hearts and minds
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
Thursday, April 6th 2017
Information operations in Malaya were a particularly effective tool that led to the surrender of many insurgents while simultaneously bringing the Chinese population of Malaya onto the side of the government. However, this was the result of years of trial and error during which the British gradually adapted their message to meet the demands of the conflict.
Thursday, January 19th 2017
“You can call it ‘information warfare,’ ‘hybrid warfare,’ or ‘political warfare,’ but whatever you call it, an adversary’s attempts to shape the minds and will of people toward a political end is not new to the United States. Nor will this be the first time the United States sought to wield these weapons against its foes.”
* * * * *
. . . by blocking the development and deployment of civilian and overt activities, Fulbright’s actions on the Freedom Academy and the Smith-Mundt Act have done more to militarize American foreign policy than any other single act by denying Congress, policymakers, and practitioners critical experience, methods, and historical precedent to properly defend the nation through nonmilitary means.
Author: Matthew ArmstrongRead More
Saturday, October 8th 2016
During his career, George Gallup (1901-1984), the pioneer of opinion surveys and founder of the Gallup Poll, frequently commented on issues relating to Public Diplomacy. This 1963 essay was prepared during the Cold War, but the principles Gallup advocated seem as relevant to ISIS today as they did to the Soviet Union of yesteryear. One is struck by the way he anticipated the current phenomenon of democratization followed by “one man, one vote, one time.” He urged focus on messages, research, English teaching, and exchanges as well as “ideological warfare.” The “arguments” against “propaganda” that he summed up in this essay, moreover, are still current.
Headline: THE CHALLENGE OF IDEOLOGICAL WARFARERead More
Sunday, September 25th 2016
“The fact that information is biased does not make it false, and the fact that information intends to shape public opinion and action does not make it underhanded or deceitful. * * * America has met the enemy’s PR effectiveness with its own PR failures. Misconceptions about RPA operations have been widespread and continue to proliferate.”