Vietnam

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Classic Quotable: Edward G. Lansdale on how Americans are seen “Through Foreign Eyes” (1963)

Saturday, April 8th 2017

Major General Edward G. Lansdale (1908-1987) – an Air Force intelligence officer whose career included service in the Philippines during the Huk Rebellion and in Vietnam during that war – was a major thinker and practitioner in counterinsurgency.  He emphasized “hearts and minds,” psychological operations, and civic actions.  When William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick wrote their influential novel, The Ugly American, “Colonel Hillendale” was modeled on Lansdale.

 

A memorandum that Lansdale penned in 1963 is frequently cited by scholars, but it has not been available on the web.  Lansdale wrote the memorandum for military advisors in Vietnam, but its profile of the images, traits, and behaviors of Americans – touching on professional competence, language skills, accessibility, empathy, directness, enthusiasm, adaptability, patience, humor, temper, and politics -- is evergreen.  So is his counsel to “know the country” and “be a good guest.”

 

Title:              MEMORANDUM, From Maj. Gen. Lansdale, Subject: Through Foreign Eyes

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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

Classic Quotable: Martin Herz on television and the Vietnam war -- free-fire zones, bombing, defoliation, mangroves (1984)

Saturday, October 8th 2016

A career Foreign Service Officer who became Political Counselor in Saigon, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, and Ambassador to Bulgaria, Martin F. Herz (1917-1983) directed the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University after his retirement.  In 1982, he gave a series of four lectures that gathered his first-hand, personal views of the Vietnam war.  He challenged the conventional interpretations of the war.  Public Diplomacy officers – in their roles as Information Officers at Foreign Service posts and public affairs officers in State Department bureaus – always have a professional interest in media coverage.  When roles are debated, the Vietnam War looms as a large case study.  Many of the issues and dilemmas reviewed by Herz are evergreen. 

 

Headline:     “How it Looked on the Tube” and “Aspects of the ‘High Tech’ War”

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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

Classic Quotable: Martin Herz on the American media’s distortion of events in Vietnam (1984)

Saturday, October 1st 2016

A career Foreign Service Officer who became Political Counselor in Saigon, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, and Ambassador to Bulgaria, Martin F. Herz (1917-1983) directed the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University after his retirement.  In 1982, he gave a series of four lectures that gathered his first-hand, personal views of the Vietnam war.  They are not congruent with much of what has become the conventional wisdom on that conflict. 

 

Public Diplomacy officers – in their roles as Information Officers at Foreign Service posts and public affairs officers in State Department bureaus – always have a professional interest in how government and the media interact.  When roles are debated, the Vietnam War looms as a large case study. 

 

Headline:     The Vietnam War in Retrospect: Four Lectures, Lecture Two

 

Subhead:      “Role of the Mass Media” and “Washington Believes the Media”

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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

Quotable: Hedayah on CVE counter-narratives for South East Asia

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.

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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

Quotable: Celestino Perez on strategic discontent, politics, ideas, local knowledge, and biases

Saturday, July 2nd 2016

If I may generalize from my Foreign Service experience with the military services, what commanders want most from an American embassy is local knowledge, be it political, governmental, economic, informational, cultural, or social.  Units deployed to foreign countries surely bring capacity and expertise, and their intelligence, plans, and civil affairs officers are quick studies, but commanders well understand that their operations need the kind of local knowledge that embassies and consulates command.  They expect that knowledge from Foreign Service Officers.  They are usually surprised – and gratified -- to learn that knowledge and advice also come from expert local staff.

 

It has been my experience, too, that commands especially appreciate the knowledge provided by Public Diplomacy officers and their local staff.  Public Diplomacy officers have a mix of contacts from all walks of life.  They focus on society, culture, the media, faith, education, and opinion-forming institutions.  Reading editorials, meeting students, and monitoring social media are all ways Public Diplomacy officers feel the pulse of a society.

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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

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