Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 1-4

"The only liberty an inferior man really cherishes is the liberty to quit work, stretch out in the sun, and scratch himself."

--H.L. Mencken; image from


(A) Discussing Educational and Cultural Exchanges - a public meeting of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy on September 15 (please see end of post for details)

(B) E-mail message from John Ferguson:

"We are seeking a Director of Communications (DC) and a Director of Operations (DO) to help us manage the American Music Abroad program of State Department. We are seeking candidates with the right combination of public diplomacy, communications and international experience. ... We are trying to get a team in place by late September, so are moving quickly to interview in the next week or two. Please feel free to post or forward to anyone anywhere as well as in your daily updates. ... John Ferguson, Executive Director, American Voices +66 81 923 5410 SKYPE: americanvoices MSN: TWITTER: YouTube:"; Ferguson image from


Cold war success has lessons for US - Andrew Hammond, The Australian: "[T]he death of Osama bin Laden, especially when taken in combination with the Arab Spring, offers a new opportunity for policymakers to re-emphasise the importance of soft power in the campaign against terrorism. As US President Barack Obama has emphasised, this must include an 'alternative narrative' for a disaffected generation in Muslim countries. ... History underlines the key role soft-power instruments (which include diplomacy, economic assistance and strategic communications) have played in obtaining desirable outcomes in world politics. For example, the US used soft resources skilfully after World War II to encourage other countries into a system of alliances and institutions, such as NATO, the IMF, the World Bank, and the UN. The Cold War was subsequently won by a strategy of containment and cultural vigour that combined soft and hard power.

Like the Cold War, the challenges that are posed by the campaign against terrorism cannot be met by hard assets alone. ... This is especially so because the anti-terrorism contest is one whose outcome is related, in significant part, to a battle between moderates and extremists within Islamic civilisation. This factor is, ironically, very well understood within the top echelons of al-Qa'ida. For instance, its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has said 'more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. We are in a media battle for the hearts and minds'. Similarly, bin Laden emphasised the importance of communications, once noting 'the media war in this century is one of the strongest methods; in fact, its ratio may reach 90 per cent of the total preparation for the battles'. It is in this context of winning Muslim hearts and minds that, 10 years after 9/11, Obama now has such a precious political window of opportunity to relaunch the campaign against terrorism. Seizing the moment would require the US giving higher priority, as it did during the Cold War, to public diplomacy, broadcasting, development assistance and exchange programs. ... Obama should fully resource and implement the 'strengthening US engagement with the world' strategic initiative launched last year. This identifies many priorities, including better combating the messages of violent extremists and ensuring US policy is better informed by an understanding of attitudes of other cultures. Such a relaunched anti-terrorism campaign would continue, of course, to include a significant military and counter-terrorism component." Image from

The History of Al Qaeda
- Daniel L. Byman, "Indeed, al Qaeda can claim it forced the United States to reveal its true colors. The U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the growing U.S. military role in Yemen and Somalia, all demonstrates, for those who are already eager to believe, that the United States is bent on dominating the Muslim world. A decade of public diplomacy has not dented this view, and polls of Muslim populaces indicate that they continue to have a poor opinion of the United States. ... [W]hile U.S. officials could and should enjoy the victory lap they are taking since the killing of Bin Laden, it's worth reflecting on the many advances al Qaeda has made since 9/11, and on its impressive resilience."

Why is the Middle East Still in Thrall to 9/11 Conspiracy Theories? - Eric Trager, The Plank on "[D]espite the billions of dollars spent policing Baghdad and protecting Benghazi, the unpopularity of the United States in the Arab world continues to be fueled by the belief that Islamist terrorists had nothing to do with 9/11, with many claiming the attacks were an American, Israeli, or joint American-Israeli conspiracy.

In this sense, overcoming 9/11 revisionism is, perhaps, the greatest challenge facing American public diplomacy in the coming decade: So long as such conspiracy theories persist, Arabs will continue to view American policies aimed at preventing 'another 9/11' as thoroughly illegitimate since, as they see it, 9/11 is just a big American lie." Uncaptioned image from article

The Arab Spring Casts Obama as United States Public Diplomacy Messenger - Lina Khatib, The CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "With Obama having been thrust into the limelight as the United States’ primary public diplomacy messenger, whatever policy action the United States chooses next must take into account this new role for the president. Whatever the president chooses to say must also be coupled with concrete policy measures, or else U.S. public diplomacy messages will be condemned to falling on deaf ears in the Arab world."

US funding for Pakistani journalists raises questions of transparency: US State Department funding, supplied through a nonprofit intermediary, supports the presence of two Pakistani journalists in Washington. Some observers say the relationship should be more transparent - Issam Ahmed, Christian Science Monitor: "Two Pakistani journalists filing reports home from Washington are quietly drawing their salaries from US State Department funding through a nonprofit intermediary, highlighting the sophisticated nature of America’s efforts to shape its image abroad. Neither of the two media organizations, Express News and Dunya News, discloses that their reporters are paid by the nonprofit America Abroad Media (AAM) on their websites or in the reports filed by their correspondents. Though the journalists have worked under the auspices of AAM since February, AAM only made their links to the news organizations known on their website Wednesday, after being contacted by the Monitor. The lack of transparency

by the Pakistani organizations involved could heighten Pakistani mistrust of the US government, which is seen as having an undue level of influence in their country’s affairs. ... The amount currently allocated for the project is some $2 million over two years from the public diplomacy funds allocated by the State Department, according to State Department officials in Washington familiar with the project.  ... Christine Fair, a Pakistan expert and assistant professor at Georgetown University in Washington, says it is important to remember that the US government is operating in an environment of misinformation, where anti-US stories in Pakistan seeded by the Pakistani security establishment are commonplace. 'Is anyone calling them out on this? The Pakistani press is the freest press that money can buy,' she says, adding: 'The larger story is the Pakistani media is up for sale to as many people want to buy it. This fiction is that the country is really benefiting from some independent media. The US government wants to get into this game to counter this ISI [Inter Services Intelligence] propaganda.'” See also; image from, with caption: girl with a transparent skirt

United States Wages 21st Century Statecraft Part II: How Does It Work? - Tori Horton, The CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "In terms of creating a cohesive policy around freedom of expression, communicating that policy and incorporating that policy into meaningful activities, the State Department has been coordinated and thorough in it’s [sic] design and development of a public diplomacy strategy. While the premise of the Internet Freedom Policy, not to mention the ramifications, have been quite controversial; [sic punctuation] the strategic implementation has been successful."

