Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 11-15

"Joint Staff also now 'owns' the MILDEC and OPSEC pillars. PSYOPs (now called MISO) goes to SOCOM [where it already is per 10 USC 167(j)(6) ...but more on that later]. CNO (more of a function of cyber warfare anyway) stays with U.S. Cyber Command under STRATCOM."

--Michael A. Clauser, who served as national security staff in the U.S. House of Representatives where he co-managed the bipartisan Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy Caucus

"If only she could keep up with all their other acronyms. They've graduated from the simple LOL and LOLOL to LMAO — literally, laughing so hard that part of your body comes off (for extra credit, use LMAOOTF — it means it's all happening on the floor.)"

--Jocelyn Noveck, "OMG, when did we start talking like txt msgs?"; image from

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY (abbreviated coverage)

Obama's freedom agenda? - Ben Smith, Politico: "Part of the muddled messaging over the last couple weeks in Egypt seems to have had to do with the fact that people in and around the State Department weren't entirely clear on what the White House was trying to say. But if that haziness about doctrine can lead to confusion, it also lends itself to improvisation. What you could call Obama's own Freedom Agenda seems to be emerging from the haze and from a certain reading of his Cairo speech. ... State Department spokesman PJ Crowley this morning made a notably one-sided call on the government of Algeria to back off protests their [sic], a statement that lacked the

deliberate balance of early Egypt statements that also called on protesters to refrain from violence. ... There's no diplomatic cost to jabbing at Iran or at Hezbollah, and Algeria isn't an ally on the order of Egypt -- or Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Jordan, whose governments you haven't seen the Americans rebuking publicly. But the new statements, along with a new wave of public diplomacy that includes Arabic and Farsi Twitter feeds suggests an attempt in Washington to capitalize on the moment, and an eagerness in the White House to be on the side it -- like the overwhelming majority of Americans -- feels is the right one." Image from

Ordinary Egyptians Have Little to Show for U.S. Military Aid to Egypt
- Ian Williams, Foreign Policy in Focus: "For the future, Obama needs some more public diplomacy. In the long term, the military aid has to be diverted to civilian uses, and even expanded. But an Obama who does not stand up to Netanyahu over settlements is unlikely to have much standing in front of the Arab street -- as will be reinforced in the other autocratic dominoes that might topple."

Egypt After the Revolt Back to Analysis: Ideas for U.S. Middle East Policy in the Wake of Egypt's Revolt - Robert Satloff, thecuttingedgenews.com: "The contrast between the Obama administration's approach to the pro-democracy movements in June 2009 Iran and January 2011 Egypt is striking. As we move forward, U.S. policy should be at least as supportive of proponents of peaceful democratic change in

states whose governments have adopted policies inimical to our interests as we have been in states whose governments have aligned themselves with our interests. In practice, this means the use of U.S. strategic communications, public diplomacy, and other tangible assets to assist and support the idea of democratic change in Iran and Syria and the courageous people willing to fight for that goal." Image from article

Egypt's Challenge for U.S. Rights Policy - Mark Lagon, cfr.org: "Egypt's evolving story shows vividly why a eulogy for nurturing democratization was premature. Three steps to nurture freedom are crucial. First, the role of mass opinion and new media in Egypt show how public diplomacy remains crucial to U.S. soft power. Concerted public diplomacy could amplify the sense that just rule works and has momentum. There is still a role for publicly funded surrogates for private media gagged by autocracies. Al-Jazeera and private media play a major role in the region, but the U.S. government should not just create value-free carbon copies or consider government-funded public diplomacy a relic of the Cold War. U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is exceptional amidst largely flaccid public diplomacy today, championing pluralism in the former Soviet Union and Iran. As the United States must tighten its budgetary belt, we need more bargains like RFE/RL."

U.S. Public Diplomacy and the New Egypt - Philip Seib, Huffington Post: "[T]he relationship between the United States and the Egyptian people requires prompt and thoughtful rebuilding. There will be other suitors, such as Iran, and extremist voices will emerge. The Egyptians, however, are unlikely to entangle themselves with any outsiders unless it is clearly in their own interest to do so. That points the way toward a reconceived public diplomacy effort by the United States. The U.S. State Department's recently released Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review stresses the essential nature of development assistance in American foreign policy.

