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Published by: Scott Sundsvold on Aug 12, 2013
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08/21/2013

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Commander’s Handbook
for
Strategic Communication
US Joint Forces CommandJoint Warfighting Center1 September 2008
UCOMSJF
UNITEDSTATESJOINTFORCESCOMMAND
 
U.S. Joint Forces Command
 JOINT WARFIGHTING CENTER116 LAKE VIEW PARKWAYSUFFOLK, VA 23435-2697
JASON K. KAMIYAMajor General, United States ArmyCommander, Joint Warfighting Center Director, Joint Training, J-7MESSAGE TO THE JOINT WARFIGHTERSAs US Joint Forces Command continues to interact with the combatant commands and Services, we recognize that there is no universal agreement on the best way to plan and execute strategic communications related activities, and there is very little doctrinalguidance. Consequently, we have developed this pre-doctrinal handbook to help jointforce commanders and their staffs understand alternative perspectives, techniques, procedures, “best practices,” and organizational options associated with strategiccommunications.Strategic communication must be at the heart of US Government efforts to influence keyaudiences in support of broad US national interests, policies, and objectives. We seek to achieve this influence by understanding key audiences and engaging them withcoordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, images, and products synchronized withthe actions of all instruments of national power.The US military plays an instrumental supporting role in strategic communication, primarily through information operations, public affairs, and defense support to publicdiplomacy. Strategic communication considerations should be associated with everymilitary operation across the entire range of military operations from routine, recurringmilitary activities in peacetime through large-scale combat associated with major wartimeoperations. Effectively employed strategic communication has the potential to achievenational, theater-strategic and operational-level objectives in a manner that could lessenthe requirement for combat in many operations. This is especially the case incircumstances where the focus of operations is on gaining and maintaining support of the relevant population, such as in counterinsurgency and operations associated withirregular warfare.During the past four years, understanding of strategic communication and its impact on joint operations has continued to evolve across the joint community. Their experiencesare in this handbook. I encourage you to use the information in this handbook and  provide feedback to help us capture value-added ideas for incorporation in emerging joint doctrine.
 
i
PREFACE
1. Scope
This handbook is a
pre-doctrinal document
on “Strategic Communication (SC).” It provides the fundamental principles, techniques, and procedures that are evolving in the joint community and moving toward incorporation into joint publications. This handbook serves as a bridge between the current practices in the field and their migration intodoctrine. As such, the intent is to inform doctrine writers, educators, and trainers of SCfor inclusion in joint doctrine, education, and training.
2. Content
This handbook outlines current doctrine, recognizes some best practices, and offerssome techniques and procedures currently used in the field. It also addresses sometechniques, procedures, and implications for further development of SC-related jointdoctrine, organizations, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities. A hypothetical vignette progresses through the document to assist inunderstanding the material.
3. Development
Development of this handbook was based on data obtained from applicable approved and emerging joint, multinational, multi-Service, and Service doctrine and procedures;training and education material from CAPSTONE, KEYSTONE, and PINNACLE senior executive education programs; joint exercise observations in facilitated after-action reviewsand commander’s summary reports; related joint concepts; experimentation results; thedraft DOD Directive on SC; other related Joint Staff (JS) directives; joint exercise and other trip reports; joint publication assessment reports; and Service and joint lessonslearned databases. Additional research involved discussions with members of the Services,doctrine development organizations, combatant commands, JS, and Office of the Secretaryof Defense (OSD); a review of the USJFCOM
Communication Strategy 2007 
; the StrategicCommunication and Public Diplomacy (PD) Policy Coordinating Committee (PCC)
US  National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication
; emergingUSJFCOM
Strategic Communication Joint Integrating Concept 
(JIC); SC conferencesand working groups; congressional testimony; and various related reports, articles, and  publications.
4. Application
This handbook is not approved doctrine
, but is a non-authoritative supplement to currentlylimited SC doctrine that can assist commanders and their staffs in planning and executingSC-related activities. The information herein also can help the joint community developSC doctrine, mature emerging SC concepts for possible transition into joint doctrine, and further SC effectiveness in joint operations.
Commanders should consider the potentialbenefits and risks of using this information in actual operations
.

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