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Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq

By Tom Basile
Foreword by Ambassador John R. Bolton

Policy, politics, and PR in the War Against Extremism

Like the War on Terror, the Media War rages on. More than ever, America’s ability to fight and win against ISIS requires that we understand how best to communicate about war in the digital age. Tom Basile takes readers behind the scenes during his time as a civilian advisor in Iraq during the Iraq War, describing his mission and the struggle to communicate about the war as it became more deadly and less popular at home. The U.S.-led coalition wasn’t merely engaged in a fight to build a more tolerant, participatory society against incredible odds. It was also in a constant clash with forces that influenced public perception about the mission. During those difficult years, it became clear that warfare was now, more than ever, a blend of policy, politics, and the business of journalism. Basile critiques the media’s reporting and assesses the Bush administration’s home-front communications strategy to argue that if policymakers fail to effectively articulate their strategy, manage their message, and counter misinformation, they will find themselves unable to execute that policy. That, Basile argues, places the United States at great risk. Tough Sell blends Basile’s personal story with lessons from the media war in Iraq that can improve our ability to communicate about and prosecute the War on Terror.

Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq

Tom Basile

Foreword by John R. Bolton

Publication Date: May 1, 2017; U.K.: July 01, 2017

Imprint: Potomac Books

ISBN-13: 978-1-61234-900-8; Price: $32.95; Canadian: $49.50; UK: £26.99

 

Advance Praise for Tough Sell:

“Basile’s perspective will become a classic and help readers understand the dangerous politicizing of foreign policy coverage by today’s media.”
Walid Phares, author of The Lost Spring: U.S. Policy in the Middle East and Catastrophes to Avoid and Fox News national security and foreign policy contributor


“This fair, honest, and intensely personal story should inform journalists, policymakers, and the public as we make tough decisions in the fight against ISIS.”
Dr. Bob ArnotNew York Times bestselling author and former NBC News foreign correspondent


Tough Sell is a must-read for students of conflict, practitioners of war, and a public eager to understand what is really at stake as we continue forward in a multi-decade struggle against radical Islamic terror.”
Gary Berntsen, former senior CIA operations officer and station chief and the New York Times bestselling author of Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda


“This candid and engrossing first-person account of communications and media relations in the early days of the occupation in Iraq is full of lessons for ongoing conflicts today.”
Max Angerholzer III, president and CEO, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress


“It’s the war in Iraq like you’ve never seen it before. A must-read for truth seekers about the courage, progress, and challenges we faced, and still do, to prevent media bias from dictating our foreign policy.”
Jerry Doyle, nationally syndicated radio host and author of Have You Seen My Country Lately? America’s Wake-Up Call