Truth, Perception and Consequences Proteus Monograph Series 1, Volume 1

  • November 15, 2007
  • Christine A R MacNulty

Executive Summary: Intelligence, Information Operations (IO) and Strategic Communication (SC) require a deep cultural and contextual understanding of our adversaries and, in some cases, our allies. They also require a deep understanding of our own cultural biases, so that we see clearly while looking through our own cultural lens. While there may be a single "truth" out there, most of what we "see" and our adversaries "see" is perception, not truth. Although we have achieved some of our primary objectives in these areas, we have often only achieved first order results at the expense of longer-term strategic goals. In some cases, we have failed to achieve our desired results and have created unintended consequences because of a lack of a systems perspective and the ability to see patterns and understand complex systems on a strategic scale and a lack understanding different cultural context and cognitive dimensions.