Saturday, January 7th 2017
Subhead: And the U.S. is in the unaccustomed position of being seriously behind its adversaries
Authors: Brad Allenby and Joel Garreau (Co-directors of The Weaponized Narrative Initiative)Read More
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:Read More
Sunday, July 3rd 2016
“Arabs in the MENA region should be aware of the foreign media blitz targeting their very existence and identity. Arab nations have become like a platter of food that contemporary powers sit around to eat from.” Writing in the June 13, 2016, issue of Morocco World News, a critic blasted “’Public Diplomacy,’ or The Arab World, Served up on a Plate.” The columnist argued; you decide. Public Diplomacy practitioners can read the article and practice their responses. Here are some quotes:
- Nowadays, propagandists fight an unorthodox war: no bloodshed, no artillery and surely no soldiers. The media is the weapon, journalists are the soldiers, the target is the viewer’s mind and the bullets are news bulletins and entertainment programs.
- The mass media have become the platforms through which twenty-first century wars are fought. Countries no longer colonize by means of the gun. Now they colonize by means of the satellite disk.
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
Saturday, June 18th 2016
“. . . although diasporas can be very powerful tool in advancing a country’s diplomatic strategy, they can be double edged weapons. Their agendas are not always exactly the same as those of their home governments, and they do not need to live with the consequences of their actions.” This is one conclusion of a paper by Clingendael scholar Shaun Riordan, “Diaspora Diplomacy: A Double Edged Sword,” published on June 6, 2016.
Compared to only a few decades ago -- when the expense, difficulty, and slowness of communication meant that immigrants gradually lost contact with their home countries -- the internet now allows a robust flow of information both ways. Immigrants who naturally read their native language better than they do English can now read newspapers, watch television, and call and tweet in their own language. This is a new factor in Public Diplomacy.
The report added, “Diplomats should take account of their overseas compatriots when evolving their strategies to promote national interests and global agendas. They are another, and potentially important, element in the diplomatic toolbox. But diplomats should beware trying to manipulate them, or being manipulated by them. As the examples show, the diaspora tail can frequently wag the diplomatic dog.”Read More