In public diplomacy, this means there should be less emphasis on advertising the virtues of the United States and more effort devoted to serving the people to whom this diplomacy is directed. Job training, health care, and other such programs that will directly affect the lives of individuals are what matter. People want to earn a living, have clean water, and keep their children healthy. If the United States can escalate its work to accomplish those tasks, it will win friends. Unfortunately, U.S. public diplomacy is not built along these lines. Its outlook is myopic, with a focus that extends no farther than practices rooted in Cold War philosophy. Consider the delivery of information in an increasingly Internet-centric world. ... Public diplomacy is not an exercise in altruism; it should serve the national interest. But it cannot do so as long as much of U.S. public diplomacy is seen by the rest of the world as self-serving propaganda, and is dismissed as irrelevant. To begin to fix this, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should order a top-to-bottom review of U.S. public diplomacy, searching for successful efforts that can be used as models and finding the deadwood that should be tossed aside. Above all, the philosophy of U.S. public diplomacy should be altered to put greater emphasis on service to the individuals around the world whom America wants to court. This is the only way public diplomacy will work in the new Egypt." Image from

Events in Egypt shake Arab world - dylanratigan.com: "i want to bring in mark ginsburg, former u.s. ambassador to morocco. mark, how much influence does the american government have over the next 48 hours or beyond that to try to ensure the potential creation of multiple candidates in a civil democracy in egypt? ... this was a berlin wall moment for the middle east and the world, dylan. just think about it, they were able to achieve something through force of will, not through suicide bombing, not through assassination, not through islamic extremism. this was the most important public diplomacy message against the al qaeda- osama bin laden narrative.

it’s a critical moment in the struggle of the hearts and minds of the middle east where young people don’t have to turn to al qaeda and to islamic extremism. they can turn to essentially a democratic idea, a peaceful ideal that, essentially through the example of people bounding together to stand up against an autocratic regime, that they can make these changes. that is one of the most important messages that come out of this. arabs everywhere who were recruited to the internet, whether by al qaeda or the evil cleric in yemen, now they have another example to look up to. it’s not the evil clerics of al qaeda or iran. it’s going to be the young people, the real new heroes of the arab world." Image from article

Egypt: What Ghonim, Google, and Everyone Should Do Next - Erik Sass, Social Graf: "After disappearing for two weeks into the bowels of Egypt's prisons, Google executive Wael Ghonim

emerged as one of the central figures in the Egyptian Revolution which removed longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak from power in February 2011. Now Ghonim's employer -- a company with unprecedented power and influence in the world economy -- has an equally unprecedented chance to side with good, in keeping with its motto, 'Don't be evil,' (which I choose to interpret as an injunction to be good). ... As is often the case, imprisonment only enhanced Ghonim's stature, and for the time being he enjoys the role of a revolutionary spokesman. What's more, his heroism has provided him -- as well as Google, Facebook, and the United States of America -- with a unique opportunity to carry out some potent public diplomacy." Image from article

State Dept. taps Twitter to reach Iranians - Gary Strauss and Mimi Hall, USA Today: "After watching Facebook and other social media help grass-roots movements toss repressive regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, the State Department is turning to Twitter to encourage opposition groups in Iran, where thousands clashed with police Monday in the country's largest gathering of anti-government protesters in more than a year. The State Department began tweeting messages in Farsi on Sunday on two Twitter accounts: @USAdarFarsi and @USAbilAraby. ... There is a real, vibrant and compelling conversation going on now around the globe. It is a conversation increasingly taking place on the Internet, and America wants to be a part of it,' says Judith McHale, undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs. 'We are keen to

reach out to people where they spend their time online to listen, to present U.S. views and values, and to engage as we work to advance a better and more prosperous future.' ... Fordham University media studies professor Paul Levinson says Twitter's lifeblood 'is the authenticity and individuality of tweets. The State Department has to be extremely careful. If these tweets come across as communiqués, they'll go against the fundamental strength of Twitter — hearing directly from people. It's a risky undertaking. And Iran could denounce any tweets … as phony.'" See also. Image from

