Monday, May 29, 2017

Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy “Seen on the Web” (#71) - May 28, 2017

Donald Bishop ; via emailSun, May 28, 2017 at 9:02 PM
May 28, 2017
Seen on the Web 2285-2363

DIME:  elements of national power –
Diplomatic, Informational, Military, Economic
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In The News

Instruments of Informational Power

Professional Topics

Countries and Regions



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In The News

● Later today, we will make history again with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology – located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World. This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership.
The White House, May 21, 2017

● Terrorism is a result of extremism, no doubt. Amid the need to confront it, we announce today the launch of the International Center for Combating Extremism, a measure aiming ... at spreading the principles of moderation, confronting the attempts to lure the juniors, vaccinating families and societies against deviant thought and waging a fierce war against the weak logic and controversy of the terrorists.
Arab News, May 22, 2017

● Twice Trump called Islamist terrorism and extremism an “ideology,” suggesting that he understands it is a belief system. But he appeared to be arguing that military action alone would defeat it. It won’t: Islamist extremism is a terrible and dangerous idea, and it will not be defeated by military action alone. We need other, better ideas to battle against extremist ideas.
Elliott Abrams, National Review, May 21, 2017

● ... any balanced strategy will require continued close partnerships with our regional allies to expand and improve the effectiveness of counter messaging programs, especially online. The inclusion of the Saudi Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology on the president’s itinerary was a good sign, but since September 11, 2001 we have seen far too many such initiatives fall short.... Although counter-messaging and counter-radicalization programs are not a cure all, they are a vital part of any strategy especially as America invests in its more military-focused initiatives.
Michael Leiter, The Atlantic, May 22, 2017

● But the President's address reflected a more substantive break. By focusing on Muslim governments rather than people, and by focusing on terrorism rather than the broader conditions of the Middle East that catalyze volatility and violence, he broke with his two immediate predecessors' strategies for engaging the Muslim world.
Eric Trager, The Washington Institute for Near East Studies, May 21, 2017

● Most important was Trump’s willingness to point to the ideology of Islamism as the enemy. This matters exceedingly for, just as a physician must first identify a medical problem before treating it, so a strategist must identify the enemy before defeating it. To talk about “evildoers,” “terrorists,” and “violent extremists” is to miss the enemy’s Islamic core
Daniel Pipes, National Review, May 21, 2017

● Wajahat Ali: * * * I’m not a naïve, wide-eyed idealist and I didn’t drink the Halal Kool aid. I knew the bar was exceedingly low, so all Trump would have to do is stay on script, not say anything egregiously offensive and it would be considered an “improvement.” Which it was.  Mustafa Akyol: ... I agree that it definitely did not come out as advertised.... This was a more modest, narrow and pragmatic speech, mostly appealing to Muslim leaders — in fact, only Sunni ones — for more cooperation against terrorism. But given Mr. Trump’s earlier views on Islam, it could have been worse!
Mustafa Akyol and Wajahat Ali, The New York Times, May 21, 2017

 It was a very strange place to speak out against Islamist extremism. Although Saudi Arabia is afraid of some forms of Islamist extremism, it supports others. Saudi Arabia sponsors extremist Wahabi mosques and imams all over the world; Osama bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, as were 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers.
Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post, May 21, 2017

● Mr. Trump’s speech Sunday in Riyadh and President Barack Obama’s 2009 speech in the Egyptian capital of Cairo differ dramatically in both substance and style. Yet their goals were essentially the same.
Carol E. Lee, The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2017

● Donald Trump appears to have envisioned his speech on Sunday in Riyadh as an answer to Barack Obama’s 2009 address in Cairo. And reading the two side by side is illuminating. The speeches differ in many ways, but none more striking than this: Trump’s speech was far more politically correct.
Peter Beinart, The Atlantic, May 21, 2017

