Monday, October 5th 2015
“For the past several decades, doctrine within the Department of Defense (DoD) has articulated that Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economics (DIME) are the four sources of national power,” wrote Robert Kozloski. However, “the information component of this DIME model is not being effectively used by the United States and we are falling behind our potential adversaries when using the information domain for national security.”
Kozloski, now a senior Navy civilian, provided a 2009 snapshot of “The Information Domain as an Element of National Power,” in a paper published in Strategic Insights, a quarterly electronic journal formerly produced by the Center for Contemporary Conflict at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The body of the paper focused on how different mediums now comprise the “information domain,” and it included a short salute to the Voice of America.
Saturday, October 3rd 2015
“We've seen a sharp decline in the volume of ISIL messaging and social media,” said Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs during a September 25, 2015, interview with the Voice of America’s Pamela Dockins. “I think the scales are shifting.”
In the interview (transcript below), Stengel previewed the Leaders’ Summit to Counter ISIL and Violent Extremism held four days later during the United Nations General Assembly. A few key points:
The Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) is now a “full time counter-ISIL messaging machine.”
“We’re not the best messenger for our message,” he noted, so the CSCC works with “third party groups, non-governmental organizations, and other media businesses to balance that noxious flow of messaging that comes from ISIL.”
The Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi is the first hub in “a network of networks.” Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have other organizations that counter violent extremism.
CVE and social media campaigns must work with intelligence and law enforcement to diminish the flow of foreign fighters.
“Nobody is radicalized single-handedly by watching a YouTube video,” Stengel noted. “There is really no such thing as a lone wolf. . . . it’s actually personal contact – and very, very focused social media, email, telephone calls, etc. on that one person.”
There’s also “the kind of countering violent extremism that has to deal with educational exchanges, with programs where we deal with people who are returning back to their community, former fighters, the rehabilitation of young men and women who may have actually gone and fought for an extremist group.” “It runs the gamut from hard to soft,” Stengel said.
Thursday, July 23rd 2015
You may have read the Wall Street Journal article by Doug Ramsey on Willis Conover yesterday. If not, you should. The purpose was the worthwhile effort to select Mr. Conover on a U.S. postage stamp.
Tuesday, June 30th 2015
The lid has been lifted on at least part of Russia’s “Internet Research Agency” in St. Petersburg as disaffected Internet trolls have been revealing to reporters how the covert corps of cyber-provocateurs working there has been spreading propaganda in favor of President Vladimir Putin and attacking his perceived enemies on international blogs and news and opinion websites.
Most of us have seen evidence of that online. But other information is also starting to emerge, this time of operations that raise disturbing new questions about whether Russia’s online agitators have graduated from creating minor nuisances to becoming serious national security threats to the U.S. and other countries.
Three disturbing incidents were described by Adrian Chen in a June 2 article in The New York Times Magazine. The first occurred on the Louisiana coast last Sept. 11, when social media suddenly erupted with hundreds of reports, some with photos and video, warning of a toxic leak in a nearby chemical plant. Reporters, TV stations and politicians from Louisiana to New York were besieged with Twitter, Facebook and email accounts of a disaster. A page describing the leak appeared on Wikipedia, and messages linked to stories about it on CNN, local news websites, and YouTube, which showed a video of Isis terrorists claiming credit.
The only trouble was, none of it was true. The emails, texts, Twitter and Facebook posts were all sent from phony accounts. The CNN and other news media web pages had been faked, and so had the YouTube video and Wikipedia page.
No chemical leak had occurred. There was no danger. And fortunately, no one panicked. But someone – or, more accurately, a group of people – had gone to a lot of effort to try to create a panic.
Saturday, May 16th 2015
Writing in the University of Southern California Center for Public Diplomacy’s CPD Blog on April 24, Kim Andrew Elliott, an audience research analyst at the International Broadcasting Bureau, outlined “A Market-Based Strategy of International Broadcasting.”
A market-based international broadcasting strategy, informed by a uses-and-gratifications perspective, centered on the audience’s own strategy of seeking information from abroad, does not require so many pages of detail. It can be sketched out on the back of an envelope: (1) Find out what audiences are seeking information from foreign sources, because of government control or other deficiencies of their domestic journalism. (2) Determine which media both the audience and broadcaster have access to, keeping in mind that, in many countries, the most popular media are not available to foreign entities. (3) Give the audience the content they want.