Saturday, June 13, 2015

ISIS Is Winning the Social Media War, U.S. Concludes

By MARK MAZZETTI and MICHAEL R. GORDON, NYT
JUNE 12, 2015

WASHINGTON — An internal State Department assessment paints a dismal picture of the efforts by the Obama administration and its foreign allies to combat the Islamic State’s message machine, portraying a fractured coalition that cannot get its own message straight.

The assessment comes months after the State Department signaled that it was planning to energize its social media campaign against the militant group. It concludes, however, that the Islamic State’s violent narrative — promulgated through thousands of messages each day — has effectively “trumped” the efforts of some of the world’s richest and most technologically advanced nations.

It also casts an unflattering light on internal discussions between American officials and some of their closest allies in the military campaign against the militants. A “messaging working group” of officials from the United States, Britain and the United Arab Emirates, the memo says, “has not really come together.”

The blunt assessment comes amid broader criticism that the military campaign against the Islamic State is flagging. The group’s fighters recently took over the city of Ramadi in western Iraq and have occupied Falluja and Mosul for more than a year.

(More here.)

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