● This effort has “reduced ISIS-held territory, limited their freedom of movement, destroyed a great deal of their leadership, reduced the flow of foreign fighters into and from the region, diminished their financial resources and, I think, perhaps most importantly, we’ve undermined the credibility of their narrative that there is a physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria,” Dunford said. 
* * * 
“Our strategic approach is to cut the connectivity between ISIS affiliates and associates, and that's specifically the foreign fighter flow, their illicit resources and their message.”  The effort is more than a military effort -- it is a whole of government approach, and Brett McGurk, the president’s special envoy, said this is “enabling an anaconda-like approach to suffocate ISIS of its territory, finances, propaganda and ability to move foreign fighters.”
Jim Garamone, Department of Defense, May 19, 2017

Elements of Informational Power

● To accomplish the Administration’s goals in Korea, China, Syria and other places, America will need friends going well beyond a handful of personal relationships between presidents and foreign ministers.  PD’s value proposition is building networks of leaders who understand us and are inclined to support our needs and policies.  Embassies count influential contacts in the millions because of steady effort since the post-Word War II era.
Joe Johnson, Public Diplomacy Council, April 27, 2017

● The White House appeared to step on its own media applause lines by failing to provide timely fact sheets or copies of signed agreements Trump was touting in public as “historic” and “epic.” Press spokesmen sometimes were ill-equipped to provide basic information. And unlike virtually every president before him on similar journeys, Trump held no news conferences.
Philip Rucker and Karen DeYoung, The Washington Post, May 27, 2017

● The brave men and women who work at BBG and its affiliates exemplify brave best practices, often taking great risks to bring news and information to people in media restrictive environments. Their work here at home, though far less dangerous, is also driven by the ideal of the free flow of information and the belief that an informed world is a safer world.  BBG’s mission since its founding in 1942 has been to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. In those 75 years, 14 BBG journalists have paid the ultimate price in pursuit of truth. Let us remember them and honor their sacrifice.
Bruce Wharton, Department of State, May 1, 2017

● Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty advanced U.S. international broadcasting objectives by providing news to 23 countries through 26 languages.
Office of Inspector General, Department of State, Broadcasting Board of Governors, May, 2017

● An exiled Chinese businessman with close ties to the government has begun revealing secrets about Beijing's intelligence operations after China pressured the official Voice of America radio to curtail a lengthy interview with him.
Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon, May 23, 2017

● I’m not aware of another instance in the 75-year history of Voice of America in which a foreign government has attempted to intervene with such force in the network’s broadcast decisions.
Sasha Gong, The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2017

● The vulnerability to pressure by foreign governments is a problem for all U.S. media operating in foreign countries, and Voice of America is no exception. How they react to that pressure is critically important to the preservation of their journalistic credibility.  Voice of America is even more exposed to the public because it is part of the U.S. federal government. (It must be stressed, however, that there has been no indication that interference by the U.S. government itself took place.)
Did the Chinese Government Influence Voice of America?
Helle Dale, The Daily Signal, May 23, 2017

●Indeed, these [BBG] networks may be more skilled in this respect than their commercial counterparts, which do not even try to reach such audiences, they do not constitute lucrative markets for advertisers. That’s why VOA needs government support. But that doesn’t make it a “government mouthpiece.” . . . . VOA strives to reconcile editorial independence with a mission that extends beyond the commercial incentives of most private-sector media, as well as the political priorities of most state-owned media.
Martha Bayles, Public Diplomacy Council Commentary, May 18, 2017

● The report alleges that three outlets — specifically, Radio Svoboda (the Russian service of Radio Free Europe), Voice of America, and CNN — tried to influence Russia’s domestic politics. The report said that positive coverage was only given to opposition parties, when there was any coverage at all;  
Emily Tamkin, Foreign Policy, May 19, 2017

Professional Topics

● The rise of digital technology has coincided with unprecedented political polarization in this country. From think pieces to casual conversations, many feel technology exacerbates these divisions. They are left to wonder how tools meant to bring us closer together can sometimes drive us further apart.
Maeve Duggan, The Atlantic, May 11, 2017

