Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 26-27

"'Therefore' is a word the poet must not know."

--André Gide; Gide image from


Diplomacy in a Time of Scarcity - American Academy of Diplomacy and Stimson (October 2012). Section on Public Diplomacy: pp. 29-30


Public Diplomacy Speakers Series [Josef Korbel School of International Studies] - Amb. Cameron Munter, "Ambassador Cameron Munter was the most recent ambassador to Pakistan from the United States. Posted during a time of high tensions, controversial actions taken by both sides and an ever-increasing vitriol in both American and Pakistani political circles, Islamabad is not a post many would envy. Amb. Munter takes some time to talk about outreach, religion and understanding in Pakistan."


US Embassy Laos: Ambassador Stewart Gets a Lesson in Breakdancing - DiploPundit. See also.

Kosovo Video: Music video by Rita Ora performing Shine Ya Light - YouTube [Comment by Meliza Haradinaj on Twitter: ‏"Voluntary Public Diplomacy at its best! Thank You Rita"]

Haradinaj image from


Baked in and Wired: eDiplomacy @ State - Fergus Hanson, "The adaptation ... and integration of new technologies into diplomacy is one of the biggest challenges foreign ministries—and corporations—have faced in many years. And it has led to a string of attempts to describe the change afoot. The State Department calls it 21st Century Statecraft; the UK Foreign Office uses the term Digital Diplomacy; while the Canadians refer to it as Open Policy. This paper [available at] refers to it as 'ediplomacy' and uses a slightly amended definition previously proposed by the author. It defines ediplomacy as: the use of the internet and new Information Communications Technologies

to help carry out diplomatic objectives. At the vanguard of this adaptation is the U.S. State Department. The first paper in this series, Revolution@State, found over 150 people employed in 25 separate ediplomacy nodes covering eight different work areas. At U.S. missions abroad, another 900 staff used ediplomacy tools to some extent. This paper is focused on just three of those eight areas where State is currently allocating the bulk of its ediplomacy resources: public diplomacy, internet freedom and knowledge management." Image from. See also: (1) (2).

The Chief Diplomat: Obama or Romney? An Analysis of the use of Collaborative Language by the Presidential Hopefuls - Cassaundra R. Leier, posted by Miss Casey, Dissertation Cupcake: "In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, maintaining and strengthening international relationships is critical to the future of America. The tragedy of the global financial crisis and countless international conflict sharply remind us that a nation’s economic success and homeland security is dependent upon fostering collaborative relationships with other countries. The President of the United States serves an important role as the leader of the country’s public diplomacy mission. Public diplomacy is

the nation’s effort to promote interests by maintaining and strengthening relationships between the United States and citizens of the rest of the world . ... The 3rd and final Presidential debate on foreign policy provided an ideal platform with which to compare the two presidential hopefuls on their ability to represent America as our Chief public diplomat. ... [T]he environment was absent from the 90-minute discussion of our world politics. Discussion of the environment would have been a useful discussion given the nature of public diplomacy, the world has a common interest is protecting the environment. ... Public diplomacy is certainly not the President’s job alone, nor is it restricted to a 90-minute time block. In fact, public diplomacy should be continuously enacted by a variety all government leaders and citizens of the United States. However the President and his voice serve as the voice of America, and echoes to far reaching corners of the world. The person we elect to be chief diplomat should communicate a narrative that reflects the voices of all Americans. While the 3rd presidential debate afforded the candidates to voice their foreign policy views and objectives, there is certainly no guarantee on the delivery of such promises. One guarantee is that Presidential rhetoric is heard loudly by foreign nations. Image from blog

The Marine Corps and the Public Diplomacy of Deeds - "Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy during the Bush Administration, Karen Hughes ... often talked about the 'diplomacy of deeds,' which was a subtle way of saying that our actions speak louder than our words – that policy is more important than posturing. Working in public diplomacy, I can attest to the importance of getting the words right. Getting words wrong can get you a whole lot of trouble.

As my former colleague at NATO Jamie Shea once said, 'A media campaign will not win you a war. But a bad media campaign can and will lose you a war.' Having been the inestimable voice of the Alliance during the Kosovo conflict, he knew what he was talking about. ... [T]here is always a need to communicate [US military humanitarian] actions. ... Those actions count, too, and are worth talking about. The public diplomacy of deeds, sometimes, still requires public diplomacy." Image from

Radio Liberty in Exile getting ready for a big fight with RFE/RL executives Korn and Ragona - BBGWatcher, USG Broadcasts/BBG Watch: "Dozens of former Radio Liberty journalists fired by American managers who used guards and other coercive measures are getting ready to confront Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty president Steven Korn and his deputy Julia Ragona during their planned visit to Moscow early next week.

