Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
"The information campaign — or as some still would have it, “the war of ideas,” or the struggle for “hearts and minds” — is important to every war effort. In this war it is an essential objective ... But American efforts have not only failed in this respect: they may also have achieved the opposite of what they intended.
American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists ...
• Therefore, the dramatic narrative since 9/11 has essentially borne out the entire radical Islamist bill of particulars. American actions and the flow of events have elevated the authority of the Jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims. Fighting groups portray themselves as the true defenders of an Ummah ... to broad public support.
• What was a marginal network is now an Ummah-wide movement of fighting groups. Not only has there been a proliferation of “terrorist” groups: the unifying context of a shared cause creates a sense of affiliation across the many cultural and sectarian boundaries that divide Islam.