● Social media and online participation are vital and affordable conduits for Marines to invest in partner forces while conducting culturally effective wars. IW presents an unfavorable situation in which warring members of a population blend in with their compatriots and surroundings. Only if the Marines are able to squarely capture the attention and faith of non-combatants—while alienating foes in digital forums—will they stand a chance at winning [information warfare] campaigns.
1st Lieutenant Matthew H. Ormsbee, Marine Corps Gazette, May 2017


● Mattis remains suspicious of Iran, which he describes as the most dangerous actor in the region—“more of a revolutionary movement than a country.” The potential threats include nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, mines, and a cyber program that he has likened to “children juggling light bulbs filled with nitroglycerine.”
Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, May 29, 2017

● ... no one identified the ransomware event in its proper historical category. Many observers referred to “extortion” and others less specifically to “theft.” Those terms are not wrong but they miss the essence: This was an act of piracy, piracy on the cyberseas.
Adam Garfinkle, The American Interest, May 22, 2017

● Admiral Michael S. Rogers, head of U.S. Cyber Command, called Russia’s cyber operations “destabilizing.” During recent exchanges on Capitol Hill, Rogers appeared to be in agreement with the U.S. intelligence community that Russia's election interference is likely to be a new normal.
Sandra Erwin, Defense Systems, May 15, 2017

● When you try to anticipate what technology means, and the friction that arises from great power competition and political ideology, we can see where cyber plays a role in all of it. This has created new challenges for the role that government plays in the security of the private sector.  
Admiral Patrick Walsh, The Catalyst, Spring 2017

● The puzzles made visible through “fake news” are hard. They are socially and culturally hard. They force us to contend with how people construct knowledge and ideas, communicate with others, and construct a society. They are also deeply messy, revealing divisions and fractures in beliefs and attitudes.
C.W. Anderson, Nieman Lab, May 23, 2017

● In this ocean of uncertainties, it is easy to look for shortcuts. In the West, fake news can seem to be the answer, when old answers do not work and new real answers are unavailable. Or in China, where the party has close control, the answer might be to just muzzle everybody. They are two sides of the same coin, and we know the coin is a bad, dangerous coin.
Francsco Sisci, Limes online, May 19, 2017

● China is a powerful international actor as the most populous country, the second largest economy, and a significant investor in modernizing its military. With early signs that the United States will emphasize hard power under the Trump administration, China has positioned itself as a champion of globalization and economic integration, perhaps signaling a desire to take on a greater international leadership role. It is doing this by doubling down on soft power, a measure of a country’s international attractiveness and its ability to influence other countries and publics. 
Eleanor Albert, Council on Foreign Relations, May 11, 2017

 The question is not either/or, hard power versus soft power, but how to combine the two so that they reinforce each other, to better help you achieve your objectives. In that sense, cutting aid, public diplomacy, or other such things, which are not large, takes away attractiveness, which is a force multiplier for hard power.
Zachary Laub, Council on Foreign Relations, March 29, 2017


● Although taking place below the threshold of direct military confrontation, China’s assertiveness frequently involves coercive elements that put at risk existing rules and norms; physical control of disputed waters and territory; and the credibility of U.S. security commitments. Regional leaders have expressed increasing alarm that such “gray zone” coercion threatens to destabilize the region by increasing the risk of conflict and undermining the rules-based order.
Michael Green, Kathleen Hicks, Zack Cooper, John Schaus, and Jake Douglas, CSIS, May 2017

● Russian Information Warfare does not align with US IO, SC, PD, or any organization in the US or the West.  Russian Information Warfare is roughly aligned with a nine-part organization as described by Dr. Igor Panarin ... There are some outliers, however, and we in the West must be flexible in how we analyze and respond to Russian Information Warfare. * * * What Russia is doing is often illegal, usually unethical, and almost always immoral.  Unfortunately, conventional efforts by State, DoD, and other parts of the US government fail – badly.
Joel Harding, To Inform is to Influence, May 9, 2017