Iran's crisis amid Middle East turmoil - Fariborz Ghadar and Rob Sobhani, thehill.com: "U.S. policy towards Iran should consist of five simultaneous pillars. First, President Obama should appoint an Iran Czar to coordinate the overall goals of his approach to Iran. Second, should the regime in Tehran wish to talk with the U.S., diplomacy should always be on the table as an option. Third, impose targeted economic sanctions such as freezing the enormous assets of the regime’s leaders. Fourth, while Washington should keep a close eye on the progress of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, our public diplomacy should refocus on, the mismanagement of the economy, unemployment, inflation, corruption, lack of meritocracy, the eroding standard of living and of course the violation of human rights in Iran. The venue for this public diplomacy should be more robust programming from the VOA Persian Language Service. Respected members of the opposition (both inside and outside the country) should be featured on a more regular basis and factual documentation of the regime’s illegal and corrupt activities during the past two decades should be presented. Finally, serious consideration should also be given to the wishes of the Iranian people. The people of Iran hold the key to America's long-term strategic interests in the Middle East. Poll after poll has highlighted the desire of the Iranian people to engage with Americans and the positive attitude of Iranians towards the American people. As the gulf between the Iranian people and their regime widens, Washington should focus its efforts on making this divide permanent. Indeed, the national security interests of the United States coincide with the wishes of the Iranian people."

America’s Voice May Need More Speech Therapy - Trey Hicks, The American: "Voice of America recently hired Ramin Asgard to direct its Persian Service. His selection is curious, given his track record. Asgard has worked in the State Department and, for a time, directed its 'Iran Regional Presence Office' in Dubai. More recently, he served as a political advisor on Iran at CENTCOM. The problem is that it appears that he used both positions to undermine American policy toward Iran. ... While serving as a political adviser to CENTCOM last spring, Asgard penned an article for a Tufts University journal in which he professed moral equivalency between Iran and the United States, blaming both equally for a lack of 'dialogue' and 'cultural diplomacy.' ... Those who have met with Asgard question his Persian fluency. This begs the question: how can Asgard manage U.S. broadcasts

to Iran if he can’t understand what is being discussed? Over the last several years, U.S. international broadcasting has had serious management and content problems (for a small taste, see here, here, here, here, and here). Things will worsen if the Broadcasting Board of Governors fails to start hiring serious public diplomacy experts who can speak the language of their broadcasts and offer a “clear and effective presentation of the policies of the United States Government and responsible discussion and opinion on those policies” (22 USC Chapter 71 sec. 6202)." Asgard image from

Day 5: In which I try to blog about everything in Yemen - Gregory Johnsen, Big Think: "[Yemen's] President Salih announced that he was postponing his trip to the US in late February (I'd heard it was scheduled for March, but whatever). Now, is obviously not a good time to be out of the country. The US with its usual tin ear for public diplomacy, announced a $75 million project to train Yemeni CT forces, which in Yemen will be seen as training people loyal to President Salih, who will fight whomever he decides is an enemy."

State Department hits send on new Arabic Twitter site - nextgov.com: "The State Department launched a new Twitter feed late Tuesday, USA in Arabic, in which nearly all Tweets are sent in Arabic. ... The new Arabic language feed @USAbilAraby by Thursday had about 700 followers, and was quickly growing in popularity. Its first Tweet referenced the fact that the recent uprisings in Egypt were organized in part through social media. ... Erik Nisbet, an assistant professor specializing in comparative political communications at Ohio State University in Columbus, said he is surprised State did not have an Arabic feed sooner. ... Nisbet warned that some Middle Easterners might not trust the information presented because it still comes from a governmental source and 'the U.S. government lacks a lot of credibility in the region. It's not going to fundamentally change anything,' he said, but acting with the idea of public diplomacy, it will help the United States -- which already maintains an Arabic television station, al Hurra, and radio station, Radio Sawa -- to get its message out."

Voice of America Uses Social Media to Aid Foreign Dissent - Spencer Ackerman, wired.com: "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will outline the next phase of the Obama administration’s so-called Internet freedom agenda. So far, that agenda has been about demanding other countries keep Internet access open.

