Saturday, April 29, 2017

US Army Europe Band and Chorus (via FB friend Rick Barnes)

BRAVO to the U.S. Army Europe Soldiers' Chorus on tour in Tallinn, Estonia.
T H I S . I S . P U B L I C . D I P L O M A C Y !!!
:-)
US Army Europe Band and Chorus in Tallinn, Estonia.
April 23
The U.S. Army Europe's Soldiers Chorus preforming during the rock concert “Veterans’ Rock,” in Tallinn, Estonia in honor of Estonia's commemorations of Veterans Day.

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What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate


P. J. Crowley, politico.com

Image (not from article) from [see highlight at the end of entry]


The Trump administration’s foreign policy pronouncements are all over the map. But it’s far more than a messaging problem.

The United States shares a 4,000-mile mainland border with Canada. The two countries do more business with each other than with anyone else. There are synergies — cars are exported north and oil south. There are rivalries—Washington and Ottawa are still alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs, although both will be challenged to prevent Pittsburgh from winning again.

But notwithstanding the close proximity, shared commerce and culture, deep friendship and occasional friction, it appeared that when the leaders of the two countries, Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau, spoke earlier this week, they were not just on different pages, but parallel universes. Or so it seemed from the divergent written readouts released from both capitals.

The White House acknowledged the call and little else. “The two leaders discussed the dairy trade in Wisconsin, New York State and various other places. They also discussed lumber coming into the United States. It was a very amicable call.”

The terse statement did not mention that the United States had just imposed a 20 percent countervailing duty on Canadian softwood lumber, the latest round in a longstanding trade dispute going back to the early 1980s. The lumber tariff was retaliation for recent changes in Canada’s pricing of domestic ultra-filtered milk that greatly reduced the market for U.S. exports from northern tier states—think Wisconsin—that were crucial to Trump’s presidential victory.

Written readouts of presidential calls, usually filled with benign language that stresses the importance of a bilateral relationship and shared interests, are a staple of American public diplomacy. Hundreds of them were issued by the Obama White House over eight years. They were generally longer than the Trump statement and tended to emphasize areas of agreement and the prospect of joint action.

And Canada isn’t the only example where the Trump White House has issued unusually curt statements. Days before his call with Trudeau, Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—and the White House said only that the two men had “addressed a range of regional and global issues of mutual concern.” One would have had to peruse the Japanese government’s website to know that the true subject of the call was “an in-depth exchange of opinions on the North Korea situation” and that the two leaders agreed to “strongly urge North Korea … to exercise self restraint.”

Abe’s statement also noted that Japanese naval forces were conducting joint exercises with the USS Carl Vinson, an American aircraft carrier. Over several days, the Trump administration gave conflicting accounts of the actual location of the Vinson carrier group, which is now finally within range of the Korean Peninsula.

While the White House has been steadily ratcheting up its rhetoric on North Korea since taking office, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took diplomatic brevity to a whole new level after Pyongyang launched another intermediate range ballistic missile. “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea,” the secretary suggested in a written statement. “We have no further comment.”

Amid a burgeoning diplomatic showdown with Pyongyang that has many Americans on edge, it’s puzzling that the White House wouldn’t want to share even the barest outlines of its discussions with U.S. allies about how it is tackling the problem.

Again, White House readouts have never been fulsome, novelistic accounts. As a general rule, diplomats prefer to make critical comments in private while using more constructive language in public. Discerning audiences are usually able to read between the lines: Where a disagreement is clear, they allude to “a frank and candid exchange of views.” Diplomatic practice is to put the best face on even the toughest of meetings, although leaders’ body language can speak volumes, as occurred between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, or more recently between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Words can’t mask reality in all instances.

In the case of Canada, there was of course far more to the call and the potentially disruptive Trump trade policy behind it than the White House’s “amicable” label. In a Roosevelt Room meeting with the secretary of agriculture and a delegation of farmers, with television cameras on hand, President Trump said that “Canada has been very rough on the United States… they’ve outsmarted our politicians for many years.” He vowed that “we’re not going to put up with it.”

