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Dr. STEVE TATHAM is the United Kingdom’s (UK) longest continuously serving Officer in Information Activities. Between 1998 and 2003, he worked in Media Operations, covering conflicts in Sierra Leone (2000), Afghanistan (2001), and Iraq (2003), where he was public spokesman for the invasion. Between 2003 and 2013, he worked in Information Operations and Psychological Operations. Dr. Tatham was the Commanding Officer of 15 (UK) Psychological Operations Group from 2010-2013, during which time he deployed on multiple occasions to Afghanistan; was involved at the operational level in operations in Libya and has deployed to East Africa in an advisory role. During his tenure in Command, and in a tight fiscal climate, he expanded the PsyOps Group by 81% by demonstrating the centrality of PsyOps to UK military operations to previously sceptical military commanders and budgeteers. In 2007 he advised the then commander of British Forces in Afghanistan on influence operations when the strategically vital town of Musa Qala was retaken by British and Afghan forces. The Pentagon later described that operation as the “single best thing to come out of Afghanistan.” Dr. Tatham is co-founder of the Influence Advisory Panel and in early 2014 left the UK military to pursue a career in business. He currently works in the UK Ministry of Defence on Strategic Communication issues. Dr. Tatham is the author of two books: Losing Arab Hearts & Minds. The Coalition, Al-Jazeera and Muslim Public Opinion (Hurst & Co, 2006) and Behavioural Conflict: Why Understanding People’s Motivations Will Prove Decisive In Future Conflict (Military Studies Press, 2012). Dr. Tatham holds both an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in international relations, both focusing on ideas of influence and strategic communication in conflict areas.
*The above information may not be current. It was current at the time when the individual worked for SSI or was published by SSI.
Authored by Dr. Steve Tatham.
View the Executive Summary
Are U.S. information operations and strategic communications fit for purpose? This issue is debated herein, and the author concludes that, if the United States is to compete with emerging powers such as China and Russia, it needs to significantly modernize and update information operations and strategic communications. But, despite what critics and even Congress may say, these important programs must not be cut.