Broadcasting Board of Governors
Friday, April 29th 2016
“In a world where information warfare is being conducted by major powers as well as by unconventional enemies of the United States, the U.S. government must have the tools to engage in the ongoing war of ideas.” So opened the section on Public Diplomacy in the Heritage Foundation’s report by Brett D. Schaefer, “How to Make the State Department More Effective at Implementing U.S. Foreign Policy.” Schaefer is Jay Kingham Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation.
Foreign Service Officers and foreign policy specialists will want to read the entire report with its many proposals for reform. Here’s the section on Public Diplomacy:Read More
Quotable: Robert Reilly on Public Diplomacy and Information Operations (II) – The Role of Broadcasting
Friday, March 25th 2016
The U.S. government's overseas broadcasting is the second major topic in Robert Reilly’s 2013 paper, “Information Operations: Successes and Failures,” published in 2013 by the Westminster Institute.
Quotable: Robert Reilly on Public Diplomacy and Information Operations (IV) – Voice of America in Afghanistan
Friday, March 25th 2016
Robert Reilly’s 2013 paper, “Information Operations: Successes and Failures,” continues:
- On the other hand, VOA and the BBG did get something right, at least at the start, concerning Afghanistan. . . . Radio was, and continues to be, the primary means through which people in Afghanistan get their information.
- In late 2001, I meet with the Afghan Minister of Information, Dr. Makhdoom Raheen. He explained to me the problem that the new government was facing. It had no means by which to reach its own people. It simply did not possess the broadcasting infrastructure to do so. In the meantime, Afghanistan was being bifurcated by foreign broadcasting from Iran in Farsi on the one side, and by broadcasting from Pakistan in Pashtu on the other.
- The minister proposed that we provide the Afghan government with medium-wave transmitters powerful enough for it to reach the majority of the Afghan people and, in exchange, the Afghan government would provide us with the site and license for our own transmitters to do the same.
Monday, February 15th 2016
During the 1950s, there was a term that was sometimes used to describe people who were exploited by Soviet communists to publicly support their ideology. The term was “useful idiots.”
The phrase, like communism itself, has largely disappeared from use, but there are still plenty of useful idiots around. If you don’t believe it, just spend some time watching RT.Read More
Friday, February 5th 2016
“The challenges that American national security policy has encountered in recent years have also revealed some significant gaps in our foreign and defense policy toolkits. Three particularly acute needs [include] . . . building an institutional ability to wage ideological warfare, especially the battles of ideas against jihadism and the propaganda of expansionist authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China.” Thus closed the final chapter of the John Hay Institute’s report, Choosing to Lead: American Foreign Policy for a Disordered World, issued in September, 2015. It is “dedicated to the next President of the United States.”Read More