As I sat this evening and read news stories from across the globe via conventional news sources and social media conduits, I started to question what is America’s Grand Strategy, really? Reality is, whether intentional or not, America does have a perceived National Strategic Narrative whether it has a Grand Strategy or not (to use a Clausewitzian context) based on our actual actions in comparisons with our national rhetoric. The question is, given the current domestic and global environment, what is it? Additionally, if we do not have a purposeful narrative, what should it be? The National Security Strategy is only one element in how the world perceives us. With the explosion of the 24-hour news cycle, social media, and the exponentially evolving information environment, America lives in a glass house that the rest of the world can see into in real time. Regardless of what we say, the world can see us for what we really are. The time has come for us to re-think what national strategy (or grand strategy) actually is, and what it should look like. Wayne Porter and Mark Mykleby opened the discussion wide open in 2011 with their work entitled, “A National Strategic Narrative,” which can be found here. The introduction states:
A narrative is a story. A national strategic narrative must be a story that all Americans can understand and identify with in their own lives. America’s national story has always see-sawed between exceptionalism and universalism. We think that we are an exceptional nation, but a core part of that exceptionalism is a commitment to universal values – to the equality of all human beings not just within the borders of the United States, but around the world. We should thus embrace the rise of other nations when that rise is powered by expanded prosperity, opportunity, and dignity for their peoples. In such a world we do not need to see ourselves as the automatic leader of any bloc of nations. We should be prepared instead to earn our influence through our ability to compete with other nations, the evident prosperity and wellbeing of our people, and our ability to engage not just with states but with societies in all their richness and complexity. We do not want to be the sole superpower that billions of people around the world have learned to hate from fear of our military might. We seek instead to be the nation other nations listen to, rely on and emulate out of respect and admiration.
With this document being two years old and given the current state of the the US and global economies, the current state of Afghanistan, as well as the issues across the entire African continent, the Levant, Iran, North Korea, etc. what is the current perceived American Strategic Narrative and what should our Strategic Narrative actually be? What would America have to do to actually create and sell a believable narrative to the world? Curious to hear your thoughts…
Since its emergence, Hezbollah has arguably become one of the model global guerrilla, terrorist, and insurgent organizations of the world. Israel, Hezbollah’s main competitor, has been unable to destroy or effectively marginalize them. Hezbollah solidified psychological warfare as an integral capability for the organization’s success, and synchronized it with classical terrorist kinetic operations to create an influence warfare methodology, moving Hezbollah’s operations toward achieving its political-military goals to eliminate Israel, dominate Lebanon, and facilitate a Shia-based pan-Islamic Caliphate. Initially, Hezbollah emerged and survived through its nation state sponsors Iran and Syria. Today, Hezbollah is a global organization socially embedded not only in Lebanon and the greater Middle East, but also the Americas, Africa, and portions of Europe.
Hezbollah simultaneously conducts operations at the tactical, operational, and strategic level to implement all facets of its lines of operations. Over the past 12 years, the terrorist organization has initiated an expansion of its ideological frame. It has successfully become the dominant socio-political-military organization in Lebanon, achieved transnational reach, and exists as the only military entity to have challenged Israel’s military power successfully in the past 40 years. Hezbollah’s successes are built on a foundation of effective and elaborate operations targeting domestic, foreign, and adversarial target audiences supported by a strategic form of influence warfare to overcome conventional political-military shortfalls, allowing Hezbollah to grow as a Shia group within Lebanon while attracting non-Shia audiences to align with them. Hezbollah has evolved from a simple terrorist organization into an internationally recognized nonstate actor, one that Israel has yet to marginalize and continues to grow over time.
Following Israel’s invasion in 1982 to eliminate PLO terrorist safe havens in Southern Lebanon, a militia of Shia supporters of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini were resourced, trained, and organized to form Hezbollah with the initial goal of forcing Israel to leave southern Lebanon. The elements necessary for social mobilization were already present in Lebanon prior to the Israeli invasion of 1982. Initially, the Sunni, Shia, and Christian populations in southern Lebanon welcomed Israel’s expulsion of the PLO, which was viewed as an opportunity to reclaim control over the south. However, when Israel forged an alliance with the Maronite Christians, the Shia felt marginalized under Israel’s occupation and became resentful. In one form or another, the formation of a political-military group to provide Lebanese Shia some form of socio-political-military representation was imminent. Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon catapulted Hezbollah’s formation as the preeminent Shia militant organization, and more importantly, its legitimacy.
Over the past 40 years, Hezbollah has proven its lethal dedication to its cause through multiple terrorist attacks and support activities against the United States, France, Israel, Canada, Greece, Argentina, Spain, Thailand, UAE, Senegal, England, Panama, Paraguay, Brazil, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and many others. Hezbollah is responsible for bombing the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon in both 1983 and 1984, as well as killing 241 U.S. servicemen when they launched a suicide bomber attack against the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983. In 1985, Hezbollah ordered the hijacking of TWA flight 847, killing a U.S. Navy diver in the process. Throughout the 1980s, Hezbollah conducted dozens of kidnappings against U.S. citizens and other westerners who were either used for ransom or killed outright. In 1989, a 10-man Hezbollah terrorist cell was arrested in Spain while attempting to conduct an attack. Later that year, another Hezbollah cell bombed a French airliner in West Africa, killing another 171 people. From 1992 through 1995, Hezbollah expanded its operations into South America where it bombed the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, and subsequently, established finance laundering hubs throughout Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. After Hezbollah’s 1996 attack against another U.S. barracks and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah focused its overt terrorist activities against Israeli civilians and border security forces using suicide bombers, as well as rocket and mortar attacks. At first glance, these events appear as unilateral military actions, but by analyzing their purpose, a more deviant and elaborate goal is visible. Hezbollah’s militant and civil activities directly support its ideological framework and goal to expand continuously while sustaining Hezbollah as an organization and international entity.
In order to achieve its goals, Hezbollah pulls members from across Lebanese and international social networks. An analysis of individual, rational, systemic, and ideological causes helps highlight many of the grievances and political opportunities Hezbollah can exploit for recruitment and social mobilization. Fathali Moghaddam in his work “The Stairway to Terrorism” postulates individual causes for people to join terrorism, starting with how individuals begin with perceived injustice and can move up the “staircase” to actively conduct terrorist operations. For the populace of southern Lebanon, conditions were ripe to generate the perceptions of relative deprivation which is the ground floor in Moghaddam’s model. Destruction of their homeland by Israeli invasions and perceived lack of support from the government created conditions where there were few viable options for local residents. Such conditions are exactly what Hezbollah can use to move people to action. Using robust propaganda methodologies layered with Islamic fervor targeting Israel as the scapegoat and focus of aggression (the second the third floors of the model) while simultaneously combining social services to boost its legitimacy (the fourth floor), Hezbollah crafts its narrative to propel individuals up the levels of Moghaddam’s staircase to action.
