Sunday, August 14th 2016
These are abbreviated references to articles "seen on the web" relating to public affairs, Public Diplomacy, international broadcasting, and information operations, provided in this format to allow searches on this PDC website. They supplement the "Quotables" series. These articles are from February, 2016.
Sunday, June 26th 2016
Soft power. Non-kinetic effects. Nonstate international actors.
Another example of the intellectual ferment among armed forces thinkers was recently provided by three leading retired officers – James Stavridis, Ervin Rokke, and Terry Pierce – writing in Joint Force Quarterly. Their March 29, 2016, essay was titled “Crafting and Managing Effects: The Evolution of the Profession of Arms.”
A recent event – the cyber attack by North Korea on Sony Pictures after it released a film mocking Kim Jong-Un – prompted much of their thinking. Their article examined (1) the new influence of non-kinetic instruments of power, (2) the influence of non-state actors such as the ISIL, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, drug cartels and crime syndicates, and (3) the cyber domain. (When the three refer to “cyber” in the article, they mean not only the electrons but the content.)
It led them to re-examine the concepts in Samuel Huntington’s classic text, The Soldier and the State (1957) and to integrate Joseph Nye’s concept of “soft power” into military thinking, expanding “the battlefield beyond the traditional domains of land, sea, air, and space to accommodate more effectively than ever before the battles of wits.” Some quotes:Read More
Tuesday, May 24th 2016
“Although the North Korea conundrum may, unfortunately, require hard power, relying on soft power is the most logical approach to dealing with China and overcoming intraregional rivalries that affect many issues.” This was one conclusion of the University of Southern California’s Philip Seib in a readout of a conference on May 18-20 in Brisbane, Australia, “Soft Power and Public Diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific.” His op-ed, “Public Diplomacy in the Pacific,” ran on The Huffington Post website on May 22, 2016. For Public Diplomacy practitioners, the concept of “collaborative public diplomacy” seems fruitful. Here are some of Seib’s key points:Read More
Friday, April 29th 2016
In Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech at the National Press Club on April 26, 2016, the candidate said “Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.” He criticized decisions by President Bush, President Obama, and Secretary Clinton; traced his views of policy incoherence, “no respect,” “humiliation,” overextension, and the cost of alliances; and elaborated a theme of “America First.” “It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy,” he said.
Although there was no explicit mention of Public Diplomacy in the speech, in a Trump administration the State Department would have to re-shape and re-present U.S. policy toward Iraq, Egypt, Libya, ISIS, Iran, trade and finance, NATO and other alliances, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China, North Korea, and Russia – all mentioned in the speech. And these paragraphs telegraph an especially busy time for Public Diplomacy if it was called upon to implement the candidate’s vision:Read More
Tuesday, March 8th 2016
“The North Korean regime depends upon isolation from the outside world to maintain its grip and pursue its international objectives. The regime is deadly afraid of what it terms 'ideological and cultural poisoning': that is, of foreign media, international information, cultural exchanges, and the like. We should be saying: Bring on the 'poisoning'! The more contact that enslaved population has with the outside world, the better.” So concluded Nicholas Eberstadt – who holds the Henry Wendt Chair at the American Enterprise Institute -- in an article, “Wishful Thinking Has Prevented Effective Threat Reduction in North Korea,” published in the February 29, 2016 issue of National Review. Here are the portions of his essay that focus on North Korea’s ideology and ways to weaken it.
- Our policy is a failure because our public and our leaders do not understand our adversary and his intentions.