Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How Russia Views Public Diplomacy?

July 5, 2017, Joel Harding,

image (not from entry) from

First, a million apologies for the rough Chrome browser translation. If you have major heartburn, please submit a better translation and I will substitute.  
Second, the source for posting this article was in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the actual source was  
The author is significant, however.  Dmitry Rogozin, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, overseeing Russia’s defense industry. In January 2008, he became Russia’s ambassador to NATO, serving until 2011.  
One paragraph stands out:
The war in the Caucasus in August 2008 showed that we (Ed. note: unclear Russian delegration or NATO) vitally lacking permanent mechanisms of public opinion both domestically and abroad. In those hot days, I did not wait for Western journalists to complete their other business and interested in what is still Russia’s position on the war in South Ossetia. I myself created a press center, held daily briefings, conducted painstaking, individual explanatory work with politkommentatorami leading Western media, he went to the live broadcast studio and teleconferences in a straight fight with opponents tilting cargo war propaganda and lies of those who tried to act the role of devil’s advocate. Only in such an offensive way, I was able to convey to the West (or, as NATO members, to sell) our version of events.

“As NATO catch souls”

We are missing a vital permanent mechanisms to work with public opinion

May 17 a group of experts headed by Madlen Olbrayt issued a report “NATO 2020: Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement”. It is an analytical document containing the philosophical and policy recommendations for the future strategic concept of the alliance, which has to approve the Lisbon Summit in November 2010.
I have already commented on the process of preparing the report and criticized some of its provisions. But there is one key aspect that is still unfamiliar to readers in Russia. It is the policy of the alliance in the field of advocacy work with people around the world, the so-called public (or public) diplomacy.
It is significant that in the paper signed by Albright and Co., the term “public diplomacy” is mentioned only once and in between times, but the essence of this work is described in the most general terms, which, however, did not help “wise men” to hide the alarm. For example, they warn that the alliance is about, “could lose public support and the necessary financial security.” But this is a matter of life and death for such a large organization, besides leading the fighting!
What do you need to save the situation? It turns out that NATO’s fate is decided not only on the battlefield in Afghanistan, but also on the fronts of information warfare. Experts headed by Albright fear that public opinion in the Euro-Atlantic countries succumb to the arguments of skeptics, not sure that the existence of the alliance retains its meaning, and call: “We need to remind people of the NATO countries that the Alliance serves their interests, providing security.” The same, according to the paper, you need to convince the citizens of those countries that do not belong to NATO.
Why, in the expert report is not a full-scale action plan? Because NATO and without the “wise men” knows how to do it. Public diplomacy has been a department in the structure of the alliance, but in fact all of the work of civil-military bureaucratic machine unit is subject to the principles and objectives of this key area.
In western documents term “public diplomacy” shown (along with psychological and information transactions, as well as military PR) as the central element of the political and technological spectrum as “strategic communication”. This is a very important point: all the efforts of Western experts are of strategic significance, are aimed at long-term, rather than a momentary impact.
“Smart power» (smart power) or “soft power» (soft power), equipped with the latest communication technologies and means of influencing public consciousness – this is probably the most important weapon in the arsenal of NATO. When comparing the potentials of Russia and NATO countries, usually by habit count the number of different weapons: warheads, aircraft … But how to measure the stopping power of authority, energy, reputation, ability injurious propaganda? What parameters to evaluate the influence of certain ideas in the high circles of people, decision makers and the public opinion?
No exaggeration to say that the promotion and self-promotion – the priority of NATO. It allocated huge budgets that are not sawn officials, and go into business. Involved publicists and technicians of commercial structures, where this work very effectively staged. Worldwide network of offices works (as independent centers and institutions under the wing of the embassies) – imposed on them including advocacy roles.
I wish from my own experience in the NATO headquarters to talk about how to organize a propaganda offensive potential of the world’s largest military alliance.
” ‘What is public diplomacy’ ”
First of all, public diplomacy – this is not a set of disposable shares carried out in reaction to external challenges. This is a permanent system of public institutions and information channels, which continuously runs in routine mode, in case of need immediately to mobilize and carry out propaganda operation or a full-scale campaign anywhere in the world or at the global level.