In addition to individual conditions which Hezbollah exploits to generate action, it also capitalizes on rational and systemic causes as well. Lebanon has been the crossroads of cultures, ethnicities, religions, and political powers for millennia which has set the conditions for perceived disenfranchisement of the Shia populace of southern Lebanon as a group. Authors such as Samuel Huntington equate how recently, “the process of economic modernization and social change throughout the world are separating people from longstanding local identities.” Additionally he states the “revival of religion…provides a basis for identity and commitment that transcends national boundaries and unites civilizations.” Hezbollah was well situated to bridge the conflict of maintaining/upholding local identity while establishing itself as the vanguard of Shia Islam in the Levant. Likewise, Alan Krueger suggests that while systemic economic factors can contribute, this issue of group identity and grievances plays a larger role. He states “most terrorists are not so desperately poor that they have nothing to live for,” but rather, “they are people who care so fervently about a cause that they are willing to die for it.” This seems to fit Hezbollah rather well as a study of 129 deceased Hezbollah shahids (martyrs) indicated the deceased had a lower poverty rate than the Lebanese population and had higher education rates as well.
Overall, Hezbollah shows its greatest ability to generate action through its ideology and the ability to conduct frame alignment of that ideology upon its selected target audiences. Wrapped in the cloak of the tenants of Islamic revolution, Hezbollah’s ideology is uniquely flexible, yet maintains strong elements of the notion of “Cosmic War” as outlined by Mark Juergensmeyer. Hezbollah’s Secretary General Naim Qassem fully outlined Hezbollah’s ideology in his book Hizbullah: The Story From Within. A potent ideology should do five things: identify the problem; identify the enemy; offer a solution; justify the means to achieve that end state; put the struggle into larger context. Qassem, using cosmic war language, outlines that Israel is the enemy and Israeli occupation and influence is the problem. Furthermore, he goes on to state the solution is jihad and martyrdom operations, which are the highest calling in Islam. Lastly, he puts the struggle into context by stating:
The resistance is not merely an armed group that wishes to liberate a piece of land, nor is it a circumstantial tool whose role will end when the pretext for using it comes to an end. It is a vision and approach, not only a military reaction. Hizballah [sic] believes in the need to build a resistance society in Lebanon in order to strengthen the country and reinforce its independence and sovereignty in light of Israel’s expansionist project. The alternative is a weak state that will be dictated to by Israel. The resistance programme Hizballah [sic] proposes is sustainable. It must be discussed with the Lebanese people so that agreement can be reached on the steps forward that should be taken.
The ideology painted by Qassem, although founded in cosmic Islamic rhetoric, still has a largely accommodating tone to non-Shia factions. In all, Hezbollah has a myriad of conditions inside Lebanon from the individual to systemic level that allow its ideology to resonate. However, where Hezbollah ultimately succeeds is how it exploits these vulnerabilities and operationalizes its ideology.
What is most fascinating about Hezbollah is not its conduct of bombings, attacks, or other typical terrorist operations, but rather how Hezbollah creates the conditions to motivate people to conduct and/or support its endeavors. To that end, influence warfare is Hezbollah’s preeminent method for challenging an adversary. It uses psychological warfare techniques combined with violent and nonviolent actions to destabilize the opponent’s socio-political support base while maintaining and growing its own. Hezbollah’s military strategy is unique and effective because of the way it combines unconventional and psychological warfare. In his writings on Hezbollah, Ron Schleifer states “when deciding on and planning an operation the [Hezbollah] would calculate its psychological impact on the enemy.” Hezbollah has created an organizational structure that merges influence into all elements of its plans and activities. This structure not only maximizes the overall effect on targets and target audiences, but also enables the group to coordinate its messages and actions holistically across the spectrum of tactical, operational, and strategic operations.
Since the late 1990s, Hezbollah has liberalized its strict Shia religious governance to accommodate a more pluralist approach intended to foster a side-by-side coexistence with Lebanon’s other prominent social groups: the Sunnis, Christians, and Druze. While the group continues to use religion as an ideological frame to align core supporters and their rank-and-file cognitively, Hezbollah is increasingly pragmatic with whom it aligns itself to further their political-military efforts. It bridges ideological frames to maintain and build support that ensures weapon proliferation, financial growth, and socio-political alliances. The group’s ideological frame transformation and bridging has allowed it to assuage the risk of potential rivals, such as the Sunnis and Christians, and in turn, influence former opponents to align with Hezbollah under a nationalistic framework.
One means Hezbollah employs to bridge the ideological frames between Hezbollah and its rivals in Lebanon is its social service programs. The group operates medical and dental clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals for its fighters, supporters, and constituents. Mobile clinics are sent into Hezbollah controlled and periphery areas, especially to areas along the Israeli border, in an effort to solidify its influence and growth continually. Hezbollah also supports more than 30 schools throughout southern Lebanon. Like all schools in Lebanon, Hezbollah-run schools are not free, but are provided at reduced rates that the poor and financially stricken can afford, which is in stark contrast to the Lebanese government’s deteriorating social systems and those of Hezbollah’s former rivals, such as Amal, the former IDF backed South Lebanese Army, and even the Syrians. As Hezbollah increased its nationalist influence operation focus, the group ensured its sponsored schools adapted as well. Hezbollah limited the amount of religious instruction and increased the focus on math, sciences, and foreign languages, such as English and French. Hezbollah’s social service program narratives emphasize the group’s commitment to aiding local communities and its “resistance” against Israeli oppression of the Lebanese. This gradual shift from Hezbollah’s Khomeinist roots toward a more contemporary nationalist approach gained astounding momentum. After 2006, Hezbollah began receiving increasing degrees of active and tacit support from Lebanese Sunni, Christian, and Druze populations.
Although the Lebanese Shia remain the primary support base, Hezbollah’s benevolent approach to social and civil services (as described above) enables the group increasingly to affect populations across social divides. One method is the construction and operation of schools and education centers across Lebanon, such as the Imam Mehdi schools and the Education Centre of the Martyr Bojeji. The group’s educational centers are run by, or affiliated with, Hezbollah controlled companies and range from nursery age to secondary-level education programs. Hezbollah directly and indirectly affects well over 100,000 Lebanese children through its schools and education programs. Many Lebanese consider the schools among the best in Lebanon and enroll their children in them rather than in Lebanese government sponsored schools. The schools include indoctrination programs that incorporate Hezbollah ideology, so that it penetrates wider audiences and future generations alike. With their current nationalism focused operations, all Lebanese ethnicities and religious creeds are increasingly exposed to selected Hezbollah indoctrination and cognitive alignment processes. As one Lebanese father affiliated with UNIFIL and Amal noted:
Many of us are not Hezbollah, nor are we in the least affiliated with their ideologies or political views, but we cannot deny them their achievements and we realist that theirs schools are currently better than anything else in the area. Not only is my son getting a better standard of educations, but at a young age he was practically reading English alphabet on some of the English adverts and billboards as we drove past one afternoon. I could not believe it, but they place as much emphasis on the teaching of foreign languages as they do Arabic, despite all their rhetoric about the West.
