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Wars of Ideas and the War of Ideas

Authored by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria II.

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Brief Synopsis

The author discusses several types of wars of ideas in an effort to achieve a better understanding of what wars of ideas are. That knowledge, in turn, can help inform strategy. It is important to note, for instance, that because ideas are interpreted subjectively, it is not likely that opposing parties will “win” each other over by means of an ideational campaign alone. Hence, physical events, whether intended or incidental, typically play determining roles in the ways wars of ideas unfold, and how (or whether) they are end. Thus, while the act of communicating strategically remains a vital part of any war of ideas, we need to manage our expectations as far as what it can accomplish.

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Also by the Author/Editor:

2012-13 Key Strategic Issues List
Preparing for One War and Getting Another?
Strategic Implications of Emerging Technologies
Key Strategic Issues List, July 2008
Challenging Transformation's Clichés
2006 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)
Fourth-Generation War and Other Myths
2005 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)

View other pubs in the following categories:

Military Strategy and Policy
National Security Strategy

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