Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Video of this month's PDC / USC forum on State Dept. use of social media, is now on line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9pVwBXsPBg
Sunday, September 20th 2015Read More
Sunday, September 20th 2015
“Violent Islamist extremism cannot be defeated through force, but neither can it be addressed by soft power alone. The threat is constantly evolving, and it requires a constantly evolving response.” This is among the insights of Jessica Stern, a fellow at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health and a Lecturer in Government at Harvard University, writing in the September/October, 2015 issue of Foreign Affairs. Here are excerpts of her article, “Obama and Terrorism: Like It or Not, the War Goes On.”Read More
Sunday, September 20th 2015
“Information Operations represent a fundamental and distinctive element of the Russian hybrid warfare concept,” wrote Giorgio Bertolin, a Ph.D. candidate in Defense Studies at King’s College, London. His article, “Conceptualizing Russian Information Operations: InfoWar and Infiltration in the Context of Hybrid Warfare,” appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of IOSphere, the journal of the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center.Read More
Saturday, September 19th 2015
“Since the collapse of the Taliban regime, independent media outlets have mushroomed in the war-torn nation, largely cultivated by U.S. funding and mentoring,” Sudarsan Raghavan, bureau chief of The Washington Post in Kabul, recently reported.
His August 22, 2015, article focused on USAID-Afghanistan, but the Public Affairs Section at the American Embassy in Kabul also played a large role. “’It’s the biggest achievement the U.S. has had in Afghanistan,’ Najib Sharifi, a founding member of the Afghan Journalists Federation, said of the press. ‘We’ve got to preserve it.’” With the contraction of U.S. funding, however, “small radio stations and newspapers in rural areas that largely depend on donor funds will go out of business or become tools of warlords, political figures or insurgents.”Read More
Friday, September 18th 2015
“We are very good at launching missiles – we must improve at launching ideas,” testified retired Admiral James Stavridis, now Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. The former NATO Supreme Allied Commander is also Co-Chair of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s National Security Advisory Council. In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs on March 26, 2015, he bluntly stated, “My message to you today is direct. Now is the time to double down on smart power.”
The “global marketplace of ideas” is Public Diplomacy’s arena, and Public Diplomacy must place “competing ideas,” “visions of life,” “cultural initiatives,” “education,” and “ideology” at the center of our work.
I have had the unique opportunity to see both the global battlefield and the global marketplace of ideas. There is no doubt in my military mind that we face new, unconventional security threats that will continue to test our ability to out-think our opponents and confront brutal ideologies. * * * The United States has a very strong and capable military. No one can match us on the sea, in the air, and in ground maneuver. While there will continue to be a need for that hard military power, Mr. Chairman, we simply cannot lead without using other tools as well. Competitor nations, competing ideas, challenge us with dark and repressive visions of life.Read More