Monday, November 30, 2015

Quotable: Tom Cotton on energizing Public Diplomacy

Saturday, November 28th 2015
The website of Foreign Affairs ran an article by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), “Proxy Wars: Russia's Intervention in Syria and What Washington Should Do,” November 24, 2015.  His many recommendations included: 

The United States should also energize its public diplomacy and information strategies. It could take the lead in funding translation services to make Western media available in Russia. The United States needn’t create content. Unlike in Russia, robust debate and diverse viewpoints already exist in U.S. media. The United States simply needs to ensure that this content is disseminated widely in Russia and Eastern Europe to provide a counter-narrative to Russian-controlled media and an example to the Russian people of what free media looks like.

No doubt some will say these policies are unduly provocative. Yet Putin’s provocations have continued unabated for more than seven years. Putin is very consciously challenging the United States and the U.S.-led international order, and is now waging a proxy war against it. It is well past time for the West to recognize his challenge, rise up to it, and move to win the proxy war. Otherwise, Washington may find itself in a genuine war against a nuclear peer.

Quotable: Perry Link on China’s media controls

Sunday, November 29th 2015
In a recent article, Perry Link reviewed the two statements issued by the PRC’s Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou following their November 5 meeting in Singapore.  “What Xi and Ma Really Said” wrung out meanings and implications of the word choices made by the two.  Link is Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Princeton University.  The whole article --- from the ChinaFile website on November 17, 2015 -- demonstrated the importance of deep language skills in diplomacy and communication.  Here, however, is Link’s opening description of media control in China.

The Chinese government employs hundreds of thousands of people at all administrative levels, central to local, to prescribe and monitor how news stories are presented to the public. These people tell editors of newspapers and web pages not only what stories to run, but also what words and phrases to use, how to write headlines, and what page a story should appear on. They further prescribe what words must not be used, which stories not be published, and which stories allowed but “downplayed.” The more politically important a story is, the closer the scrutiny is. The attention given to national-level slogans and top policy announcements is meticulous. Elite word workers study them from nearly every possible angle.

Articles on public diplomacy published by the Australian National University

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Pursuing public diplomacy: an examination of the purpose and  potential of the 'Friends of Syria Group'
 Public diplomacy is gaining international recognition as a necessary and important tool needed for nations to successfully pursue their political goals. But what is public diplomacy? Public diplomacy involves the transnational flow of ideas and the active engagement of both government and non-government actors in policy development. Public diplomacy can be used to influence governments through the public or merely as a way to influence the public in order to build broad national relationships. Public diplomacy can be effective because it supports traditional diplomacy, because of the message it delivers or through the context a message is delivered in. To be effective it is necessary for a government to clarify for themselves an understanding of public diplomacy that matches their goals and objectives...

Island of Religious Tolerance: Can the Syrian government use the equality between Christians and Muslims in Syria as a public diplomacy tool to enhance its international standing?

 Public diplomacy presents a unique challenge to the Syrian Arab Republic, whose public image in the international arena has been tarnished in a post-9/11 climate where 'Middle East' is all too often synonymous in Western media with 'lslamist extremism', 'radicalism', 'intolerance'. Attempts by the Syrian government and its embassies overseas to counter negative perceptions have largely centered on one of Syria's key strengths: its significant cultural and historical tradition. To this end, Syria has been promoted as a 'Cradle of Civilisation', with emphasis placed on its scenic landscapes, as well as historical and archaeological landmarks. While this has been important in advancing a more positive image of Syria in the international domain, there is scope to build on these efforts in order to further Syria's interests overseas...

Repaving the road to Damascus

 Australia's Embassy in Syria's capital of Damascus was closed in 1999 under the Howard Government. In order to explore the possibility of reopening the Embassy, there needs to be a clear understanding of Australian foreign policy and also of Syria's value to Australia. Decisions in Australian foreign policy are made by the Prime Minister. He is influenced however, to varying degrees, by Parliament, the media, lobby groups, industry, non-governmental organisations and the general public. The more economic and political power these groups possess, the more likely they are to influence foreign policy. Foreign policy priorities are quite vulnerable to changes in government and context. Just as foreign policies have transformed over time, over the next few years the Rudd government will develop a new foreign policy...

