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Friday, February 17, 2006

Rumsfeld Says Government Must Recognize Role of Blogs, Other 21st Century Communications Advances in Planning,Fighting War on Terror

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld came to Washington with President Bush primarily for the purpose of updating and reforming the military for the 21st century. Then came the Global War on Terror, the invasion of Afghanistan and the War in Iraq. The reform effort has been slowed but not sidetracked.

Evidence that Rumsfeld is still very much thinking ahead to how the military must adapt to 21st century media and communications technologies was provided earlier today when he spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

The Defense Secretary sees blogs playing a central role in the development of the government's ability to fight the information aspects of the war on terror on a 24/7 and global basis and to maximize our ultimate advantage:

"For the past minutes, I have been commenting on the challenges our country - not just our government - faces in fighting a war in this new media age. And while the enemy is increasingly skillful at manipulating the media and using the tools of communications to their advantage, it should be noted that we have an advantage as well: and that is, quite simply, that truth is on our side - and that ultimately, truth wins out. I believe with every bone in my body that free people, exposed to sufficient information, will, over time, find their way to right decisions."

But the process of getting to that point is likely to be a long one and we are in the very early stages of the development:

"Throughout the world, advances in technology are forcing a massive information flow that dictatorships and extremists ultimately will not be able to control. Blogs are rapidly appearing even in countries where the press is still government-controlled."

Go here for the full text of Rumsfeld's address.

HT: Beltway Blogroll