Thursday, April 6th 2017
The collaboration between the U.S. Information Service in Santo Domingo (USIS/Santo Domingo) and the Army’s 1st Psychological Warfare Battalion during this period was a classic case of successful interagency cooperation in a crisis situation.
Title: Teamwork in Santo Domingo
Author: Bert H. Cooper, Jr.Read More
Monday, October 10th 2016
“The executive branch is neither equipped nor structured to combat influence operations from cyberspace. Unity of effort is lacking or nonexistent, and disparate efforts are scattered across multiple departments and agencies. This allows adversaries to outmaneuver and outpace slow, lumbering government bureaucracy and push their preferred narrative at lightning speed.”
Sunday, October 9th 2016
In September, 2016, the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security of the Atlantic Council published a report The Future of the Army: Today, Tomorrow, and the Day after Tomorrow by retired Army Lieutenant General David Barno and Nora Bensahel, Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at American University’s School of International Service.
The two bluntly assessed national security challenges in the near, medium, and long term. Shaping the Army and its overseas basing and logistics postures to meet these challenges will no doubt require substantial collaboration with the Department of State.
There are, however, no mentions of “diplomacy,” “diplomatic,” “public affairs,” “public relations,” or “civil affairs” in the report.
Neither are there mentions of “information operations,” “international development,” “disinformation,” “propaganda,” or “stabilization.” There is a single glancing mention of “interagency.”Read More
Wednesday, September 21st 2016
“This study explains how one part-time interagency committee established in the 1980s to counter Soviet disinformation effectively accomplished its mission. Interagency committees are commonly criticized as ineffective, but the Active Measures Working Group is a notable exception. The group successfully established and executed U.S. policy on responding to Soviet disinformation.”
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.Read More