Strategic communications and public diplomacy – an integral and essential part of a civil-military policy planning and executive activities of NATO. In this work organically integrated all public events: visits and meetings of the Secretary General and senior military and political NATO figures, ministerial summits and talks between the heads of State and Government, scheduled and urgent press conferences and public speeches, articles and interviews in the press and on the Internet, military exercises, peacekeeping and combat operations – absolutely any newsworthy used to remind myself.
Even the process of preparation of the new Strategic Concept, NATO has been furnished with PR experts as a way to attract the attention of intellectuals and the general public. Around the world, public discussions were held, through a special website on the Internet gathered opinions and suggestions of experts and ordinary citizens. Never mind that their letters and tips will not affect the final version of the concept. The main thing is that the maximum NATO members have used this episode to strengthen the image of the alliance as a transparent and modern organization.
The structures responsible for public diplomacy, do not miss a single opportunity to shoot a set of ready-made ideology. Now before them the task – again to convince public opinion in the countries – members of the alliance that NATO – an effective, cohesive and, most importantly, a vital organization, without which the Euro-Atlantic security is impossible.
” ‘Headache PR’ ”
It has become a real headache for NATO PR war in Afghanistan. They recognized that NATO is defeated not only in the hot war against the Taliban, but also in the media war – the struggle for public support. People in Europe can not understand why their sons and husbands should bleed far beyond his native country for the sake of rapid devalued the principles of “collective security” and “Euro-Atlantic solidarity.”
For example, according to a report of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, “Solidarity Alliance” (Spring 2010), optimism about the prospects for stabilization in Afghanistan is experiencing 56% of Americans and only 37% of Britons, 30% of French and 23% of Germans. But 62% of the population of Germany supported the conclusion of the German contingent of ISAF – the highest rate in general all the public opinion polls in all the years of the Afghan campaign. For the early withdrawal of NATO forces from the country expressed 34% of French and 41% of respondents in the UK and Germany and only 19% of US citizens.
Anti-war sentiment in the NATO countries have questioned the existence of this military alliance in the future, so the information apparatus ISAF forces transferred to the crisis response mode: it faces a challenge not only to kill the Taliban propaganda in Afghanistan, but also to convince the public in Europe and America, and success of the operation and existence of NATO is fully responsible to their own security interests.
Work on Afghanistan includes, for example, tours of Afghanistan to Western journalists, preparing their own information products under the auspices of the ISAF, including the languages of Dari and Pashto, holding discussion events, the organization of “educational” courses for Afghan youth, active treatment of Afghan journalists – not to mention the traditional means of war propaganda, such as distributing newspapers and leaflets special. Enhanced communication between the professional societies of the West and Afghanistan: security officers, managers, scientists are sent to training and professional development in Europe. Line up the network structure, aimed at communicating European and Afghan youth leaders – of course, under the care and supervision of NATO experts.
What is being done on Afghanistan, carried out in other areas. The highest priority is to work with the younger generation in Europe, America and the NATO – partners worldwide. For example, create a “Young NATO Network” – a conglomerate of various structures under the guise obschenatovskoy. Function as Web Parts to communicate and living area for performances of young leaders, joint visits and educational workshops. There are special courses for even school teachers and university professors – so the basic tenets of the ideology of NATO (primarily the Euro-Atlantic solidarity – “esprit de corps” based on Article V of the Washington Treaty) are embedded in the education system.
” ‘Two baskets’ ”
All work in the framework of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division is divided into two blocks or two baskets.
Firstly, it is communication through the media (including its publications, for example, the online television channel NITV or printed materials) to explain and justify the policies.
Secondly, it is in direct contact with people in all sorts of trips to headquarters, meetings, discussion forums, and other public events. Thus, the work is being done at a broad audience, and to specific target groups – the narrow segments of society. First and foremost, of course, work with the educated class and the people who can be called opinion leaders, and even the “decision-makers”. I’m talking about the scientific and expert community, the military and political circles, non-governmental organizations and the media. NATO members spare no effort and money to hilling active and educated people, both of the countries – members of NATO, and of the partner countries, including Russia and former Soviet Union countries.
