Thursday, April 6th 2017
Information operations in Malaya were a particularly effective tool that led to the surrender of many insurgents while simultaneously bringing the Chinese population of Malaya onto the side of the government. However, this was the result of years of trial and error during which the British gradually adapted their message to meet the demands of the conflict.
Sunday, September 4th 2016
A White House initiative. A network of partners. A regional conference. A unique report.
A lively and informative May, 2016, report issued by Hedayah, “Counter-Narratives for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in South East Asia,” uniquely blended applied principles of communication with national and community case studies. Hedayah in Abu Dhabi “aims to be the premier international center for expertise and experience to counter violent extremism by promoting understanding and sharing of good practice.” Sara Zeiger was the Contributing Editor of the report.
The report highlighted work by All Together Now (Australia), Muslim Community Radio 2MFM (Australia), Mothers’ Schools (Indonesia), Gusdurian Network (Indonesia), the movie “Latitude 6” (Thailand), and A Common Word (Jordan). It discussed formal and informal channels of communication and the role of diasporas.Read More
Wednesday, August 10th 2016
“The Obama administration has revamped a program designed to lure foreign fighters away from extremist groups like the Islamic State, focusing on a series of new advertisements and social media posts that seek to appeal to emotion rather than logic,” reported Helene Cooper of The New York Times in an article, “U.S. Drops Snark in Favor of Emotion to Undercut Extremists,” published on July 28, 2016. “It is the latest in a long series of efforts from the Obama administration at what diplomats and other officials euphemistically call “public engagement,” and the multiple reboots have shown how hard it has been for these programs to find traction,” she added.
The article discussed the activities of the Global Engagement Center, but it addressed a larger point about the use of emotion in effective communication. I recall that this was a key point emphasized by then-Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Charlotte Beers in the first global conference for State Department Public Affairs Officers. Here are some bullet points from the Cooper article:Read More
Saturday, July 16th 2016
“The amount of anti-ISIL content on social media platforms is increasing; ISIL’s flow of content is diminishing and being interrupted. The revulsion to ISIL can be seen in the engagement of mainstream Muslims around the world who reject what the terrorists stand for.” These were key points made by the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Richard Stengel, in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 13, 2016.
This gist focuses on the portions of his statement that relate to countering ISIS, cooperation with the Sawab Center and other partners, and the use of data analytics. The full statement included a discussion of exchange programs and Public Diplomacy’s recent focus on entrepreneurship. Here are additional key quotes:Read More
Saturday, July 2nd 2016
“In July 2014,” recalled Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, “I testified before this committee as ISIL was expanding its territory, threatening Baghdad, and appeared unstoppable.” Two years later, on July 28, 2016, McGurk gave testimony at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing on “Global Efforts to Defeat ISIS.” “The situation today is measurably different,” he said.
McGurk reviewed “eight indicators that we track week-to-week”: morale, territory, combat-ready fighters, access to revenue, access to borders, capable and confident leadership, media, and global branches. Here are his remarks on “Media.”Read More