School Stuff, the World & Laura Bush - Steve Clemons, The Washington Note: "Most Americans know former First Lady Laura Bush as a strong supporter of education -- and she puts her time and travel into this cause. What is less known about Bush is how committed she was to international bridge-building and encouraging Americans to connect abroad. ... She is an internationalist -- and young folks ... you should know that there is a "Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship" administered by the

Department of State (Deadline extended to September 26, 2011) that is a great opportunity for young people to work abroad in line with the goals of UNESCO. ... Now back to those Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowships. Here's the overview: The fellowship will help fund a proposal designed by the applicant to conduct brief work in a foreign country related to the mandate of UNESCO - using education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and/or communication and information to build strong ties among nations. The fellowship is intended for American college/university students who express an interest in international collaboration but as of yet had not been afforded many opportunities to travel abroad. The length of time for the travel is expected to be between 4 and 6 weeks and should include interaction with individuals from other nations. During his/her travel, the recipient should be willing to participate in public diplomacy events arranged with the pertinent U.S. State Department Consulate, Mission, and/or Embassy." Uncaptioned image from article

Public diplomacy - "Today, a return to (intended) form with a little discussion about public diplomacy. I started this blog as a way to recap my experiences with the 'Young Turkey – Young America' program in 2010. The YTYA program brought together some of the most incredible people I have ever known, some exceptional young thinkers and movers and shakers from America and Turkey. The goal of the program was to create and foster deep connections between some 'rising leaders' in two countries which share a plethora of common goals, challenges, and strategic interests – and yet, for all of that, do not always have a particularly nuanced understanding of each other. The money for the YTYA grant came from the U.S. State Department, and as amazing as my colleagues in that program were, none of us were under the illusion that we were the most 'typical' representatives of our homelands. ... In terms of encouraging this kind of 'track two' or 'cultural diplomacy' though – international exchanges that take place not at the level of foreign ministries and departments of state, but amongst artists and academics and NGOs – my YTYA friends and I were easy targets. We were ready to learn and to engage, and in many cases already had similar experiences. I bring this up today because something of a scandal has been brewing throughout Korea for the past few days, with ripples felt particularly amongst those of us on the English teaching circuit. Long story short, an American man on a bus in a city called Bundang went ballistic a week or two ago during an argument with some elderly Korean passengers and screamed in their faces, grabbed at them, and at one point appeared to yank a woman bodily out of her seat. How do I know this is what happened? Because the bus was crowded, this is tech-crazed Korea, and naturally about a dozen passengers captured the whole thing on video with their phones. These videos have gone viral here. ... The man thought the Koreans were making racially derogatory remarks toward him (he is black); a fair number of Koreans I’ve spoken with seem to be less shocked about his actions than about the fact that the video clearly shows not a single other passenger on the bus making even the slightest attempt to intervene. ... The elderly Korean couple are fine, physically, but the damage this man has done to the image of foreigners – particularly Americans – here in Korea will be felt for years. ... [W]hen you’re overseas – whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not – you are representing your country. You are, in many ways, acting as an agent of public diplomacy. And that is where this man has crossed more lines than he may realize."

USNS Comfort Completes Humanitarian Mission - Terri Moon Cronk, American Forces Press Service: "Another chapter comes to a close today aboard the USNS Comfort when it docks at Norfolk, Va., after five months at sea supporting the Continuing Promise 2011 humanitarian assistance mission.

The hulking hospital ship -- three football fields long and one wide -- delivered medical, dental, veterinary and engineering assistance in the Caribbean Basin, Central America and South America. ... 'The relationships forged through operations like Continuing Promise fosters trust, collaboration, and cooperation with our friends and allies,' Nickerson [Navy Capt. Brian Nickerson, Continuing Promise mission commander] said, adding the mission 'also be characterized as defense support to public diplomacy in that it supports both regional and national objectives as well as the U.S. Global Maritime Strategy.'” Image from article, with caption: Haitian fishermen look toward the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort during Continuing Promise 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Aug. 18, 2011.

How Can U.S. Scholars Resist China's Control? Apply Diplomatic Pressure - Jeffrey Herbst, New York Times: "While I was the provost at Miami University in Ohio, I traveled to Beijing to present a proposal to set up a Confucius Institute, a center that promotes Chinese language and cultural study that is funded by the Office of Chinese Language Council International. Just like Germany’s Goethe Institute, France’s Alliance Française, the British Council, and the American Fulbright Program, the Confucius Institute should be understood as both a cultural exchange and a Chinese attempt to project soft power. While at Miami University, I also traveled to Dharmasala, India, where I gave His Holiness the Dalai Lama an invitation to visit our campus and receive an honorary degree. The visit by the Dalai Lama was an important moment for the entire campus community to learn more about Tibet, including the complex history of its relations with China. I saw no contradiction between those two efforts. China has, on occasion, stymied scholars who have been critical or have worked on subjects considered sensitive. We should exert whatever pressure we can to help these colleagues by having diplomats and elected officials protest these restrictions and by highlighting the negative effects on China in setting up barriers for academic research and exchange. We should also seek to improve America’s own good but not perfect record in allowing critics to visit our country."

How Can U.S. Scholars Resist China's Control? Lacking Clear Strategies - Mary Gallagher, New York Times: "American universities' desire to cooperate with China invariably comes into conflict with the need to protect academic freedom. To date, most American universities have not developed clear strategies to deal with the conflict, but have evaded it by noting that academic freedom has been promised to them in principle. In order to assure that American scholars

can research abroad without unreasonable restrictions, universities with projects in China should recognize that academic freedom cannot be guaranteed by any local partner or institution. Protection of this value will require constant and tenacious defense around actual cases, like the 'Xinjiang 13' scholars who were blacklisted by the Chinese government, some of whom are still not allowed to visit China." Image from

How Can U.S. Scholars Resist China's Control? A False Dilemma - James Millward, New York Times: "American higher education is the global gold standard. Maintaining that standard by defending its core principle of academic freedom will please the right people in China, more than any basketball game."

