Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 1

"[Russian government spokesman Dmitry] Peskov has said Putin cut his trips to the Kremlin because he didn't want to further complicate bad Moscow traffic."

--Sergei L. Loiko, "Russian he-man Vladimir Putin apparently trying to hide an injury: Along with canceled visits, there are rumors and reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a back problem. His spokesman denies all," Los Angeles Times; image from


Chinese Public Opinion Warfare: A Wake-Up Call - Helle Dale, Heritage Foundation: "Chinese advances on the cultural and informational fronts have not gone unnoticed in Washington. While U.S. international broadcasting continues to struggle with budget cuts, Chinese TV (CCTV) this year launched itself on the Washington scene with sparkling new office facilities close to Capitol Hill, and the Chinese news agency Xinhua opened office space in Times Square in New York. More in-your-face challenges to American news domination are hard to imagine. Meanwhile, by embedding and funding so-called Confucius Institutes in colleges and universities throughout the U.S. (and indeed globally), China is promoting a benign cultural image while influencing the study of Sino–U.S. relations. A new Heritage Foundation research paper by Chinese expert Dean Cheng lays out the principles and theory behind China’s public diplomacy advances—or, as the Chinese call it, 'public opinion warfare.' 'Winning Without Fighting: Chinese Public Opinion Warfare and the Need for a Robust American Response' is highly recommended reading for lawmakers, Pentagon planners, State Department personnel, and anyone who sees China as a global competitor of the U.S.—which was 66 percent of Americans as surveyed by the Pew Research Center this fall. True to form, the Chinese have developed a comprehensive, integrated, and detailed theory of “public opinion warfare,” one of three pillars of asymmetric or 'political' warfare, the others being 'legal warfare' and 'psychological warfare.' They are dead serious about the strategic potential of these non-kinetic aspects of warfare. Over the past decade, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has given increased attention to asymmetric warfare and released 'political work regulations' to the People’s Liberation Army for guidance. The public opinion groundwork for future conflicts is being laid in peace time. ... Chinese doctrine on 'public opinion warfare' has four tenets: Follow top-down direction: Any effort has to be part of a national strategic objective; Emphasize preemption—i.e., shape the narrative; Be flexible and responsive to changing conditions; and Exploit all available resources—i.e., integrate all tools of power projection. These four add up to a Chinese version of 'smart' integration of all the tools of power. Ironically, Chinese strategists believe they are taking a page out of the U.S. playbook, and they study American military interventions with keen interest from a public opinion perspective. Particularly, the intervention in Iraq was considered a triumph for U.S. 'public opinion warfare' as seen by the Chinese—a conclusion that American scholars and planners would find puzzling. What is certain, though, is that the U.S. government should get far more serious about its own public diplomacy strategy and tools. It has been warned about the challenges that face the U.S."

Хиллари Клинтон защитит музейные ценности: Вывоз российских коллекций в США может возобновиться - [Loose translation: Hillary Clinton will protect museum items of value: the display [strict dictionary definition -- export] of Russian collections in the USA can be renewed] - Oльга Кузнецова, Елена Черненко, Коммерсантъ [Ol'ga Kuznetova, Elena Chernenko, Kommersant']: "Как стало известно 'Ъ', в ходе недавней встречи с главой МИД РФ Сергеем Лавровым

госсекретарь Хиллари Клинтон пообещала, что Вашингтон выработает госгарантии, которые защитят российскую интеллектуальную собственность от ареста на территории США" [As it became known to Kommerstant', during a recent meeting between the Head of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, State Department Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is working on guarantees, which will protect Russian intellectual property from seizure on the territory of the USA].  Lavrov/Clinton image from article

Why the U.S Public Diplomacy has failed in the Arab World? - ouw0002, Public Diplomacy and Global Communication C A group blog by students at London Metropolitan University: "Since the United States [sic] worlds [sic] and actions towards the Arabs are not matching there will be little chance for it to gain support on their street."

RFE/RL website blocked in Tajikistan. Everything blocked in Syria - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

The challenge of Public Diplomacy for Multilateral Organizations - "[T]he EU has struggled with establishing an effective narrative, as a reflection of internal problems. That is one of the central issues mentioned in USC professor Mai'a Davis Cross' lecture 'Public Diplomacy and Smart Power: The case of Europe' given at AU [American University in Washington, DC]. Narratives, and thus, Public Diplomacy strategies can only be legitimizing when they are in tune with true identity, she remarked, which also reinforces ... [the] categorization of truth as an important first step when building a PD campaign. It is definitely hard to idealize [sic] a strategy that links back to identity when that very notion is still foggy and a controversial issue what with language disenfrenchizement [sic] and a sense of loss of culture part of the discussion of identity permeating the EU."

(Re)Introducing Sister Cities in the "New Public Diplomacy Imperative" - Dianna, Intercom \ˈin-tər-ˌkäm\: A two-way communication system with a microphone and loudspeaker at each station for localized use. Insights into our study of international communications in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C." "I know from personal experience that technology has impacted my ability to stay in touch with the multitude of host families, co-facilitators, conference participants, and fellow youth ambassadors I have met . ... And in this sense, the power of diplomacy is shifted down to the individual level and away from the hands of the government through technology. ... ABOUT US  We are all members of the SIS 640 International Communications course at the School of International Service. The course is taught by Professor Craig Hayden. This blog is authored by Ms. Dianna Alexander-Oates, Ms. Kristie Conserve, Ms. Brittany Lehr, Ms. M.J. Pham, and Ms. Vanessa Smith."


Housing Move in Israel Seen as Setback for a Two-State Plan - Jodi Rudoren and Mark Landler, New York Times: Israel is moving forward with development of Jewish settlements in a contentious area east of Jerusalem, defying the United States by advancing a project

that has long been condemned by Washington as effectively dooming any prospect of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Image from article

Measured Approach to the Syrian Crisis - Editorial, New York Times: Mr. Assad’s bloody rule must end. Still, neither NATO, the Arab League nor the United Nations Security Council have called for military action. And President Obama’s caution is certainly the right approach. But it is necessary to look for ways to raise the pressure on Mr. Assad and encourage a stable postwar Syria.

Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities/Personnel: Funding, Sequestration, Affordability and Risks - Domani Spero, DiploPundit

Incoming Mexican President Peña Nieto looks to reshape dialogue with U.S. - Nieto, a dynamic politician from an old autocratic political party, has said that he wants to change the conversation about Mexico in the United States, away from headless torsos and drug cartels to trade and manufacturing. Together with the United States, Peña Nieto and his top advisers say, Mexico wants to drill more oil, assemble more cars and build “better, faster, smarter bridges” to increase the $1 billion-a-day commerce across the 2,000-mile border, the busiest crossing in the world.

Is it Europe’s turn to laugh at the United States? - Neil Irwin, Washington Post: The United States is testing whether our centuries-old institutions are up to modern challenges. Europe bungled the process enough so that its standing as a credible, global leader is in doubt. The goal for the United States is to achieve a better result.


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