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
Sunday, June 26th 2016
In a study published in June, 2016, by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “State Islam in the Battle Against Extremism,” Soref Fellow Sarah Feuer examined the official establishments that govern Islam in Morocco and Tunisia – and by implication, other countries. She argued that these can be important actors in confronting violent extremism. Her article reviewed (1) the Marrakesh Declaration on the Rights of Religious Minorities in Predominantly Muslim Majority Countries, (2) “State Islam,” and (3) recommendations for U.S. policymakers. Public Diplomacy would surely be engaged. Here are some wave tops:Read More
Friday, April 29th 2016
"The more we understand religion and the better able we are as a result to be able to engage religious actors, the more effective our diplomacy will be in advancing the interests and values of our people,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in remarks at Rice University on April 26, 2016.
The Secretary cited many of his initiatives that support this key insight: meetings with Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sunni and Shia Muslim leaders, representatives of Jewish communities in Europe and the United States, American Hindus, and Orthodox Christians; a new Office of Religion and Global Affairs; a special envoy on anti-Semitism; a special representative to Muslim communities; an expanded Office of International Religious Freedom; and an envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. He mentioned new training for Foreign Service Officers. The speech closed with long excursions on development and climate change.
This gist is long on key points and short on the many issues and examples the Secretary mentioned, so the entire speech is worth reading. There were only glancing mentions of Public Diplomacy – the Sawab Center, for instance – but Secretary Kerry’s words suggest many themes and initiatives for speeches, the social media, publications, audiences, conferences, education, and exchanges. Here are some key quotes:Read More
Wednesday, March 23rd 2016
Jay Nordlinger of National Review wrote five “impromptus” after visiting former President George W. Bush in Texas. They appeared as five articles that ran on the magazine’s website from March 14-18, 2016.
In the normal cycle of American politics, when a new president comes from the other political party, words of praise or appreciation for the previous incumbent are few. President Bush, moreover, has largely kept out of the public eye since he left office. In the interviews with Nordlinger, Bush43 looked back on his administration and discussed his continued belief in the animating power of freedom.
Public Diplomacy practitioners will be interested to learn of the international agenda of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, located at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Underlying every Public Diplomacy program are concepts of American freedoms, so a look back at the “freedom agenda” of the Bush administration – given expression in his second inaugural address – is surely helpful.Read More
Friday, March 11th 2016
The recent article based on Jeffrey Goldberg’s conversations with President Obama will be quoted and footnoted now and for many years. Rachel Maddow and Laura Ingraham will interpret it quite differently, and at the New York Times, Ross Douthat and Maureen Dowd will, I expect, have different takes. “The Obama Doctrine” appeared in the April, 2016, issue of The Atlantic. Goldberg reports, you decide.
The article ran more than 19,000 words, but it deserves reading in full. President Obama and Goldberg discussed Syria, the pivot to Asia, Ukraine and Russia, Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Cairo speech, Saudi Arabia, “free riders,” “stupid stuff,” Iran, Libya, France, Great Britain, ISIS, “the cable news hype-fest,” and climate change – among other topics. Public Diplomacy people will be encouraged by the mention of the Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative.
Along the way are many comments on Secretary of State Kerry, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Leon Panetta. Batman, Mr. Spock, and Michael Corleone make cameos.Read More