Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 10

"[R]elying on Facebook and Twitter could be effective only if public diplomacy is seen as some kind of a brand war."

--Evgeny Morozov, Foreign Policy; Morozov image from


Beyond Bullets: Strategies for Countering Violent Extremism, Center for a New American Security


Scientific, Academic, Engineering Groups Praise Administration Visa Efforts, Urge Further Steps,


Strength on Display: The President in Cairo – Jim Ludes, American Security Project: "Last week in Cairo, the President of the United States gave one of the single-most important foreign policy speeches since President Eisenhower’s 'Chance for Peace' speech in 1953. … The 'words' vs. 'deeds' critique is a traditionally valid criticism leveled by scores of experts in public diplomacy. C.D. Jackson–President Eisenhower’s special assistant for political warfare once said, 'There’s no such thing as effective public diplomacy in the absence of sound policy.' More colloquially, it’s the 'you can’t put lipstick on a pig' perspective. I tend to agree with that analysis–as far as it goes. But in Obama, we have found a transformational president who proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that words do matter–as does tone." Image from

Obama Decides To Move Confrontation With Israel Away From The Glare - M.J. Rosenberg, TPM Café: Comment by reader Dan K: "Whenever the United States is engaged in any public diplomatic pressure against any country whatsoever, the leaders of that other country will attempt to rally their people to resist the pressure by railing against the interference by foreigners. That just goes with the territory. If the United States is disposed to cave at the first sign of such an entirely predictable backlash, then it might as well give up coercive public diplomacy altogether. But that hardly seems like a rational course of action."

More on Democracy - Kevin Drum, Mother Jones: "The approaches of Bush and Obama aren't just personal, after all, but reflect different world views. The Bill Kristol wing of the conservative movement believes pretty strongly in a big bang approach to democratization, something that I just don't see any future in. The Obama wing of liberalism, conversely, seems to see democracy promotion as small ball: lots of hard slogging, lots of public diplomacy, and lots of minor initiatives that fly under the radar and don't produce dramatic moments to rally around. Unfortunately, that approach seems to elicit little but scorn from conservatives." Image from

Presidential Policy: Does It Make the Grade? - James Carafano, posted at ACT Northern Virginia/Richmond/DC Metro Chapter: "President Obama’s speech in Cairo proved to be the number one national security story last week, part of his public diplomacy effort to build alliances in the Islamic world and deter Islamist extremism. The speech received generally good reviews in here at home and overseas. There are real questions, however, on whether it did much to advance U.S. security or our national interests. … [T]he president said something to please almost everyone on extremely controversial subjects. Though these speeches may serve to solidify his personal popularity, they also create high and unrealistic expectations, while offering no new proposals to make the nation safer."

Iran's Election and U.S. Foreign Policy - Bernard Finel, New Atlanticist: "If the election of Obama was an important step in reclaiming American role in the world, then the rejection of Ahmedinejad [in the forthcoming Iranian election] has to be considered an important indicator of the preferences and worldview of the Iranian people. Unfortunately, the punditry in the United States will likely break down along predictable partisan lines. Liberals will argue that an Ahmedinejad victory was a function of his populist economic policies, not a rejection of Obama’s efforts to reach out to the Iranian public. If, on the other hand, he is defeated, many will claim that Obama’s public diplomacy efforts were decisive. Conservatives will argue the reverse – namely that an Ahmedinejad victory marks the failure of Obama, but that his defeat was a consequence of economic factors and no reflection on Obama’s policies." Image from

President Obama's Nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific: Dr. Kurt M. Campbell, Nomination to be Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC June 10, 2009U.S. Department of State: Campbell: "The elements of U.S. power -- hard and soft -- and American influence are broad and multi-faceted. Our stepped up engagement must be so as well. We have enormous opportunity to engage not only governments but also East Asian societies more intensively and creatively, with both traditional tools and new technologies. If confirmed, I will urge our diplomats to take every opportunity to reach out to the people of the Asia-Pacific region through a robust public diplomacy program.'"

Man Behind Iran Policy Faces Big Task: Ross Is Seeking Engagement

With Pressure
- Iran Quest: "Obama’s most public outreach to the Iranian government, issuing a videotaped greeting on the occasion of the Persian New Year, was the inspiration of Erica Thibault, a State Department public diplomacy specialist. Her suggestion reached a White House official dealing with Iran policy, who brought it to the attention of senior officials." Image from

Dishing Democracy: Satellite TV Spurs Evolutionary Democracy in the Arab World - Marda Dunsky, PBS: "As an agent of indigenous and evolutionary change, Arab satellite broadcasting plays a key role in democratization of the region — and as such is also particularly relevant to American interests and policy goals in the Arab Middle East and, by extension, throughout the Muslim world in the post-September 11 era. Since 2001, the Bush administration … utilized military intervention and public diplomacy to advance the goals of democratization, nation-building and winning hearts and minds in Arab and other Muslim-majority nations. Results of these policies, however, have been mixed."

