National Security Council
Saturday, January 28th 2017
It is possible that the State Department Global Engagement Center could provide a good model for the coordination, integration, and synchronization of messaging but it will require a focus beyond counterterrorism and a home that can truly have access to senior interagency leadership rather than being buried in the bureaucracy. In whatever form, the new capability must operate with the agility of a new-media start-up.
Authors: Jim Ludes and Mark JacobsonRead More
Tuesday, November 8th 2016
“Putin has borrowed a page from America’s Cold War playbook and seeks to expose the rot within the West, and especially within the United States, as a means of destroying Western cohesion, diminishing American influence and leadership, and reinforcing Russia. The means employed by Russia are modern, including hacking and cyber-espionage, but, at its core, this is an influence operation of the kind embraced by the United States in the first decade of the Cold War.”
Headline: The Russians Read our Cold War PlaybookRead More
Tuesday, March 29th 2016
“The Islamic State is winning the information war. * * * ‘To date, the American effort to get into the game has been half-hearted and limited to bureaucratic fixes.’” Army Captain Curtis Kimbrell, an instructor in the Defense and Strategic Studies program at West Point, reviewed the establishment of the Global Engagement Center in an essay, “How to Win the War of Words,” on the website of the Modern War Institute on February 24, 2016. He added that “Goals that may not be able to be achieved unless the Center is elevated to a presence on the National Security Council.” Here are some of Captain Kimbrell’s key points:Read More
Friday, November 13th 2015
Would the United States be “better off today if the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) were still around”? Was the nation “robbed of the ability to properly engage in information warfare today”? These questions were addressed by Public Diplomacy Council member Matt Armstrong in a November 12, 2015, essay, “No, We Do Not Need to Revive the U.S. Information Agency,” on the War on the Rocks website. “However, laments about USIA are really a coded way of saying that we lack a strategy, an organizing principle, and empowered individuals to execute information warfare today,” he concluded. This is a clarifying essay that deserves wide reading in its entirety. Here are a few of his points:
- Modern invocations of the USIA are based on a romantic notion of a simpler time. Like any nostalgic remembrance, these visions ignore the messy details of reality.
- While there are strong similarities between the present and early years of the Cold War, today is not yesterday.
Interview: Ambassador Laurence Pope on the State Department, the Foreign Service, and Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century
Wednesday, March 5th 2014
The Demilitarization of American Diplomacy: Two Cheers for Striped Pants by Ambassador Laurence Pope has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. He was Ambassador to Chad from 1993 to 1996 and Charge d’Affaires to Libya in the aftermath of Benghazi. At other times during his career, he was Director for Northern Gulf Affairs, Associate Director for Counter-Terrorism, and Political Advisor to General Zinni at Central Command. He now lives in Maine. The book is fresh, direct and uncommonly blunt. I posed some questions.Read More