Al-Qaeda’s grand strategy requires a media campaign to embolden Salafists and demoralize the Western publics into inaction.
The Army will finally fight the Information War. It’s publishing am information operations field manual. This is more significant than it sounds. It reflects a change in attitude. The Army recognizes that the center of gravity in this war is the general public – Muslim and Non-Muslim. It cannot side on the sidelines and allow Al-Qaeda to distort everyone’s perceptions.
A military officer explains the need for this change:
Why? Because for modern, highly developed democracies the beliefs and opinions of their well-informed populations is their center of gravity. If you cannot simply overpower your opponent physically, then it is the will of the opponent that has to become the target. 100% available modern media is the avenue of approach that your “information bombs and missiles” travel along. [L]iving rooms of registered voters are the impact areas…
This newly emerged information element of power has the potential to do to highly developed modern democracies what conventional and nuclear weapons could not: compel them to quit. Which is exactly what is happening now.
Since we’re looking at a 40 to 50 year long war, we must take an approach similar to that of the Cold War. Just as we challenged Communism as an ideology, we must challenge and destroy Revolutionary Salafism.