Sunday, March 27th 2016
“The four post-Cold War presidents share three things in common with regard to the promotion of democracy: all embraced it as an American responsibility, spoke of it in idealist terms that envisioned a global community of democracies, and pursued it within a realist decision-making process.” “Systematic application . . . will enable President Obama and his successors to more effectively bear the torch, shield, and standard of democracy while enhancing the promotion of democracy as the path to a better world.”
This was the conclusion of an article, “Democracy Promotion in the Post-Cold War Era,” by a State Department officer attending the Army War College, Stewart C. Eales. It ran in the February, 2016, issue of Army War College Review (pp. 11-25).
The first task of Public Diplomacy, public affairs, strategic communication, information operations, and related influence disciplines is to determine what ideals, principles, goals, or policies to communicate. Whether to communicate them in a speech, broadcast, or a tweet are trailing steps.Read More
Saturday, January 16th 2016
The technology editor of Defense One, Patrick Tucker, reported on “America’s New Plan to Fight ISIS Online,” on January 11, 2016. The subhead of the article was, “The State Department will diversify its one-way approach, while other agencies reach out to Silicon Valley.” The full article provided details of many efforts in the U.S. government to “fight ISIS messaging via social media.”Read More
Thursday, December 31st 2015
“Gray zone,” “hybrid,” “full-spectrum,” “non-linear,” “next-generation,” or “ambiguous” conflicts were the focus of an article by Peter Pomeransev, “Brave New War,” posted on The Atlantic website on December 29, 2015. A London-based television producer and fellow of the Legatum Institute, Pomeransev wrote that these conflicts “mix psychological, media, economic, cyber, and military operations without requiring a declaration of war.” Russia and China have developed new military doctrines to execute them. Inevitably, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, strategic communication, and information operations must be part of the Western response. Here are some key quotes:Read More
Tuesday, December 15th 2015
“. . . the Voice of America (VOA) is a national security asset, and not only because it is a news organization of extraordinary breadth, depth and reach,” wrote former VOA Director David Ensor, now Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University. His December 14, 2015, report, “Exporting the First Amendment: Strengthening U.S. Soft Power through Journalism,” is a valuable, detailed, and convictional explanation of the role of U.S. international broadcasters. “VOA is an effort to harness and direct the nation’s soft power by exporting truthful, balanced journalism,” he added, and he posed this question: “What is the proper role of the Voice of America in a world where Vladimir Putin ‘weaponizes information’ and terrorists recruit globally on the Internet?”
Specialists in Public Diplomacy, public affairs, broadcasting, strategic communication, media and social media, information operations, and foreign policy must read the entire report, which begins with a dramatic case study of the Yazidis who fled to Mount Shinjar in August, 2014. The report concludes with Ensor’s recommendations and his views of “what works” (“journalism with values”) and what doesn’t (“policy driven ‘messaging’”).
This gist provides main points, but it necessarily omits the most valuable supporting details, contrasts with other national broadcasting efforts, case studies, and analytics that are included in Ensor’s paper. Again, read the full report!Read More
Friday, November 20th 2015
Public Diplomacy officers who have dealt with armed forces counterparts learn of their focus on strategic communications (STRATCOM), communications strategy (COMMSTRAT), communications synchronization, communication through action, and the “say-do gap.” Army Lieutenant Colonel David Hylton, a public affairs officer, usefully reviewed these concepts in an article, “Commanders and Communication” in the September-October, 2015, issue of Military Review.
- Strategic communication (STRATCOM) was the first term adopted by the government (popularized following 9/11) that attempted to provide a working definition for synchronized strategic-level activities aimed at communicating a unified message supporting strategic objectives.
- STRATCOM was initially viewed as the guiding force behind alignment of the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic instruments of national power to achieve national goals and objectives—a complex and daunting undertaking.