"You who celebrate bygones,
Who have explored the outward, the surfaces of the races, the life
that has exhibited itself,
Who have treated of man as the creature of politics, aggregates,
rulers and priests,
I, habitan of the Alleghanies, treating of him as he is in himself
in his own rights,
Pressing the pulse of the life that has seldom exhibited itself,
(the great pride of man in himself,)
Chanter of Personality, outlining what is yet to be,
I project the history of the future."
--Walt Whitman; Whitman image from
House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing: "Broadcasting Board of Governors: An Agency 'Defunct'" - menafn.com
2013 Study on Congressional Attitudes - afsa.org: "In early 2013, AFSA commissioned a study to measure the attitudes of a diverse and bi-partisan group of congressional staff toward the Foreign Service and the Department of State. The study was also designed to identify opportunities to deepen understanding and promote awareness about the Foreign Service and to improve our relations with Congress. AFSA engaged journalist and author Nicholas Kralev to conduct the study.
Interviews were conducted with 28 congressional staff members, on both personal and committee staff to gauge their views of the Foreign Service and whether relations and communications between Capitol Hill and the Foreign Service and Department of State could be augmented or improved. Staff members from both the House and Senate were included, and the sample is completely bipartisan with 14 interlocutors each from Republican and Democratic staffs. This study follows up on a 2002 study done by Tom Melia for Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, funded by the Una Chapman Cox Foundation." Image from
AFSA Book Notes Presents: "50 Years in USAID: Stories from the Front Lines" July 11 at 2:00 pm AFSA's ongoing Book Notes series presents "50 Years in USAID: Stories from the Front Lines." This collection contains 115 brief essays by past and present USAID staff and administrators, organized by decades. To celebrate USAID’s 50th anniversary, the editors, Janet C. Ballantyne and Maureen Dugan, reached out to all USAID staff, alumni, and all living administrators to gather tales that would tell their story and seek their thoughts on serving at USAID. Via email
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN THE NEWS
Farewell Note from Under Secretary Tara Sonenshine - Received by email; internet citation not available at this writing: "Thank you for all the work you do to advance U.S. national security through public diplomacy. ... The case for public diplomacy was never so compelliing
With its unique position at the intersection of global information and people-to-people relationships, it has the potential to enhance the most positive and productive aspirations of citizens everywhere. It has impact. It matters." [Full text below.] Image from
The Secstate Visits Delhi: Some PD Perspectives - Patricia Lee Sharpe, Whirled View: "It was obviously a busy two days for John Kerry, so the Embassy schedulers are probably feeling good, but the visit has received little local coverage. I've seen some brief clips on Indian newscasts, which are as annoying as U.S. local stations relying on fast-talking, faux-friendly 'if it bleeds it leads' snippets. As for Delhi's all-important print press, it has been preoccupied with other issues. ... A recent report reveals that the State Department’s romance with social media has yielded little benefit of a substantive nature. My own experience in Delhi this week suggests that State has even less savvy when it comes to dealing with electronic journalists. And then there’s this: would local coverage of the Kerry visit have been more expansive had it been packaged better to appeal to local interests?"
Congressional Panel Criticizes Management of US International Broadcasting - voanews.com: "[A]t the hearing [it was] said that BBG's structure makes reporters' jobs more difficult and that the agency's overall mission is unclear in the post-Cold War era. An Inspector General report issued earlier this year concluded that the BBG is failing in its mandated duties. ... After the hearing, the BBG gave VOA a statement saying the current BBG board has been working on ways to address the structural issue, reduce overlap and promote innovation, with the aim of providing the best support possible for its award-winning journalists' work around the globe, under increasingly tight budget constraints.
Some lawmakers pointed out that other international broadcasters such as al-Jazeera operate with much bigger budgets, and called for more funds for the Voice of America and other broadcasters to help them compete on the world stage." Via LJB; image from
Fixing the Strategic Dysfunction - Emily T. Metzgar, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The House Foreign Affairs Committee came out swinging this morning in its hearing titled 'Broadcasting Board of Governors: An Agency ‘Defunct.' Chairman Ed Royce laid the groundwork in his introductory remarks, offering an overview of the BBG’s legislative origins and the proud history of
Upcoming House Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearings - "On Thursday, June 27, 2013, at 10:00 AM EST, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs will be marking up H.R. 1897, the Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2013 (read the Act here), in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building. ... The bill encourages U.S. public diplomacy to help the human rights situation in Vietnam, including working to overcome the block that Vietnam places on
Radio Free Asia, support for increased cultural exchanges, and U.S. opposition to Vietnam’s candidacy on the UN Human Rights Council." Image from
Interview – Nick Pratt - "Terrorism and counter-insurgency, with a regional interest in Central Asia and the
U.S. Consulate Chennai Maritime Trade and Security Conference - topgovernmentgrants.com: "The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U. S. Consulate Chennai is soliciting proposals for a cooperative agreement that meets the specifications stated in Section II from non-governmental organizations and other legally-recognized non-profit institutions that meet Indian and
and legal requirements to develop and implement public diplomacy programs as specified by Section II below. Information about the Public Affairs Section (PAS) can be found at: http://chennai.usconsulate.gov/. Agency: Department of State Office:
Active Citizen Summit 2.0 – Pathways to Youth Employment - fundsforngos.org: “Deadline- 12 July 2013 Department of State Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (NEA/PPD) is seeking proposals for Active Citizen Summit 2.0 (ACS 2.0) for which the theme is Pathways to Youth Employment. The objective of this program is to focus on leadership, youth unemployment, and political/economic empowerment topics. Goals -- Expand capacity of young leaders to participate effectively in civil and political organizations -- Provide insights into U.S. strategies to combat youth unemployment -- Encourage participants to explore intervention strategies that could alleviate youth unemployment in their home countries -- Analyze organizations (political structures; educational institutions; private sector; international organizations) that could support/partner with youth leaders and assist in implementing recommendations -- Strengthen and expand relationships among participants; between participants and
Pics from Dellamanistan - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Funemployment has finally offered me the time to upload all my pics from Central Asia for the Della Mae tour.