Cultural diplomacy: Australia's relations with China and Japan, a process of engagement

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 Public diplomacy is normally understood as government's aim to positively influence overseas public opinion regarding its image. However, this essay instead explores public diplomacy through people-to people relationships as a process of engagement and mutual understanding while maintaining governmental objectives as well. The emphasis of Australia's conduct of public diplomacy is explored through two main organizations - Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and National Gallery of Australia - in promoting cultural understanding with China and Japan. The locus on the effect of cultural diplomacy within this research paper is about fostering deeper relations and understanding with two of Australia's prominent Asian neighbours. Australia's geographical position is such that Asia is understood to be an important neighbour in the Asia-Pacific region. As such, the highlight of its relations with Japan and Australia is about the strong ties that the nation and subsequently, the community have fostered throughout many years of co-operations. This people-to-people links through public diplomacy provides a more intimate and nongovernmental intrusive mode of communication to better understand a culture that is so different than that of Australia's Western one. Thus, cultural diplomacy itself facilitates interest in participation of communities in wanting to understand, explore and educate themselves about others. The end of the 'White Australia' policy has developed Australia's profile as a multi-national country and established its image as a nation that is accepting of others. There is a whole of government approach involved in achieving the successful ventures of cultural diplomacy by the two aforementioned organizations. As much as this paper focuses on a grassroots level of interaction and engagement, this has all been able to come about through the development of government trade relations with China and Japan and the contribution of government based organizations like ACC and AJF in supporting and funding MSO and NGA activities to bring about Australia's cultural connection with Asia. As such, Asian-Australian artists have emerged through this long-term cultural connection that Australia has shared with China and Japan. Chinese born composer Julian Yu whose iconic piece 'Willow and Wattle" effectively married Australian and Chinese culture into one and famed Japanese born fashion designer Akira Isagawa used his Printemps-Ete exhibition to showcase Japanese origami techniques in his production of Australian fashion. These are but a few of the artists whose dual identities has benefited themselves and the communities that they identify with. The recognition by MSO and NGA of their efforts and skills are a 'soft' and effective way of communicating with the people of two different nationalities...