As for Prime Minister Trudeau, while he reiterated the importance of the U.S.-Canada trade relationship and agreed to maintain a dialogue with his American counterpart, he returned fire, highlighting that the dairy trade between the two countries is heavily weighted in favor of the U.S. Its concerns about lumber are “baseless” and its retaliation “unfair.” Canada, Trudeau said, will “vigorously defend” its interests.

Both countries are experiencing political whiplash. Just two months earlier, Trump and Trudeau met at the White House and pledged to work together to create more jobs on both sides of the border. At the time, Trump’s trade tirades were directed at Mexico, and his solution was a great wall and a tax on Mexican imports, or perhaps on Mexican migrants’ remittances sent home from the United States. Trump still wants to build the wall, although it’s unclear whether Congress, never mind Mexico, will pay for it. And he has evidently abandoned the border adjustment tax in favor of a broader reduction in the corporate tax rate.

It’s not hard to find other examples of this sometimes muted, frequently conflicting and always chaotic messaging from the White House. On Syria, North Korea, China, Russia—or pretty much any major foreign policy problem you can think of, really—the Trump administration is all over the map. So what is going on?

Some of this can be attributed to the Trump administration’s slow start at actual governance. Cabinet officials, particularly in the national security realm, are home alone. Yes, they are backed by a highly qualified career force, but the White House and its political appointees generally view such “holdovers” with suspicion. As a result, the circle of advisers that the White House trusts and listens to is still remarkably small as it passes the quarter pole of its first year. The so-called deputies process by which policy ideas bubble up from the bureaucracy, are ratified in the Situation Room, and then communicated back down the chain for implementation is nowhere near up to speed.

The absence of an adequate Trump national security team, particularly a bench of mid-level staffers, slows the completion of necessary reviews and decisions on what the actual Trump policies are. Without a team, a process and a policy, it’s hardly surprising that the Trump administration has failed to generate a coherent and consistent message.

But the ultimate source of the problem is clearly the president, who lacks a strategic foundation and the discipline to stick to a coherent set of ideas, even if he had them. There are strategic thinkers around him, but he is driven by political impulse. His regular Twitter storms—and his careless pronouncements on the world, like his candid admission Friday that he won’t speak again with the president of Taiwan because it would anger his new friend Xi Jinping of China—are cases in point.

Fundamentally, Trump is not serious about the world. His presidency is a reality show where politics, not policy, is the priority. He keeps coming back to the issues that dominated his presidential campaign—trade, the wall and the Muslim ban foremost among them—in the process passing off tough rhetoric as results. So far, his base continues to cheer him on.

Consider what happened this week: Trump was apparently poised to formally withdraw from the North America Free Trade Agreement—a move that would be hugely disruptive, and likely deeply harmful to the U.S. economy—as the crowning “achievement” of his first 100 days in office. He was persuaded to renegotiate instead, but not because it would put a substantial dent in the administration’s fanciful economic growth projections. He reversed course because it would hurt many of the states that helped elect him. All presidents govern with an eye on the electoral map, but Trump is waging a permanent political campaign.

On Thursday, in his interview with Reuters, even as he acknowledged the growing danger of a “major, major conflict” with North Korea, he inexplicably questioned why the United States should have to pay for South Korea’s defense. Then came another blast, not at Kim Jong Un, but at the U.S. free trade agreement with South Korea, which he called “a horrible deal” and “a Hillary Clinton disaster, a deal that should never been made.”

There it is again, the campaign he won, but can’t seem to move beyond. So what if this leaves the world confused. As the president said more than once on the campaign trail, he actually wants to be unpredictable. Well, mission accomplished!

P.J. Crowley is a former assistant secretary of state. He is now a professor of practice  [JB: ? ] at The George Washington University and author of Red Line: American Foreign Policy in a Time of Fractured Politics and Failing States.

@america Events | Eventbrite


eventbrite.com


Image (not directly from below entry) from
@AMERICA
The @america facility is a pioneering initiative in public diplomacy, brought to you by the American people. We are a one-of-a-kind cultural center with a fully equipped performance stage and tiered seating gallery, exhibition area with quarterly projected image exhibitions, state-of-the-art technologies, and educational resources; and a classroom area for intimate workshops and meetings. We are located on the 3rd Floor of Pacific Place Mall in the Sudirman Central Business District in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The facility is open every day of the year, Monday – Friday, 1pm – 9pm and Saturday, 10am – 9pm. The @america facility and all of its programs are free and open to the public.