I dare say the finest cultural diplomatesses the State Department has ever sent out. Enjoy!"
[Note: American Voices sponsored the Della Mae Tour]. Above uncaptioned image from entry; below image from entry, with caption: From US Cultural Days in Turkmenistan. See also.
Film Screening and Discussion: V/H/S 2 - atamerica.or.id: "Saturday 29 June 2013 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM ... @america Pacific Place Jakarta, Indonesia ... Description: Join us in watching this highly anticipated horror sequel. Meet Timo Tjahjanto, director of this film's 'Safe Haven' segment, along with the cast members Fachry Albar and Epy Kusnandar.
Horror fans get ready to scream! Opening remarks by Gregory McElwain, Public Diplomacy Officer, U.S. Embassy Jakarta Limited seating: 200 viewers Rated: R Restricted, Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent Or Adult Guardian"
A Musafir in Iraqi Kurdistan –- Part II - Jyotsna Singh, chapatimystery.com: "Almost everyday in the past few months, news from Iraq inevitably describes bombings, random violence, and sectarian conflict in Southern Iraq, often in Baghdad, but also in other cities closer to Kurdistan, such as Mosul and Kirkuk; thus, as we drive by small road-side communal clusters of shops, with trinkets and steel dishes hanging below canopies, small car repair hubs, trucks passing by, and at frequent intervals, mounds of water melons piled up for sale along the road side, this normalcy seems to make that other news seems surreal. ... On Day 2, some of us attend a well-publicized Career Fair, hosted by the University of Dohuk, with corporate and government sponsors, and attended by the chief diplomatic officer from the US consulate in Erbil as well as by a representative of the British Council, and a former Minister of Kurdistan, a glamorous intelligent woman who presents a power-point on development in the region (see photo). The general audience consists of many recent graduates, young men and women. We enter a grand convention center – all marble and bright lights. ... As our group from Michigan State listens to the opening round of introductions, we note a young-ish woman enter with a big, bulked-up man behind her; we are told she is the Public diplomacy Officer from the US Consulate accompanied by her security detail. She is the face of the US government, and I was interested in how she represents the US in a region that is the 'New Iraq'! ... [C]comes the big moment of the US Diplomat’s speech, a direct address to the graduates in the hall. She deploys a familiar American genre of a commencement address, recalling her own experiences of student life and career trajectory of joining the state department via a very competitive process in which percentages for success are not high.
She has a pleasant, breezy delivery, a moment of droll humor occurs in a colloquial breakdown, when she bonds with the students, saying, 'I sat where you sit;' (the translator is flummoxed: ‘Sat/Sit? What is that?). The only time the audience laughs! She apologizes at the outset for not speaking the local dialect of Kurdish (so I assume she is familiar with other variants). Overall, I am struck by a lack of reference to any aspect of the culture or history of Kurdistan – or to specific experiences of students from Kurdistan. As her sources for three inspirational quotes, she draws on Ronald Reagan, Condoleeza [sic] Rice, and the basketball star, Michael Jordan! (I am afraid I did not transcribe the quotes, but they all dealt with finding success under challenging odds). I can imagine that the students may be familiar with Michael Jordan’s name, but what about the other names? Is she giving a safe speech with no risky boundary crossings? No partaking of native customs? In striking contrast to the US diplomat, the British Council representative, also in the gathering, (and with whom we had struck up a conversation with earlier) shows all the markers of an Oxbridge, class-inflected education, but coupled with a solid knowledge of the area. He has lived in Syria for several years, knew both Arabic and some Kurdish, and seems adept in recognizing cultural cues! American, liberal good intentions versus a seemingly Orientalist education! Which is more effective?" Image with entry, with caption: A nice effect/affect. A photo of Barzani the freedom fighter next to the name of the restaurant “Azadi”
The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers, USA, Documentary - Claus Mueller, filmfestivaltoday.com: "The New York premier [sic] of The Prime Ministers on May 7, 2013 was introduced with a brief video salutation by the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and comments by Yehuda Avner. Avner is the author of the bestselling book The Prime Ministers on which the documentary is based. ... Avner provided a running commentary throughout the film which was directed by Rick Trank with Sandra Bullock, Michael Douglas and Leonard Nimoy providing voices for Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Levi Eshkol. ... The Prime Ministers provides a very sympathetic view of Israel’s history and problems and will be useful as an instructional tool given the new information it contains and its high production value.
