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C.Dauber in Small Wars Journal (2015)


Small Wars Journal  July 1, 2015

“ISIS and the Family Man” — Cori E. Dauber

{EXCERPT} It is widely acknowledged that ISIS is enormously sophisticated in its use of Social Media.[i] It is also widely acknowledged that they have had great success recruiting fighters from around the globe.[ii] The problem is that there has been a tendency to assume, with no evidence, that the two phenomena are linked, and to make further assumptions about how they are linked. In fact, the intent behind the design of ISIS’ overall persuasive campaign, the production of the materials they distribute on Social Media, and how and where they distribute them, is of necessity a black box. Without interviews with those responsible for these materials (and for the most part without even any conclusive information about them,)[iii] we cannot know with certainty what it is they are trying to achieve with any specific propaganda product or set of products. Yet over and over again analysts in and out of government have made definitive statements about the purpose behind ISIS’ persuasive campaign. The assumption is that ISIS is recruiting the “disaffected” and “alienated,” both in the United States and Europe.[iv] They may be attractive to that group, but where is the evidence that their recruiting strategy is designed specifically to reach that population and that population only?


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