As the Islamic State, ISIS or Daesh, continues to lose territoryin Iraq and Syria, it’s their next act that most concerns Michael Lumpkin, the Obama administration’s new counter-propaganda czar.
“What I fear is that Daesh, once it’s constrained on the battlespace, it will rebrand itself as something else. And then we have to be ready for that,” Lumpkin, told Defense One in an interview at the State Department. “but not two years after.”
Lumpkin is referring to the State Department’s slow-to-launch campaign to fight ISIS’s robust online messaging campaign he was called in to turn into something, well better.
Lumpkin, director of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, or GEC, is a newcomer to State but no stranger to the Islamic State. Previously, as assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, or SOLIC, Lumpkin was the Defense Department’s policy lead on virtually everything involving special operations. The former Navy SEAL knows his way around Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq, having served as deputy commander of all special operations forces early in the Iraq War. After retiring, Lumpkin ran for California’s 52nd district against Republican Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, making his service a cornerstone of his campaign. He lost the election, joined the private sector, and went back into government and the Pentagon.
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Image courtesy of AP
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