As an instrument of public diplomacy it can be aimed at Jewish and other interested communities. The reaction of the audience during the New York premiere indicated that for some the documentary was too long and too emotional and should have been more focused on essential elements. The film has been produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Moriah Films division which will also be distributing it. It was funded in large part by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Holocaust Issues but also derived support from numerous other sources." Image from entry
Cultural Engagement Key to Improving U.S.-Iran Relations –- Report - Jasmin Ramsey, ipsnews.net: "Increasing U.S.-Iran cultural exchanges could lay the groundwork for better relations between the two countries, believes a prominent think tank here, despite the prevalence of stereotypical memes of the United States as the 'Great Satan'' and Iran as part of the 'Axis of Evil'. According to an issue brief released today by the Washington-based Atlantic Council, the United States should reach out to Iran’s people through a variety of cultural exchanges, even as the Jun. 14 election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s next president may present an opportunity for the United States and Iran to mend their decades-long cold war. 'Cultural and academic exchanges between the U.S. and Iran are a low-cost, high-yield investment in a future normal relationship between the two countries,' said the brief, authored by the council’s bipartisan Iran Task Force. 'When it comes to countries that have no diplomatic channels like the U.S. and Iran, people-to-people diplomacy is the only route available to us,' Reza Aslan, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told IPS. ... 'Yes, cultural diplomacy is good and has been tried before with decent results during the Khatami presidency,' Farideh Farhi, an independent scholar at the University of Hawaii, told IPS. 'But note that the context was different.
The United States had not yet fully embarked on its ferocious sanctions regime which makes cultural exchanges quite difficult and reliant on the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control granting exceptions to literally every exchange,' she said. ... 'While public diplomacy is absolutely vital and really the only outlet we have, the question of whether it’s going to change the larger media perception in the two countries of each other remains a complex one,' said Aslan. ... In his first press conference as Iran’s president-elect, the reformist-backed Rouhani appeared as a stark contrast to Iran’s current controversial president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 'Our main policy will be to have constructive interaction with the world,' Rouhani, Iran’s nuclear negotiator during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami, during a televised broadcast on Jun. 17. ... 'Unless there is a change in the overall frame of Washington’s approach to Iran, cultural exchanges will be perceived with suspicion in Tehran and effectively undercut by powerful supporters of the sanctions regime in Washington,' Farhi told IPS." Image from article, with caption: Experts suggest that cultural exchanges could help improve U.S.-Iranian relations. Above, members of Kiosk, one of Iran’s underground rock bands.
the academy anchorperson will acceptable get a job - Onine Collector: "Disney put this 'Portrait of America' video calm for the U.S. State Department to advertise America on television screens in assorted airports, embassies, and consular offices about the world. Karen Hughes, [then] Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, wrote about the video here. I absolutely like the video even if it’s just a creamy promotional piece.I anticipate the video auspiciously captures a allotment of the American people, our accustomed wonders, and our communities – at atomic the smiling, happy, august aspects of American life."
Social Media Diplomacy is about Innovation - Andreas Sandre, neweasterneurope.eu: "At the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC, the process of integration between traditional activity and social media presence has brought us to the creation of the embassy’s Social Media Hub (www.twiplomacy.it/usa). In one single page, formatted to be accessible online, including by tablets and mobile devices, the user has an overall picture of what the embassy does in terms of digital diplomacy. It is a way to make it easier for the public to find us online and engage with us at all levels on topics ranging from foreign policy to public diplomacy, business, art, and more. ... 'The idea of a Social Media Hub is as simple as it is innovative, making it possible for us to spotlight our press and social media activities on a single page,' the Italian Ambassador to the US, Claudio Bisogniero, said in a recent interview. 'What is most interesting is how the page continues to circulate on social networks, with over 900 ‘shares’ to date, drawing more and more virtual visitors,' he added. While I don’t believe new technologies and social media have had a strong impact on the daily life of the embassy – as traditional diplomacy has not disappeared, but rather improved – it is safe to say that diplomats have been forced towards a different way of engaging foreign publics.