But when that fails, the Broadcasting Broad of Governors, which oversees the government-owned media organizations that send pro-American messages to foreign audiences, has begun using social media to go around online restrictions in repressive countries. Perhaps the most important? Facebook. When possible, said the board’s new media chief, government news organizations like the Voice of America or Radio Free Asia use social media platforms that the publics they seek to reach already use." Image from article

Staying Ahead of the Digital Curve: U.S. Global Engagement in the New Media Era - press release, Broadcasting Board of Governors: "The recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt are sending shockwaves across the Middle East and demonstrating the power of social media to connect citizens striving for democratic reform. During a packed briefing at the U.S. Capitol this morning, new media experts and journalists from U.S. international broadcasters discussed this digital revolution and how the U.S. is taking advantage of its potential for change."

Hearts & minds campaign? - Syed Talat Hussain, dawn.com: "[T]hen came Mr [Raymond] Davis with his Glock handgun taking Pakistani lives and shooting through the heart the hearts and minds campaign. Since then Washington’s public profile has been completely defiled. The strategic communication regime Washington’s spin doctors had put in place to create an enabling environment for successful diplomacy — called propaganda in old times — is completely dysfunctional. The trust deficit in the realm of public diplomacy is as wide as never before. This is long-term damage recovering from which would take much longer than settling the issue of diplomatic immunity. We do not know what Davis’s real mission was, but he certainly performed one task of strategic scale: ruining whatever little hope public diplomacy campaigners might have had of convincing the simple folk of Pakistan that the US was just a friendly giant they had no reason to run away from." Image from

An Incredibly Calm and Measured Commentary on the Lahore Shooting Incident - skepticalbureaucrat.blogspot.com: "This call for resolution of the diplomatic crisis surrounding Raymond Davis appears today (actually Monday, local time) in Pakistan. In my dreams, the writer was influenced by our embassy's Machiavellian public diplomacy team. Well, I can dream. Cut the Gordian knot S Iftikhar Murshed."

"The Foreign Fighter Phenomenon: Islam and Transnational Militancy" - Thomas Hegghammer, belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu: "[A]long-term policy to stem foreign fighter recruitment must include strategies to undermine pan-Islamism, for example, by spreading awareness of factual errors in the pan-Islamist victim narrative and by promoting state nationalisms and other local forms of identification. In addition, Western policymakers should adjust their public diplomacy to the reality that the majority of Muslims view foreign fighters and international terrorists quite differently.

The Western tendency to conflate the two has been a major source of communication problems between the West and the Muslim world since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. At the same time, both Western and Muslim governments must seek to prevent foreign fighter activism, because most al-Qaida operatives begin their careers as war volunteers." Image from article, with caption: Mujahedeen rebels, holy warriors, are shown as they rest high in the mountains in the Kunar province area in Afghanistan in May 1980.

US must 'ramp up' fight on Internet censorship - Shaun Tandon, AFP: "Faced with aggressive public outreach by China, the United States must ramp up its own efforts and do a better job fighting Internet censorship, a Senate committee report says. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee report, which is to be released on Tuesday, said the United States was languishing behind as China increasingly molds public opinion through its cultural institutes and state-run media. The report, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, calls for more US students to be sent to China, a US bid to host the 2020 World Expo, an expansion of the number of American Centers in China and other 'public diplomacy' measures." Report at. See also.

Lugar: U.S. failing to combat Internet censorship by China - Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy: "Though Chinese media has free reign in the United States, BBG organizations such as Voice of America and Radio Free Asia are regularly blocked in China, forcing the stations to broadcast on short wave radio from long distances, Lugar's report said.

Meanwhile, the BBG has not spent about $30 million of the $50 million appropriated to them since 2008 by Congress to fight these efforts. Yet new BBG chairman Walter Isaacson told an audience last October that the U.S. government needed to give the BBG more money to compete with other nationally owned media organizations, including those run by the Chinese government." Lugar image from article

China and American Public Diplomacy: Another US Deficit - Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner.us: "Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) will publish another major report on public diplomacy shortly. Written by Paul Foldi, senior professional staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this report focuses on Chinese public diplomacy with the inevitable comparison to U.S. efforts. ... The nearly 80 page report is an expansive inventory of Chinese public diplomacy intended to work around problems as well as foster individual relationships with China and its culture."