The Science of the Air We Breatheat@america

Pacific Place Mall 3rd Floor Jendral Sudirman Kav. 52-53, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta 12190, Indonesia

Friday, April 28, 2017

Public Affairs Advisor


seek.com.au
image (not from entry) from

Job Brief
A Canberra-based Diplomatic Mission is seeking a suitably qualified and experienced candidate for the position of Public Affairs Advisor. In this role you will work under the direction of the Public Affairs and Cultural Attaché to promote the Mission's public diplomacy efforts in Australia, furthering the Mission's policy goals and increasing mutual understanding through people-to-people engagement.
Responsibilities
  • Speech-writing for the diplomats for various Embassy events,
  • Social media content strategy and management of all Embassy channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,
  • Producing opinion pieces for publishing in Australian media sources,
  • Website design and content development,
  • Creating official Embassy correspondence such as press releases
  • Developing and maintaining lasting and constructive relationships with external stakeholders,
  • Providing support for the Embassy' cultural program,
  • Providing support for event management, coordination of visiting dignitaries and other Embassy projects,
  • Photography and video production and editing.
Requirements
  • Previous experience in public affairs an advantage.
  • Excellent verbal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work well under pressure, to multi-task and prioritise workloads.
  • Ability to work well individually and in a team environment.
  • Discretion and confidentiality.

To Apply
Please provide a one page cover lever outlining why your experiences and attributes make you an ideal candidate.
Send your cover letter and resume to:
pia-assistant@canberra.mfa.gov.il
*Only successful applicants will be contacted

European union public diplomacy недорого


image (not from entry) from

[JB: Among the items offered:]

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        Вам дается возможность купить european union public diplomacy, сначала сверив оптимальные цены. Лучшая цена european union public diplomacy берет отсчет с 2558 рублей и достигает значения 20610.59 рублей. Данный товар возможно получить сразу в 1 лучших интернет-магазинах России, в том числе в . На середину 2016-го года средняя стоимость для european union public diplomacy составляет 7347.61 руб. Отзывы про european union public diplomacy весьма отличные, а торговую марку восхваляют в блогах почти все покупатели сайта. 

        The effectiveness of public diplomacy is measured by minds changed. In order to improve our picture in other’s minds tomorrow, we have to get better, smarter and nicer today. Surprisingly, in this way we could change the world.This paper outlines the requirements for a modern and effective public diplomacy with a specific focus on Slovakia. It claims that civil society and private sector must be brought on board in order to include the entire spectrum of the society. If sustainability and credibility is to be achieved, fundamental values generated by own citizens must become a basis. Creating a distinguishable image in the fierce competition of other countries requires a consistent, diligent and patient effort. Special attention is paid to the sometimes strained political relations between Slovakia and Hungary and argues for the greater use of public diplomacy to influence positive change. The paper concludes by suggesting that carefully elaborated and targeted public diplomacy should...