And the Hub is indeed an example as it has been drawing us closer to the end user, allowing us a more personal approach at all levels. In this context, diplomacy – and public diplomacy in particular – has changed and is now geared more towards an organic way of interacting online, reducing political discourse to a minimum. The key messages are still present, but the focus is now to build a dialogue. In order to achieve this goal, it is important to tune the message in a way that it is organic, bold, and engaging. If you look at how diplomats around the world communicate on social media platforms, the three key ingredients to success are: being organic, and thus establishing a natural dialogue with your public, which helps nurture the conversation and reach a larger audience; being bold, while not always necessary, generates additional interest and encourages debate. And while organic communication and boldness are becoming more frequent in how diplomats interact online, the engagement side of this triptych equation comes at various levels. Being engaging is not easy to achieve and unfortunately there are no set recipes for success. It is often a try-and-fail process and as such it requires experimentation. As social media is here to stay, being experimental and thinking outside of the box is certainly not a bad thing. I believe it is the key to innovation in foreign policy. Andreas Sandre is a Press and Public Affairs Officer at the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC. He is the author of Twitter for Diplomats (February 2013) and has contributed articles on foreign policy and digital diplomacy to numerous specialised publications. ... The views expressed in this article are the author's only and do not necessarily reflect those of the Embassy of Italy." Image from article
Positioning and networking in the run-up to elections: Network European Movement Germany on day 1 July [Google translation from the German] - 02elf.net: "Europe's future is the theme of the network-day around the General Assembly of the European Movement Germany (EBD). EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger delivers to the impulse: 'Germany and Europe before important elections: the challenges for the time after' is the theme of his keynote speech. To the network, EBD expected next day the ambassadors of Croatia and Lithuania and around 250 EU actors in the dbb Forum Berlin. The political agenda of Germany's largest civil society network for Europe, then the focus is on: The Board to EBD President Dr. Rainer Wend provides a catalog of political demands for discussion. This calls for the EBD include a Convention of the changes to the EU treaties to prepare a comprehensive Voting rights for EU citizens at the state level and the creation of a 'European public diplomacy' as cross-border dialogue of politics, society and economy."
Even for 'good Europeans' like Angela Merkel, defending national interests is king - Mats Persson, blogs.telegraph.co.uk: "[A]s I’ve argued before, for all the talk about 'good' and 'bad' Europeans, the national interest remains king in Europe. It’s all about how you frame the issue. It’s clear that Merkel has leveraged her (sizeable) power base in Europe when and where it is needed.
Secondly, it’s clear that the UK has a big image problem in the EU – unlike Merkel’s attempt to let her car manufacturers off the hook on emissions rules, Cameron has actually sought to impose stricter requirements on British bankers than the EU norm (under capital requirements rules). But the UK has done a terrible job of translating that into public diplomacy." Image from
EEA Newsletter June 2013 - ea-europe.org: "Brussel [sic] – Major step in adopting Religious Freedom guidelines: ... The European Evangelical Alliance welcomes the adoption of the EU Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief on Monday 24 June. ... Since the Guidelines are a public diplomacy document, victims will from now on be able to report what they endure to EU Delegations and Member States embassies, and ask them to intervene according to the instructions of the Guidelnes [sic]. ... EEA
was regularly invited and contributes actively ... to the drafting process. 'So, finally, for us, this celebration is more than that of the adoption of a public diplomacy document,' said Mr Christel Lamère Ngnambi, Brussels Representative of the European Evangelical Alliance ... who was asked to speak at a cocktail celebration on Monday at the European Parliament in Brussels. "It is also a celebration of a significant and fruitful success story of civil society organisations working hand in hand with public institutions to increase the solidity and the efficiency of policymaking.” Image from
Park Geun-hye: Northeast Asia is currently the Asian paradox potential for cooperation is not fully excavated - w3.isvoc.com: "Question: As we all know, you have a deep understanding of Chinese culture, which became you are dealing with China and China-related issues as well as leadership, public exchanges of a great advantage. Your public diplomacy between the two countries to promote the development of the plans? [South Korea President] Park Geun-hye: Diplomacy is no longer the exclusive government. Public on the formulation of foreign policy has a great impact. Therefore, the aim of winning the heart of the people of other countries and establish mutual trust and public diplomacy has become more important. ... Chinese people cherish each other's cultures have a positive attitude, the two sides at the cultural level has a profound connection, so deep base public diplomacy between the two countries. I will further work to strengthen cultural exchanges between the two countries, especially young people exchanges between the two countries to promote bilateral relations in the field of humanities. The two countries have agreed, if possible, this year held in Hanzhong Gong of diplomatic forum. I hope the two sides can discuss and share in the forum related to public diplomacy policies and experiences."
Yao Ming hailed as most successful case of public diplomacy - Wang Jinxue, People's Daily Online: 013 Forum on Public Diplomacy and 6th Diplomats Forum was held in Beijing on June 26, and about 100 people including government officials, scholars, entrepreneurs attended the forum. The theme for this year’s forum is 'China’s stories and image under public diplomacy'. Chinese ambassador to Tanzania Lyu Youqing said at the forum that public diplomacy plays an important role in promoting China’s national image in the world, therefore people should attach great importance to it. Lyu Gongxun with PetroChina shared his opinion on oversea public diplomacy.