China's English-language CCTV News and CCTV Documentary will be available in Washington (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Regarding the CCTV channels in Washington, there is, of course, no reciprocity. US broadcasts in Mandarin are not transmitted within China.

This is why 'Publicize the lack of reciprocity in media between China and the United States' is one of the planks in my strategy for US international broadcasting to China." Image from article

Reporter reflects on defining decade for Southeast Asia - Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, posted at "Southeast Asia isn't a bastion of political liberty, but most countries have some kind of elected government, and young people are demanding far greater freedoms than those of their parents' generation, which focused on economic survival. I rarely meet anyone who views China's political system as a model for their own country. Even in Muslim-dominated Indonesia, where Bush-era wars were so unpopular, America's image got a boost from the election of President Obama, who spent part of his boyhood there. The US government has also learned to balance its support for counterterrorism in Indonesia, which has suffered its own Al Qaeda atrocities, with more outreach to ordinary Muslims who are moderate in their faith, yet suspicious of US influence. The latest effort was a series of concerts this month in Indonesia by Native Deen, an Islamic hip-hop group from Washington. Their four-city tour was billed as a 'diplomatic mission' to promote tolerance, all paid for by the US State Department. China is taking note. It has begun flying Indonesia's Islamic scholars to China on study tours in order to show how Muslim minorities thrive in China, despite its official atheism. It's the kind of public diplomacy that the US has used for decades to burnish its image, so it's hardly surprising that China is doing the same." MORE ON CHINA'S PUBLIC DIPLOMACY BELOW.

Voice Of America's Role In Internet Age - NPR: "Host Scott Simon speaks with David Ensor, who took over directorship of Voice of America last month. A longtime journalist for NPR, CNN and ABC News, his most recent post was in Afghanistan, where he was director for communications and public diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul."

New VOA director David Ensor interviewed by NPR's Scott Simon - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Mr. Ensor's main challenge will be to keep VOA relevant during a new era of content overabundance, rather than the content scarcity of previous decades. During the interview, Mr. Ensor says that on 6 September, VOA will begin special broadcasts with information for Somalia refugees. His reference to working with a 'sister station' suggests use of the Radio Sawa medium wave relay at Djibouti. See previous post about similar broadcasts of BBC Somali."

An important function of the BBG firewall is to protect US international broadcasting from the Heritage Foundation - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Heritage Foundation, 31 Aug 2011, Helle Dale: 'The U.S. should work with the Broadcasting Board of Governors to make international broadcasting part of an integrated government-wide U.S. counterterrorism communications strategy. The firewall established by the U.S. International Broadcasting Act of 1994 between State and BBG to ensure editorial independence for the broadcasters has turned into a detriment in terms of resource allocation and lack of congressional oversight.'" [Elliott comment:] I think the Heritage Foundation misses the Soviet Union. from

Estonian president, alumnus of RFE, re-elected to second five-year term - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Bloomberg, 29 Aug 2011, Ott Ummelas: 'Estonian lawmakers re-elected President Toomas Ilves for a second five-year term, strengthening political stability in the Baltic nation. ... Ilves, 57,

who was born in Stockholm, in 2006 became Estonia’s third elected president since the end of Soviet rule. Educated at Columbia University, he ran the Estonian desk of Radio Free Europe during communism and later served twice as foreign minister.' For more about President Ilves's time at RFE/RL, see Cold War Radios, 30 Aug 2011, Richard H. Cummings." Ilves image from

AFP: Cambodian human rights court starts contempt proceedings against VOA Khmer - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Wikileaks: Eritrea’s major port city ‘becoming a ghost town’ - Daniel Berhane, [A] leaked Cable of US Embassy Asmara provides a first hand observation of the state of economy in the major port town Massawa,

which lies alongside the Read Sea. The January 2009 Cable states: [Embassy officials] traveled to Massawa January 14-15 for a Public Diplomacy engagement ... and observed a more hollow, destitute city than we saw in April 2008." Image from article

Wikileaks - CMII Duminica, 04 Septembrie, Anul 3 d.Tr. Autor: Mircea Popescu - "134363 12/14/2007 10:48 07USNATO636 Afghanistan ... 2. (C/NF) CMC Henault commended ISAF for the military planning and execution that resulted in the retaking of Musa Qala district center after many months of Taliban control, with an Afghan face on the operation (Operation MAR KARARDAD), and great care taken to avoid collateral damage. He praised the media planning that has thus far resulted in fair and balanced media coverage of the operations, with the Afghans in front of cameras and microphones. ... 8. (C/NF) Ambassador Nuland, Canada, Germany, and Romania asked about follow-on planning for holding Musa Qala now that the clearing operations seemed to have been successful. While stressing the challenge in Musa Qala was not over, Ambassador Nuland also praised the cooperation between the ANA, ISAF, and OEF, and the manner in which the Afghans had been given a leading role in public diplomacy, and asked what sort of quick impact funding was being put to use. She again laid down U.S. redlines on the reconciliation of OMF with the Afghan government."

Viewing cable 05CAIRO3953, THE FIRST LADY'S VISIT TO EGYPT, MAY 23-24 [year not cited] - "First Lady Laura Bush's May 23-24 visit to Egypt was a public diplomacy triumph and contributed significantly to USG efforts to promote education, reform, and the role of women. efforts to promote education, reform, and the role of women. In Cairo, her visit included meetings with Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak and prominent female representatives of Lady Suzanne Mubarak and prominent female representatives of Egyptian civil society. She toured a girls school and filmed a segment on promoting literacy on Alam Simsim, the Egyptian version of Sesame Street. She highlighted Egypt's cultural heritage by taping the American morning shows in front of the Pyramids and by touring an archeological site. In Alexandria, Mrs. Alexandria, Mrs. Bush visited a school and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Press coverage of the visit was generally Press positive.  End summary."