Op-Ed: Reform and adult supervision for Broadcasting Board of Governors

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate should pass the bipartisan H.R. 2323 Royce-Engel U.S. international broadcasting reform bill to eliminate waste and improve response to ISIS and Putin propaganda.
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U.S. overseas broadcasting in support of freedom has a long and distinguished history. People who know it well, including Kevin Klose, a former Washington Post foreign correspondent, former National Public Radio (NPR) president and, most importantly, someone who successfully ran Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and worked briefly for the agency's bureaucracy in Washington, told members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations at recent hearing that the best solution is without question keeping the Voice of America (VOA) and the so-called surrogate media, such as RFE/RL, under separate oversight boards and in separate organizations.
Because international broadcasting, public diplomacy, foreign policy, and counter-propaganda are simply too big, too complex, charged with too many different missions, and politically too sensitive to be managed centrally by a single government agency or a single CEO.
Great private sector business experience does not always translate into successful foreign policy, public diplomacy and international journalism outreach run by the U.S. government or funded by the U.S. taxpayers. A highly successful entrepreneur, advertising expert Charlotte Beers, got it quite wrong when as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy in the George Bush Administration she told Congress that video commercials about happy Muslims in America can counter violent jihad. Her project was a spectacular failure. More recently, a successful private U.S. media executive hired by the BBG abruptly dismissed dozens of Radio Liberty journalists working in Putin's Russia. It crippled the media outlet, but BBG bureaucrats in Washington did nothing to deal with the problem. After a storm of protests from Russian opposition politicians and human rights activists, the BBG Board had to step in and order that the journalists be rehired.
It is also useful to know what worked and what did not work so well in the area of U.S. international broadcasting and public diplomacy from a broader historical perspective. When federally-run Voice of America proved ineffective in countering Soviet propaganda in the late 1940s and early 1950s, distinguished Americans, including George Kennan and General Eisenhower, worked together to create Radio Free Europe (RFE) as a separate, non-federal entity. RFE and later Radio Liberty (RL) proved to be great soft power successes of the Cold War. They were better managed on their own than the federally-managed VOA. They also had better talent and better programs. I can say that as a former listener to both VOA and RFE behind the Iron Curtain and a former VOA journalist, manager and executive. Voice of America could not match the surrogate stations in terms of knowledge of the Soviet block and audience impact. VOA focused instead more on telling America's story and offered more general international news. It still had far more influence and impact during the Cold War than it does now.
While VOA was more of a combined news and public diplomacy outlet, not even the State Department was running U.S. public diplomacy abroad during most of the Cold War. It was run by the United States Information Agency (USIA) until, unfortunately, the agency which performed quite well was abolished. The Secretary of State and the USIA Director had different missions, just as the set-up and the missions of the VOA, RFE/RL and later Radio Free Asia (RFA) were different. RFE/RL, however, was never part of the State Department or USIA. It remained outside of the official U.S. government structures for very good reasons.
Until the BBG was established in 1999, RFE/RL had always been managed as a separate entity and was overseen by a highly specialized board. No one would argue that the previous major institutional consolidation in the area of public diplomacy, the folding of USIA into the State Department, produced more flexibility, savings and better results. Bigger is not always better, especially in government. More centralized government bureaucratic power does not offer more flexibility in a highly complex operation involving both journalism and public diplomacy, as well as counter-propaganda. Centralization will definitely limit options in dealing with ISIS and Putin while not producing any better results.
The BBG, which in part had replaced USIA in 1999, is still an unmitigated fiasco. Hillary Clinton called it in 2013 "practically defunct." The agency suffers not from inadequate power, but from too much bureaucratic power combined with incompetence and lack of accountability. That's why the bipartisan Royce-Engel reform bill to reform the BBG calls for not one, but two oversight boards, and two different organizations: one to focus exclusively on U.S. news and public diplomacy outreach overseas with America's story (the Voice of America) and the other to hit purveyors of violence and anti-American hate where it would hurt them the most. That's how U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcasters had worked spectacularly well until the BBG was established and ruined it. All the surrogate media outlets would be consolidated into one organization. The Voice of America, which has its own Charter, would be placed in a new government agency.
If U.S. lawmakers want to learn about another propaganda outlet operating as a mega government agency, they should look up in the Congressional Record the WWII-era Office of War Information (OWI). Because of its size and enhanced powers without any institutional scrutiny, OWI became a managerial and journalistic disaster. OWI worked only for the White House. The State Department's policy role in it was marginalized. OWI was also blamed for interfering with U.S. military strategy. Its set-up, however, was very similar to what BBG officials are proposing now. OWI's top management consisted of Hollywood talent and a broadcaster known mostly for his good radio voice. Even during the war, the U.S. Congress tired to de-fund OWI after reports of numerous scandals and abuses. The mega propaganda agency was promptly disbanded after the war by the Truman administration. The Voice of America was placed in the State Department. The 1948 Smith-Mundt Act was passed to limit U.S. government's domestic media activities largely because of OWI's abuses in domestic propaganda and media censorship during the war.
I have a lot of respect for BBG Chairman Jeff Shell. He has tried to make the agency a better place to work for journalists, especially at RFE/RL, RFA, Radio and TV Marti, and in some VOA services. New BBG CEO John Lansing is also a well-meaning and thoughtful executive. Both are better than what the BBG has seen in years. But they will not be around forever, and they don't have much prior experience with government-funded media outreach, public diplomacy and federal government bureaucracy. They are both successful Hollywood and TV cable industry experts. But when it comes to international media outreach and foreign policy issues, they have to rely on unreliable BBG managers.
BBG executives have been spectacularly unreliable. They had ordered a public opinion survey in Russia-occupied Crimea shortly after the annexation without asking the Ukrainian government for permission. Crimea belongs to Ukraine, and the annexation was declared illegal by the United States and by many other countries. BBG officials followed up by calling a press conference in Washington to announce that the Crimeans are overwhelmingly happy about Russian rule. Voice of America reported the same. They failed to mention the intimidation by Russia or the repressed Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians.
The same officials make dubious claims that the agency has increased its audience to "unprecedented" 245 million. 35 million come from Mexico, which has a democratically elected government, a relatively free media despite attacks on journalists and numerous ties to the U.S. Other millions are for VOA programs from which news has been eliminated by the BBG to satisfy local censors. Audiences in the Middle East for Radio Sawa and Alhurra TV have declined. Impact is not measured. Audience engagement through social media is embarrassingly low. VOA English News had less than 10 Facebook posts the weekend of the Paris terror attacks. Compared to Russia's RT, BBC and Germany's DW, which had dozens of Paris-related reports, VOA got only 1 percent of "Likes" and comments in this category during the crucial first few hours and days after the terror attacks.
Mr. Shell and Mr. Lansing should listen to people like Kevin Klose, another former RFE/RL president Jeffrey Gedmin, or consult former BBG members: S. Enders Wimbush, James K. Glassman, Ambassador Victor Ashe or Blanquita Cullum. Distinguished Americans with vast international media and foreign policy experience, as well as many other experts, are warning that a mega propaganda agency run by government bureaucrats will be even worse and less effective than the current BBG set-up.
I can understand that in their new roles as government officials, Mr. Shell and Mr. Lansing may be saying what the Obama White House wants them to say, or they also feel compelled on their own to protect what they identify with now as BBG's institutional interests. If they truly believe in the one-board and the one-CEO solution, I would urge them to reconsider and to think of the tremendous long-term risks for U.S. international media outreach, including the risk of further undermining domestic bipartisan political support for the agency.
The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate should pass the bipartisan H.R. 2323 Royce-Engel U.S. international broadcasting reform bill to eliminate waste and free the United States from the bureaucratic mess of the BBG. Only then we might have a chance to compete successfully in the information war against ISIS and other enemies of freedom. It will be a long and difficult fight and it needs the best institutional base. Rejecting the key reform in H.R. 2323 would be a vote for keeping U.S overseas broadcasting defunct and without any adult supervision.
Ted Lipien is a former Voice of America acting associate director. He was in charge of Voice of America radio broadcasts to Poland during the Solidarity trade union's struggle for democracy and later developed live VOA television news programs to Ukraine and Russia. He was also in charge of placing VOA and RFE/RL programs on stations in Russia, Central Asia, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is now involved with a number of media freedom NGOs.