He pointed out that Chinese enterprises operating overseas should try to bring benefits to local people, adding that public diplomacy can ensure the implementation of overseas projects, and boost the development of enterprises in foreign countries. Professor Jin Canrong with Renmin University of China said that non-governmental participation is the best way of doing public diplomacy, and Yao Ming is the most successful case of public diplomacy as he has greatly improved the image of Chinese people in the world. Established by Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) in August 2010, the Center for Public Diplomacy Studies is the first university-level research center on public diplomacy in China. It is the pioneer in public diplomacy studies and a strategic think tank for decision making of the Chinese government. Based on the innovative research results, it is designed for promoting research on public diplomacy, and providing intellectual support for government practices and serves as a platform for the public to join in public diplomacy activities. Meanwhile, as a pioneer and research base in public diplomacy, the center also conducts public consultation, corporate overseas strategy consultation and cross-cultural exchanges." Image from article, with caption: Speakers at the forum.
China’s Foreign Policy Dilemma – Sea Lines of Communication: "Foreign policy will not be a top priority of China’s new leader Xi Jinping. Xi is under pressure from many sectors of society to tackle China’s formidable domestic problems. To stay in power Xi must ensure continued economic growth and social stability. Due to the new leadership’s preoccupation with domestic issues, Chinese foreign policy can be expected to be reactive. This may have serious consequences because of the potentially explosive nature of two of China’s most pressing foreign policy challenges: how to decrease tensions with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and with Southeast Asian states over territorial claims in the South China Sea. ... The 18th Party Congress work report, the single most important public document outlining the Party’s strategy over the next five years, also hints at a more assertive Chinese foreign policy. It pledges to ‘never yield to outside pressure’, a phrase which was not in the 2007 work report. Another new addition was the promise to ‘protect China’s legitimate rights and interests overseas’ when working to promote public diplomacy."
Is the Australian Liberal party out to silence opposition to Israel? - Jake Lynch, muslimvillage.com: "The charge that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel is anti-semitic fails its only salient test. The target of BDS is not Jews or Judaism, but militarism and lawlessness, argues Jake Lynch. ... Universities come into BDS because Israel uses academic exchange as a distraction from its lawless and militaristic behaviour. The Neaman Report on public diplomacy, published by Technion University Haifa and commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recommends targeting 'educational organisations' as 'beneficial clients' in efforts to sanitise its image abroad."
Will Erdogan Go to Gaza? - Tulin Daloglu, Al-Monitor Turkey: "When Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday, June 25, that he might make a “surprise visit” to Gaza, no one thought it would happen as early as next week. Though it's unlikely the visit will take place any time soon, the Islamist Palestinian militant group Hamas believes differently.
As reported on June 27 by Falestin, a newspaper considered to be Hamas' mouthpiece, Abdelsalam Siyyam, secretary-general of the Hamas government, said Erdogan’s Gaza visit is scheduled for July 5. ... Although Erdogan’s office maintains its silence, Cemalettin Hasimi, project director at the Turkish Public Diplomacy Office, tweeted on June 27, 'We were able to invite (journalists from) four television channels and two newspapers. … This was a program about bringing together the journalists and foreign policy issues. It’s not related to our prime minister’s visit to Gaza.'” Image from article, with caption: A Palestinian youth draped in a Turkish flag looks at the Gaza Seaport during a rally in support of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Gaza City, June 18, 2013.
Consulates and foreign service - cyburbia.org: "[Comment by:] wahday Cyburbian [:] I looked into and took the first round of exams for the Foreign Service a few years ago. While I passed the written exam, I was not asked to move forward to the next round. In the interim (as I was anticipating applying again – many people apply numerous times before advancing), my local career took some unexpected turns and so I am pretty ensconced here at this point. ... Foreign Service also seems to be more dangerous right now than it has been in past eras. That definitely gave me pause, but I was strangely patriotic about it all as I was applying. There are different tracks (or 'cones') one applies for as well and anyone considering applying should research carefully what each entails. For me, though the Public Diplomacy arena was attractive, I ultimately felt that it would really take me away from my family more (and already its taxing on the family experience). So, I applied within the Consular track. Day to day, these folks deal with a lot of applications to come to the US and also provide support to Americans travelling abroad (including things like what happens when someone dies abroad? What if an American is arrested abroad?) But they also get to interact more with regular local people and its more or less 9-5, special emergencies and arrests by Turkish prisons notwithstanding. This means more time with the family and more time out and about. Also, the diplomatic folks are much more in the public eye and so they have to more careful about what they do and say when out and about."
Book Talk 6 – The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy - acuns.org: "In Book Talk 6, Andrew F. Cooper discusses his co-edited book, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. Co-edited with Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur, the book explores the ever-changing nature of diplomatic practices and the various forces impacting the profession. The book features the writings of practitioners and scholars and includes insight into the latest developments in the field. Cooper categorizes the tension between the forces of continuity and change as a major dilemma for diplomacy. Additionally, moving forward, diplomacy will likely become less state-centric, particularly in regards to issues like environmental policy which cannot be solved exclusively by state actors. Cooper points out that the appetite for global governance requires diplomats to act in a different way.
