Security Challenges
Volume 12, No.2 (2016)

Soldier Morale - Defending a Core Military Capability

Can social media strengthen soldier morale? In the spectrum of modern conflict, social media and its democratisation of information distribution has changed the historical character of soldiers’ morale or the will to fight. Never before has the influence of information on morale been so pronounced. This is a powerful development given strength of will is central to victory in armed conflict. If the West is not to lose its will to defend democracy’s ideals in the face of extremist Islam’s onslaught, then information as image and perception must be privileged above information as data and commodity. Proactive use of information is needed to defend and strengthen soldier morale. In the realm of modern conflict, social media and morale; attack is the best form of defence. Rather than being overly shielding we must facilitate and encourage soldiers to take up social media and get deep into the discourse it richly enables.

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