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.”
Sunday, August 28th 2016
“I remember facts seemed to be terribly important during the Cold War,” wrote Legatum Institute senior fellow Peter Pomerantsev in a dark July 20, 2016, article, “Why We’re Post-Fact,” in Granta: The Magazine of New Writing. “Both Soviet Communists and Western Democratic Capitalists relied on facts to prove their ideology was right. The Communists especially cooked the books – but in the end they lost because they couldn’t make their case any longer. When they were caught lying they acted outraged. It was important to be seen as accurate.”
That was then. Now is now. Pomerantsev senses changes in basic thinking and how they bear on Public Diplomacy and strategic communication. Practitioners need to be aware, for instance, of the “equaling out of truth and falsehood,” “disinformation cascades, “techno-fantasies,” and “digital wildfires.” Here are some highlights of his article:Read More
Sunday, August 14th 2016
These are abbreviated references to articles "seen on the web" relating to public affairs, Public Diplomacy, international broadcasting, and information operations, provided in this format to allow searches on this PDC website. They supplement the "Quotables" series. These articles are from January, 2016.
Saturday, June 25th 2016
America's Public Diplomacy officers in the field – reports are unanimous – are overworked and under-resourced. Just tending the stable repertoire of Public Diplomacy programs – work with local media, publicity for the Ambassador and administration visitors, managing an Embassy’s web presence, organizing exchanges, speakers and seminars, English teaching, American spaces, and so on – keeps American officers and their local staff winded.
The current turbulence and coming storms in international relations will provide no respite for Public Diplomacy. There will be challenges to every element of U.S. national power, especially the information element.
ISIS, Iran, China, and Russia are using their military – and information – power in new and disruptive ways. Modern communications and the social media have increased the velocity of conflict, outrunning traditional military and diplomatic communication, deliberation, and decisions.Read More
Friday, June 17th 2016
“Whatever might be said about Russian foreign and military policy in Ukraine and the former soviet states, they cannot be accused of not taking Information Warfare seriously.” Retired Royal Navy Commander Steve Tatham so opened his July, 2015, paper, “The Solution to Russian Propaganda is not EU or NATO Propaganda but Advanced Social Science to Understand and Mitigate its Effect in Targeted Populations,” published by the National Defense Academy of Latvia.
The paper breaks into three parts. Tatham opened with a review of recent Russian initiatives, many astonishing in their audacity. He followed with a critique of NATO and Western counter-messaging (too often “crafted by European or North American men in suits sat behind a computer in an office”) because it is not informed by social research on target audiences, and he closed with recommendations. His closing thoughts on risk were telling.Read More