Communication Synchronization: Case Studies in Transparency, Systems Understanding and Acceptability

  • Colonel John Dorrian

There is a broad consensus supporting the importance of information as an element of national power, and that consensus has led to a tremendous outpouring of effort, time and money on “strategic communication.” The U.S. government and the U.S. Department of Defense have gone through a variety of initiatives and policy changes in the attempt to establish and maintain credibility and trust with stakeholders. This paper examines past communication cases to assess which concepts seem to advance communication objectives and which ones fail. Credibility, trust, systems understanding and effective civil military relations are required for effective public information programs. Perceptions of disinformation or lack of compliance with civilian control of the military inevitably yield poor results.