Journalists formed a group, Radio Liberty-in-Exile (Radio Svoboda-in-Exile), which is planning a number of protests and other events in Moscow to coincide with Korn’s and Ragona’s visit, sources told BBG Watch." Image from entry

The Soviet violinist who listened to VOA jazz in China in 1957 - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Public Diplomacy and its role in the EU's external relations - Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission, "We Europeans believe that public diplomacy plays a special role in the external relations of the European Union. One of the fundamental strengths of the transatlantic alliance is that the EU and the USA not only share a common set of basic values – universal values - but also broadly similar foreign policy objectives. However, the diplomatic and other resources we respectively deploy, and the methods we use, can be very different and this is reflected in our approaches to public diplomacy. Public diplomacy as a concept is not new, as many commentators constantly remind us. What is new is that despite residual scepticism by many 'classical' diplomats, public diplomacy is now broadly accepted as an essential arm of external relations. It is evolving rapidly in a world where the communication technology revolution has completely transformed how information is transmitted and who has access to it. The real technological leap is that one individual today can do mass communication. Just think of the importance of blogs. And the use 'You tube' in your Presidential elections. Diplomacy can no longer afford to be a question of 'sending good men and women abroad to lie for their country' as the old joke had it.

In managing our external relations abroad we of course still concentrate heavily on identifying and working with key decision makers who can influence our bilateral relations. As I see it communication is one of the important tools for building and sustaining democracy. Increasingly diplomacy can only be effective if it reaches out much more widely. The concept of 'key decision makers,' especially on some of the most urgent global issues like climate change, democracy and human rights, and economic development, is no longer a question of an elite in smoke filled rooms; we need to know and understand a much wider and widely dispersed network of individual and groups, who, in turn, need to know and understand more about us. This is not an exercise in 'national branding'; it is not 'propaganda', because we know that this does not work. It is the recognition of a fundamental shift, and especially so in relatively open societies, of how power, influence and decision-making has spread, and how complex it has become. ... The EU famously believes in multilateralism and 'soft' power, and this is strongly reflected in the nature and conduct of many of its public diplomacy dialogues on such issues as the environment, energy efficiency, global warming, development cooperation, free trade, democratization and human rights. All of these are directly linked to defined EU policy objectives, and all require a broad measure of global support - official and popular - to succeed. But the EU model is not a soft option because it always involves patience, difficult compromises, and often generous offers of EU funding as well; nor can it be the only option. The EU can be surprisingly robust on certain issues even in its use of public diplomacy – and our strong and pro-active condemnation of the death penalty is a case in point. But slowly and surely, the EU is building up the capacity, through the Foreign Security Policy, to play a greater role in pursuing external policy objectives through “hard” power when all other options fail." Image from

Ponta would attend the EU summit in November with Basescu’s clearance - "Presidential adviser Cristian Diaconescu explained in a blog article on Monday that he was the author of the public diplomacy strategy designed to restore Romania’s image abroad . ... Diaconescu explained to ‘Gandul’ online daily that the Office for Public Diplomacy proposed to be set up ... was an office with 4-5 workers who would have worked in coordination with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Justice and Interior Ministry, with Labour attachés and with the ‘state-owned’ press in Romania."

Soft Power, Smart Power Or Public Diplomacy? Australia Fumbles - Alison Broinowski, "As traditional diplomacy is complemented by emerging concepts such as public diplomacy, soft power and more recently ‘smart power,’ Australia is grappling with how best to shape and alter perceptions of the country and extend its influence . ... Australia’s

foreign policy establishment seems unclear about whether to opt for European-style collaborative public diplomacy or US-style persuasive soft power, but it is unlikely to attempt interventionist, manipulative smart power techniques. For Australia, other initiatives are more likely to work: it could host an Asian regional Institute for Public Diplomacy, for example, and establish a free-standing Australia Foundation to present a more coherent, interesting narrative to the world." Image from

Smoking guns - John Worne, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "A recent international study by the British Council and The Student Room shows that students worldwide believe the UK is the safest place in the world to study – and a big factor in this is in the UK we don’t carry guns."

Public Diplomacy [course offering] – DiploFoundation [Malta]: “Public diplomacy is a hot topic today, yet only a decade ago, it was a very specialised term. There is a new transparency in the interactions between governments and countries in the international system, influenced by such factors as the democratisation of diplomacy, globalisation, the resurgence of methods of bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy, and the spotlight on external and internal issues.

With more public interest in foreign affairs than ever before, ordinary people are demanding open diplomacy. Governments are obliged to respond with public information about the spending of the funds they receive and the results that they achieve. This course covers the goals and methods of public diplomacy, outlining what it can and cannot do, with case studies.” Image from

Public Diplomacy in Action! (Lancaster / Reading) - "~ High School Foreign Exchange Program Seeks Local Coordinators in PA. Represent the United States and introduce foreign exchange students to your town! Make a difference in the lives of young people from around the world, and make their dream of s [...]"