Children naturally propagate Hezbollah’s messages and promote its actions throughout social structures and networks, such as family and friendships. Talal Atrisi, an analyst studying Hezbollah at Lebanese University, cited schools as a “complete system” to prepare the next generation to ensure they are close to Hezbollah, propagate its messages and deeds, and proselytize its narrative within Lebanon and internationally.
Hezbollah capitalizes on the aftermath of suicide operations through its Husseiniyas, which are centers for observing Hussein’s martyrdom. Hezbollah promotes Hussein’s sister, Zainab, as an icon for women’s behavior. Designed specifically for women, these centers build on the dynamic of women gathering separately from men. These centers are unique in that they specifically seek to develop women as promoters of Hezbollah who then return to their families and propagate Hezbollah’s messages. They also serve as communal gathering places to celebrate the martyrdom of locals, as well as provide additional education services, childcare, and medical services. Since Lebanese women often yield immense power within families behind the scenes, these centers facilitate the propagation of Hezbollah’s messages.
To overall galvanize its grassroots interpersonal approach to operations, Hezbollah’s media relations directorate is responsible for reviewing and managing media coverage of Hezbollah, whether it includes its newspapers, television, radio broadcasts, or directly controlled or sponsored websites. This strictly controlled media empire is unrivaled by most nation states and designed to directly support all aspects and levels of Hezbollah’s political-military operations. Its media empire includes disseminations platforms such as Al-Manar (a global satellite broadcast television station), Radio Nur, numerous Internet sites, a theme park, and several publishing houses as just a few examples. A Hezbollah political statement in 2001 displays the group’s acknowledged role in using managed media messaging to solidify its bottom up grassroots influence efforts:
We feel that the media can be effective in creating a special climate in public opinion on the main issues of interest . . . We are heading toward a new sensitive security situation (in the region) which means we need to follow events very closely so that we can informatively help shape international and Arab public opinion . . . We believe that the media has an important role in the conflict, as important as the military wing.
Hezbollah took its view of the media a step further during the 2006 war with Israelwhen it deployed video recording and camera teams with every Hezbollah unit to capture its operations. After manipulating footage—such as deleting scenes or adding music and narration—the clips would then be broadcasted on Al-Manar or propagated through other media outlets. Video imagery was produced to show scenes selectively to present inflated Hezbollah achievements, even if its fighters were defeated by the IDF during the actual engagements. During the conflict, messages which targeted international and Israeli audiences (focused on civilian losses and Hezbollah resistance) generated influence dominance as Israeli media, international media, and local channels increasingly adopted Hezbollah’s messages because of its numerous and powerful media outlets. All these efforts created a massing of resonance across Hezbollah areas of influence and into areas of Hezbollah interest, such as the Lebanese political system and international opinion.
D. COUNTERMEASURES AND CONSEQUENCES
Over the last few decades, Israel has taken a variety of measures in dealing with threats in southern Lebanon, from occupation and kinetic military operations, to more subtle approaches. In total though, Israel’s actions have done little to curb the growth of Hezbollah. In some aspects, its actions have validated Hezbollah’s ideology and narrative, ultimately increasing local and international support. For example, Ehud Barak commented in July of 2006: “When we entered Lebanon…there was no Hezbollah. We were accepted with perfumed rice and flowers by the Shia in the south. It was our presence that created Hezbollah.” From 1982 to 2000, Israeli presence in Lebanon gave Hezbollah the direct enemy it needed to inflame passions for conduct of its operations. When Israel withdrew in 2000, Hezbollah was able to garner even more support as it framed the withdrawal as a victory directly resulting from its diehard resistance to Israel’s occupation. It then used this advantage to continue to taunt and conduct operations against Israeli interests in southern Lebanon and northern Israel as the vanguard and protector of Lebanese and Shia interests in the region. As Hezbollah continued to grow, its growth and provocative actions inflamed Israeli security concerns, finally reaching critical mass in 2006.
Israel’s war with Hezbollah in 2006, which was meant to eradicate the organization for good, ultimately had the opposite effect propelling Hezbollah higher in the ranks of the Lebanese political system and earning sympathy and praise from international audiences. Under United Nation Resolutions 1701and 1702, Israel once again withdrew from Lebanon while Lebanese forces (many of which were sympathetic to Hezbollah) were deployed to southern Lebanon. Additionally, Hezbollah was not required to disarm.
In the aftermath of the 2006 conflict, the only apparent winner appeared to be Hezbollah. The organization received praise from Arabs and Muslims (both Shia and Sunni) from around the world, who donated monies to help rebuild Lebanon. At the same time, Hezbollah’s TV station Al-Manar became the sixth most popular channel in the Arab world. Lastly, Hezbollah was able to use the aftermath of the conflict to exercise a level of power over Lebanese national politics that it had never achieved previously.
Israel’s response to Hezbollah’s growing power and influence requires a different approach. Because of the powerful ideology, narratives, and support mechanisms Hezbollah has created to endear itself to many in the Lebanese population, Israel must revise its strategy in dealing with such a unique and adaptable threat. If conventional military methods only exacerbate the political grievances of the southern Lebanese and greater Arab community, Israel must look at other indirect approaches to dismantle Hezbollah’s ideology, social service programs, financial sources, as well as creative ways to emphasize Iran’s role in sponsoring Hezbollah. For example, Hezbollah’s own words via Nassim Qassem reveal how one of the cornerstone of it ideology and narrative is resistance to Israeli occupation, and it refuses to answer what it would do if “resistance” was no longer required. This is an element Israel has yet to exploit along with other opportunities, which shows Hezbollah does have exploitable vulnerabilities.
While this paper focuses on the sophistication and successes of Hezbollah’s operations methodology, many shortfalls and vulnerabilities do exist. Hezbollah’s current monopoly over its primary target audiences makes exploiting the group’s vulnerabilities challenging. Hezbollah remains rooted in a radical, or fundamental, Islamist movement, but the group has also placed itself into the world of conventional politics with its nationalization and Lebanonization narratives and actions. Any Hezbollah transformation away from ‘armed resistance’ is a potential challenge to its hegemony over the Lebanese Shia and emerging influence of the Christians, Sunni, and Druze. In both instances, Hezbollah is vulnerable by its own political creation. Its Shia ties will be increasingly intolerable and threaten the group’s fragile influence over rival religious and social groups, thereby opening political and social gaps for third-party exploitation. As the group continues to dominate Lebanese politics, it risks becoming the ruling political machine for Lebanon. Doing so would place Hezbollah in the unenviable position of responsibility for all Lebanese, and place the group in a corner of responsibility readily exploitable with the correct methods and tools.
