Dec 7, 2022Liked by Paul Cobaugh

Sorry, I can't disagree with your comments below...I wish I could.

From the outside, I'd say there are a few positive indicators in the current USG Ukrainian messaging regarding the innovative preemptive disclosure of intel to cut off Russian false flag options...but not enough...

I retired early in 2016 from my DoD civ stratcomm job 'to pursue other opportunities' as they say...

Expand full comment
Dec 6, 2022Liked by Paul Cobaugh

Thank you for another invigorating essay, Paul, and for pointing to Sean McFate's well-reasoned piece on strengthening US irregular warfare theory and practice. Comparing your piece with McFate's, my conclusion is that you are arguing for a whole-of-government coordination of and strengthening of influence operations, of which IW would be a component piece. Similar issues of coordination, training, policy, and projects arise at the higher level of integration needed for whole-of-government influence ops. which must include but supersede DoD IW. These concerns remind me of the Biden 2009 report, 'National Framework for Strategic Communication.' Biden argued for creating a national 'home' organisation for USG Strategic Communications, which would coordinate Stratcomms across USG organisations while at the same time mandating stratcomm capabilities within each organisation. Obama decided to implement the stratcomm capability requirement within USG organisations (without additional funding to implement the mandate), and dismissed the call for a home organisation to coordinate across government (since we didn't need 'another bureaucracy'), with predicatable outcomes - small functional gains and big performativity on mandate meeting.

Would you agree with the Biden approach of 2009 to bolster USG influence capabilities?

Expand full comment