Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27


--Acronym for Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction; image from


Jazz Broadcaster Willis Conover Remembered (2009)


Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest. Suggestions for future updates are welcome. Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #53

Bruce Gregory
Adjunct Professor
George Washington University
Georgetown University
(202) 994-6350


Redefining American Diplomacy and Development - Hillary Rodham Clinton, Foreign Affairs, November/December 2010: "Leading Through Civilian Power: I began my tenure as U.S. Secretary of State by stressing the need to elevate diplomacy and development alongside defense -- a 'smart power' approach to solving global problems. To make that approach succeed, however, U.S. civilian power must be strengthened and amplified. ... Engagement must go far beyond government-to-government interactions. In this information age, public opinion takes on added importance even in authoritarian states and as nonstate actors are more able to influence current events. Today, a U.S. ambassador creates ties not only with the host nation's government but also with its people. The QDDR [Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review] endorses a new public diplomacy strategy that makes public engagement every diplomat's duty, through town-hall meetings and interviews with the media, organized outreach, events in provincial towns and smaller communities, student exchange programs, and virtual connections that bring together citizens and civic organizations. Indeed, in the twenty-first century, a diplomat is as likely to meet with a tribal elder in a rural village as a counterpart in a foreign ministry, and is as likely to wear cargo pants as a pinstriped suit. Public diplomacy must start at the top. In Indonesia and Turkey, I conducted bilateral meetings with government officials, but I also met with civil-society leaders and appeared as a guest on popular television talk shows. I have held town-hall meetings with diverse groups of citizens on every continent I have visited, as I have done throughout my career.

Public events such as these are as much a part of my job as secretary of state as my meetings in foreign ministries, because the durability of the United States' partnerships abroad will depend on the attitudes of the people as well as the policies of their governments. In Washington, too, the State Department is streamlining and modernizing the way its conceives of and conducts public diplomacy. We are shifting away from traditional platforms and instead are building connections to foreign publics in regions once considered beyond the United States' reach. It makes no sense to allocate the greatest amount of resources to parts of the world where the United States' ties are already strong and secure and to minimize efforts where engaging the public is critical to success. ... An emphasis on civilian power is in keeping with America's history and traditions. The Marshall Plan was a civilian development initiative undertaken with European governments. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the drafting committee that produced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Decades before the term ‘soft power’ was coined, President John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps to show the world a different face of the United States. The American scientist Norman Borlaug was responsible for the 'green revolution' that fed millions of hungry people. U.S. diplomats helped negotiate the reunification of Europe in 1991 without a shot fired. Meanwhile, Americans have enjoyed the world's admiration because of their spirit of innovation, their abundant goodwill, and their audacious belief that technological, social, and political advances can and must be used to improve the lives of human beings around the world." Image from

Immigration and the Midterm Elections‎
- Aimee Rawlins, Council on Foreign Relations: "Decreases in skilled immigrants damage U.S. innovation, according to the Task Force Report [CFR Task Force Report], which also argues that immigrants' language and cultural experiences are important to intelligence-gathering and fighting wars abroad. Additionally, immigration helps improve international opinion of the United States, which dropped markedly from 1999 to 2008, according to a Pew global attitudes survey.

The Task Force found that 'one of the most successful forms of public diplomacy has been to allow non-Americans to see what the United States has achieved.'" Image from

60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: R/PPR Evaluation and Measurement Unit, Evaluation Survey Question Bank - "The Department of State is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the information collection described below. ... Abstract of Proposed Collection [:] This generic collection is for performance measurement, program evaluation, customer satisfaction and attitudinal evaluation surveys. Included in this collection are questions designed to measure and evaluate the performance of programs, products and services provided by the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), and the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Office of Policy, Planning and Resources (R/PPR). Survey respondents include participants in PD programs, selected users of PD products and services, and others engaged in Department of State efforts."