Historically, when contradictions and weaknesses in Hezbollah’s messages were exposed and exploited, the group responded with anger in emotion. Although the group’s rivals such as Israel failed to exploit these contradictions in the past, the attempts expose potential avenues of approach to counter and subvert Hezbollah within its own sphere of influence. Israel is ill positioned to exploit Hezbollah’s influence vulnerabilities due to its perceived antagonistic role. However, a credible competitor and its heterogeneous growth within Lebanon remain Hezbollah’s largest vulnerabilities. A sustained investment through a perceived benevolent benefactor is required to subvert Hezbollah’s influence efforts against Lebanese target audiences.
Pushing Hezbollah’s nationalism narrative and political control beyond the group’s ability to manage and manipulate is potentially the most practical course of action. Forcing the group farther along the road of legitimacy, ownership, and political responsibility for Lebanon could stress present interpersonal, social, and religious friction points within the group and among its constituency. Internal struggles, social and political bias, greed, corruption, and third-party sponsors, such as Iran, are critical vulnerabilities and influence pressure points. The situation can be cultivated to employ influence efforts through unconventional and irregular warfare, but would require a comparable synchronization and investment to Hezbollah and its benefactors. Once Hezbollah is sufficiently embedded as an official political power holder responsible for the good, bad, and ugly of the nation, it can be canalized to become further benevolent or repressive. The latter places Hezbollah at risk for facilitation of competitive social movements to capitalize on the growing heterogeneity and political grievances generated through Hezbollah’s expansion. Through effective counter influence efforts using resonant framing of messages/deeds, and generation of counter voices within Hezbollah’s social networks, it may be possible to lessen Hezbollah’s influence over time.
 Edward Cody and Molly Moore, “The Best Guerrilla Force in the World,” The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/13/AR2006081300719.html.
 Hezbollah does not shy from acknowledging its use of psychological warfare. While the group does not maintain a truth-based standard as NATO PSYOP doctrine dictates, the closest comparison can be found in U.S. unconventional warfare doctrine, where deliberate kinetic and nonkinetic activities are married to psychologically impacting messaging; from Ron Schleifer, “Psychological Operations: A New Variation on an Age Old Art: Hezbollah Versus Israel,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 29, no. 1 (2006): 1–19, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ftinterface~content=a725841460~fulltext=713240930~frm=content.
 For more information on social embedding see Alex V. Simmons, Socially Embedded Insurgencies (Master’s thesis,NavalPostgraduateSchool, 2009), http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA514335&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf.
 For a more detailed assessment of Hezbollah’s primary , secondary, and subordinate target audiences, see Reuven Erlich and Yoram Kahati, “Hezbollah as a Case Study of the Battle for Hearts and Minds,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Israel Intelligence, Heritage and Commemoration Center, June 2007, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hezbollah_e_0607.pdf.
 Augustus Richard Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2007), 33; Douglas S. Philippone, “Hezbollah: The Network and its Support Systems, Can They Be Stopped?” (Master’s thesis,NavalPostgraduateSchool, 2008), 4, http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA483483.
 According to McAdam, McCarthy, and Zald, mobilizing structures are defined as “those collective vehicles, informal as well as formal, through which people mobilize and engage in collective action,” based upon some galvanizing event, grievance, necessity, and or belief; from Doug McAdam, J. D. McCarthy, and M. N. Zald, Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings, Cambridge University Press Cambridge, MA, 1996.
 Eyal Zisser, “Hizballah in Lebanon: At the Crossroads,” Middle East Review of International Affairs 1, no. 3 (September 1997): 4, http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/1997/issue3/jv1n3a1.html.
 Ibid., 4.
 Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History, 32–35.
 Jane’s Information Group, “Hizbullah,” Janes’ World Insurgency and Terrorism, http://search.janes.com.libproxy.nps.edu/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/binder/jwit/jwit0296.htm@current&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=Hizbullah&backPath=http://search.janes.com/Search&Prod_Name=JWIT&#toclink-j3511247586135913.
 Philippone, “Hezbollah: The Network and its Support Systems, Can They Be Stopped?”, 4.
 Robin Wright, Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam (New York: Touchstone, 2001).
 Jane’s Information Group, “Hizbullah.”
 Fathali M. Moghaddam, “The Staircase to Terrorism: A Psychological Exploration.” American Psychologist 60, no. 2 (2005), 162, http://fathalimoghaddam.com/upload/doc/1256627851.pdf.
 Ibid., 163.
 Ibid., 164-165.
 Ibid., 165.
 Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs 72, (Summer, 1993), 26, http://www.polsci.wvu.edu/faculty/hauser/PS103/Readings/HuntingtonClashOfCivilizationsForAffSummer93.pdf.
 Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History, 38.
 Alan B. Krueger, “What Makes a Terrorist?” The American (November/December, 2007), 5, http://freedomsadvocate.com/files/ref/Krueger-AEI-WhatMakesATerrorist-2007.pdf.
 Ibid., 3.
 David A. Snow and others, “Frame Alignment Processes, Micromobilization, and Movement Participation,” American Sociological Review 51, no. 4 (August, 1986), 464,467, http://www.nd.edu/~rmcveigh/reap/snow.pdf.
 Mark Juergensmeyer, “Does Religion Cause Terrorism?” National Policy Forum on Terrorism, Security and America’s Purpose, Washington DC, September 6-7, 2005, 7, http://demcoalition.org/pdf/Does_Relig_Cause_Terr.pdf.
 Naim Qassem and Dalia Khalil, Hizbullah: The Story from Within (Saint Paul: Saqi Books, 2005), 67-123, 437-440.
 Ibid., 25.
 Ibid., 107.
 Ibid., 52.
 Schleifer, “Psychological Operations,” 8.
 Casey L. Addis and Christopher M. Blanchard, “Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, January 3, 2011, 9, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R41446.pdf.
 Lisa M. Brennen, Hezbollah: Psychological Warfare Against Israel (Master’s thesis,NavalPostgraduateSchool, 2009), 39, http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA496916.
 Hala Jaber, Hezbollah: Born with a Vengeance (England: Columbia University Press, 1997), 158.
 Ibid., 163.
 Matthew Coburn’s discussion with Ziad Hashem, a Lebanese Army Officer in Matthew Coburn, Irregular Techniques for Controlling Under-Governed Space (Master’s thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, 2007), 39, http://edocs.nps.edu/npspubs/scholarly/theses/2007/Dec/07Dec_Coburn.pdf.
 Schleifer, “Psychological Operations,” 10.
 Addis and Blanchard, “Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress,” 9.
 Schleifer, “Psychological Operations,” 13–14.
 Catherine Le Thomas, “Socialization Agencies and Party Dynamics: Functions and Uses of Hizballah Schools in Lebanon,” Returning to Political Parties? 2010, http://ifpo.revues.org/1093.
 Jaber, Hezbollah: Born with a Vengeance, 164.
