Like the War on Terror, the Media War rages on. More than ever, America’s ability to fight and win against ISIS requires that we understand how best to communicate about war in the digital age. Tom Basile takes readers behind the scenes during his time as a civilian advisor in Iraq during the Iraq War, describing his mission and the struggle to communicate about the war as it became more deadly and less popular at home.
The U.S.-led coalition wasn’t merely engaged in a fight to build a more tolerant, participatory society against incredible odds. It was also in a constant clash with forces that influenced public perception about the mission. During those difficult years, it became clear that warfare was now, more than ever, a blend of policy, politics, and the business of journalism.
Basile critiques the media’s reporting and assesses the Bush administration’s home-front communications strategy to argue that if policymakers fail to effectively articulate their strategy, manage their message, and counter misinformation, they will find themselves unable to execute that policy. That, Basile argues, places the United States at great risk. Tough Sell blends Basile’s personal story with lessons from the media war in Iraq that can improve our ability to communicate about and prosecute the War on Terror.