute. To be truly 
successful, there must be a cooperative partnership between government 
and the private sector.
  The bill I am introducing today, H.R. 1869, the ``Strategic 
Communication Act of 2005,'' will help provide a framework for that 
partnership. Implementing one of the recommendations of the Defense 
Science Board study, the bill creates a nonpartisan, non-profit Center 
for Strategic Communication to be at the intersection of government and 
private sector efforts in Strategic Communication. As a nongovernmental 
entity, the Center can take advantage of the experience and expertise 
of those outside of government who may be unwilling or unable to work 
within government but would like the opportunity to contribute. It 
would also allow greater flexibility than government regulations 
sometimes permit.
  While no one wants to duplicate essential governmental functions, the 
Defense Science Board's report suggests that a non-profit Center would 
have three primary purposes:
  1. To provide information and analysis to civilian and military 
decision-makers;
  2. to develop plans and programs to create and implement U.S. 
communication strategies; and
  3. to support government strategic communications. Among the areas in 
which the Center can contribute are: polling and analysis, cultural 
influence analysis, media influences analysis, fostering cross cultural 
exchanges, sub-contracting to the commercial and academic sectors for a 
range of products and programs, mobilizing non-government initiatives, 
such as temporary communication teams, and continually monitoring and 
evaluating effectiveness.
  Mr. Speaker, let me make clear that I understand, as did the Defense 
Science Board, that the War of Ideas is about much more than 
communications strategies. It is also about policies and actions, some 
of which are not popular in various regions of the world. The Defense 
Science Board report noted that policies and strategic communications 
cannot be separated.
  But effective communication is also an essential part of any effort 
to make the world a safer place. As the Defense Science Board noted, 
``Strategic Communication is a vital component of U.S. national 
security. It is in crisis and must be transformed with a strength of 
purpose that matches our commitment to diplomacy, defense, 
intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security.''
  I believe that this proposal and the entire list of recommendations 
by the Defense Science Board can make a major contribution to this 
effort.

                          ____________________




[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E781-E782]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                      STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION ACT

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. MAC THORNBERRY

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, April 27, 2005

  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I agree with those who say that the 
Global War on Terrorism is actually a Global War of Ideas and that 
terrorism is one of the tactics used in that War. Military power, 
alone, will not win this War nor can it ensure our safety against those 
willing to destroy themselves as they murder as many Americans as 
possible.
  The Global War of Ideas must be waged on many fronts--military, 
diplomatic, economic. It must include intelligence activities abroad 
and homeland security efforts here at home. It

[[Page E782]]

must involve our allies and friends around the world.
  One critical aspect of this War involves what I believe can best be 
labeled as ``Strategic Communication.'' Strategic Communication is not 
marketing; it is not simplistic slogans; it is not simply looking for 
better ways to tell the world how good we are. Strategic Communication 
is deeper and more sophisticated than that. It is how we communicate 
with--and thus relate to--the rest of the world.
  It includes public diplomacy (how we communicate with people outside 
of the United States), public affairs (how we communicate with 
Americans and the media), international broadcasting, and various 
governmental information operations programs. It must, of course, 
utilize and take into account ever-evolving technologies.
  Any communication begins with listening and understanding, which is 
certainly where Strategic Communication must begin. We cannot conduct a 
poll or two and assume we know what the people think. We have to 
understand history, culture, traditions, values, and anxieties. Without 
that understanding, any attempt at communicating, much less 
influencing, will be futile. Our understanding must extend to networks 
of influence within societies and to the factors which influence human 
behavior.
  In addition to understanding attitudes and cultures, Strategic 
Communication involves engaging in a dialogue of ideas, advising policy 
makers of the implications of various decision choices, and developing 
and implementing communication strategies that can help shape attitudes 
and behaviors. It involves the work not only of the Department of 
State, but also the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, 
and others.

  Needless to say, Strategic Communication is a massive job that 
directly affects the national security of the United States for 
generations to come.
  A number of studies since the 9/11 attacks--and some even prior--have 
emphasized the importance of Strategic Communications and have also 
found that the United States efforts have been quite deficient. One 
recent report, which I found particularly helpful, was issued by the 
Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication, chaired by 
Mr. Vincent Vitto.
  The Defense Science Board report provides a context for the 
importance of Strategic Communications, and it offers a number of 
recommendations. Many of those recommendations require action by the 
Executive Branch, but some require Congressional action as well. The 
report's bottom line is that the U.S. needs a ``dramatically more 
disciplined, methodical, and strategic approach to global 
communications.''
  In considering the many aspects of Strategic Communications, there 
are some things only government can do. But, government does not have 
all of the answers or all of the expertise needed to successfully wage 
this War. Those outside government have much to contribute. To be truly 
successful, there must be a cooperative partnership between government 
and the private sector.
  The bill I am introducing today, H.R. 1869, the ``Strategic 
Communication Act of 2005,'' will help provide a framework for that 
partnership. Implementing one of the recommendations of the Defense 
Science Board study, the bill creates a nonpartisan, non-profit Center 
for Strategic Communication to be at the intersection of government and 
private sector efforts in Strategic Communication. As a nongovernmental 
entity, the Center can take advantage of the experience and expertise 
of those outside of government who may be unwilling or unable to work 
within government but would like the opportunity to contribute. It 
would also allow greater flexibility than government regulations 
sometimes permit.
  While no one wants to duplicate essential governmental functions, the 
Defense Science Board's report suggests that a non-profit Center would 
have three primary purposes:
  1. To provide information and analysis to civilian and military 
decision-makers;
  2. to develop plans and programs to create and implement U.S. 
communication strategies; and
  3. to support government strategic communications. Among the areas in 
which the Center can contribute are: polling and analysis, cultural 
influence analysis, media influences analysis, fostering cross cultural 
exchanges, sub-contracting to the commercial and academic sectors for a 
range of products and programs, mobilizing non-government initiatives, 
such as temporary communication teams, and continually monitoring and 
evaluating effectiveness.
  Mr. Speaker, let me make clear that I understand, as did the Defense 
Science Board, that the War of Ideas is about much more than 
communications strategies. It is also about policies and actions, some 
of which are not popular in various regions of the world. The Defense 
Science Board report noted that policies and strategic communications 
cannot be separated.
  But effective communication is also an essential part of any effort 
to make the world a safer place. As the Defense Science Board noted, 
``Strategic Communication is a vital component of U.S. national 
security. It is in crisis and must be transformed with a strength of 
purpose that matches our commitment to diplomacy, defense, 
intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security.''
  I believe that this proposal and the entire list of recommendations 
by the Defense Science Board can make a major contribution to this 
effort.

                          ____________________