 Tony Badran, “Hezbollah’s Agenda in Lebanon,” Current Trends in Islamist Ideology 8 (2009), 60, http://kms1.isn.ethz.ch/serviceengine/Files/ISN/101540/ichaptersection_singledocument/3bef0c84-5ee2-4141-b20a-940450d9801e/en/CT_8_chapter4.pdf.
 Huessein, son of Ali (the cousin of Muhammad and believed to be the rightful successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims), was killed in the battle of Karbala and became a powerful symbol for the cause of and promotion of martyrdom in Shia Islam.
 Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History, 56–57.
 Hezbollah views anyone who dies in its fight against Israel (not limited to suicide bombers or fighters) as martyrs. Husseiniyas become emotionally charged locations where Hezbollah can capitalize on the grief of the participating women. For a complete view on Hezbollah and use of martyrdom, see Qassem and Khalil, Hizbullah: The Story from Within, 100–109.
 Joseph Suad and Susan Slyomovics, Women and Power in the Middle East (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), 3, 36.
 Hezbollah’s mediums serve to support, reinforce, and introduce new influence operations and their effects simultaneously across the spectrum of tactical, operational, and strategic political-military operations.
 Reuven Erlich and Yoram Kahati, “Hezbollah as a Case Study of the Battle for Hearts and Minds,” 41-45.
 Ibid., 59.
 Gabriel Weimann, “Hezbollah Dot Com: Hezbollah’s Online Campaign,” New Media and Innovative Technologies, 2008, 17, http://web.bgu.ac.il/NR/rdonlyres/34396BDB-6C0E-4931-A077-697451885123/34393/Weimannedited.pdf.
 Alistair Lyon, “Devoted Crowds Throng Hezbollah’s Lebanon Theme Park,” Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/08/11/us-lebanon-hezbollah-idUSTRE67A2RF20100811?pageNumber=1.
 Erlich and Kahati, “Hezbollah as a Case Study of the Battle for Hearts and Minds,” 60.
 Nicholas Blanford, “Hizbullah Steps Up Psychological Warfare: Party Believes that the Media Plays Critical Role in Palestinian Uprising,” Daily Star, September 8, 2001.
 Schleifer, “Psychological Operations,” 6.
 After the war, Hezbollah launched an extensive propaganda campaign to inculcate target audiences with the perception of their “divine victory.” From Adam Elkus, “The Hezbollah Myth and Asymmetric Warfare,” Small Wars Journal (August 15, 2010): 4, http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/497-elkus.pdf.
 Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History, 33.
 Ibid., 91.
 Ibid., 93.
 Ibid., 140.
 Ibid., 142.
 Ibid., 149-151.
 Ibid., 155-157.
 Qassem and Khalil, Hizbullah: The Story from Within, 433.
 For example, Hezbollah lost legitimacy in the mid-1980s when it attempted to enforce Islamic order and practice the Sharia within its controlled areas. Hezbollah banned the sale of alcohol in shops and restaurants and prohibited parties, dancing, and offensive music. These actions facilitated economic distress in southern Lebanon as tourism and commerce rapidly dwindled. Hassan Nasrallah would capitalize on these lesson learned by Muhammed Fadlallah to create more advanced influence efforts (both subtle and overt). From Judith Miller, “Faces of Fundamentalism: Hassan Al-Turabi and Muhammed Fadlallah,” Foreign Affairs 73, no. 6 (1994): 129–131, http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/20046933.pdf.
 Mona Harb and Reinoud Leenders, “Know Thy Enemy: Hizbullah, ‘Terrorism’ and the Politics of Perception,” Third World Quarterly 26, no. 1 (2005): 185, http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/3993770.pdf.
 Erlich and Kahati, “Hezbollah as a Case Study of the Battle for Hearts and Minds,” 32.
Coming Soon….What is Wrong with the United States’ Approach to Strategic Communications: A Structural Approach Using Mintzberg’s Organizational Forms
I’ve decided to take a break from AQ for awhile and focus on other elements. In one of my next posts, I am going to use Henry Mintzberg’s organizational forms to show that the current problem with Strategic Communications (SC) in the United States is not in the concept and utility of SC, but in the way the government organizes to execute this important communication task. When the global information environment was less complex and more stable (as was such during much of the Cold War), a bureaucratic organizational approach to planning, executing, and managing SC was feasible. Comparatively, the current information environmental factors alone are complex and unstable (much less the complexity and instability of the international political and economic arenas), thus making a governmental, bureaucratic organizational approach to executing strategic communications completely ineffective when analyzed though Mintzberg’s organizational theory lens. Given the complexity and instability of the environment, Mintzberg’s theory would state to execute effective SC, the United States should structure its SC organization(s) into something more closely aligned with an adhocracy which allows for a high degree of mutual adjustment critical to effective interaction with a potentially chaotic environment…..more to follow.
This week AQAP released its 6th edition of its English Magazine. Because some of the articles deal with recipes for homemade explosives, I will not be posting the edition in full, any portions, or any commentary until I can ensure all facets of the bomb recipes have been sanitized from the edition to ensure public safety. UPDATE (27 AUG 2011): After careful consideration I have decided not to comment on this version of Inspire due to the sensitive nature of the bomb recipes contained within. If future editions of Inspire have content worthy of critical analysis without concern for public safety, I will post the edition and comments on content.
Logos, Pathos, Ethos: Synergy of Reason and Passion as a Catalyst for Insurgent Mobilization and Breakout
The birth of revolution is a dangerous and dynamic endeavor. More interestingly though is how insurgent movements attempt to persuade average citizens to risk their lives in such an endeavor against a state power, attempting to grow in numbers and strength until such point the insurgency is a potent threat against the state. However, insurgent movements face a dilemma achieving this goal. While many average citizens may agree rationally with the insurgency because of their frustration with the state, many times the benefits of joining the insurgent cause are not worth the possible loss of their own lives. Because of this cost-benefit analysis dilemma, effective insurgencies will generate appeals to the populace and actions that are not only rationally based, but equally, if not more, emotionally based to overcome this problem. Using the framework of the concepts of logos, pathos, and ethos with examples from current events, history, and modern marketing practices, effective insurgencies methodically synergize and calculate the use of reason, passion/emotion, and credibility to influence, persuade, and manipulate the populace to actively join and/or support their cause. Continuing along this line, it is possible to create a qualitative, abstract mathematical model showing that to the degree an insurgency is effective at synergizing logos, pathos, and ethos in its messages and actions on the populace, the state, and its own members, it can have a catalytic effect on insurgent mobilization and eventual breakout against the state.