 His reform narrative crisply summarizes many defense issues that other writers have previously dissected. Thus, readers may want to focus instead on his new insights.... Second is the urgent need to rediscover political warfare and how to divide enemies by exploiting a diverse range of readily available information and propaganda tools.  
Thomas C. Greenwood, Marine Corps Gazette, May 2017

 The nature of combined arms has not changed; it is still about the mutual and reinforcing effect of numerous capabilities. Its character though is employing information, cyber, and electronic warfare .... As the use of these combat arms fuses, so too must structure: organizational stovepipes between fires and information, cyber, and electronic warfare must be broken in the same manner as an fire support coordination center integrates maneuver, artillery, and aviation.
The Ellis Group, Marine Corps Gazette, December 2016


● And then, that same star was coopted, stolen by a 4chan fringe. In an effort described to the Daily Beast as a push to "reclaim Pepe from normies," a dedicated group of 4chan users began to tie Pepe to white nationalism beginning around 2015. "We basically mixed Pepe in with Nazi propaganda, etc. We built that association," one user told Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi.
Sam Sanders, NPR, May 11, 2017

Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal, May 23, 2017

● ... escalating attacks have pushed the Europeans to progress beyond the United States on counterradicalization, while American agencies are overrun with concerns on how to mitigate risk and measure achievements in this controversial space.
Gilles Kepel, Tamara Cofman Wittes, and Matthew Levitt, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, May 19, 2017

● Yet while all but conspiracy theorists will undoubtedly be relieved that Hamas no longer views Jews (and one assumes the Freemasons and Rotary clubs as well) as “cells of subversion” who are responsible for the French Revolution, Communism and World War Two (as the original charter did), the new document is still a long way from making peace with the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.
Calev Ben Dor, World Affairs, May 22, 2017

 Ukrainian officials have announced a criminal investigation into Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and his secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria, for the mass deportation of Muslim Tatars from the Crimean Peninsula during World War II, which killed tens of thousands.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, May 19, 2017

● ... Russia’s inability maturely to acknowledge its past, much less its present, remains nearly continuous with Soviet times and before. In discussing Russian film portrayals of Soviet WWII heroism, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky offered this revealing quote: "The facts themselves don’t mean too much. If you love your motherland, your people, history, what you will be writing will always be positive."
Mark Tooley, Providence, May 12, 2017

● Unfortunately, there are still many of those willing to help spread the poison of the Soviet propaganda, either for money or because they believe in it. These people march with Stalin portraits in their hands, wear Georgian ribbons, shout out Soviet-style slogans about the greatness of Russia, of Putin, of Stalin. And this is happening in Canada!
Antonina Kumka, Euromaidan Press, May 9, 2017

● Either Russia and Ukraine are one country, or they are enemies. This is emphatically a Russian, not Ukrainian, sentiment. It is Russians who have defined Ukrainian statehood—indeed, the very idea of a Ukrainian ethnos—as intrinsic and unjustifiable Russophobia.
Kirk Bennett, The American Interest, May 9, 2017

● That this “peaceful” China in the post-revolution years invaded Korea and Tibet, tussled with India as well as the Soviet Union, and bombed offshore Taiwanese islands goes ¬unspoken.
David Marshall, First Things, February 2017

● “The [Johnson] administration made a deliberate decision not to create a war psychology in the United States,” Secretary of State Dean Rusk remarked that October [1967], because it was “too dangerous for this country to get worked up.” Johnson, Rusk and other officials had feared that war fever would undermine the domestic programs of the Great Society and heighten tensions with the Soviets. But now, Rusk conceded, “maybe this was a mistake; maybe it would have been better to take steps to build up a sense of a nation at war.”
Mark Moyar, The New York Times, May 19, 2017

● The common theme that emerges is the propensity of these thinkers to excuse horrendous actions in whichever totalitarian nation they found themselves, whether Fascist or Communist, because they believed such means may have been necessary for valuable ends.
Ronald Radosh, Commentary Magazine, May 16, 2017

