satellite image of arctic circle

Arctic Strategy — an Awakening Interest

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a passenger in a space capsule with a view of the Arctic Ocean, with its polar icecap kissing the coasts of the U.S. state of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and hovering close to Russia. That schematic map of Planet Earth’s northernmost region is vividly depicted on page 45 of…

Perception Hacking: the Dark Side of Public Diplomacy

Attendees at First Monday Forum got a data-drawn picture of the extent to which the world is being assaulted by disinformation and propaganda, with the United States in the bullseye.  What is public diplomacy’s role? “Perception Hacking: How Russia, China, and Iran Use (and Abuse) Western Information Platforms” was the title.  Bret Schaefer, Media and Disinformation…

Photograph of Herb Romerstein

Remembering Herb Romerstein

As the subject of Russian disinformation comes increasingly to the fore, it is worth remembering Herb Romerstein, who headed the U.S. Information Agency’s Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation and Active Measures from 1983 to 1989 and was the foremost American expert on this important subject. Herb, who died in 2013, had been a “kid communist”…

Uncle Vova and Mad Nick

Living and working in other countries, Public Diplomacy practitioners hear a mix of many ideas – political, economic, social, and religious.  Among them are patriotism and nationalism.  A recent video – and the controversies it sparked – presents a case study that can give viewers some perspective on today’s currents of Russian nationalism. Last year,…