While most insurgencies fail, the successful ones are able to mobilize people in overcoming their natural, logical fears of opposing a sitting regime through the effective manipulation of perceptions. The use of propaganda and persuasion (which includes the use of words and actions to instigate behavioral change) is quintessential to this effort. Effective propaganda and persuasion utilizes rational, emotional, and credible appeals. For the purpose of this paper, a simple framework to use in conveying this concept is Aristotle’s concept of Logos (appeals using reason/logic), Pathos (appeals using emotion), and Ethos (appeals using the credibility of the speaker). The ability to manipulate and persuade is a function of the effective and synergistic use of all three. The intent of this paper is not to analyze Aristotle’s concept of rhetoric, but use it as a framework to convey that the calculating and effective use of logos, pathos, and ethos together in words and actions by an insurgency can have tremendous positive effects on insurgent growth and power.
In order for individuals or groups to join or support an insurgency, they should know what the insurgency stands for. The use of reason, or logos, is highly suitable for this explanation. In its purest form, logos is the use of information (objective and/or subjective) and reason without emotion to convey an argument. Insurgencies use many different techniques in conveying its ideology to the populace using reason and logic. For example, the Taliban incorporate things such as “night letters” posted in villages and hold shura councils with village leaders to convey information or threats. In addition, the Taliban use audio cassettes and the internet websites stating their intent and espousing their goals. Similarly, Mao Tse-Tung used propaganda teams to generate weekly wall newspapers for placement in the villages called the “Current Affairs Bulletin,” which consisted of educational material and information about the status of the struggle and the Red Army. Better known is Mao’s use of formal, systematic education and indoctrination programs that encompassed locals as well as newly recruited insurgents used to teach them the goals of the revolution and drive the populace toward that end state.
However, reason alone may not be enough to persuade an individual that the benefits of joining an insurgency outweigh the potential overwhelming costs. The use of pathos, or emotional appeal, helps overcome this hurdle. Civilian marketing and advertising agencies use pathos everyday to persuade individuals and groups to purchase items they logically know they do not need, generating billions of dollars in profits for the companies these agencies represent. Marc Gobé explains it is important to “understand the formidable and undefined emotional power that ultimately sways everybody’s decision making.” Relating to insurgency, Chalmers Johnson, is his book Revolutionary Change, states a revolutionary ideology “will supply intellectually and emotionally satisfying explanations of what is wrong with the old order.” In a related manner, Ted Gurr in his book Why Men Rebel relates that an insurgency must generate “aggression-releasing cues” to move a group to violence since just being “discontent alone is not enough.” This implies the need for an emotional draw to bring individuals to action even when they are disenfranchised and logically believe in the cause. Additionally, the use of pathos is critically important in persuading the uneducated toward an insurgent ideology that may be too complex for the average individual to understand. An insurgency can also use pathos to enflame anger from the state to incite repression to help move the populace closer to its agenda. Adolf Hitler, outlining his persuasion and propaganda principles in Mein Kampf which were ultimately followed by Joseph Goebbels, gave preeminence to pathos. Even today, authors such as Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point, suggest pathos is so strong, its effectual use can be highly contagious and even viral. There are many examples of the successful use of pathos by an insurgency in the Chinese Revolution and modern day Afghanistan.
The propaganda of Mao Tse-Tung shows an adept use of pathos. Mao realized the value of subtlety and indirectly communicating a message through emotionally-connected mediums, which over time would make the populace more open to direct, logos oriented forms. One technique Mao incorporated was the use of symbols. Mao believed, just as modern advertisers do today, that the representative nature of symbols evokes an emotional response. Mao also believed “the slogan [would] mobilize the people, who [would] then have to do the work to attain the objective that excited them in the first place.” This indicates Mao realized the power of emotional appeals. Using this concept to further sow the seeds of revolution, Mao incorporated the use of art, poetry, music, dance, plays, and operas at the local village level along with many other types of mediums to generate an emotional connection with the populace and his recruits. He would continue these techniques later in the Cultural Revolution on a national scale.
In the same manner, the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan/Pakistan are also very proficient in the use and understanding of the power of pathos. The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has devoted an entire project to images and visual motifs used by insurgents in Afghanistan and other Islamic extremist organizations around the world. These visual motifs serve the same purpose to evoke emotion in a similar manner as Mao’s techniques. It breaks down the use of colors and specific symbols, and what emotions these are meant to evoke. The Taliban also incorporate the use of timeliness with these motifs (especially if they are graphic images tied to an event) to further increase and capitalize on the emotional response. They also use poetry, songs, and chants along with various forms of graphic imagery. Given the religious nature of their ideology, the Taliban have even used such techniques as providing ornate, colorful, and official-looking martyr certificates to the families of suicide bombers or slain fighters as a means to capitalize on the emotions generated by the loss. Tying in with pathos and logos, effective insurgencies also work on increasing their credibility with the populace.
Effective insurgencies also incorporate the use of ethos as means of persuading the populace. An easy way an insurgency can increase its credibility is by actions themselves. Actions could include such things as a successful attack against a government target or food provided for a local village that has been ignored by the government. Mao believed “action would provide its own justification,” and he showed it by creating local shadow governments and organizations so that the local population could tangibly see the work and results of the insurgency and its ideology. As part of this, physical presence of insurgents or presence of insurgent propaganda (marking territory) is important to reinforce this concept so the populace is reminded of the action and who was responsible. Essentially, it can be a reminder of the insurgency’s success or the failure of the government, which may also increase the ethos of the insurgency.
Ethos is also directly related to logos and pathos in many ways. To the degree an insurgency is effective at logos and pathos, it will build ethos. This increase in ethos will enable more responsiveness to an insurgency’s logos and pathos lines of persuasions on subsequent interactions with the populace. If successfully persuading more individuals to join, the insurgency can conduct more and/or larger operations, potentially increasing the strength of it logos, pathos, and ethos persuasion. This concept brings out the importance of the synergy of logos, pathos, and ethos.
Successful synergy of logos, pathos, and ethos can be a catalyst for insurgent growth. Therefore, the key to success is careful planning of a comprehensive program that creatively links logos, pathos, and ethos into a unified endeavor. An insurgency that carefully studies the populace and methodically crafts how every word, picture, and action will link together and its effect on the populace will have success. Robert Gurr suggests the greater number, density, and creativity of media forms will assist in generating popular violence. The Chinese Revolution is an excellent example of such synergy.
Mao Tse-Tung’s calculated and comprehensive synergy of logos, pathos, and ethos shows how their creative use can mobilize a population against a state. He purposefully ensured the elements of his education program were reflected in the symbols, arts, music, etc. and vice versa. Simultaneously, he ensured actions taken reinforced teachings and desired emotions. Mao referred to this as “putting into the mold” as part of shaping the whole man toward revolutionary goals. In addition to combining logos, pathos, and ethos on a large-scale, Mao also ensured synergy of all three on the small scale as well. For example, after capturing a government soldier (in very selected cases), Mao would ensure one of his most intelligent insurgents would question/interrogate the soldier. Using exceptional logic, the insurgent would debate the soldier about the government (logos). Over time, the soldier would realize he was unable to argue, feeling guilty and humiliated about the actions he had taken (pathos). This in turn generated credibility (ethos) for the insurgent and reinforced the insurgency’s logos and pathos. Eventually, the soldier would be released, generating gratitude for the insurgency (additional pathos). This converted soldier would tell others of what had happened (a great platform of ethos for the insurgency), thus increasing the overall level of logos, pathos, and ethos of the insurgency, helping recruit more people to Mao’s cause. As this example demonstrates, calculated, successful synergy can breed success, which in turn can breed more success.