Sicherheitspolitische Kommunikation 2.0 in Zeiten knapper Kassen - Felix F. Seidler, Global Observer: "Die NATO hat zu Beginn des Libyen-Einsatzes ... ein gutes Bild abgegeben. Über die Homepage, Facebook und Videos wurde der Versuch von Echtzeitkommunikation unternommen. Ich habe das damals sehr intensiv verfolgt und kann sagen, dass das durchaus erfolgreich war. Bisweilen war Generalsekretär Rasmussen mit seinen Videos zu den Ergebnissen von NATO-Sitzungen eher bei Facebook

als Spiegel Online und andere die entsprechenden Meldungen brachten. Teilweise habe ich gesehen, dass Medien dann diese Videos wiederrum zitierten. Die Folge war, dass die NATO durchaus an Deutungs- und Informationshoheit gewann. Man kann angesichts einer UN-mandatierten humanitären Intervention darüber streiten, inwieweit die Public Diplomacy der NATO hier überhaupt öffentliche Zustimmung generieren musste. Allerdings kann Echtzeitkommunikation dieser Art das Entstehen negativer Reaktionen verhindern, da die Message beispielsweise nicht durch Medien oder Blogger gefiltert und evtl. verzerrt wird." Image from article

A silent flight through empty skies‎: Terrorism was the farthest thing from my mind in beautiful Western Canada, writes then-U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci - "The events of September 11 will make that the day generations will recall in vivid detail . ... Improbably, I was in Calgary, another stage in the campaign of public diplomacy on which I had embarked shortly after my arrival in Canada five months before - explaining to Canadians how the United States regarded the changing world and how it regarded Canada's place in that new world. The main point of my message was that Canada had to pay greater heed to military preparedness, that there had to be a far greater concern for continental

security. ... In the beautiful heart of Western Canada, the furthest thing from my mind on that morning was terrorism. ... Like hundreds of other stunned travellers, we watched on televisions in the airport lounge as a second plane crashed into the World Trade Center and the whole disastrous scenario began to unfold." Cellucci image from article, with caption: Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci, right, former prime minister Jean Chrétien and Adrienne Clarkson, who was governor general at the time, attend a ceremony in Ottawa in 2001 marking a day of mourning for the victims of the 9-11 attacks." Image from article

What the U.N. Can Do to Stop Getting Attacked by Terrorists - Louis Klarevas, New Republic: "[A]fter pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda in 2010, [Nigerian sect leader] Boko Haram launched a staunch anti-American public diplomacy campaign by declaring, 'Jihad has just begun. O America, die with your fury.' And how did Boko Haram make good on that pledge? By attacking the UN."

Broadcast News - "Last week the Israeli daily Maariv relayed a report from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs explaining that Israel is incensed with Qatar and intends to break off relations with the spunky Persian Gulf emirate. ... As part of its campaign against Qatar, the Maariv report claimed that the Israeli government would no longer allow journalists employed by Al Jazeera,

the Qatari emir’s de facto public diplomacy wing, to operate within its precincts. However, the station’s bureau chief is still working from Jerusalem and is in little danger of being chased out of the country. Nonetheless, by shining the spotlight on Al Jazeera, Israel is illuminating the satellite network’s negative influence in the region." Image from article

Internet Engagement: The online campaign to recognise Palestine - Andre Oboler, Jerusalem Post: "There is ... a need to expose campaigns which may not be all they seem. This is particularly true in the conventional media when Israel and her supporters are up against Pallywood, the production of fictional events

and atrocities as part of Palestinian public diplomacy. Another approach is the manufacture of fake 'grassroots' campaigns, what is known as astroturfing. A 2009 collection of astroturf campaigns shows the technique in action in the real world. The success of an online campaign is usually measured by participation and grassroots buy-in, fake this and you have faked the whole campaign. In the online world astroturfing has now reached dangerous levels, and much of it is said to be done by professional lobbying organisations – and by governments." Image from article

Don't send Peres to the UN - Editorial, Haaretz: "Israel's ambassador to the United Nations should present the government's position on the establishment of a Palestinian state. It's not the president's [Peres's] job to represent the positions of the Israeli government, becoming a kind of foreign minister or a substitute for the public diplomacy minister. The government and the Foreign Ministry cannot divest themselves of their heavy responsibility for Israel's complex and difficult international situation."

Report: ČR not to back Palestine at UN: Newspaper says Prague among five capitals to confirm Israeli support - Benjamin Cunningham, "In [a] set of leaked diplomatic cables published by Haaretz in June, Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry Director General Rafael Barak writes: 'The goal we have to set is to have the maximum number of countries oppose the process of having the UN recognize a Palestinian state. The Palestinian process must be referred to as a process that erodes the legitimacy of the State of Israel. The goal is to get the country in which you serve to vote against recognizing a Palestinian state,' Barak continued in giving directions to diplomats serving abroad.

Your plan must include approaching the most senior politicians, mobilizing the relevant force multipliers, using the media, influencing local public opinion and public diplomacy aimed at all the relevant communities.' Included in the lobbying of Czech officials was likely an April visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." Image from article, with caption: Palestinians walk through an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city as they wait to cross into Jerusalem Aug. 12. Israeli influence in the territories is likely to hold sway despite a UN General Assembly vote to recognize a Palestinian state.

Domestic Affairs - September 02, 2011 – Full Report - "The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that it begun to make organizational changes in order to adapt its structure to processes in the region and the world, increase productivity, and accelerate work processes. As part of these changes, Ramin Mehman-Parast was appointed as spokesman and head of the ministry’s Center for Public and Media Diplomacy. This is new center that aims to seriously promote Iranian foreign policy goals through public diplomacy and the use of media."