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An economic superpower filled with contradictions

Yu-Shan Wu,

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This year has been significant for China-Africa relations. The sixth iteration of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (Focac) will be held this week in Johannesburg, South Africa. Discussions building up to the summit have focused on how to upgrade relations beyond trade figures. ...
Most significantly and in contrast to emphasis on official or business links is increased interest in public engagement. This is reflected in China’s active global public diplomacy drive (the strategic diplomatic interaction with global and domestic publics), which started in the mid-2000s. This aspect of people-centred relations has also featured as an element in official Focac documentation.
China’s current engagement in South Africa has expanded to include the subset cultural diplomacy, a term described by the US State department as the ‘linchpin of public diplomacy’ that reveals the soul of a nation.
Observers of bilateral relations will have noticed the increasing reference to the “China Year in South Africa”. The initiative kicked off when China’s president Xi Jinping visited South Africa in 2013, in recognition for the need to increase people-to-people engagement between both sides. Subsequently, South Africa hosted its year in China through a range of promotional events in China.
In 2015, China hosted a series of similar events in South Africa.
China recognises that in an information age, it is important to communicate its interest in becoming a responsible, rising power. China is launching alternatives to the contemporary ‘North-South’ dominated trading system, embodied in President Xi Jinping’s ‘one belt, one road’ initiative. This is inspired by the historical network of overland trade routes known as the Silk Road, which now includes a maritime component across the Indian Ocean.
The awareness that the success of such a drive requires public support is stated in a white paper published on the initiative in March. This is not merely about trade or commodities but also opportunities for cultural interaction. Indeed, winning such support provides an enabling environment for China’s global ascendancy.
Better public communication and interaction between China and South Africa allows for stronger business links and broader collaboration across a range of issues.
Since relations were established in 1998, official and business relations have advanced further than a real understanding of values, culture and people. Of course it is also about starting to build a relationship of trust. This is achieved by addressing the very details in whatever gaps exist.
Certain realities exist. China has the capacity, unlike South Africa, to run far-reaching and ambitious initiatives, such as setting-up Confucius Institutes and media agencies abroad to promote China’s culture and global perspective. In addition, it engages in expansive country-specific engagements. Of course it can be argued that public outreach is not unique to China. Countries, like France, have honoured particular countries through ‘cultural seasons’ since 1985 as an integral element of France’s policy. Still it remains particularly pertinent for China to develop such targeted programmes, as the largest trading partner on the continent.
An important start for South Africa is to recognise the complexities within its society. One example linked to China is the 2014-2015 debate over the introduction of Mandarin in selected South African schools. The public response has ranged between criticism that lesser attention and care has been given to the country’s 11 local languages, whilst others have emphasised the strategic importance of speaking a language spoken by one in five people in the world. Both arguments have their merits.
At the same time, in recent discussions with a Zimbabwean policymaker on engaging China, the observation was made that China always brings its most qualified and suited negotiators to the table.
Is South Africa doing the same? Negotiating with China requires looking beyond language differences (and the politics thereof) and embracing a global perspective.
This requires beginning to understand China’s culture and way of thinking. China’s biggest global competitors, such as the US, have long-standing China studies programmes that move beyond viewing one another through traditional prisms like calligraphy or other aspects of cultural heritage.
Moreover it is necessary to advance from general perceptions to recognise that China is modernising, changing and is made up of contradictions, much like any other society.
The same can be said about South Africa, where there exists disagreement over the particular use of culture as a foreign policy instrument but which is also home to the largest, mixed Chinese community, historically an important, informal conduit between local and Chinese culture. ...
Government motivation and capital to fund exchanges and spaces for debate are necessary between people who have had a limited interaction with one another. Still the most meaningful relations are those that are serendipitously shaped. Perhaps as China’s approach towards Africa adjusts over time to include ‘new’ aspects, so will there be an inevitable interaction between the official and informal aspects of relations, which has been previously absent.
This issue raises a defining contradiction of the current so-called ‘global village’ that we live in. There exists closer physical proximity to all corners of the earth and people, like never before, yet it appears that the meeting of minds are worlds apart.