The Future of U.S. International Broadcasting? - Alex Belida, VOA Media Watch: "Last week I asked for reader views on the challenges to U.S. international broadcasting. I received one very thoughtful response from Sten in Sweden that I would like to share with you all. Sten notes there is no VOA presence in Northern Europe (save via the web)

but he says the presence of other government financed broadcasts is, as he puts it, 'quite impressive.' ... Sten’s proposal is that the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees VOA, should 'try to finance an international channel produced by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS, the TV counterpart of NPR) and with PBS quality programming.'” Image from

Gallup Opens Abu Dhabi Center - Neal Ungerleider, Fast Company: "Polling giant Gallup has opened a new social research center in Abu Dhabi headed by a U.S. government appointee. But the center's affiliation with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Court has ramifications for public diplomacy. ... Public diplomacy experts see interesting smoke signals coming out of the Abu Dhabi center. Paul Rockower of the University of Southern California's Public Diplomacy Corps project notes that Gallup's affiliation with the Crown Prince Court may give them wiggle room on their operations: 'If they're established with the Court, Gallup might get some leeway from the government to ask more interesting questions but it really varies country-by-country. In-country polling firms are very careful as they know what will get them in trouble and they know where they can bend the rules.' Rockower also emphasized that landing Gallup was a major public diplomacy coup for both Abu Dhabi and the Emirates: 'It lets Gallup create a broader global presence and lets the Emirates, and Abu Dhabi in particular, further brand itself as a Gulf hub of research and scholarship. The Emirates has been working for a long time to conduct public diplomacy via nation branding to highlight its internationalist credentials. This is just one more piece of that branding push.'

For Abu Dhabi, bringing Gallup to the Emirate is just the latest in a series of savvy public diplomacy moves. The Crown Prince Court just donated $1 million to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for Middle Eastern projects and the larger Abu Dhabi government has taken on even more ambitious projects: Their collaboration brought New York University to Abu Dhabi and generous donations to American causes." Image from article

Hamas Divided: Time For A New Policy? - Tally Helfont, "Through public diplomacy and a degree of back-channel maneuvering, the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority should seek out elements within Hamas who are willing to curb resistance to the peace process in exchange for assurances that these factions will have a role in the future Palestinian state."

Radical Awakening: From America Hater to Hero - Matthew Vadum, posted at "Venezuela’s communist strongman, Hugo Chavez, began trying to embarrass the Bush administration by offering aid to the Katrina-hit Gulf Coast.

Chavez had already been running what political scientists call a 'public diplomacy' campaign in the U.S. to help bolster American support for his regime. The propaganda effort consisted of funneling discounted home heating oil to former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy’s, D-Mass., nonprofit group, Citizens Energy Corp." Chavez image from

Global Fusion Conference - Ah1908's Blog: "I attended the panel on Transnational Identity. The presentations included: 'Newspapers and public diplomacy: Influencing American views on the Muslim world' (Rebecca Williamson, Marietta U.) . ... In 'Newspaper and Public Diplomacy', Rebecca Williamson presented a case study of three U.S. newspapers and their presentation of American views on the Muslim world through articles in a two week period. She divided their tones into categories of distrust, hope, and fear, and also discussed statements of skepticism, equality, and hope mixed with negative emotions. She stated that public diplomacy is created through both government and media, not just through political means. She described the media as using spin to persuade and influence their readers. In her conclusion, she decided that Americans have a lack of understanding of Muslim culture that is not aided by negative media reports. She asked why the newspapers did not use their leverage to report on positive activities of Muslim Americans, especially in crisis times like the aftermath of September 11th. She concluded that newspapers did not clearly cover events in order to enhance public understanding of these issues. This can be applied to American understanding of Chinese media as well."

Check out the Army War College blog - " Most are familiar with Matt Armstrong and MountainRunner for all things Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication. I strongly recommend Dennis Murphy, a professor who oversees all things IO/cyber in the Army War College program,

is very active is the New/Now media area. In addition to frequent Twitter updates, he has a regular and official blog on the War College site, posting succinctly on Strategic Communication related topics. He periodically has guest bloggers." Image from

Obtaining Online Education in the government - "Energy policy, military operations, foreign policy, American politics and comparative are some areas of government policy that students can expect to study online. Students who specialize in comparative politics to find out about the different structures of world government. Students interested in working in public diplomacy may be a step in the merger [?], if the school focuses on international relations."

