Posted: 3:10 pm EDT
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Last week, the State Department announced the revamping of its counter-violent-extremist communications efforts, and picked somebody from the Pentagon to lead the effort:
Here is an excerpt from the announcement:
The State Department is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael D. Lumpkin to lead this new effort as the Director of the new Global Engagement Center. Mr. Lumpkin currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, a Senate-confirmed position he has held since late 2013. In this role, Mr. Lumpkin oversees all special operations, including counterterrorism, counter narcotics, and humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.
“I am delighted that Michael has agreed to bring his wealth of experience and expertise on counterterrorism issues to lead the new Global Engagement Center at the State Department,” said Secretary of State John Kerry. “At this critical stage in the fight against Daesh – and in the global effort to counter violent extremism – the GEC will lead the effort to synchronize messaging to foreign audiences that will counter the destructive messages of violent extremist groups.”
Under Mr. Lumpkin’s leadership, the Global Engagement Center will employ a strategy defined by:
- Drawing upon data and metrics to develop, test, and evaluate themes, messages, and messengers;
- Building narratives around thematic campaigns on the misdeeds of our enemy (e.g., poor governance, abuse of women, narratives of defectors), not the daily news cycle;
- Focusing on driving third-party content, in addition to our own; and
- Nurturing and empowering a global network of positive messengers.
The Center will implement its strategy by:
- Seeking out and engaging the best talent, within the technology sector, government and beyond
- Engaging across our government to coordinate, integrate and synchronize counterterrorism communications directed toward foreign audiences;
- Identifying and enabling international partners with credibility and expertise
- Establishing and implementing a campaign-focused culture;
- Scaling up data science and analytics and using both throughout the design, implementation and evaluation phases of these campaigns;
- Providing seed funding and other support to NGOs and media startups focused on countering violent extremist messaging;
- Identifying gaps in U.S. Government messaging and counter- messaging capabilities directed toward foreign audiences, and recommending steps to resolve them; and
- Sharing information and best practices with U.S. Government agencies focused on the challenge of homegrown violent extremism.
- Amplifying the successes of the Counter-ISIL Coalition in defeating ISIL on both the military and information battlefield.
The Center will continue to be housed within the Department of State and staffed by experts from the private sector and U.S. Government agencies charged with protecting our national interests and security – as well as the security of our allies – against the threat of international terrorism.
Does this mean the position “Special Envoy and Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications”, who headed the CSCC and has been held by Rashad Hussain, no longer exists?
The special rep job is still listed online, but it’s outdated as it still lists Hussain as Coordinator. CSCC will now be the new GEC, with a new director, so I’m guessing that position will no longer exist since CSCC is no more. But that’s only a guess. And we may see more changes when a new administration takes office in Jan 2017.