By the way, at the beginning of his political career I myself had to experience the “charm” of NATO’s Faust. In 1989, I, a young employee of Committee of Youth Organizations, was invited to the Brussels headquarters of NATO. Formally, was hosted by the Atlantic Association of Young Political Leaders, but the level of the proposed meetings showed me that behind them were more serious people – NATO political officer and political instructors. I thought at the time, listening to the sweet speech of NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner, that exactly 20 years here – the headquarters of the Alliance, in a building named in order of Manfred Wörner, at the office of the Russian diplomatic mission, will be equipped with my study? No, of course, but I knew exactly what it needed and fishers of men my soul.
” ” Guides ‘NATO’ ”
NATO – an organization fixated on his future. Therefore, for her priority number 1 – work with young people, especially with students. That is, those who have a few years will become an active citizen and his political position.
I observe with my own eyes how – without exaggeration – every day of tour groups from all over the world come to headquarters in Brussels at the invitation of relevant departments of the alliance and even national delegations. a group of students from different universities of the capitals and regions of Russia, that is, future journalists, diplomats, managers, technicians, come to NATO on exchange programs and field trips at least twice a month.
Me and my deputy several times managed to entice these folks to lure them to the premises of the Russian delegation and to hold meetings with them, often overcoming obstacles the organizers of NATO, saying that it is impossible, there is no time, etc. And dissatisfaction with my colleagues can understand – after a conversation with the Russian ambassador could erase all that tried to inspire my young compatriots professional NATO “guides” take them off the spell and spell naive souls of young political tourists from Russia.
Researchers call the main purpose of public diplomacy “urge individuals to take certain installations.” And, of course, tea and frank live conversation with smiling NATO representatives are able to convince the students and schoolchildren, and young members of legislative assemblies is that they are dealing with a transparent, friendly, white teeth, modern and successful organization. NATO has called it “the establishment of a strong and trusting relationship in the long term.”
Indeed, such a targeted work gives results only after a few years, but their effectiveness can not be overemphasized. This is only for superficial observer, it was a shock when the recent allies of the USSR in the Warsaw Pact, with his pants, rushed to join the EU and NATO. There is nothing to wonder: raising the eggs that the hen laid an Atlantic even during the Cold War, matured and hatched “NATO Komsomol” of them.
Today, public opinion in Russia in general, with caution and wariness looks at relations with NATO, but the percentage of sympathizers in recent years only increases – slowly but steadily. “Changing the identity of elites” in favor of Euro-Atlanticism – the major direction of NATO’s information policy in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.
Ideas and mindsets, exciting the masses, become a material and political power – that we have been taught more books on Marxism. But not all of those who are working in foreign policy, defense and special structures, they know how in terms of the information revolution and the present boom in high-tech technology to spread the necessary ideas among the masses and specific social groups, especially in the political elites . But NATO officials know their job perfectly.
Public diplomacy for many years was considered a Western euphemism of propaganda, but even today, years after the collapse of communism, it is not written down in the archive, but on the contrary, is more relevant than ever. Why? Yes, precisely because it has proved its effectiveness.
West accumulated technology of application of “soft power”, their wealth of practical tools and theoretical understanding of the need to carefully study and learn in Russia. What is there to be ashamed of? After Peter I and Charles XII named her a great teacher – and eventually defeated him at Poltava.
” Our task ” ‘
The war in the Caucasus in August 2008 showed that we vitally lacking permanent mechanisms of public opinion both domestically and abroad. In those hot days, I did not wait for Western journalists to complete their other business and interested in what is still Russia’s position on the war in South Ossetia. I myself created a press center, held daily briefings, conducted painstaking, individual explanatory work with politkommentatorami leading Western media, he went to the live broadcast studio and teleconferences in a straight fight with opponents tilting cargo war propaganda and lies of those who tried to act the role of devil’s advocate. Only in such an offensive way, I was able to convey to the West (or, as NATO members, to sell) our version of events.
But what then do we rush to the emergency situation and the maximum exertion, carried out by our Western partners on a regular basis on a daily basis. Their information and communication technology capacity do not rust around. And we in Russia somehow restrict academic publications on this topic in the specialized publications. Again, wait until we bite roasted cock?
In this article I hope to awaken the interest of the society and professionals to public diplomacy and international information. Western experience is necessary to understand and learn as possible. Because today this is the area where if we do not – that we have.
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