Category: Counterterrorism

Display bin Laden’s body. Then make it disappear. Then destroy the al Qaeda legacy.

What fortuitous timing – no sooner do Arab protesters across the Middle East repudiate al Qaeda’s revolutionary model, than US hit team eliminates Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani mansion and snatches the body. Now it’s important to keep the momentum going, and to deny the enemy any propaganda victory. That means finishing off bin Laden’s ideological legacy and the...

Taiwanese animators lampoon ‘don’t touch my junk’

It’s bad enough that the Department of Homeland Security’s clumsy “security” over-reach alienates the average citizen the way it has, but it’s all the worse when the rest of the world starts laughing at us. Fundamental to any sound security policy is careful consideration of domestic and international response to the measures being applied. Those measures will never please everybody....

Strategic communication: Messaging the world with strategic psychological effect

“Strategic Communication: Messaging the World with Strategic Psychological Effect,” testimony before the Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, March 4, 2010.

Getting serious about strategic influence: How to move beyond the State Department’s legacy of failure

by J Michael Waller, Journal of International Security Affairs, December 2009 Download PDF: Waller_Getting Serious About Strategic Influence 2009

Partnership against heroin: Contractors help US combat narcotraffickers in Afghanistan

by J Michael Waller, Serviam, March-April 2008 Download PDF: Contractors_Afgh_Serviam Kabul, Afghanistan—“I used to wear a burqa. I will never wear one again. Except to fight drug traffickers.” That’s what a female police officer of Afghanistan’s Narcotics Interdiction Unit (NIU) says with a shy smile. The bad guys can’t recognize a heavily armed cop under the face-to-foot covering that all women...

Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War: Short-term message strategies to combat the terrorists

This ground-breaking monograph by J Michael Waller departs from the conventional view of public diplomacy and international communication in time of war and argues for deploying messages as weapons of attack against the terrorists and other extremists. Proposing an immediate-term strategy that requires no bureaucratic reorganization or major budgetary changes, Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War is designed for...

Los Angeles Times op-ed: US should use ridicule as weapon against its enemies

The Los Angeles Times ran my op-ed arguing that the United States should use ridicule as a weapon against our terrorist enemies. The piece, titled in the print edition as “Larry, Curly and Osama,” is copied below: “Larry, Curly and Musab“ May 21, 2006 | J. Michael Waller | J. MICHAEL WALLER is a professor of international communication at the...

Ridicule: An instrument in the war on terrorism

This article is the seventh in a series of White Papers by J. Michael Waller about the transformation of American public diplomacy and strategic communication. USA Today featured this paper in its March 23, 2006 issue. Introduction Demonization of the enemy is the general default position of American message-making against international threats. The history of warfare shows, however, that while demonization can...

Ridicule: An instrument in the war on terrorism

This article is the seventh in a series of Institute of World Politics White Papers by J. Michael Waller about the transformation of American public diplomacy and strategic communication. USA Today featured this paper in its March 23, 2006 issue. “Ridicule: An Instrument in the War on Terrorism” Introduction Demonization of the enemy is the general default position of American message-making against...

Terrorist recruitment and infiltration in the US: Prisons and military as an operational base

“Terrorist Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an Operational Base,” testimony before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, October 14, 2003.