● The American Foreign Service Association has announced recently an electronic archive going back 99 years.
Joe Johnson, Public Diplomacy Council Commentary, May 14, 2017

● In the early days of the war propaganda leaflets were—judging by more recent standards—crude and lacking in subtlety, but it must be remembered that the leaflets of that date were only considered as ancillary to broadcasting, since no serious embargo had been put on wireless sets. Yet even during the first months of the war, certain leaflets already pointed to the lines along which propaganda was to develop.
Psywar, April 10, 216

● [The Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley] ... argued the fundamental nature of war (including fear, uncertainty, and chance, according to Clausewitz and others) will remain largely unchanged, but the character of war is evolving rapidly. The convergence of new developments such as ubiquitous information technology and personal communications, proliferation of precision guided weapons, robotics and on-site 3D printing, and rapidly growing urbanization all augur a very different era of warfare.
David Barno and Nora Bensahel, War on the Rocks, May 23, 2017

● The term “the free world” has served both as a propaganda tool and a straightforward description of reality. As propaganda, the idea is spent. There is no state-sponsored threat to freedom on the order of the Soviet Union. There is, therefore, no corresponding rallying cry to pull together and fight in the name of liberty.
Abe Greenwald, Commentary, May 16, 2017

● To a great degree, we now think that securing a better future no longer requires strenuous efforts to muster a strong political will; nor does it need philosophical justification. The project of making the world a better place will be carried forward by global capitalism, which has an intrinsic momentum, along with the legal and bureaucratic apparatus of transnational institutions and structures ...
R.R. Reno, First Things, May 2017

● ... department power is manifest inside an enterprise in three ways, with the first two being the most consequential:  1. Resource attraction: ... 2. Inter-functional coordination: ... 3. The age-old “seat at the table” question: In their research, the authors found that departments with power are better able to direct top management teams’ attention to internal issues and external environment issues affecting the department’s ability to accomplish its tasks and achieve overall alignment between the top management team and the department.
Russ Klein, American Marketing Association, October 5, 2015

● The U.S. has more than 200 times more data available per capita than any other market. CMOs and senior marketers in the U.S. can count on the ideal combination of market dynamics: -Low hurdles related to data privacy and data compliance  - A vast array of data providers offering specific, comprehensive, granular data options  -Relatively inexpensive and consistent pricing across the board  -The ability to obtain and deploy the data quickly, and with very few executional problems.
Kitty M. Kolding, American Marketing Association, August 12, 2015

● ... though it cannot be doubted that American and Western leaders invested much time and energy into building this world order, was it the real reason for the prosperity and peace we enjoyed in the subsequent decades? Or was it really America’s willingness to be its primary guarantor, through American political clout, military might, and economic growth?
Daniel Strand, Providence, May 23, 2017

● These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.  After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.
The Pulse, May 19, 2017

Countries and Regions


● After months of reports and investigations into Russia’s potential attempts to sway the direction of the 2016 U.S. election, Vladimir Putin’s ruling party struck back with an accusation of its own Friday. The U.S. media, according to a member of the United Russia party, used “propaganda” to try to influence Russia’s parliamentary elections last year.
Jason Le Miere, Newsweek, May 19, 2017

● For many Americans, Russian hacking remains a story about the 2016 election. But there is another story taking shape. Marrying a hundred years of expertise in influence operations to the new world of social media, Russia may finally have gained the ability it long sought but never fully achieved in the Cold War: to alter the course of events in the U.S. by manipulating public opinion.
Massimo Calabresi, Time, May 18, 2017

● ... perhaps the most important clash of civilizations is in evidence on the territory of the former Soviet space between those who seek to root out the legacy of Soviet communist oppression and those who celebrate it or even go further and seek to re-impose it on their own countries and others as well.
Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia–New Series, May 14, 2017

