In the past year, tit-for-tat skirmishes have increased between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy and the United States and its allies. Iranian gunboats routinely taunt allied patrols, recklessly crisscrossing through formations and narrowly avoiding collisions, seeking to provoke an overly aggressive response. Allied restraint prevents disaster, but the trajectory points toward conflict.
1. To be “canceled” refers to the sudden termination of a person’s job or status because of a real or perceived transgression, often during a period when such transgressions are under enhanced scrutiny.
2. There is no joint definition of narrative. I define narrative as a dominant idea at a given moment. It is a collection of inputs that capture the collective attention and imagination of a society. Recent examples of dominant narratives are the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements. Events that happen during a dominant narrative will likely be processed through the lens of that narrative.
3. Department of Defense, DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (January 2021).
4. Joe Littell, “Don’t Believe Your Eyes (or Ears): The Weaponization of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deepfakes,” War on the Rocks, 7 October 2019.
5. Operation Mincemeat was the successful World War II British deception operation that used forged documents to mislead the Axis on Allied 1943 Mediterranean invasion plans.
6. Andrea Peterson, “The Sony Pictures Hack, Explained,” The Washington Post, 18 December 2014.
7. Raphael Satter, “Russian Hackers Posed as IS to Threaten Military Wives,” The Associated Press, 8 May 2018.
8. Lucas Scarasso, “Text Messages from Hell: Restraining and Information Warfare,” War on the Rocks, 21 April 2020.
9. Robert Abrams, “Social Media: Senior Leaders Need to Get on the Bus,” From the Green Notebook, 8 October 2019; Patrick Donahue, Mick Ryan, and Tammy Smith, “Why We Tweet: General Officer Use of Social Media to Engage, Influence, and Lead,” The Strategy Bridge, 7 September 2020.