Ahmet Davutoğlu conducts ‘mosque diplomacy’ in Balkans - "A three-nation tour to Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Romania earlier this week has exposed a different aspect within the proactive and comprehensive foreign policy conducted by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu: mosque diplomacy. ... [A]ddressing the frequency of his visits to the region in the last two years, Davutoğlu

offered that 'no such [frequency of] activity was seen before,' and that the fast-paced dialogue created an excuse for remarks of neo-Ottoman motives on behalf of Turkey, but that the people on the street were welcoming Turkey’s role in their region. The restoration of mosques carried out by the Foundation of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet Vakfı) and the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) constitute solid ground for Davutoğlu’s public diplomacy in the Balkans." Image from article, with caption: Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (C) performed his Eid al-Fitr prayer together with Bakir Izetbegovic (L), a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Reis-ul-Ulema Dr. Mustafa Ceric (R) at the Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque in Sarajevo.

Indonesia - The Youth to Contribute to the Establishment of ASEAN Community 2015 - "The duties of the Youth Ambassadors included promoting Indonesia at home and abroad, helping the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to carry out diplomatic missions both in their origin region and other cities according to their assignment, and helping the Local Government to perform protocol duties and promote Indonesia. 'I believe that this program will enable Indonesian youth to make friends with people from across nations as well as understand foreign cultures and at the same time love their very own culture and nation,' said the Director for Public Diplomacy the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kusuma Habir . ... Kusuma Habir mentioned that this year was the IX ASEAN Youth Ambassador program. This year’s program was attended by 78 participants, comprising 66 Paskibraka and 12 students with excellent academic achievement from the 33 Indonesian provinces. The participants were divided into 3 groups according their assigned destinations: Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines."

I Sing Beijing - Gary D. Rawnsley, The CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy:
"The Chinese have a long tradition of public diplomacy and soft power, and both history and culture have remained at the heart of its global outreach. ... In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, China’s cultural diplomacy has expanded to include first giving and now renting pandas to zoos around the world, exhibitions of Xian’s famous terracotta warriors in the world’s museums, and the performance of traditional Chinese martial arts for global audiences. China’s films, too, have captured international attention, but only among audiences who dare to venture into art house cinemas and are not afraid to watch films with subtitles. My questions with such cultural diplomacy are: What comes next? What is the next step? If you accept that you are undertaking ‘cultural diplomacy’, what are you actually trying to achieve and how do you know when you have achieved it?"

Where Chinese Aggression Flowers: Adam Minter - Adam Minter, "The Philippines ... is only a temporary focus for the sharp-tongued ire of Chinese microblogging hawks. ... [T]hey targeted [also] Vietnam, another serious competitor for territory in the South China Sea. ... For Shi Anbin, the assistant dean at Tsinghua University’s School of Journalism, China’s most important journalism school, the problem is not so much Chinese policy in the South China Sea, but rather a failure of Chinese public diplomacy to capture the Vietnamese people's hearts. Shi tweeted: [']the relevant Chinese government departments should think about how to deal with overseas publicity and public diplomacy in Vietnam: winning hearts and minds, especially of the post-Vietnam-War generation, who have a much more favorable impression of the U.S., than of China. ['] Perhaps Shi underestimates the strong attachment of the Vietnamese to their nationhood and sovereignty. But, by blaming Chinese policy -- and anti-Chinese sentiment -- for the protests, he fits perfectly into the consensus critique of the Party’s cautious foreign policy in Southeast Asia."

Promoting public diplomacy‎ - Yang Jiechi, Xinhua: "'Soft power', which mainly comprises values, systems, political views and cultural influence, is being increasingly emphasized by various countries around the globe, and particularly by major countries. This has given rise to public diplomacy, which is considered an important means of developing soft power. Various countries have taken steps to increase their strategic investment in public diplomacy in a bid to boost their soft power. China should also actively engage in public diplomacy in order to comprehensively develop its soft power, further boost its international appeal and influence, and ensure that the Chinese people gain a greater understanding of not only the outside world, but also themselves. This is both a pressing task and a long-term strategy with far-reaching implications. ... Today, China needs the world as much as the world needs China. As China's international standing and influence continue to attract greater attention from the international community, more and more countries are actively seeking to enhance ties with China. However, prejudice, misunderstanding and suspicion are still commonplace in international perceptions of China, which is mainly due to differences in values and ideology, lingering Cold War mentalities, and uneasiness over China's rapid growth. ... We should respond to this complicated environment by engaging in public diplomacy. By actively engaging in public diplomacy, we should strive to establish an objective and comprehensive view of China in the international community, allow the world to better understand China's history, culture, mode of development, government concepts, domestic and foreign policies, and seek to establish and maintain a global image of China as a responsible country committed to peace, development and cooperation."

Military in 2009 organize seven Sino-foreign joint exercises show open image - Li China Eastern Airlines - "Department of Defense Major General Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the interview with this reporter recently . ... [Qian Lihua:]

the face of complex and volatile international and regional security situation, we will continue to actively conduct all-round high-level military exchanges, increase participation in multilateral dialogue and cooperation, highlighting pragmatic exchanges and cooperation, focus on needs of national defense and army building, the relevant functional departments of the army-depth exchanges of expertise, organize joint exercises and joint training foreign armies, especially good at participating in Kazakhstan 'Peace Mission 2010' joint armed forces of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States anti-terrorism military exercises preparatory work, and now I have conducted three rounds of the parties working consultations. We will also actively promote the work of the military public diplomacy, to further increase with the national media, public communication efforts to better explain to the world the Chinese army." Qian Lihua image from

Running the foreign service under Rudd - Geoffrey Barker, "Successive federal governments have substantially undermined Australia’s diplomatic service, cutting its funding, its staffing and its overseas missions. At the same time,

governments have pushed the depleted foreign service to assist the large and increasing number of Australians who get into trouble each year in foreign countries. ... Australia’s hyperactive foreign affairs minister, Kevin Rudd, talks often and eloquently about what he calls 'creative middle power diplomacy.' What he means by this is not clear . ... Running DFAT under Rudd, with severe financial and personnel constraints, can be no easy task for department secretary Dennis Richardson, one of Australia’s most accomplished diplomats. ... Richardson said nothing about the state of Australia’s 'public diplomacy,' which was heavily criticised by Lowy [Sydney-based Lowy Institute for International Policy], or about DFAT’s failure to embrace new media techniques to advance Australia’s global standing. But he had no criticism of the Lowy findings." Image from article, with caption: “We could have done better but we have not done badly”: the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dennis Richardson