● Both supporters and critics of the Putin regime often say his regime lacks an ideology ... but in fact, Irina Pavlova says, it does: “traditional Russian great powerness (velikoderzhaviye), cleansed of communism and dressed up in Orthodox clothing.”
Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia--New Series, May 11, 2017

● ‘The Victory Parade’ in Putin’s Russia is unique in its absurdity, one in which an imperial army presents itself as ‘defenders of the motherland,’ occupiers as liberators, and invaders as anti-fascists,” Aleksandr Khots says. It is thus “a hybrid parade of ‘heroes’ of a hybrid war,” of “totalitarianism under the mask of anti-fascism.”
Paul Goble, Euromaidan Press, May 10, 2017

● 1.  Preparation.  A planned "oppression" of Russians.  This is a preparatory stage. For this, propaganda in Russian and local pro-Russian media is indispensable.  Propaganda is a part of the Soviet active measures strategy intended to produce an assessment of the events favorable for Russia. Though it is often used as a background tool, Russia can use it even if it doesn’t intend to invade the host state.
Euromaidan Press, May 9, 2017

● Vitaly Ivanov, a former minister for culture and nationality affairs in Chuvashia, says that current efforts to promote ‘a civic Russian nation’ (rossiiskaya natsiya) are just like those in Soviet times to promote ‘a Soviet nation’ (sovetskaya natsiya) and potentially even more dangerous.
Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia—New Series, May 9, 2017


● Kyiv has a right to be worried about any channels that Moscow can and does use to destabilize things.  And ... Russia has invaded Ukraine, and social networks are a communications network that updates the use of letters and telephone calls. In the past, no one would have expected a government whose territory was invaded by another to allow its citizens unrestricted telephone and epistolary communications with citizens of the enemy country.
Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia–New Series, May 19, 2017


Darren E. Tromblay, Small Wars Journal, May 22, 2017

● There is a major cross-Strait trust deficit and mutual fears guide policies on both sides. Beijing fears that Tsai is pursuing a separatist agenda that threatens mainland China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taipei fears that the Chinese will curb Taiwan’s autonomy and eventually close off all options other than reunification on Beijing’s terms.
Bonnie S. Glaser, CSIS, January 26, 2017


Timothy W. Martin, The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2017

● Kids learn to love the country's grisly history, from its founder, Kim Il Sung, all the way to its present ruler, Kim Jong Un. They may learn popular art forms like music and illustration, but it's often in the pursuit of promoting the country's political will.
Chris Weller, Business Insider, May 11, 2017

● The education efforts have worked quite well. Under the Taliban, there was less than a million people in schools and almost zero women. Now there are between 6 and 9 million Afghans going through education, and about a third of them are women. All of this is real progress, and it's sustainable. It pays dividends in the years that follow.
Steve Inskeep, NPR, April 19, 2017

 This quarter, coalition advisors continued to build strategic communication in the ministries. In concert with the corresponding national effort, the coalition worked toward empowering public affairs staffs, assisting with budgeting and procurement processes, implementing standard operating procedures, and encouraging proactive public affairs planning.
Lead Inspector General Mission for Overseas Contingency Operations, Department of Defense, December 31, 2016


● Pakistan’s government is cracking down on social-media critics of the nation’s powerful military, a move many activists and opposition lawmakers say is aimed at suppressing free speech and political dissent.
Qasim Nauman, The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2017

● Trump’s “principled realism” holds that the American people and sharia societies share “common values” that will cause the latter to fight jihadism. How could anyone believe this is the case unless he is willfully blind to how the kingdom is governed, the longstanding support Saudis have provided for terrorism, and the number of Saudis complicit in anti-American terrorism?
Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, May 22, 2017

● This examination of the activities of the Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE offers a number of lessons for U.S. policy makers.... Our recommendations are as follows:  • Enhance strategic messaging to clarify to the Gulf states what the United States will do to ensure their security,and where the United States draws a line.
Christopher Steinitz and William McCants, Marine Corps University Journal, Spring 2015 (pp. 5ff)