There is an increasing need for cooperation and open diplomacy across borders. Cooper also discusses the notion of diplomacy becoming a client based service industry and the opportunities and threats that accompany such a trend. ... Andrew F. Cooper is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and is Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo where he teaches in the areas of International Political Economy, Global Governance and Comparative Politics. He holds a D.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University. From January to May 2009, he served as Visiting Fulbright Chair at the Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California." Image from
Newcrest Mining Limited – Newcrest announces independent advisor to review … - singaporehotel.mobi: "The Board of Newcrest Mining Limited today announced the appointment of former Australian Securities Exchange Chairman, Dr Maurice Newman AC, to conduct an independent review of the Company’s disclosure and Investor Relations practices. ... Maurice Newman retired as Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in December 2011 . ... He was appointed ... Honorary Professor in Public Diplomacy at the Soft Power Advocacy Research Centre, Macquarie University in September 2012."
Projects and Press Officer - British High Commission in Tanzania - kazibongo.blogspot.com: "The British High Commission (BHC) is seeking a confident and well-organised individual to fill the post of Projects and Press Officer. This is a great opportunity to work in an exciting and fast-paced environment where the ability to think creatively, troubleshoot, work effectively with others, pay attention to detail and deliver results are key. ... Main Responsibilities: ... --To use media and social media
to maximise public diplomacy opportunitiesof BHC project work to contribute towards the British High Commission’s objectives. --To communicate the BHC’s objectives and messages, and lead on maximising public diplomacy opportunities through organising events, such as press conferences, interviews, press releases, and other events requiring media attendance." Image from
Pentagon propaganda efforts continue - Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY: The Defense Department wants to continue working with contractors to pump propaganda into Afghanistan despite a recent Government Accountability Office report that shows the programs are inadequately tracked, their impact is unclear, and the military doesn't know if it is targeting the right foreign audiences. The military deems the capability so integral to its effort in Afghanistan that it has extended the contract of the Leonie Group, its top private producer of propaganda, according to Air Force Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman. The company's co-owner, Camille Chidiac, was suspended for a time last year for admitting that he launched an online smear campaign against USA TODAY. The campaign, which Chidiac said in a letter to the Army, was started by public relations firm he had hired and wasn't his fault. The campaign began after the paper learned that Chidiac and his sister, Rema Dupont, the company's co-owner, owed the federal government $4 million in back taxes. They paid their tax bill, and Chidiac agreed to put his ownership stake in a trust and relinquish management of the company. That satisfied the Pentagon, which dropped its suspension of Chidiac and continues to do business with Leonie. The Pentagon is taking bids until July 19 for its propaganda enterprise in Afghanistan, known in miltiary-ese as, Military Information Support Operations (MISO). Since 2005, the Pentagon has spent hundreds of million of dollars on MISO. These propaganda efforts include websites, leaflets and broadcasts intended to change foreigners' "attitudes and behaviors in support of U.S. Government" objectives, according to the GAO. Some of them disclose the U.S. military as the source; others don't.
The Service of Snowden - Roger Cohen, New York Times: Across the world, and in the United States itself, many people sympathize with Snowden. They see his leaks as a needed stand for individual freedom against the security-driven mass surveillance of a U.S. National Security Agency armed with the technology to gather and analyze the digital trails of our lives.
Defense Contractors Vastly Outnumber Troops in Afghanistan - your-poc.com: For every U.S. service member serving in Afghanistan, there are 1.6 Defense contractors on the ground (and on the payroll) in supporting roles.
Contractors make up 62 percent of the force there — 108,000 versus 65,700 troops, watchdog agency reports reveal. Image from entry, with caption: A U.S. Contractor stands while a helicopter departs over the gatepost at Combat Outpost Terra Nova in Kandahar, Afghanistan
Don’t Talk With the Taliban - Husain Haqqani, New York Times: As was the case in the 1990s, negotiating with the Taliban now would be a grievous mistake.
Syria won’t be Iran’s quagmire - Vance Serchuk, Washington Post: The Obama administration has reportedly decided to send light weapons and ammunition to the opposition. But even if this starts to reverse the momentum of Assad and the Iranians — an optimistic assumption — a return to a bloody stalemate is still a win for Tehran. That’s because Assad doesn’t need to reconquer all of Syria for the Iranians to emerge successful.
Too Hilarious: Susan Rice Decries Torture (except by the U.S.) - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: Ho, ho, now the U.S. wants to criticize (other) people who commit torture, sure, why not put that out there?
It’s what, the International Day for Victims of Torture? Maybe to celebrate the U.S. will force two cans of Ensure down the throats of those held indefinitely in Guantanamo. Image from entry
After 1,989 Day-Vacancy — President Obama Nominates Steve Linick as State Dept Inspector General – Domani Spero, DiploPundit
The evolution of Arab public opinion research [video] - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: "How reliable is public opinion survey research in the Arab world? What lessons should we draw from its findings for policy or for academic hypothesis testing? Has the proliferation of new research, of varying quality, improved the state of our knowledge? In last week's POMEPS Conversation, I talked to Shibley Telhami about his new book, The World Through Arab Eyes, based on a decade's worth of survey research in the region. In this week's POMEPS Conversation, I talk with the University of Michigan's Mark Tessler, one of the founders and leading scholars in the field of Arab public opinion research."