* Yu-Shan Wu is a researcher for the Foreign Policy programme at SAIIA and a doctoral candidate at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria.

** The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Independent Media.

'Muslims re-victimized in West'

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TEHRAN, Nov. 30 (MNA) – An expert on public diplomacy and US foreign policy criticizes the West for politicizing religion and demonizing Islam to meet their own political interests.
In an interview with Mehr News, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich believes resistance to cultural imperialism as mentioned in Ayatollah Khamenei’s letter to the youth in western countries is tantamount to independence from modern colonialism. ...

In the face of BDS movement, Britain and Israel agree to expand scientific cooperation

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich,

“The UK is proud that more Israeli students and scientists will now be working together with their British peers," UK envoy to Israel says.

The Science, Technology and Space Ministry in Jerusalem announced on Monday that the NIS 1.5 million funding will enhance research in water, medicine, agriculture, nanotechnology and other sciences and increase the number of scientists from the two countries who work together; at present, hundreds of researchers are already collaborating in existing bilateral programs.

The deepening of their scientific and academic cooperation will be made possible through a series of bilateral programs, the British Embassy and the British Council in Israel and the ministry announced.

British Ambassador David Quarrey said that he was proud that "the UK is proud that more Israeli students and scientists will now be working together with their British peers. Both countries are science superpowers, with a great talent pool and academic infrastructure."

"Collaborations between British and Israeli scientists can have real impact in tackling global health challenges such as heart disease, Parkinson’s and diabetes, as well as in protecting the environment and enhancing understanding of our societies," he added.

Alan Gemmell, director of the British Council in Israel, which oversees many of the bilateral programs, said that over the last three years "our partnerships with world-leading medical research foundations, donors and universities in Britain and Israel have invested millions of pounds in world-class research creating opportunities for scientists to work together to tackle global health challenges and access to water."

"I’m particularly pleased that universities in Scotland have secured £1.6m of research grants with Israeli universities,” Gemmell said.

Science, Technology and Space Minister MK Ophir Akunis said his ministry will partner with the UK government’s Science and Innovation Network on a new set of researcher exchange programs, doubling the number of scientists reached for the next four years.

“The investment of the British government in strengthening research relations with Israel is yet another British vote of confidence in Israeli science and technology. This is also a sharp, clear response to organizations calling for an academic boycott of Israel. Scientific exchange between our countries is the best public diplomacy tool for bridging over biased misconceptions of Israel."