From this concept, to the degree an insurgency is able to carefully plan, synergize, and execute a persuasion/propaganda program using the aspects of logos, pathos, and ethos, the program can have a catalytic effect on increasing insurgent mobilization and growth. The purpose of an insurgency persuasion program is to instruct or explain to the populace about the insurgency as well as shape, reinforce, or change the behavior of the populace in line with insurgent goals. The insurgency conducts persuasion through the use of media, whether conventional or unconventional, and actions such as the types discussed earlier for the purpose mentioned above. In this process, the insurgency will target the population to affect its cost benefit calculations relating to supporting the insurgency or the government. A comprehensive, synergized persuasion program will contain all three elements of logos, pathos, and ethos and have elements that address all facets of the populace’s cost benefit calculation. It is possible to build an abstract, qualitative model of this concept.
Figure 1 shows a rough, qualitative, abstract mathematical model adapted from Dr. Gordon McCormick’s model of conditional mobilization.
FIGURE 1. Persuasion as a Catalyst on the Expected Value of Supporting the Insurgency.
This qualitative mathematical model shows to the degree an insurgency is successful at its elements of persuasion P (which is a function of the synergy of logos, pathos, and ethos) across the cost-benefit expectations of the populace, the insurgency can increase the expected value of the population supporting and joining the insurgency. An insurgency can increase the expected benefits of supporting the insurgency while lowering the associated costs, while also potentially lowering the benefits of supporting the government while increasing the costs. Essentially, all things being equal, if each element of persuasion is successful, the net effect is a positive increase in expected value in supporting the insurgency, or an increase in expected value of supporting the government if insurgent propaganda is unsuccessful. The reason each cost and benefit has its own persuasion variable associated with it corresponds to the concept a successful persuasion program will be running multiple targets, medias, and themes at the same time. For instance, some may be coercive, while others may be unifying depending on the target and the goal. The model also allows that some portions of the persuasion program may fail where others succeed.
The model in Figure 1 also suggests how an insurgency may overcome the “rational paradox” during the initial growth of an insurgency as they attempt to influence individuals to join, even though the initial costs seem to greatly outweigh the benefits. To the degree an insurgency is successful and remains successful at its persuasion program, it can conceivably increase its growth/support base rapidly, and lower the insurrection point, thus creating stable, steady growth. Studied, planned, and executed effectively, an insurgency’s creative use of synergistic persuasion could turn the idea of revolution into reality.
However, history shows most insurgencies are not carefully planned and executed. In fact, most insurgencies end in failure. The few that have been successful have common themes. One of those themes is mastery of the manipulation and persuasion of the populace toward its cause. Successful revolutionaries such as Mao Tse-Tung have shown the use and synergy of logic, emotion, and credibility through multiple forms of media and action can have tremendous effect. Even today, groups such as the Taliban and even modern day marketing incorporate these tactics with great benefit. The successful mastery, planning, and synergy of the use of logos, pathos and ethos by an insurgency can greatly increase the population’s willingness to support with an almost catalytic effect on their cost-benefit calculation. Only by respecting, understanding, and ultimately using the power of this synergy as well, can a government work to retain the support of the populace over an insurgency.
 Gordon H. McCormick and Frank Giordano, “Things Come Together: Symbolic Violence and Guerrilla Mobilisation,” Third World Quarterly 28, no. 2 (2007), 295, http://pdfserve.informaworld.com.libproxy.nps.edu/787733_793890206_771167049.pdf (accessed August 26, 2010).
 Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes [Propagandes], trans. Konrad Kellen and Jean Lerner (New York: Vintage Books, 1973), 11.
 Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion, 4th ed. (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2006), 40.
 Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 4.
 Ken O’Quinn, “The Elements of Persuasion: Three Principles that Will Strengthen any Appeal,” Public Relations Tactics 16, no. 2 (2009), 20, http://content.ebscohost.com/pdf9/pdf/2009/PTA/01Feb09/36665244.pdf (accessed September 1, 2010).
 Oleg Svet, “Fighting for a Narrative: A Campaign Assessment of the US-Led Coalition’s Psychological and Information Operations in Afghanistan,” Small Wars Journal (September 12, 2010), 2, http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/537-svet.pdf (accessed September 12, 2010).
 Mao Tse-tung and Stuart R. Schram, Mao’s Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings 1912-1949 (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1992), 218.
 Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 304.
 Marc Gobé, Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People (New York: Allworth Press, 2009), 108.
 Chalmers A. Johnson, Revolutionary Change, 2nd ed. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1982), 86.
 Ted Robert Gurr, Why Men Rebel, 1st Princeton Paperback ed. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1971), 199.
 Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 79, 108-109.
 Gurr, Why Men Rebel, 213.
 Jowett and O’Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion, 230.
 Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, 1st Back Bay Paperback ed. (New York: Back Bay Books/Little, Brown, and Company, 2002), 85.
 Gobé, Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People, 126.
 Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 305.
 Sandra Eminov, “Folklore and Nationalism in Modern China,” Journal of the Folklore Institute 12, no. 2/3 (1975), 268-269, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3813929 (accessed September 1, 2010).
 Mao and Schram, Mao’s Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings 1912-1949, 217-224.
 B. Mittler, “Popular Propaganda? Art and Culture in Revolutionary China,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 152, no. 4 (Dec, 2008), 478, http://libproxy.nps.edu/login?url=http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1723042581&Fmt=7&clientId=11969&RQT=309&VName=PQD (accessed August 23, 2010).
 Combating Terrorism Center, The Islamic Imagery Project: Visual Motifs in Jihadi Internet Propaganda (West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 2006), 132, http://www.ctc.usma.edu/pdf/CTC%20–%20Islamic%20Imagery%20Project.pdf (accessed August 26, 2010).
 Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 43-44.
 Svet, “Fighting for a Narrative: A Campaign Assessment of the US-Led Coalition’s Psychological and Information Operations in Afghanistan,” 2.
 “Martyr Certificate by Taliban,” The Pak Factor, http://www.pakfactor.com/martyr-certificate-by-taliban.html (accessed September 12, 2010).
 Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 306.
 Mao and Schram, Mao’s Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings 1912-1949, 293.
 Gurr, Why Men Rebel, 224.
 Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 79.
 Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 312.
 Jowett and O’Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion, 29.
 McCormick and Giordano, Things Come Together: Symbolic Violence and Guerrilla Mobilisation, 301-302.
 McCormick and Giordano, Things Come Together: Symbolic Violence and Guerrilla Mobilisation, 296.