Perspective Public Relations - hackerandeducation [Goggle translation from Indonesian:] "Basically PR activities include: ... 16. Public Diplomacy: strengthen and improve relationships to open trade routes, tourism and cooperation between countries."

Internal Memo: Keith Richards - Christian Lorentzen, "It was 1983, and the Stones had just put out our Cold War ditty 'Under Cover of the Night.' Mick was in New York making some foolhardy solo record when I got a call from the Prime Minister's office. Apparently the PM had taken the song to heart and wanted the Glimmer Twins in to discuss foreign policy. I went for tea and cookies, a Stone alone. Turned out Maggie Thatcher

had got it in her head that it might be useful to Her Majesty for the band to go on tour behind the Iron Curtain for purposes of public diplomacy and intelligence gathering. But ... the whole thing was a wash. Maggie and I got to talking. I was grateful for her non-punitive tax policies, and she loved my riffs. Now I have never put the make on a girl in my life, but the Iron Lady and I looked at each other and the tension was so high there in 21 Downing, the next thing I know she's giving me a blow job. The tension broke then. Phew. And suddenly we're together." Richards image from article


Development aid in key Afghan province lacking in oversight, audit finds - Karen DeYoung, Washington Post: U.S. and other international development programs in a key Afghan province are "incoherent" and lack mechanisms to avoid wasteful overlap or to monitor their success, according to a new report by government auditors. More than $100 million in U.S. aid to Nangahar province, an area in eastern Afghanistan often cited as a model for success elsewhere in the country, was spent in fiscal 2010 with little or no input from local officials, according to the audit by the congressionally mandated Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.

A separate SIGAR report released Tuesday warned of insufficient training of U.S. Foreign Service officers and other government civilians working throughout Afghanistan as part of the Obama administration's "civilian surge." The number of civilians has tripled since early last year and is expected to reach 1,500 by January 2012, rivaling the U.S. Embassy in Iraq as the world's largest. The report said the State Department has done a good job of providing housing and other support for the rapidly growing workforce. But it faulted the effort to integrate civilian and military forces, saying that goals were often undercut by reliance on "ad hoc arrangements and individual personalities' rather than any agreed standards." Image from

Pierced Fans, Stiff Cadres and Hip Rock - Andrew Jacobs, New York Times: A shift in official sentiment — and among state-backed companies paying to have their logos splashed across the stage — has led to an explosion of festivals across China. In 2008, there were five multiday concerts, nearly all in Beijing. This year there have already been more than 60, from the northern grasslands of Inner Mongolia to the southern highlands of Yunnan Province. Without exception the festivals have been staged with the help of local governments that have come to realize that pierced rockers flailing around a mosh pit are not necessarily interested in upending single-party rule. More importantly, the governments have decided, for now at least, that music festivals can deliver something that even the most seasoned propagandists cannot spin out of thin air: coolness. Via MB.

The Best and the Rest - David Littlejohn, Wall Street Journal: Paris's Gare d'Orsay, a long-disused Beaux Arts train station, was converted into a museum in 1986.

When it was decided three years ago that part of the interior was to be redesigned and rebuilt, Guy Cogeval, the museum's new director, picked out two batches of more than 220 works by 64 artists (each batch with "Impressionist" in its title) to rent out to other museums with the time, space and money to show them. He had so many major works left at home that most museum- goers in Paris would never know anything was missing. And these two traveling shows were guaranteed to earn his museum a great deal in rental fees. Image from

The Press doesn’t question Israeli military propaganda tour as it comes through Grand Rapids
- Jeff Smith, On Saturday, the Grand Rapids Press ran a story in the religion section about two Israeli soldiers who were in town on a speaking tour. The Press article does mention that these soldiers were on speaking tour through a group called Stand With Us. After reading through the Stand With Us website it seems pretty clear that this is an organized and well funded effort to win over public opinion in favor of Israel. The website paints Israel as the victim in the conflict and that when the Israel military acts it is only for the safety and security of its citizens.

World War II Movies - Propaganda and Patriotism - Carl DiNello,

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