DoD Gets Go-Ahead to Counter Islamic State Messaging

Steven Aftergood,

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There are “substantial gaps” in the ability of the Department of Defense to counter Islamic State propaganda and messaging, the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) informed Congress earlier this year.
But now Congress has moved to narrow some of those gaps.
Until recently, the Pentagon’s authority to act in this area had been deliberately curtailed by Congress in order to preserve a civilian lead role for the State Department’s public diplomacy program.
“Congress has expressed concern with DOD engaging violent extremist propaganda on the Internet, except in limited ways,” wrote General Joseph L. Votel, the SOCOM Commander, in newly published responses to questions for the record from a March 18, 2015 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee (at page 69).
“They [Congress] tend to view… efforts to influence civilians outside an area of conflict as Public Diplomacy, the responsibility of the Department of State or Broadcasting Board of Governors.”
By contrast, “We [at US Special Operations Command] believe there is a complementary role for the Department of Defense in this space which acknowledges the need for a civilian lead, but allows DOD to pursue appropriate missions, such as counter-recruitment and reducing the flow of foreign fighters,” he wrote.
General Votel suggested that “An explicit directive from Congress outlining the necessity of DOD to engage in this space would greatly enhance our ability to respond.”
Now he has it.
Without much fanfare, something like the directive from Congress that General Votel requested was included in the FY2016 defense authorization bill that was signed into law by President Obama on November 25:
“The Secretary of Defense should develop creative and agile concepts, technologies, and strategies across all available media to most effectively reach target audiences, to counter and degrade the ability of adversaries and potential adversaries to persuade, inspire, and recruit inside areas of hostilities or in other areas in direct support of the objectives of commanders.”
That statement was incorporated in Section 1056 of the 2016 Defense Authorization Act, which also directed DOD to perform a series of technology demonstrations to advance its ability “to shape the informational environment.”
Even with the requested authority, however, DOD is poorly equipped to respond to Islamic State propaganda online, General Votel told the House Armed Services Committee.
“Another gap exists in [DOD’s] ability to operate on social media and the Internet, due to a lack of organic capability” in relevant languages and culture, not to mention a compelling alternative vision that would appeal to Islamic State recruits. The Department will be forced to rely on contractors, even as it pursues efforts to “improve the Department’s ability to effectively operate in the social media and broader online information space.”
And even with a mature capacity to act, DOD’s role in counter-propaganda would still be hampered by current policy when it comes to offensive cyber operations, for which high-level permission is required, he said.
“The ability to rapidly respond to adversarial messaging and propaganda, particularly with offensive cyberspace operations to deny, disrupt, degrade or corrupt those messages, requires an Execute Order (EXORD) and is limited by current U.S. government policies.”
“The review and approval process for conducting offensive cyberspace operations is lengthy, time consuming and held at the highest levels of government,” Gen. Votel wrote. “However, a rapid response is frequently required in order to effectively counter the message because cyber targets can be fleeting, access is dynamic, and attribution can be difficult to determine.”
No immediate solution to that policy problem is at hand, as far as is known.
The difficulty that the U.S. government has had in confronting the Islamic State on the level of messaging, influence or propaganda is more than an embarrassing bureaucratic snafu; it has also tended to expedite the resort to violent military action.
“Overmatched online, the United States has turned to lethal force,” wrote Greg Miller and Souad Mekhennet of the Washington Post, in a remarkable account of the Islamic State media campaign. (“Inside the surreal world of the Islamic State’s propaganda machine,” November 20).
*    *    *
The House Armed Services Committee now produces the most informative hearing volumes of any congressional committee in the national security domain. Beyond the transcripts of the hearings themselves, which are of varying degrees of interest, the published volumes typically include additional questions that elicit substantive new information in the form of agency responses to questions for the record.
The new hearing volume on US Special Operations Command notes, for example:
*    USSOCOM currently deploys 20-30 Military Information Support Teams to embassies around the world. They are comprised of forces “specially trained in using information to modify foreign audiences’ behavior” [page 69].
*    “Only one classified DE [directed energy] system is currently fielded by USSOCOM and being used in SOF operations” [page 61]. Other directed energy technology development programs have failed to meet expectations.
*    Advanced technologies of interest to SOCOM include: signature reduction technologies; strength and endurance enhancement; unbreakable/unjammable, encrypted, low probability to detect/low probability of intercept communications; long-range non-lethal vehicle stopping; clandestine non-lethal equipment and facility disablement/defeat; advanced offensive and defensive cyber capabilities; weapons of mass destruction render safe; chemical and biological agent defeat [page 77].
Another recently published House Armed Services Committee hearing volume is “Cyber Operations: Improving the Military Cybersecurity Posture in an Uncertain Threat Environment.”