 McCormick and Giordano, Things Come Together: Symbolic Violence and Guerrilla Mobilisation, 304.
Below is something I wrote in the early fall of 2010. I think it is applicable to currents events surrounding the Arab Spring (concerning countries such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen) as it relates to the concept of “democratization” and future U.S. foreign policy objectives and national interests:
Jens Meierhenrich wrote, “State formation is about the inculcation of values.” Incorporating this idea into the concept of democratizing a state creates an extremely challenging scenario on how to influence a population to instill the norms, concepts, and ideals of democracy to the degree the population creates a stable, functioning democratic state. Although this process may be challenging, it is feasible. Given the challenge, it is possible for an outside actor (another state such as the United States) to successfully democratize another state if it is willing to put in considerable resources and time to the endeavor. Additionally, the outside actor must focus on key areas to successfully democratize a state. An outside actor must work bilaterally (meaning it must work by, with, and through the democratizing state) at a minimum, simultaneously focus its efforts using both top-down and bottom-up techniques, while ensuring the rapid establishment of rule of law and effective, governmental bureaucracy. Most importantly, successful democratization of a state relies on the accessibility and movement of information by all facets of the populace.
Working by, with, and through the local populace is crucial to the successful democratization of a state. Jack Eller stated that “creating a sense of nationhood among the people within the territory of the state” is critical to building a state. An effective way to build nationhood and inculcate values is by understanding and working through the populace. This will generate a sense of ownership in the populace for the democratization process versus forcing concepts that are completely counter to the populace’s norms. This also allows an outside actor to understand the unique ethnic composition of the state and monitor/deter any possible “belligerent nationalism” that is common with young, democratizing states. In addition, working together with a host nation in the democratization process will help an outside actor identify and create important “stakes” it can leverage with elites, ethnic groups, or other powerful agents to move the democratization process forward. Without directly working with the host nation, an outside actor could easily miscalculate what these stakes might be. An example of this concept is how the United States assumed Iraqis would accept Ahmed Chalabi after the 2003 invasion without consulting with local Iraqi leaders; local Iraqis did not accept him. Along with working hand-in-hand with the democratizing state, an outside actor must also focus its efforts on establishing the rule of law and effective governmental institutions.
Immediately establishing security and the governmental framework are quintessential to the democratization process. Ashhraf Ghani, Clare Lockhart, and Michael Carnahan propose that the monopoly on the means of violence by the state and administrative control are the top two functions of the state. A current example is Clare Lockhart’s testimony before Congress in 2009 in which she suggests these two functions are the first two essential pillars to success in Afghanistan. The ability for an outside actor to assist a democratizing state in establishing the rule of law through both executive and judicial means is important in building initial trust in the democratic process and stable state formation. To reinforce the concept of working bilaterally with the democratizing state, the outside actor should ensure the ultimate security and governmental structure are feasible and realistic for implementation in the democratizing state. For example, replicas of the executive and judicial systems of the United States may not work effectively in the tribal environment of Afghanistan. Just as much as establishing rule of law and administrative control are important to democratization, the methodology of implementing democracy is also important.
An outside actor (such as the U.S., NATO, etc.) and the host nation should focus democratization efforts from the bottom-up as well as top-down. The synergy of these two approaches will help ensure the widest dissemination of democratic values across the state by ensuring efforts range from the gemeinschaft (community) to the gesellschaft (society) portions of the state. This process of ensuring a simultaneous, multifaceted approach from the local to national level through the delivery of services, education, etc. will help construct the foundation for building dialogue between the populace and the government, simultaneously building trust and social capital. The key to effective implementation of this approach is through decisive use of the information environment.
The most important factors in tying all facets of democratizing a state together are the access to, and movement of, information. Alex de Tocqueville stated that newspapers (or basically access to information) are crucial to the establishment of associations which are extremely important in democratic societies. Associations and the sharing of information help build social capital and trust from the local to state level. In addition, prioritizing the creation of a “free, competitive, and responsible marketplace of ideas” also prevents any one faction from monopolizing and manipulating the information environment for nefarious ends in a democratizing state. For a young, democratizing state, information access and flow is also essential to establishing new engineered norms, spontaneous norms, or propagating new “myths” in building cohesion among the populace; all of these are an important aspect of state formation. Also, the flow of and access to information makes the establishment of the rule of law, government administration, and synergizing top-down and bottom-up efforts more achievable. An outside actor should commit money and resources to assist in rapidly building a comprehensive, multimedia information infrastructure of the democratizing state, and it should receive the same priority as security and the rule of law.
Democratizing a state by an outside actor is possible, but it demands a large commitment of resources and time. In order to be successful, an outside actor must work the democratization process hand-in-hand with the democratizing state. A new democracy can be fragile, and what may work for one state may not fit exactly with another. Therefore, the final product may not look exactly like the outside actor’s initial vision. However, by working with the democratizing state, ensuring rule of law is established, that the democratization process is holistic from the top and bottom, and that the entire process is facilitated via an open and accessible information environment, the roots of democracy have a chance to take hold. The final democracy product may not look exactly like the United States, but the product will most likely be a government of the people, by the people, for the people, and a viable ally.
 Jens Meierhenrich, “Forming States After Failure,” in When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, ed. Robert I. Rothberg (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 155.
 Jack David Eller, From Culture to Ethnicity to Conflict: An Anthropological Perspective on International Ethnic Conflict (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 23.
 Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “Democratization and War,” Foreign Affairs 74, no. 3 (1995), 80, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/sipa/S6800/courseworks/foreign_mansfield.pdf (accessed October 31, 2010).
 Meierhenrich, “Forming States After Failure,” 154.
 Ashraf Ghani, Clare Lockhart and Michael Carnahan, “Closing the Sovereignty Gap: An Approach to State-Building,” Overseas Development Institute Working Paper 253 (September, 2005), 6, http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/download/1819.pdf (accessed October 31, 2010).
 Clare Lockhart, “Prepared Testimony on Afghanistan for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,” The Institute for State Effectiveness (September 17, 2009), 4, http://foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/LockhartTestimony090917a1.pdf (accessed October 31, 2010).
 Jennifer A. Widner, “Building Effective Trust in the Aftermath of Severe Conflict,” in When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, ed. Robert I. Rothberg (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 234-235.
 Francis Fukuyama, The Great Disruption (New York: Touchstone, 1999), 8.
 Widner, “Building Effective Trust in the Aftermath of Severe Conflict,” 223.
 Alex de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (New York: Penguin Classics, 2003), 601.
 Francis Fukuyama, “Social Capital,” in Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress, eds. Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington (New York: Basic Books, 2000), 98.
 Mansfield and Snyder, “Democratization and War,” 96.
 Ibid., 91.
 Fukuyama, “Social Capital,” 106.
 Eller, From Culture to Ethnicity to Conflict: An Anthropological Perspective on International Ethnic Conflict, 40-41.