Mapping of StratCom practices in NATO countries

“There is a curious dichotomy concerning StratCom in the NATO Alliance and in its membership nations. The term occupies an inordinately larger space in verbiage and documents than the function is given in the environments in which it is has the most potential to effect.


This most recent study not only re-affirms previous results but more importantly, attempts to add to them by seeking to get to the “why”. While it does get to the “why”, the integrity of the results is somewhat diminished by the disappointing level of national participation with only 11 of 28 nations responding. For a function often on the lips of leadership -- both in the Alliance and its nations -- it is rather telling that 17 nations passed over the opportunity to illuminate the function and contribute to the discussion.


Nevertheless, the report builds on the baseline understanding of how Allied nations define, organise and implement the StratCom function, and the results are as encouraging as they are concerning. Concerning because the author found that many responding nations still consider Strategic Communication to essentially be another name for what they formerly termed Public Affairs. Encouraging because the authors found that many nations acknowledged that the StratCom function needed to change from a supporting to a supported role – an understanding which is finding traction amongst experienced operators.


Having previously written a paper which included Alliance nation mapping with respect to StratCom, I welcome this report for updating and contributing more to NATO’s understanding about how its membership individually considers StratCom. It gives needed insight into NATO policy development on behalf of all nations.”



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