Squandering EU is left red-faced over kid's colouring book branded 'pro-Europe propaganda' - Martyn Brown, express.co.uk: A children's colouring book produced at huge cost by the EU was David Cameron’s weapon yesterday to crank up pressure on Brussels to stop squandering vast sums. Bureaucrats also found the money to distribute 15,000 copies of the children’s book, described by critics as an attempt to brainwash youngsters with pro-EU propaganda, across member countries. Image from article, with caption: Prime Minister David Cameron warns European leaders to tighten their belts
'White House Down' Review: Unrelenting Liberal Propaganda Disguised As Popcorn Entertainment - Christian Toto: breitbart.com: White House Down lets director Roland Emmerich indulge in his favorite stunt--dumping ideological sludge atop his already bloated disaster films.
Emmerich, who previously prayed at the altar of Al Gore with the global warming fright flick The Day After Tomorrow, outdoes himself with his latest adventure. White House Down slams conservatives, the "military industrial complex," defense contractors and any politician who thinks it might not be wise to withdraw all troops from the Middle East. Emmerich the pundit would be advised to read some conservative sites to flesh out his woefully one-sided world view, while his movie-making persona should re-watch a movie like Die Hard to show how grand escapism works. Uncaptioned image from entry
FAREWELL MESSAGE FROM TARA SONENSHINE, UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS [in the interest of space, without indentations; for text with indentations, see]
Farewell Note from Under Secretary Tara Sonenshine - Received by email:"Thank you for all the work you do to advance U.S. national security through public diplomacy. ... The case for public diplomacy was never so compelling. With its unique position at the intersection of global information and people-to-people relationships, it has the potential to enhance the most positive and productive aspirations of citizens everywhere. It has impact. It matters." [full, unintended text below] This past year has given me the opportunity to see public diplomacy up close in our embassies, posts, American Spaces and out in the field. As I move on, I do so knowing that our work does what it's intended to do: create a safer and more prosperous world for Americans at home and abroad by helping citizens abroad build better futures. Throughout the past year, I have focused on defining the public diplomacy space, internally, and externally, and re-building confidence in PD programs and people while advancing the priorities of U.S. foreign policy through people-to-people engagement. My approach has been to frame public diplomacy in terms of short-range, mid-term, and long-term priorities so that we both stay focused on the immediate, but remain true to the premise that the real dividends of engagement sometimes take years to materialize. You see the results of positive public diplomacy when you meet heads of foreign countries, leaders of NGOs, influential writers, and others who have participated in USG funded programs years earlier. The people who experience our programs are often the people who solve problems, win Nobel Prizes, advance global interests, and reduce extremism. By supporting emerging leaders at a crucial time in their lives, we have made solid investments for our own country. This year has included outreach to the PD field through the establishment of the first external public diplomacy newsletter, the posting of agreed-upon core tenets for public diplomacy, active tweeting, speeches, interviews, visits to American universities and overseas trips as well as participation in bilateral summits, strategic dialogues, and town hall meetings, and a re-invigoration of our American Spaces overseas. Some major achievements that I am most proud of but need to be sustained: English language learning, globally, is now centralized on a Mobile App but needs to be broadened and deepened as we need to use more mobile technology and e-platforms overseas. A new video game, Trace Effects, for teaching English, is a major achievement and is gaining ground. We have to keep elevating Education and English learning as a core pillar of our engagement. Social media work is expanding through Facebook pages in multiple languages, content through Apps, global twitter feeds, etc. We must keep moving mobile. American spaces overseas are in the middle of a transformation to new models and the partnership with Smithsonian must be guided and sustained so that all of our American spaces have common standards of good content, accessibility, resources and evaluative capacity. American Spaces are critical windows onto America for those overseas. They can't be ignored. We have followed up on a Presidential Executive Order to stand up the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC)-a center for countering violent extremism online. It is already making an impact among targeted groups, and we must continue to support it. Monitoring and evaluation of public diplomacy is essential; we have good results, both quantitative and qualitative such as the PDI study showing that where we use public diplomacy the results are measured in the number of volunteers starting businesses, running for office. Favorability of the U.S. is up and those who participate in USG exchanges want to build civil societies. Thanks to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Study Abroad and exchanges are recognized now as centrally important to the State Department, with an economic dividend at home of $22 billion. There must be a high level 'call to action' with focus on Fulbright and other programs like YES. If we let these programs go ignored from the top leadership of State, they will fall victim to cuts or country decisions to do away with them or control them. Women and girls must remain central to U.S. foreign policy in words and deeds and that will require close coordination between our Office of Global Women's Issues (S/GWI) and public diplomacy. I have led the call for greater interagency participation, so we can work together to enhance those critical goals. BBG is in urgent need of reform and new approaches to the entities. I have worked hard as the Secretary of State's representative to the Board to suggest commission, board replacements, and other reform approaches. Public-Private partnerships to expand and enhance our public diplomacy have gotten much of my attention through our work on 100,000 Strong China, 100,000 Strong Latin America, and our