Secretary Clinton Celebrates 50 Years of Citizen Diplomacy - Press Release: US State Department, scoop.co.nz: "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will join members of the National Council of International Visitors (NCIV) on February 17 at their annual meeting to celebrate their 50-year partnership with the U.S. Department of State. ... Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock will kick-off NCIV’s conference earlier in the day at the opening plenary session. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale will then deliver remarks at 12:45 p.m. at a special luncheon for the diplomatic corps. ... The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) is the Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The IVLP annually brings approximately 5,000 emerging leaders from around the world to the United States to participate in professional projects with U.S. peers and to gain firsthand experience of American society and culture. The IVLP partners with the NCIV network, which consists of nearly 80,000 American 'citizen diplomats'

who host international visitors in communities across the United States. As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the NCIV and Department of State have launched the 'Gold Stars' tour, which honors 18 returning international visitors, who were selected based on the significant achievements they made in their countries or local communities. The 'Gold Stars' delegation will return to their original host communities around the U.S. and showcase how their participation in the international exchange program helped shape their work in their home country." Image from

Panjshayr women strengthen communication skills - dvidshub.net: "In a small classroom in the Director of Women’s Affairs office, more than 20 women gathered, mostly teachers, for a two-day communications workshop held in Bazarak District, Panjshayr province, beginning Feb. 8. Mahtab Farid, public diplomacy officer for the U.S. State Department, came to Panjshayr, as she does with many provinces the Regional Command East supports to build capacity for Afghan women. Farid knows the Afghan culture well. She not only has worked in Afghanistan for nearly a year now, but she was also born in Iran."

Artists as ambassadors? - artinfo.com: "Governments have long used art to tell part of their national stories. When the U.S. government helped send exhibitions abroad in the mid 20th century, it was because America wanted to show off what a free society made possible. When 16th-century dukes gave each other paintings, art served as a demonstration of regional wealth and sophistication. Now the U.S. government wants to go a step farther: SmARTpower, a new State Department-funded effort run by the Bronx Museum of Art, will send one artist each to 15 countries — chosen by the program’s two sponsors — many of which are the subjects of significant international cultural and political debates: China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Venezuela. Artists wishing to participate can apply online through March 3. Final selections will be made by a panel to be assembled by the museum and the government. ... The California-based Andrea Zittel’s

annual High Desert Test Sites festival-cum-exhibition is a communal alternative to such commercial events as Art Basel Miami Beach, focusing on artists, interaction, and the public display of artwork in nature. Zittel has spent much of her career examining American consumerism through projects questioning commercial-driven consumer cycles, as in her smockshop, which combines artist-made dresses with a communitarian ethos." Image from article: Andrea Zittel wearing one of her smocks in Joshua Tree National Park, California

Where lies wisdom, where folly? - Thomas F. Farr, blogs.ssrc.org: "The State Department will soon issue its list of the 'countries of particular concern' (CPCs), which are those guilty of particularly severe violations of religious liberty. But that annual condemnation has had, with one or two exceptions, minimal effect in the countries it targets. It is little more than a rhetorical scourging, irritating to its objects, but—as most of them have learned—carrying few, if any, policy consequences. Along with an annual report, a handful of public speeches devoid of policy significance, and occasional but unfruitful 'human rights dialogues,' the CPC listing constitutes the bulk of U.S. IRF policy. Should it choose to do so, the administration could broaden and deepen that policy, integrating it into U.S. strategies such as democracy and civil society programs that empower indigenous reformers, counter-terrorism diplomacy, and public diplomacy. It could provide U.S. diplomats systematic training in the religious ideas and actors that have such an impact on American interests."

Global Chaos: On Russian "Kultura", Ballet, PD, & Stereotypes - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos

Revising Information Operations Policy at the Department of Defense - Michael Clauser, MountainRunner.us: "On January 25, 2011, Secretary Gates signed a memorandum (hereafter 1/25/11 memo) entitled 'Strategic Communication and Information Operations in the DoD.' The memo signals that the Pentagon's 'E Ring' is finally emphasizing the need for reform of interagency strategic communication (SC) and military information operations (IO). ... To understand the memo one must understand its genesis. The memo is the follow-on to the DoD's 2009 Strategic Communication Report mandated in Section 1055(b) of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization (NDAA) for fiscal

year 2009 (P.L 110-417). The section was inserted into the NDAA as the culminating legislative work of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Unconventional Threats from 2007 and 2008. The Subcommittee's leadership was alerted to the issue because of the two Defense Science Board reports published in 2004 and 2008. That same section 1055 of the FY09 NDAA also required a report from the President, written by his National Security Council (NSC), for 'a comprehensive interagency strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication of the Federal Government.' Congress received a very late and past due DoD Report and 'National Framework for Strategic Communication' (an earlier leaked copy was entitled 'National Strategy for Strategic Communication.')" See also. Clauser image from article

