Qualified Support from Congress of DoD Strategic Communication

For your reference, the below citations are from reports of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees from before the summer recess in support of Defense information activities commonly referred to as strategic communication. As far as the House Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee, there is nothing in support of DOD information activities, as you may already know. The numbers in parentheses at the end of each citation is the page number of the report.

Senate Armed Services Committee Report 111-35 on NDAA FY2010 (July 2, 2009)

Strategic communications and public diplomacy programs are important activities and the committee supports them, but the committee is not able to determine whether these efforts are integrated within DOD or with the broader U.S. Government, nor is the committee able to oversee adequately the funding for the multitude of programs. (183)

House Armed Services Committee Report 111-166 on NDAA FY2010 (June 18, 2009)

The committee encourages the development of strategic communications capability within the Department of Defense as a softpower complement to traditional hard-power tools (374)

[T]he Department of Defense helped to fund the Iraqi Virtual Science Library, which provides free, full-text access to thousands of scientific journals from major publishers as well as a large collection of online educational materials. There are also a number of activities to promote exchanges between scientific institutions as well as military personnel exchanges with professional military educational establishments. These activities represent an analogy to the kinds of Fulbright scholarships, American Corners, and book translation programs offered by the Department of State's public diplomacy program. Other activities, such as the deployment of hospital ships, or the use of military medical personnel to carry out medical, dental, and veterinary operations, have no analogue elsewhere within the government. (381)

[T]he committee is concerned that the disestablishment of the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Support to Public Diplomacy has left the Department of Defense without the necessary management structure to coordinate and guide effectively the myriad activities that comprise military public diplomacy. (382)

The committee believes that to prevail in an information-centric fight, the Department of Defense and its partners must develop and employ innovative strategies that dominate the information spectrum both in terms of the network and the message. (363)

The committee encourages the development of strategic communications capability within the Department of Defense as a softpower complement to traditional hard-power tools (373)

The committee believes that online strategic communications are essential tools for the Department to effectively counter the propaganda of violent extremist groups abroad. Many of these groups operate exclusively in this arena and execute online media operations that greatly outnumber, outpace, and outperform United States government initiatives. (375)

House Appropriations - Defense Subcommittee Report 111-230 on NDAA FY2010

  • (nothing positive)