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 EyesRead More
Sunday, August 28th 2016
“Public Diplomacy (PD) and strategic communications (SC) are needed on a massive scale to combat international jihadism, future non-state actors and authoritarian state information agencies and efforts challenging the US identity and influence.” Writing on the inhomelandsecurity.com website on October 27, 2013, Brett Daniel Shehadey outlined some basic concepts of the D-I-M-E (Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic elements of national power) framework, and he took a special look at the weaknesses of the “I” and “D” elements. His essay was titled “Putting the “D” and “I” Back in DIME.” Three years after it was published, it’s still a good primer. Here are some highlights:Read More
Monday, May 23rd 2016
Totalitarian states have often launched “hearts and minds” campaigns against restive or occupied populations. David Ucko of the National Defense University examined several examples – the early Soviet Union, Chechnya, China’s policies toward the Uighurs, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and others – in a suggestive article, “Cruel to be Kind: Authoritarian Counterinsurgency and the Winning of Hearts and Minds,” on the lawfare.com website on May 22, 2016.Read More
Tuesday, February 9th 2016
“Kim Kardashian is retweeted more in three days than ISIL has done on social media since they were created,” said Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel on January 18, 2016, at Chatham House in London. Here are excerpts from his “Remarks on Waging a Digital Counterinsurgency.” He provided insights on the reach of Islamist social media, its key messaging, “myths about ISIL in the information space,” and the thinking behind the State Department’s new Global Engagement Center.Read More
Friday, December 11th 2015
In the new American Enterprise Institute report, “A Global Strategy for Combating al Qaeda and the Islamic State,” there’s no mention of “public diplomacy,” “communication,” “values,” “exchanges,” “education,” “media,” “broadcasting,” or “voice.” “Messaging” gets a single mention. “Informational” gets three. But a full Public Diplomacy agenda is implicit in the report’s 42 mentions of “ideology” or “ideological.”
Mary Halbeck, James Jay Carafano, Thomas Donnelly, Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan, Thomas J. Mahnken, Katherine Zimmerman, Bruce Hoffman, and Seth Jones are the co-authors of the December 7, 2015 report. Here are some bullets that touch on Public Diplomacy’s role in a national strategy.
- . . . the United States needs a new strategy to stop ISIS, al Qaeda, and affiliated groups: a counterinsurgency with ideological, ssecurity, diplomatic, economic, and political components.