May I please draw your attention to this excellent publication, authored by retired Canadian Army Colonel Brett Boudreau, on behalf of the NATO Centre of Excellence StratCom, Latvia. Colonel Brett has undertaken an exceptionally piece of research, a really very detailed analysis of the whole ISAF StratCom campaign in Afghanistan. His evidence base is hugely impressive and his conclusions sobering. He has not pulled his punches. For anyone with any interest in StratCom, Influence, PsyOps, IO et al I commend it to you for urgent reading.
I am particularly delighted that the report chooses to positively highlight, on a number of occasions, the work General Andrew Mackay and I undertook with our book Behavioural Conflict and our later papers on the need for TAA and a behavioural focus, The report lays bare the absence of proper TAA of Afghan audiences and an undue focus on attitudinal approaches when it was the behaviour, first and foremost, that needed changing, not opinions or perception. The report should raise many questions in NATO HQ and member nation capitals, particularly for those dealing with Russian and ISIS issues.
The report is entitled: “We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us” An Analysis Of Nato Strategic Communications: The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) In Afghanistan, 2003-2014. It is available from this link:
Cdr (rtd) Steve Tatham Ph.D., Royal Navy
Director of Operations (Europe & Africa)
The SCL Group
33 St James’ Square