About this report

This study aims to fill a gap in knowledge by investigating the key characteristics of StratCom capacity and capability in the defence sectors of NATO nations. The research will aim to review the policy, doctrine, organisational structure, training, education and resource base, which NATO nations have in place, to deliver StratCom in the defence domain. Three research questions will be explored to achieve this:

The first research question aims to unlock the differences in interpretation of StratCom as a process and mind-set among member nations and NATO Headquarters and review how such interpretations determine capability and capacity in this field.

The study’s second research question asks to what degree individual countries regard the

utility and priority of StratCom as a mind-set to mitigate strategic risk in the contemporary operating environment.

The study’s final research question is to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to individual nations’ StratCom capacity and capability in order to provide guidance to key NATO stakeholders for future collective development and reform within the capability.

The study builds upon work already undertaken in the military, academic and corporate sector. Most significantly it seeks to add to the academic work of Tatham and LePage (2014), who identified significant contradictions in understanding and application of StratCom among troop contributing nations, based upon their individual organisational cultures and national outlook. By further investigating the baseline of understanding and application among participating nations, the study hopes to provide input to the Military Committee Policy on StratCom, perhaps to assist in a timely and resonant codification of the capability as the Alliance faces up to new communications challenges. It will also complement wider COE research identifying the lessons learned from operations in Afghanistan.


The aims of this study sit more comfortably within an interpretive research philosophy (Anderson, 2013), focussing primarily on the essential human experience of communication. Primary research was therefore conducted in the form of questionnaires (sent to all NATO nations) and in-depth interviews (3-5 NATO nations were chosen according to the results of the questionnaire) across all of the project’s primary research questions.