● Mr. Gates on Tuesday continued that it made no difference whether ISIS had directly organized the attack or only served as the encouraging factor. It doesn’t change the fact that Europeans need to be vigilant in assessing and defeating the threat of the terror group’s radical ideology.
Laura Kelly, The Washington Times, May 23, 2017

 Recently the eighth edition of an online magazine for ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) fans in the West appeared. Called Rumiyah, it first showed up in September 2016 and has appeared about once a month ever since. Rumiyah was designed for those in the West interested in ISIL style mayhem and especially “lone wolf “attacks.
Strategy Page, May 9, 2017

● Former State Secretary Condoleezza Rice said calling out Islamic extremism is a necessary part to fighting the war on terror, during a Fox News interview Monday evening.  "We have to stop the ideology as well as — it is evil in our times. We have to call it by name," Rice told Fox host Sean Hannity.
Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, May 8, 2017

● While the Islamic State now manufactures child soldiers, preliminary evidence suggests an emerging and increasingly aggressive role for older adults (aged 60 and beyond), especially as suicide bombers. The Islamic State has produced not only the youngest suicide bombers in history, but now also the oldest.
John Horgan, Mia Bloom, Chelsea Daymon, Wojciech Kaczkowski, and Hicham Tiflati, CTC Sentinel, May 4, 2017

● We learned that the BRICS are a thing of the past for American marketers. That grouping ... looks distinctly dated. Russia, hammered by sanctions and oil price drops, is down to No. 9 on our list of the 26 most attractive markets.  South Africa, plagued by years of low investment and mediocre growth, is No.12.  The top scorers on our “attractiveness index” are India, China, Brazil and Mexico. The rest of the top 10 are medium-sized, fairly successful countries—Argentina (No. 5), Poland (No. 6) and Turkey (No. 8)—or small but rich ones, such as the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
Craig Charney, American Marketing Association, August 20, 2015


● ... here’s my understanding of Clinton and her speechwriter. She liked him; he was a fine speechwriter. She overworked him mercilessly; he believed in the candidate and was willing to work long, thankless, hours. But she was never really satisfied with his work, because he seemed unable to articulate why she was running for President of the United States.
Glynn Young, Vital Speeches of the Day, May 17, 2017


● "I was tempted to withdraw from the [USIS International Visitor Program] grant.  In growing up, I had learned terrible things about the hated Jews."  But he decided to see how things would work out.... "It wasn't long before I came to appreciate the mind and character of this fellow. Working together, he and I became close colleagues, even friends."
Robert Gibbons, Foreign Service Journal, April 2016, [pg. 11]


 ... Dr. Vali Nasr, Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and Dr. Fred Bronstein, Dean of the Peabody Institute, hosted a Forum featuring a distinguished panel tasked with a 360 degree reflection on how cultural diplomacy can help better address the most pressing global challenges. Panelists provided stunning examples of the efficacy of cultural diplomacy.
Sherry Mueller, Public Diplomacy Council Commentary, May 13, 2017


This is a compilation of news, articles, essays, and reports on strategic communications, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. government international broadcasting, and information operations.  The editorial intent is to:

 share with busy practitioners the academic and policy ferment in Public Diplomacy and related fields
● from long speeches, testimonies, and articles, flag the portions that bear on Public Diplomacy
● provide a window on armed forces thinking on the fields that neighbor Public Diplomacy such as military public affairs, information operations, inform-influence-engage, and cultural learning, and
● introduce the long history of Public Diplomacy by citing some of the older books, articles, reports, and documents that are not available on the internet.

Public Diplomacy professionals always need a 360-degree view of how ideas are expressed, flow, and gain influence.  Many points of view citied here are contentious, partisan, and/or biased; inclusion does not imply endorsement.

Edited by
Donald M. Bishop, Bren Chair of Strategic Communications, Marine Corps University
Jeffery W. Taylor, University of Mary Washington, Assistant

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