Roger Dow, US Travel Association President and CEO, delivers a personal message and discusses the strategy for 2009 in a brief video - "The Board of Directors of the Travel Industry Association (TIA) approved a merger Friday with the Travel Business Roundtable. The newly formed US Travel Association, effective January 1, 2009, will further intensify the voice of Americas 0 billion travel industry. Travel supports nearly 18 million US jobs that cannot be outsourced and contributes more than 0 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue, said Roger Dow, TIAs President and CEO, who will serve in the same capacity for the US Travel Association. Americas travel community has created an organization that matches the power and scope of Americas travel economy. The US Travel Association will represent leaders from nearly all major travel-related companies, state travel and tourism offices, dozens of the top US convention and visitors bureaus and nearly all of the major travel associations. The new organization will serve as the leading advocate for increasing travel to and within the United States and provide its members with valuable research, events and marketing. America needs travel now more than ever to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and further the vital public diplomacy interests of the United States, said Caroline Beteta, CEO of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, who will serve as National Chair of the US Travel Association for 2009."

Public Diplomacy and The English School - Robin Brown, "While PD is often conducted by states in situations of conflict and competition (which might lead you to expect a realist dynamic to be at work) the questions of credibility and reputation tend to push towards an enlightened self interest that is very much consistent with a rationalist world view. But at least at a rhetorical level there is a revolutionist strand running through PD. Public diplomacy is constructed in opposition to elitist diplomacy and thus can imply a movement towards a world society model. ‘Internet freedom’ somehow suggests something beyond a states-system."

Expeditionary Economics and Countering Violent Extremism -
"Expeditionary economics does have a role in the counterterrorism or counterinsurgency fight, however. In giving the people ownership of the economy through entrepreneurship and private sector growth, it gives meaning to the public diplomacy efforts that are critical to defeating the terrorists’ 'propaganda of the deed.' In creating sustainable economic growth in the country harboring terrorists, it provides the state with increased resources to provide for its own security and to combat the terrorist threat."

Social Media Club September '11 Roundtable - Participate in formulating the social media strategy for Public Diplomacy Division - "Meet Mr. Navdeep Suri, IFS. Joint Secretary and Head, Public Diplomacy Division. Ministry of External Affairs. Mr. Suri will be sharing with the participating experts the social media objectives and goals of

his team and the current framework. After the presentation, the experts will recommend ways to make the current framework more effective, establish this medium as the central communication tool, generate ROI. Expert panelists include social media evangelists from across corporate, marketing agencies, specialized social media firms. If you are a social media expert, join to share your thoughts on how the department can concentrate efforts on social media and reap the benefits. If you are a social media enthusiast, join to learn more from experts about building social media strategy and its elements in this highly interactive discussion." Fuzzy (intentionally?) image from article

The Real Way to Increase Infrastructure Jobs - James K. Glassman, Forbes: "I served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

under President Bush, from June 2008 to January 2009, and from June 2007 to June 2008, I served as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors." Glassman image from blog entry

Anne Callaghan Is New U.S. Consul General in Vancouver -  Ms. Callaghan has ... served as Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Rome, Italy, where she directed public diplomacy for the U.S. Embassy and three Consulates General (2006-2009); and as Counselor for Public Affairs in Bogota, Colombia (2004-2006)."

Ask And Solve good for a Foreign Service Officer?" Would a degree in Anthropology be good for a Foreign Service Officer? - News For China Consulate: "Public Diplomacy Officers: explain American values and policies and may benefit from a strong knowledge of local government and customs."

Emails: Wisconsin and Michigan opposed Nebraska's AAU membership - "After endorsing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's entrance into the Big Ten Conference -- in part because of its academic strength -- leaders at the universities of Wisconsin and Michigan apparently helped oust UNL from an elite academic group . ... Nebraska failed to garner the 21 votes it needed last April to remain in the Association of American Universities, a confederation of more than 60 top research institutions that collectively nets more than half of all federal research funds and awards more than half of the doctoral degrees in the nation. ... [E]mails show public diplomacy by UNL administrators and other Big Ten presidents ... but [also] private derision of the AAU and its leaders."

Public Diplomacy: Learn a Democratic Citizenship - Jordon Casinger, "Nowadays politicians can not [sic] hide from the journalists, every their step is overviewed [sic] and criticized. Decades before media was dependent on the government authorities, up-to-date trend of the social democracy removed barriers for the mass media activities.

Public democracy describes how the governing decisions are delivered by the people. Citizens of a country can influence the government decision by voting or referendums. Obviously, as we live in the world of democracy, our voices have to be heard and accepted. A citizen has to have his/her right to be protected by clear and feasible laws; his/her interests have to be taken into consideration by the government authorities. ... Jordon Casinger works in writing company [sic] as a professional academic writer. Pursuing her own ambitious scientific career, she helps countless students worldwide with write [sic] term papers and academic writing help." Image from


A successful post-Bush foreign policy - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Barack Obama got elected president in part because he promised to change the foreign policy priorities of a Bush administration that was unpopular abroad, had strained relations with key allies and was facing a growing Iranian challenge and a continuing menace from al-Qaeda. So what’s happened over the past 32 months? There have been a lot of bumps and bruises, especially in the global economy. But if you step back from the daily squawk box, some trends are clear: Alliances are stronger, the United States is (somewhat) less bogged down in foreign wars, Iran is weaker, the Arab world is less hostile and al-Qaeda is on the run. The administration’s own goal has been to downsize American ambitions and expectations to meet reality. For a generation raised on JFK’s “pay any price, bear any burden” rhetoric, this neorealism hasn’t sounded like leadership. But the lower-key U.S. approach isn’t a gaffe, it’s a deliberate policy.

