' Smedley Butler's life and career epitomize the contradictory nature of American military policy through the first part of this century. Butler won renown as a Marine battlefield hero, campaigning in most of America's foreign military expeditions from 1898 to the late 1920s. He became the leading national advocate for paramilitary police reform. Upon his retirement, however, he renounced war and imperialism and devoted his energy and prestige to various dissident and leftist political causes.
The United States government and the US military are struggling with strategic communications. To succeed the USG must improve its ability to understand the social context and cultural characteristics of the population, identify target audiences from a population, and engage the target audience through unified action. The Quadrennial Defense Review Roadmap for Strategic Communications and the Department of Defense, Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication both concluded that the US military must organize supporting communications capabilities better to provide a coherent message through unified action synchronized with operations. The current Department of Defense solutions to military strategic communications do not address the entire scope of the strategic communications problem. Consequently, the messages are still ineffective and not synchronized with other military actions to mass effects on the battlefield. To remedy this situation, the US military needs a more effective planning process and organizational structure to help commanders focus their military strategic communications planning efforts at the operational and tactical level. Achieving success in strategic communications requires an agile, adaptable, and scalable planning process that provides a commander a framework to synchronize message and action in their area of operations. Political campaigning was one resource identified by the Department of Defense Science Board. Applying the political campaign planning process to military strategic communications suggests such a framework. The framework presented at the conclusion of this paper was derived from an assessment of the current shortfalls in the strategic communications system and a comparison of that system with political campaign processes. The framework provides a foundation from which to alter current military doctrine.