        Panel to Senate: Cyber Operations Influence Political Processes Worldwide


        John Grady, news.usni.org

        uncaptioned image from article

        Russia used “useful idiots” to meddle in the U.S. presidential election and “fellow travelers” opposed to European Union and NATO to influence elections in France and Germany, while Islamic terrorists used “agent provocateurs” to topple Spain’s government in 2004 and cast another pall over French voting, a cyber security expert told a congressional subcommittee Thursday.
        That, in capsule form, is how cyber is changing how the public views elections, Clint Watts, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said at the Senate Armed Services cybersecurity subcommittee hearing.
        So far in the case of the United States warding off this kind of activity, “far more is said than done.” He added it is a “human challenge, not technical ones” that needs to be addressed.
        In the American and European elections, he said at the panel’s first public hearing since being formed the Russians created content, sent it out as if were “nuclear-powered and “pushed [it] in unison from many locations,” including “gray outlets” that appear to be legitimate sources of news. They also did all of this over long periods of time.
        The goal in the American election was to plant doubt in the integrity of the voting, he said. He added there was no indication that actual votes were tampered with.
        Later in answer to a question, Watts said the Russians “are picking parties and supporting them” in the United States and financially in Europe.
        In cyber, not all is as it appears and its speed is instantaneous.
        Rand Waltzman, senior information scientist at the RAND Corporation, described how an American special forces raid that successfully rescued a hostage and killed a number of terrorists in Iraq was turned into a terrorist propaganda victory. “Those guys film everything,” he said describing how they recorded the incident by placing the bodies on prayer rugs so it appeared that soldiers killed innocent civilians. The video was posted before the special forces soldiers returned to their base. “How did they manage to this so fast?” Their mobile phones.
        This changed the story of what happened 180 degrees and put the United States in the position of having to refute the video rather than telling a story of rescue.
        He said this kind of quick reaction by adversaries — misinformation, fake news — requires new thinking on cyber security. Instead of the traditional “denial of service” by causing a crash, they are applying “cognitive denial of service” — misinformation and propaganda — to achieve their ends.
        “We’re hamstrung” by bureaucracy and directives in addressing the new “hyperkinetic world,” Michael Lumpkin, former acting under secretary of defense for policy, said. The United States’ government efforts in public diplomacy, public affairs and information operations have not been synchronized so that it becomes a credible source of information. It also needs to take the necessary steps “to make sure our information is accurate” before releasing it. “That has not always been the case.”
        John Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency, used his organization’s handling of metadata collection as an example. “You need to go first” to establish credibility and explain the value of what it is you are doing. “We went second. That made it more difficult to put it back in the bottle.”
        Watts said one approach would be to have a rating non-profit, private agency, similar to Consumer Reports, vet every story on Twitter, Facebook and Google. He added Facebook and Google “are moving in that direction” to eliminate false news, but so far Twitter has not acted.
        When asked how he rated RT, the Russian-sponsored media outlet, as a source of news, he said 70 percent was true, 20 percent was misleading and 10 percent false. Watts said he rated some American media outlets as falling in the same percentages of true, misleading and false.
        A continuing difficulty in improving cyber security in and out of government is “how do you get people to share problems,” Waltzman said when they would prefer not to admit being hacked or even attacked. Lumpkin said more also needs to be done in training people how not to “provide access to adversaries unwittingly” and holding them accountable for security.
        As for recruiting skilled cyber workers, “they’re motivated people out there” interested in the challenges they can find in government, rather than private sector, careers, Watts said. “Give them the space to be the tech savants they are.”

        Charity luncheon for Peru flood victims in China


        andina.com

        image from article

        00:20.
         Beijing (China), Apr. 28. A fundraising charity luncheon was successfully held in Beijing with the purpose of helping Peru's natural disaster victims.

        As is known, the Andean country was recently at the mercy of "Coastal El Niño" phenomenon characterized by heavy rains, landslides and floods. They destroyed infrastructure and crops, as well as left many citizens homeless.

        "Charity Lunch for Peru" was organized by the Peruvian community in Beijing, together with China's Public Diplomacy & Cultural Exchange Center (PDCEC). The event was held on April 22.

        Peru's traditional dishes and alcoholic beverages, such as Pisco Sour, were provided by Pachakutiq, a Peruvian restaurant based in the Chinese capital.

        The varied program included music and dances from Peru and other Latin American nations. Artistic shows were performed by Peruvians and fellow Latinos living in the Asian country.

        During the opening, Peruvian Ambassador Juan Carlos Capuñay thanked Public Diplomacy & Cultural Exchange Center for its support in organizing the event. Likewise, he underscored the Chinese government's cooperation following disaster-related news.

        On the other hand, PDCEC officials highlighted the political, economic and historical ties between both nations. They also announced a donation of approximately US$14,535 to address some of the population's needs. 

        As part of the same act, QUANJIAN International Natural Medicine Group donated other US$29,070 to rebuild the affected areas.

        As is known, China has so far donated at least US$1.5 million for relief efforts in favor of natural disaster victims.