Obama and the Burden of Exceptionalism: Post-'60s liberals, with the president as their standard bearer, seek to make a virtue of decline - Shelby Steele, Wall Street Journal: To civilize America, to redeem the nation from its supposed avarice and hubris, the American left effectively makes a virtue of decline—as if we can redeem America only by making her indistinguishable from lesser nations.

As a president, Barack Obama has been a force for mediocrity. He has banked more on the hopeless interventions of government than on the exceptionalism of the people. Image from article

Obama, American liberator? - Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz, Washington Post:  Like George W. Bush, Obama came into office with a narrower, “humbler” conception of America’s interests abroad. In his first visit to the Middle East region, he confused the majesty of Islam with the dignity of Muslim potentates. Sept. 11, 2001, transformed Bush. We must wait to see whether the Great Arab Revolt has permanently changed Obama. Syria will be his real test.

Uncensored WikiLeaks cables posted to Web - Raphael G. Satter, Washington Times: Uncensored copies of WikiLeaks’ massive tome of U.S. State Department cables circulated freely Thursday across the Internet, leaving a whole new batch of U.S. sources vulnerable to embarrassment and potential retribution.

In the United States, the U.S. State Department denied ever cooperating with the anti-secrecy group, and blasted Wikileaks for allegedly threatening national security and the safety of confidential informants. Image from article, with caption: Julian Assange; see also

Crowdsourcing Cablegate: asks readers to select "most interesting" of WikiLeaks unredacted US cables - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Libyan intel papers link ex-diplomat to Gadhafi propaganda - By Eli Lake, The Washington Times: A former U.S. diplomat advised the crumbling regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi on how to counter its critics, according to documents found after rebels gained access to the regime’s intelligence ministry in Tripoli. Other documents show that an anti-war congressman

was in touch with an intermediary from Col. Gadhafi’s regime and asked him for politically usable dirt on the Libyan rebels. The first set of documents purports to be notes of an Aug. 2 meeting between David Welch, a career U.S. diplomat who negotiated the normalization of ties between the United States and Libya during the George W. Bush administration, and two senior regime officials, Abubakr Alzleitny and Mohammed Ahmed Ismail. Another document found by Al-Jazeera inside the personal office of Abdullah al-Senussi, Libya’s intelligence chief, was a memo addressed to Col. Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, describing a conversation between an intermediary for the son and Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat and outspoken critic of the military intervention in Libya since it was launched in March. Gadhafi image from article

Has the U.S. Issued Kill Orders Against Reporters in Libya? - Joe Wolverton, II, While there undoubtedly are those who deny even the possibility that the government of the United States would encourage, condone, or much less order, the death of those trying to tell the true story of atrocities being carried out by NATO, constitutionalists insist that the unassailable truth is that there is neither authority nor need for the armed forces of the United States to be involved in yet another war against a regime that poses no clear, present, or proven threat to the safety of the citizens of the American Republic. Via

Inside a Flawed Spy Machine as Gadhafi's Rule Crumbled - Charles Levinson and Margaret Coker, [by subscription]: Reams of confidential documents reveal mounting desperation and disarray among top leaders of Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime this past spring as power slipped through their fingers. The files, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, were discovered in the office of Libya's spy chief and two other security agencies after the personnel fled their desks as civil war deepened. The documents expose an ossified culture within Libya's police state that proved largely incapable of switching gears to fight an actual war. Propaganda skills failed to translate into battlefield analysis, leaving soldiers furious and, in some cases, surprisingly clueless.

Rapid fall of Tripoli exposed Gadhafi regime’s hollow core - Simon Denyer and Leila Fadel, Salt Lake City Tribune: They were elite, professionally trained troops guarding a critical source of the regime’s power: the headquarters of Libya’s propaganda-spewing state television. But when unarmed protesters took to the streets, the feared guards, members of brigades known as Katibas, simply took off their uniforms, lay down their weapons and ran.

Real-World Motives for Libya War - William Blum, The West has buffered the war in Libya with layers of propaganda, including Orwellian claims about “protecting civilians” even as NATO warplanes kill civilians. The obvious real goal was “regime change,” the removal of Muammar Gaddafi, but historian William Blum explores what else was afoot.

The whys and wherefores of demonization of Islam - Mauri' Saalakhan, director of the Peace through Justice Foundation in Washington D.C., spoke to Press TV's U.S. Desk on Wednesday regarding who benefits from the demonization of Islam and Muslims through propaganda campaigns that are well funded. "Unfortunately, there is a growing host of people that appear to be benefitting from these campaigns.

This report that was just released, titled, Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America prepared by the Center for American Progress is a very very revealing report," Saalakhan said. Image from

Political Repression 2.0 - Evgeny Morozov, New York Times: Amid the cheerleading over recent events in the Middle East, it’s easy to forget the more repressive uses of technology. In addition to the rosy narrative celebrating how Facebook and Twitter have enabled freedom movements around the world, we need to confront a more sinister tale: how greedy companies, fostered by Western governments for domestic surveillance needs, have helped suppress them. Libya is only the latest place where Western surveillance technology has turned up.

Propaganda authorities take over Beijing papers - AFP: China's propaganda authorities have placed two of Beijing's most popular and colourful newspapers under new management, state press said, in a move decried by critics as an effort to censor the news. Beijing's Communist Party-run media authorities have taken over at the helm of the popular "Beijing News" and the "Beijing Times,"

the government-run Qianlong website reported late Saturday. Both papers routinely run stories critical of local governments around China, as well as articles that defy edicts issued by the party's propaganda bureau ordering media to show Chinese society in a positive light. Image from article, with caption: The "Beijing News" and "Beijing Times" papers routinely run stories critical of local governments around China.

Chaos in the walled garden: China's Great Firewall and thriving internet culture - The Chinese internet is fundamentally different from the internet that most westerners experience. It is highly controlled and censored. Blog posts, newspaper reports, and even government propaganda articles and videos sometimes disappear without notice.

Kazakhstan closes over 50 foreign websites due to extremist religious propaganda - Kazakhstan closed over 50 foreign sites under a court ruling against "promoting religious extremism and terrorism," the Kazakh General Prosecutor’s Office reported.

