Canada's PD Director Discusses Sesquicentennial Strategy

"We cannot rely solely on the star power of our Prime Minister," Vikas Sharma told the First Monday Forum audience. The director of Canada's public diplomacy office reviewed PD themes and tactics behind Canada's 150th anniversary celebration.

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PD commentary

Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field

Quotable: Sarah Sewall on Religious Extremism in Africa

Sunday, August 28th 2016

“. . . policymakers need to better understand both how religion affects issues of security and stability, and equally important, how to encourage and reinforce non-violent, tolerant expressions of faith,” said Sarah Sewall, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, in remarks – “Religious Extremism in Africa” -- at the Center for Strategic and International Security in Washington on August 1, 2016.  It’s an important speech. 

 

In the past, many Foreign Service Officers were uncomfortable discussing the religion factor in international affairs, citing “separation of church and state.”  Sewall made the case that while “the United States favors no particular faith,” and it must “reject framing the problem solely around religious ideology,” it must engage with religious communities and leaders.  Her speech elaborated how Public Diplomacy, development, and diplomacy work together to counter religiously-motivated violent extremism.  The full speech is worth reading, but here are some bullet points:

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

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Author: Donald M. Bishop

President Truman on “relief from lies and propaganda”

Sunday, August 28th 2016

President Truman on “relief from lies and propaganda”

Donald M. Bishop

 

Each presidential inaugural address provides a snapshot of underlying American ideals.  When they announce new policies, presidents characteristically appeal to enduring values.  As they begin new terms, presidents promise both change and continuity, so inaugural addresses always deserve careful reading. 

 

When reading any of the addresses from the past, imagine that you have travelled back in time and have become one of the President-elect’s or President’s advisors.  You’ve been asked to review the draft of the inaugural address with an eye for the president’s legacy -- whether it will ring tomorrow as well as today.  You have a blue pencil in your hand.  A paragraph you leave unmarked probably represents continuity; the address has expressed ideals that will still sound well in the twenty-first century.  Your edits, on the other hand, probably indicate change between those times and ours.

 

President Truman’s inaugural address of January 20, 1949, for instance, included these words.  Should any be changed?  Have we “moved” from “this faith”?

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: Peter Pomerantsev’s dark analysis of a “post-fact” world

Sunday, August 28th 2016

“I remember facts seemed to be terribly important during the Cold War,” wrote Legatum Institute senior fellow Peter Pomerantsev in a dark July 20, 2016, article, “Why We’re Post-Fact,” in Granta: The Magazine of New Writing.  “Both Soviet Communists and Western Democratic Capitalists relied on facts to prove their ideology was right. The Communists especially cooked the books – but in the end they lost because they couldn’t make their case any longer. When they were caught lying they acted outraged. It was important to be seen as accurate.”

 

That was then.  Now is now.  Pomerantsev senses changes in basic thinking and how they bear on Public Diplomacy and strategic communication.  Practitioners need to be aware, for instance, of the “equaling out of truth and falsehood,” “disinformation cascades, “techno-fantasies,” and “digital wildfires.”  Here are some highlights of his article:

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Classic Quotable: Livy on CVE Wannabes

Sunday, August 28th 2016

Looking back on a year at the Public Affairs Section at the American Embassy in Kabul, I realize that two things could jar my diplomatic calm, my sangfroid.  Make me hot under the collar.  Torque my jaws. 

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: James R. McGrath on information warfare

Sunday, August 28th 2016

Public diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. international broadcasting, and the armed forces’ information operations all – in different ways, different settings, and to different audiences – seek to make the case and win support for U.S. goals.  Our hazardous times require a closer alignment of these various disciplines, so Public Diplomacy practitioners must be familiar with each.

 

Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel James R. McGrath, writing in Joint Force Quarterly, performed a valuable service by tracing some of the professional issues that challenge information operations in a July 1, 2016, article, “Twenty-First Century Information Warfare and the Third Offset Strategy.”

 

There’s no direct mention of Public Diplomacy, but the article’s sorting through the “third offset,” “psychological warfare,” “C2 warfare,” “denial and deception,” “cyber warfare,” “engagement,” and “IE situational awareness” is surely suggestive.  For instance, Lieutenant Colonel McGrath identifies shortcomings in “strategic shaping.”  Public Diplomacy practitioners don’t use that term, but it might describe how Public Affairs Officers and embassies and consulates implement an integrated country strategy.

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

The Public Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Founded in 1988, the Council serves the community of public diplomacy professionals, professors and students interested in public diplomacy.

 

 

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