Open Book project on Arab translations, to name a few of our initiatives. There is great potential to do more partnerships, particularly for our outreach to Islamic communities around the world. Building a domestic constituency for overseas engagement remains an economic and national security priority which means domestic outreach. I have traversed the U.S. from the East Coast to the West Coast, and in between, to make the case for public diplomacy. This must be continued so we don't lose momentum. Religious outreach is a vital ingredient to good public diplomacy and we have been carrying some of the load on coordination of these activities. I co-chaired the Global philanthropy and civil society effort which has made real inroads with the philanthropic community in creating a State Department bridge to international NGOs that work on issues related to R. I have mentored dozens of young people interested in service and tried to be a strong choice for career development within the Foreign Service and outside it to create a good leadership track for others to follow. So what does the future hold for U.S. public diplomacy in a complex world? Over the coming year, we have enormous opportunities to continue what public diplomacy does best: integrate our policies into a wide spectrum of public engagement. Using all the tools in the 21st century statecraft toolbox, in traditional and online ways, we can promote inclusiveness, tolerance, diversity and democracy and reduce the risks of costly global division, extremism, and war. Direct engagement is the key. We can connect with young people about things that directly affect their lives, including unemployment, vocational training, primary school education, gender issues, and health care. These issues are as important these days as bilateral trade, investment, security, and official delegations. We can share ideas with bloggers at a university roundtable, meet with alumni of our exchange programs, or sponsor sports or cultural events. We can interact with citizens with disabilities, support English-language students, or engage with visitors to more than 800 American spaces around the world. And we must also venture beyond the usual halls of power and connect with citizens in rural areas. People-to-people outreach goes beyond tweeting or texting. It involves virtual programming, disseminating thoughtful products, creating public awareness campaigns, connecting businesses through embassies, engaging religious figures, and acknowledging the work of citizen diplomats in a holistic approach. What is the recipe for good public diplomacy? The first step is to use convening power-internally and externally- simultaneously not sequentially. Inside government, officials who make and shape policy need to consider how the policy is communicated and understood by those on the receiving end of the policy-real people with real lives. That means convening the experts in public diplomacy while policy is in formation. It means circulating ideas to a wider group of individuals even at the risk that inclusion leads to disclosure.It means more video, imagery, photographs and story-telling. We have to move away from the innate, unspoken notion that governments alone change lives. Civil society groups, corporations, research institutions, elementary schools, summer camps and media have as much to do with how a society evolves as policymakers. And they can't operate without each other. Basic assistance that goes through large bureaucracies on the U.S. end, for example, and through foreign government bureaucracies often don't resonate with ordinary citizens. They can't fathom how they are helped by these relationships or often don't know that their education or health or energy or security is partly based on a bilateral relationship between governments. Without a trickle down proof of concept, the response to diplomacy by citizens is often muted or negative. By "broadcasting" those relationships - and doing the same for policies - we can achieve and demonstrate greater impact, and even help to mitigate hostility and mistrust, opening up new channels of support and appreciation in the U.S. Congress and among our own citizens for the work we do. More and more, citizens want to know why governments participate in their lives and to what avail. Public diplomacy can make policies tangible, real, and positive if we fully leverage the skill set. Truly integrated outreach, communications and public engagement planning has to include public affairs, media, education, social media, outreach to religious groups, women, and business leaders and aspects of society that never make it into the capitals and halls of power but move policy with their feet and their voices in the public square. Public diplomacy can no longer be an afterthought or a "nice to have" element of diplomacy. Nor can it be relegated to the message of the day or the official statement or a simple tweet. There must be a concerted effort to add a layer of public engagement that builds out the circle of government-to-government ties and ensures that while the President or Secretary of State is doing the official work of international policy, that a representative of the government is doing the work of building public support for the same policy. In an ideal world, public diplomacy both "sets the table" for policy and amplifies the policy through the connective tissue of real people. Without that, public diplomacy remains a long-term ideal without immediate impact in a world of instantaneous reaction and its marginalization will undermine its truest value. The response to State Department's public diplomacy work has been enormously positive. I thank both Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry and the leadership at State for their support. And I leave knowing that the work goes on and that individuals like you will keep us moving ahead.
MEXICANA, PERHAPS WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM ITS FRIENDS
Mexican amusement park offers fake border-crossing attraction - Jessica Chasmar, Washington Times: A new amusement park attraction in the Mexican state of Hidalgo is offering the thrill of crossing the United States-Mexico border without the risk, complete with fake smugglers and fake Border Patrol agents, PBS reported Monday. The Parque EcoAlberto is offering the attraction as a way to dissuade people from attempting to cross the border. For three hours, tourist groups endure sirens, dogs, chases and the fake Border Patrol yelling threats, PBS reported.
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