The Sariarka Court of Astana made a decision on 51 illegal foreign sites and closed them down for spreading products in Kazakhstan which promoted religious extremism and terrorism. Over 10,000 sites are monitored in Kazakhstan, ITAR-TASS reported. Image from article

Vietnamese propaganda poster[s] on display in Australia - An exhibition of Vietnamese propaganda posters has opened in the west Australian city of Perth. The exhibition spans the American war of the 1960s and 70s through to Vietnam's occupation of Cambodia and finally to the revolution of Doi Moi in the 1980s. The propaganda posters were used by Ho Chi Minh's government during these decades of economic hardship to rally patriotic fervour and hope among the Vietnamese people.

Ridiculous Propaganda Campaigns - Jill Harnessve, You ever been told that eating carrots will improve your eye sight? Then congratulations, you’ve just been fed propaganda from a very successful, but very silly British propaganda campaign. During the Battle of Britain, the Germans started noticing that a bunch of their planes were getting shot down in instances where the British shouldn’t have seen them coming.

It was almost like they had some sort of radio device that could detect the presence of incoming objects — actually, it was exactly that: Britain had perfected the radar and didn’t tell anyone about it. Obviously the Brits couldn’t let the Germans know they had access to this new technology…British papers published a story about a RAF pilot called John “Cat Eyes” Cunningham who had shot down 20 enemy planes thanks to his superhuman night vision, an ability he achieved by eating lots of carrots. While carrots are good for your eyes, they can’t actually improve your eyesight and they certainly can’t give you night vision. Even so, many people still believe that munching them down like Bugs Bunny will help them get rid of their glasses all because of a propaganda campaign. Image from article

Mirror, mirror: The New York Times wants to serve you info as you’re brushing your teeth - Information is everywhere — in the world, in your home, everywhere. In today’s pair of videos from a visit to The New York Times Co.’s R and D Lab, Brian House, The Times Co.’s Creative Technologist for R and D, demonstrates the Lab’s, er, reflection of that idea — in the form of a data-bearing mirror. The device (working name: “the magic mirror”) uses Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing technology to read physical cues from its user; it uses voice recognition technology to detect verbal cues. (In the videos, you’ll hear House talk to the mirror, Snow White-style.) The mirror also uses the the Times’ powerful APIs to serve up information on-demand. The device, within its notional home, would replace the standard bathroom mirror. And like the R and D Lab’s screen-topped table, it’s all about bringing a new kind of intimacy to the news experience. You can use it, say, to browse Times headlines, or watch Times videos, while you’re brushing your teeth. You can use it to schedule events on your personal calendar, or to shop online, or to exchange messages — from the classic “buy milk” on up — with other members of your household. While the mirror is capable of serving (relatively) traditional forms of content — individual articles, videos, etc. — via its screen functionality, even more striking is its experimentation with information that has, directly, very little to do with the Times itself. In exploring the realms of health and commerce alongside more standard editorial content, the Times Co. is hinting at the products we might see when news organizations expand their scope beyond the news itself. Via

Hollywood At War: Patriotism and Propaganda Cartoons and Films - Mike Brandolino, When people hear "Disney," the first things that come to mind are Mickey Mouse, Disneyland or Disneyworld, Snow White, or any of the other major charachters in the entertainment giant's extensive portfolio. The same applies when someone mentions Warner Brothers. The American cartoon icons, Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck, may be the first charachters to come to mind. But today,

few people know about the Walt Disney and Warner Brothers World War II patriotism / propaganda cartoons and films. Disney, Warner Brothers, and other Hollywood entertainment companies produced many types of films, including military training films, shorts, news reels, and animated cartoons to help support the war efforts overseas. Many of the cartoons and films are probably considered politically incorrect by today's standards. But, the world was at war and people needed to be shown the evils of the dark side Axis powers and their hatred, crimes, and tyranny. Image from article


Discussing Educational and Cultural Exchanges - a public meeting of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy by the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 11:22am. The next public meeting of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy will be September 15, 2011, at the State Department. The topic will be Educational and Cultural Affairs and their role in foreign policy. Speaking at the meeting will be Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Adam Ereli. Ambassador Ereli is also presently the Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

This public meeting will be from 10:00am to 11:00am on September 15, 2011, in the Loy Henderson conference room of the State Department’s Harry S Truman building at 2201 C Street, N.W. This meeting is open to the public, Members and staff of Congress, the State Department, Defense Department, the media, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations. To attend or request further information, contact the Commission at (202) 203-7463 or  by 5pm on September 12, 2011. Please arrive for the meeting by 9:45am to allow for a prompt meeting start.

As access to the Department of State facilities is controlled, members of the public wishing to attend the meeting must notify the Commission, not later than 5pm, September 12, 2011, providing the information below. If notified after this date, the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security may not be able to complete the necessary processing required to attend the meeting. A person requesting reasonable accommodation should notify the Commission by the same date.

Each member of the public wishing to attend the meeting should provide: his/her name, company or organizational affiliation; phone number; date of birth; and identifying data such as driver’s license number, U.S. Government ID, or U.S. Military ID, to the Commission. A RSVP list will be provided to Diplomatic Security. One of the following forms of valid photo identification will be required for admission to the Department of State building: U.S. driver’s license, passport, U.S. Government ID or other valid photo ID. Personal data is requested pursuant to Pub. L. 99-399 (Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986), as amended; Pub. L. 107-56 (USA PATRIOT Act); and Executive Order 13356. The purpose of the collection is to validate the identity of individuals who enter Department facilities. The data will be entered into the Visitor Access Control System (VACS-D) database. Please see the Privacy Impact Assessment for VACS-D at for additional information.

The United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy appraises U.S. Government activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics. The Advisory Commission may conduct studies, inquiries, and meetings, as it deems necessary. It may assemble and disseminate information and issue reports and other publications, subject to the approval of the Chairperson, in consultation with the Executive Director. The Advisory Commission may undertake foreign travel in pursuit of its studies and coordinate, sponsor, or oversee projects, studies, events, or other activities that it deems desirable and necessary in fulfilling its functions.

Matt Armstrong
Executive Director
U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy
Armstrong image from

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