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Quotable: Brett Schaefer on State Department and Public Diplomacy effectiveness

Friday, April 29th 2016

“In a world where information warfare is being conducted by major powers as well as by unconventional enemies of the United States, the U.S. government must have the tools to engage in the ongoing war of ideas.”  So opened the section on Public Diplomacy in the Heritage Foundation’s report by Brett D. Schaefer, “How to Make the State Department More Effective at Implementing U.S. Foreign Policy.”  Schaefer is Jay Kingham Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation.

 

Foreign Service Officers and foreign policy specialists will want to read the entire report with its many proposals for reform.  Here’s the section on Public Diplomacy:

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A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

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Author: Donald M. Bishop

Maybe It's Not Kudzu?

Saturday, March 26th 2016

A previous commentary here unfortunately missed the point about kudzu.  

Sorry, I mean, about the ‘‘Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016.’’  That’s the one recently unveiled by Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy.  The S.2692 bill text is here.

It is worth reading the actual text of the bill, because it describes something quite different from the kudzu that famously “sucks up all the water and nutrients” needed by existing plants (or “funding and support needed by existing government organizations.)”

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Board member 

Summary: A career public diplomacy officer, Brian Carlson advises the InterMedia research organization on military and foreign affairs issues and manages communication strategies for private clients. 

Career 

Ambassador Brian E. Carlson, a former Career Minister in the United States Foreign Service, currently assists international media and audience analysis firm InterMedia on defense and diplomatic sector activities . 

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Author: Brian Carlson

Quotable: Robert Reilly on Public Diplomacy and Information Operations (II) – The Role of Broadcasting

Friday, March 25th 2016

The U.S. government's overseas broadcasting is the second major topic in Robert Reilly’s 2013 paper, “Information Operations: Successes and Failures,” published in 2013 by the Westminster Institute.

 

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A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: Robert Reilly on Public Diplomacy and Information Operations (III) – The religion factor

Friday, March 25th 2016

Here are key quotes from Robert Reilly’s 2013 paper, “Information Operations: Successes and Failures,” focusing on religious engagement.

 

  • Another egregious error has been in not engaging at the religious level in Afghanistan. Since Afghans identify themselves first and above all as Muslims, whoever provides the interpretation of daily events through Islamic eyes wins the audience’s allegiance. The Taliban have been very effective in practically monopolizing the religious network of mosques, mullahs, and madrasahs.
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A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: Robert Reilly on Public Diplomacy and Information Operations (IV) – Voice of America in Afghanistan

Friday, March 25th 2016

Robert Reilly’s 2013 paper, “Information Operations: Successes and Failures,” continues:

 

  • On the other hand, VOA and the BBG did get something right, at least at the start, concerning Afghanistan. . . . Radio was, and continues to be, the primary means through which people in Afghanistan get their information.

 

  • In late 2001, I meet with the Afghan Minister of Information, Dr. Makhdoom Raheen. He explained to me the problem that the new government was facing. It had no means by which to reach its own people. It simply did not possess the broadcasting infrastructure to do so. In the meantime, Afghanistan was being bifurcated by foreign broadcasting from Iran in Farsi on the one side, and by broadcasting from Pakistan in Pashtu on the other.

 

  • The minister proposed that we provide the Afghan government with medium-wave transmitters powerful enough for it to reach the majority of the Afghan people and, in exchange, the Afghan government would provide us with the site and license for our own transmitters to do the same.
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A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

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