With their growing power to sway public opinion, the media have become part of the military strategists' decision cycle. To use this relationship wisely - this news team is reporting from the U.S. embassy complex during evacuation operations in Albania - the Navy must understand and appreciate the press as never before.
We are living in a new era. Naval power has grown in scale and scope until individual conference rooms or entire societies can be obliterated by strikes from the sea. And just as naval power has grown, so has the power of the press to sway critical individuals and mass populations. Even as military strategists labor to move inside an opponent's decision cycle, the news media have become part of both their decision cycles - arguably, an even more powerful position.
In times of crisis, national leaders turn to the Cable News Network to augment (and check) their intelligence resources. The proliferation of real-time, all-news outlets-television, specialized e-mail editions, and the Internet-will only increase the depth and detail of information and misinformation available.