Psy-ops: Tuning the Afghans into radio - Caroline Wyatt, BBC News: The world of "psy-ops" has traditionally been a secretive one. Some think of it as propaganda, though it's a description that today's practitioners in the British military reject. But for the first time, the veil is being lifted a little, as 15 (UK) Psy Ops Group are awarded the Firmim Sword of Peace. It is being given to them for their work over the past six years in creating seven local radio stations across Helmand, which aim to promote civil society

in an area of Afghanistan where more than 80% cannot read or write. The station is hugely varied, rather like a mixture between BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4, with pop music, phone-ins, discussions and debates. "Psy-ops is all about communicating with people around and on the battlefield, who ordinarily might not hear what's going on," says the unit's commanding officer, Commander Steve Tatham. Image from article, with caption: Staring at goats has never been a technique used by the UK military.

What the U.S. risks by relying on drones - Kurt Volker, Washington Post: There are four principal issues with excessive reliance on drones. The first is moral. More people have been killed in U.S. drone attacks than were ever incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. The second is consequences. U.S. reliance on drone strikes allows our opponents to cast our country as a distant, high-tech, amoral purveyor of death. It builds resentment, facilitates terrorist recruitment and alienates those we should seek to inspire.

Third, our monopoly on drone warfare will not last. Others, from European allies to Russia, China and Iran, are acquiring and beginning to use drones for surveillance — eventually, they will use them for killing as well. Then there is the question of national identity: What do we want to be as a nation? A country with a permanent kill list? We must be careful not to adopt rote formulas for restricting drone use. But we also must avoid writing blank checks. Image from, with caption: A model of an unmanned flying vehicle (UAV) protesting the use of drones

The Islamist Threat Isn't Going Away: America's foreign policy hasn't improved its image in the Arab world - Michael J. Totten, Wall Street Journal: Anti-Americanism has been a default political position in the Arab world for decades. Radical Islam is the principal vehicle through which it's expressed at the moment, but anti-Americanism specifically, and anti-Western "imperialism" generally, likewise lie at the molten core of secular Arab nationalism of every variety. The Islamists hate the U.S. because it's liberal and decadent. (The riots in September over a ludicrous Internet video ought to make that abundantly clear.) And both Islamists and secularists hate the U.S. because it's a superpower.

Trying to buy peace with Syria’s tyrant - Natan Sharansky, Washington Post: Israelis, no less than other democratic peoples, are tempted by the illusion that lasting peace can be purchased by making concessions to tyrants who also happen to be implacable enemies.

Envoy: Parliamentary Visits to Tehran to Defuse West's Anti-Iran Propaganda - Iranian Envoy to Berlin Ali Reza Sheikh Attar

said parliamentary visits to Iran, such as the Sunday trip by a German parliamentary delegation, defuse the negative propaganda against Iran in the West. Image from article

When is a cyberattack an act of war? - Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post: The United States and the world may be moving toward a greater strategic use of cyberweapons to persuade adversaries to change their behavior. This can be good, if it averts war. On the other hand, it could cause other nations to feel vulnerable. Some experts foresee a kind of cyber arms race as nations try to catch up.

UN Seeking Global Internet Surveillance for Terror, Propaganda - Alex Newman, New American: The United Nations and a broad coalition of its totalitarian-minded member governments are increasingly demanding that a global regulatory regime be imposed over the Internet, with supposed concerns about “terrorism” becoming just the most recent argument advanced to support the controversial scheme. In a massive report released this week, the UN claimed a planetary agreement on surveillance, data retention, and more would be needed for “terror” purposes.  Of course, the latest round of UN scheming drew swift criticism from Internet-freedom advocates.

But as the effort by governments to seize control over the World Wide Web gains traction, activists from across the political spectrum argue that the Internet should remain free and unregulated in the hands of citizens and the private sector — certainly not under the purview of a scandal-plagued international organization composed largely of dictatorial regimes. Image from

Benghazi: Where the hell were the Marines? Yo! Half our embassies have no Marines - Domani Spero, DiploPundit: The Marine guards are currently in 148 locations which is about half the number of our current overseas posts (Marine spokesman at the Pentagon put the number at 130 locations).

China propaganda post likely to go to a conservative Hu loyalist - Benjamin Kang Lim and Ben Blanchard, : * Sichuan party boss Liu Qibao front-runner for key propaganda post * Liu media savvy, but loyal to party and unlikely to drastically relax controls * Liu rose up through Youth League, powerbase of President Hu Jintao


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