UNESCO logo

The Principles of the UNESCO Constitution

The United Nations Educational, Social, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has, in recent years, become controversial. According to a State Department summary, “The United States joined UNESCO at its founding but later withdrew in 1984 because of a growing disparity between U.S. foreign policy and UNESCO goals. After an almost twenty-year absence from the organization, the…

“Countering” is Not Enough

The following essay commented on President Obama’s September 29, 2015, speech at the Leaders Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, held at the United Nations. It appeared on the former Public Diplomacy Council website as a “Commentary,” but it is no longer available on the web. It is here re-published for reference. Foreign policy…

HMS Argyll off the coast of Sierra Leone

A Case Study of Information Operations and Public Diplomacy: Sierra Leone 2000

In a crisis where military forces are deployed, information operations and public diplomacy specialists must be integrated into planning and operations from the first day. This was the conclusion of a case study of mass atrocity prevention and response – OPERATION PALLISER, the British intervention in the Sierra Leone civil war in 2000 – by…

World War II and the Aims of Broadcasting

During World War II, the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service (FBIS) monitored broadcasts from around the world, providing valuable intelligence on conditions in other nations for U.S. national leaders. Organizationally, FBIS was part of the Federal Communications Commission. The founding president of Bennington College, Robert Devore Leigh (1890-1961), left the academy to direct FBIS through 1944.…

What Can Public Diplomacy Learn from a Fighter Pilot?

Air Force Colonel John Boyd (1927-1999), “the fighter pilot who changed the art of war,” was a key military thinker in the last decades of the 20th century.  His energy-maneuverability theory revolutionized fighter tactics, and his famous “Patterns of Conflict” briefing has deeply influenced two generations of military strategists. Public Diplomacy is an instrument of…

A Tale of Metrics: Japan’s Wartime News and Propaganda

“Metrics,” “data,” “evaluation,” and “results, not outputs” have proven to be real challenges for Public Diplomacy and strategic communication.  So has demonstrating that a program, activity, or campaign “moves the needle.” Yesteryear Foreign Service Officers at U.S. Information Service posts religiously tallied “placements.” From time to time, USIA’s research office commissioned surveys. At the dawn…