Deshi Mishti and Pitha Utshob organized by Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC draws huge crowd - "Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC put up a colorful display of traditional Bangladeshi Pitha(cake)and Mishti (sweet) with much enthusiasm and festivity on February 12. Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA and State Minister Akramul Qader and his wife Rifat Sultana Akram inaugurated the gala organized at the Bangabandhu Auditorium of the Embassy. The celebration, unique for its deeply rooted connections with Bengali culture and mindset, attracted an overflowing crowd comprising members of the Bangladeshi diaspora in greater Washington DC area. Officials from US State Department, other Agencies and members of different socio-cultural organizations were also present. ... The event, which is a part of the Embassy’s public diplomacy and outreach program to project Bangladesh’s rich culture and tradition to wider audience in the USA, received wide appreciation among the participants."

Ruling party MP keen to see law 'On occupied land'‎ - News.Az: You proposed recently ago a law 'On occupied land'. What is the substance of this law? "We live in a particular legal system in the world with a number of conventions, principles and norms. Azerbaijan has been subjected to occupation by Armenia. At present, thousands of square kilometres of Azerbaijani land are under occupation. There were environmental, economic, humanitarian

and other facilities in these lands. Our property has been looted. Calculations and studies have been made. In future, Armenia will have to pay compensation for the damage. Despite the fact that a puppet regime has been created in the occupied lands, these areas are controlled by Armenia. Azerbaijan should pass a law 'On occupied lands'. ... Of course, the occupied lands can be visited only with the consent of Baku and the law must make this clear. Of course, there may be exceptions. These exceptions may be related to negotiations on the conflict settlement, public diplomacy and so on. Anyway, this must take place with Azerbaijan’s consent."

Are Africans misreading the Egyptian crisis?‎ - The Zimbabwe Guardian: "Obama visited Egypt in June 2009, when he was still green as a president. Human rights groups seized that opportunity to tell the world about Mubarak's regime. Obama gave a speech at Cairo University, which largely avoided the issue of human rights and the poverty that gripped millions of Egyptians who live below the global poverty index of US$2 a day. Before the crisis, little was known about Mubarak's violations, outside of Egypt, and his police state was largely ignored by the western powers. In fact, they helped Mubarak survive for so long. The incongruity between Mubarak and Obama's speeches in the media were almost childish given that barely a year before they had visited each other and played their public diplomacy very well."

Foreign Ministry sets up public diplomacy section - Czech News Agency (ČTK): "The Czech Foreign Ministry has established a new section of public diplomacy and the post of a commissioner for expatriate affairs within its reform, its representatives told CTK Thursday. The public diplomacy section replaced the former section for culture, communication and presentation. It will cooperate with NGOs and the Czech Centres, which promote the country abroad. The head of the section will be Jan Bondy, who was in charge of the Czech Centres

network and who was ambassador to Cyprus in the past. Bondy said the public diplomacy section will focus on enhancing the positive image of the Czech Republic abroad and promoting Czech political and economic interests in other countries. The office of the commissioner for expatriate affairs will be led by Stanislav Kazecky. This office will be responsible for contacts with Czech communities based abroad and with expatriates' associations. It is to develop relations with the Czech community that formed abroad within the last 20 years." Image from

Japanese media looks to feed info-hungry China - Global Times: "With a domestic readership of nearly 8 million, the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's most influential newspaper, is one of the largest papers in the world. Last year, it launched a spinoff magazine in Chinese language,

Fresh Japan (xinxian riben), which publishes translated articles from the Japanese edition for the Chinese readership. Why did the paper decide to move into the Chinese market? What role can the media play in public diplomacy? Tokyo-based Global Times (GT)reporter Cai Chengping conducted an exclusive interview with Tsuyoshi Nojima (Nojima), editor in chief of Fresh Japan and the head of Chinese team at the international headquarters of the Asahi Shimbun, on these issues." Image from article

Now, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Twitter - zeenews.com: "Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Friday opened her Twitter account, becoming the first senior Indian bureaucrat to do so. Her first post went out from her account (www.twitter.com/forsecnrao) at about 12.10 pm on Friday - 'Leaving4NewYork tonite.' According to a foreign ministry official, Rao will be herself sending out tweets through her Blackberry phone. 'It will be mainly used to inform about her events,' he said. ... The ministry's public diplomacy division started its own account last year, (www.twitter.com/Indiandiplomacy), which has over 5,800 followers."

