Today's conversation with retired US Army Major Steven J. Alvarez focuses on Steve's ideas of how the U.S. military lost the information war in Iraq by engaging the wrong audiences—that is, the Western media—by ignoring Iraqi citizens and the wider Arab population, and by paying mere lip service to the directive to “Put an Iraqi face on everything.” That in the absence of effective communication from the U.S. military, the information void was swiftly filled by Al Qaeda and, eventually, ISIS. As a result, efforts to create and maintain a successful, stable country were complicated and eventually frustrated.
Steven J. Alvarez retired as a major from the U.S. Army Reserve after serving twenty-four years in the officer and enlisted ranks, on active duty and in the National Guard and Reserve. A recipient of the Bronze Star and the Combat Action Badge, during his military career Alvarez served as the commander of an Army public affairs detachment as well as the public affairs officer for several general officers and presidential appointees, including David Petraeus. In the private sector Alvarez works as a freelance writer and public relations professional.