Evolution of Strategic Communication and Information Operations Since 9/11: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Emerging Threats & Capabilities of the H. Comm. on Armed Services, 112th Cong., July 12, 2011 (Statement of Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks)
I know that members of this sub-committee are deeply committed to ensuring that reform of strategic communication organizational structures and policies remains a top priority for the executive branch. I have to confess that in my former role as a Defense Department official with responsibility for a range of SC and IO issues, I was not always wholly grateful for your interest: you and your colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee put the Department through the ringer with quite a lot of different reporting requirements. As a citizen, however, I am deeply grateful to you for having kept us on our toes— and occasionally held our feet to the fire. This is a vital area, and we can’t afford either to ignore it or rest on our laurels.
I would like to begin today by looking briefly at the emergence of the concept of “strategic communication” within the US government, and talk about some drawbacks to the term itself. I’d then like to highlight some of the lessons we can draw from the decade since 9/11, and I will close by offering some thoughts on the future.