When the going gets tough, the weak drool - Ackel Zwane, Swazi Observer: "The Kingdom of Swaziland is currently being let down by non-existence of an effective communication strategy and information dissemination machinery. In the majority of cases, the propaganda being sold by subversive local elements in collaboration with their international and regional sympathizers can be easily countered by a factual- based public diplomacy strategy. And the first audience of such a strategy of communication should be Swazis themselves-both here at home front and outside our borders. ... The government must communicate effectively

in order to win and restore the confidence of the people, first to the political system itself, to the ability and effectiveness of the cabinet and of members of parliament and of our highly cherished institution of the monarchy in dealing with national challenges. In order to secure such, there must be a deliberate and consistent engagement of the population by the leadership through public diplomacy." Image from

British envoy to set new tone in climate change talks with Canada - Campbell Clark, Globe and Mail: Britain’s new envoy to Canada, Andrew Pocock, is signalling something of a reset in relations on the thorny issue of climate change. His predecessor, Anthony Cary, was tasked by Britain’s former Labour government with conducting a public diplomacy campaign on climate change, but sometimes ticked off the Conservative government in Ottawa with his calls for Canada to do more. ... Now Mr. Pocock, who formally took over last Thursday, is striving to set a different tone on the issue that 'sheds more light than heat.' ... Both countries have limited resources to spend on international efforts, and teaming up their influence can benefit both, 'not simply in formal alliance ways – although when we have formal alliances, we use them – but as cultural and political multipliers,' he said."

US educational fair - expressbuzz.com: About 12 institutions participated in the event. ... 'Education is looked at as ‘public diplomacy’ in the United States and not a commercial activity. A large part of Indian students go to America for research. More often than not, they come through scholarships. So it is a complicated transaction,' said Mark Shay, regional director, North America, IDP Education. '[I]t is important to go for regional accreditation which is the gold standard in the United States,' added Mark."

Let US see Al Jazeera‎ - Juliette Kayyem, Boston Globe: "With rare exceptions, the largest American cable and satellite providers simply do not provide viewers access to Al Jazeera English, the cousin to the powerful Qatar-based world news network. AJE has launched a full-fledged campaign — including advertisements quoting, of all people, major US news figures — to convince cable carriers to open their programming.

But most have declined: Burlington, Vt., is the closest city to Boston where viewers can see the network on television. ... James Zogby, in his book “Arab Voices,’’ highlights how American companies such as Cisco, Starbucks, and ExxonMobil have made important contributions to public diplomacy by shaping and promoting engagement in the Arab world. US cable companies ought to do the same by bringing a major player in the Arab world to American audiences." Image, with caption: Employees of the English-language satellite news channel Al Jazeera work in the control room in Doha, Qatar. The Egyptian crisis may provide the news channel its best chance yet to capture a larger share of the US audience.

Public Diplomacy Magazine- Corporate Diplomacy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Public Diplomacy Magazine has released its latest issue on Corporate Diplomacy, and its content is now live on its website. And I am officially a has-been. Congrats to the PD Mag staff for a fascinating new issue."

Guest Post: The Future of Sudan - samara, George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs: "SMPA's resident Senior Public Diplomacy fellow Mark Asquino

wrote in to describe our upcoming program Thursday evening on the future of Sudan. He not only teaches our class on Public Diplomacy this semester, but also is a career diplomat with the State Department. His post prior to joining GW last fall was as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan." Asquino image from

Freedom to Connect - Jerry Edling, Matt Armstrong, MoutainRunner.us: "Jerry is ... a candidate for Master of Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California and a student in Matt Armstrong's Public Diplomacy Course at USC.


"Diplomacy has changed so much. Today our diplomats tweet their messages to the public. In my day, we dropped them from 10,000 feet."

-Henry Kissinger, on twitter

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