The future of “Public Diplomacy 2.0” - Evgeny Morozov, Foreign Policy: "By shifting their outreach campaigns to Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, the government may be trying to do the impossible, i.e. to plant carefully worded and controlled messages on platforms that sprang up precisely to avoid the kind of influence that the State Department seeks to exert via them. … What the State Department and a host of other government agencies involved in public various diplomacy 2.0 initiatives have not mastered yet is using new media to create demand for American ideas and brands. … So far, technology has been mostly used as a tool, but it could also be used – and, perhaps, in much more powerful ways, as a set of ideas about America." See also; image from

Social media benefits trump security fears - Hollis Templeton, Medill Reports: Washington: "In fact, social media can be an asset to the national security community. 'Some of the best lesson-learned sharing, the best idea generation has come from military people using social media to talk to each other,' said Dr. James Jay Carafano, a senior research fellow who studies national and homeland security issues at the conservative Heritage Foundation. … 'Actually some of the most effective public diplomacy has involved people in the military sharing their thoughts and experiences,' Carafano said. Colleen Graffy, former deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy, used Twitter on trips to Romania, Moldova, Iceland, Croatia and Armenia to introduce herself to foreign audiences before she arrived."

Public diplomacy in the Gulf - Jennifer Hardie, Pinnacle Insights: "At the Bahrain PR Association conference in Manama today more than 200 PR practitioners from around the region got together to talk about public and corporate diplomacy. Dave Robinson, CEO Hill & Knowlton Middle East, North Africa and Turkey kicked off the session on diplomacy in the Gulf in a presentation called 'Public diplomacy: propoganda [sic] or public relations'. According to Robinson we 'need both awareness & understanding to build engagement. Fundamental to that is trust'." Image from

US Department of State Reports on Situation with Freedom and Democracy in Belarus: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor -- Advancing Freedom and Democracy Reports, May 2009Belarus live: "To counter anti-U.S. propaganda disseminated by government controlled media, the United States prioritizes engaging society with public diplomacy and assistance programs that promote openness to democratic values, human rights, independent media, the rule of law, and free, fair, and transparent elections."

AIDS Quilt Comes to Africa - donnellyglobe, Science Speaks: HIV & TB News: "[T]he AIDS Quilt [is] the 22-year project that has so far memorialized the names of 88,000 people who have died from AIDS. … For Castillo [Ray Castillo, who is head of public affairs at the US Embassy in Namibia], who had requested the quilt, the experience of the AIDS quilt is important professionally – and personally. 'This is the sort of thing in public diplomacy we like to do – cultural exchanges that allow people here to connect to people in America,' he said."

Russia’s New Rules for Global Competition - P. Stobdan, Analyses, Institute for Defence Studies:

"Russia’s new President Dmitry Medvedev has put forward a fresh foreign policy blueprint and set forth a brand new idea of a Pan-European Security structure, which envisages a role for India in Euro-Atlantic affairs. … Inter alia, the document seeks a fresh strategic partnership with the United States, while at the same time stressing the need to conduct ‘public diplomacy’ to improve Russia’s image in the 21st century." Image from

Cdw C'era: Con Il Ministro Frattini Presentato "Il Viaggio", 4 Documentari Sui Percorsi Di Fede - "[I]l Ministro degli Esteri Franco Frattini … [h]a … auspicato che la Rai si faccia sempre più promotrice della cultura della pace, in particolare in Medio Oriente: e nel progetto firmato da Franco Scaglia, Frattini ha colto 'un nuovo inizio', con l'impegno della Rai a farsi 'strumento di public diplomacy in grado di proiettare fuori dei nostri confini l'immagine di un'Italia che vuole lavorare per la pace: e' questo - ha sottolineato il ministro - il vero ruolo del servizio pubblico radio televisivo'."

Lord Kinnock to resign after four and a half outstanding years as Chair of the British Council - "Neil Kinnock has taken the personal decision to step down as Chair of the British Council, the UK’s international body for cultural relations. … He sent the following letter to the Foreign Secretary yesterday, 8 June. '… I have, nevertheless, come to the conclusion that the vitally important status of the British Council as an 'arms length' Non-Departmental Public Body means that I cannot continue in the office of Chairman without risking the possibility of perceptions, at home or abroad, that the essential operational independence of the Council could be compromised because I am the husband of a Minister in the FCO, the sponsoring Department of the Council. Such perceptions would, of course, be misplaced. In the very nature of public diplomacy and the sometimes delicate relationships between countries and cultures that it requires, however, it is better to be absolutely clear that there cannot be even an inferred erosion of the necessary separation between Government and Council.'” Kinnock image from

Albany Associates, colan, NewsCola: "Albany Associates is a UK-based, internationally-focussed company with a strong track record in delivering communications and public diplomacy strategies."

Dr Chihombori saga: bad news mishandled - Zimbabwe Guardian: "The Movement for Democratic Change party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai owes the people of Zimbabwe an explanation over the 'real identity' of Dr Arikana Chihombori. … The internet was awash with rumours that she was the PM's girlfriend. It turned out, apparently, that she was his niece. ... Thus far they [the Movement for Democratic Change] have muddled themselves up in half-truths and mindless counter statements and their public diplomacy is in tatters."

What is nation branding? – esevin, Theory: "Hi, this is Efe Sevin. I am a visiting scholar in Emerson College (Boston, MA, USA) nowadays under the Fulbright program. With a background of international relations, current studies in political communication and being a 'Fulbrighter' as an occupation, I spend most of my time working on nation branding, public diplomacy and political communication concepts."

Congratulations Michelle! - The Michelle Kwan Forum - News and Information: "Also in previous months, Michelle ... : … met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to talk about her on-going role as public diplomacy envoy."

Are Diplomats Necessary? – Dhruva, Polaris: "Are diplomats necessary? So asks Carne Ross, himself a former representative of Her Majesty’s Government. His argument, in a nutshell, is that state representation in the form of embassies is ineffective in dealing with increasingly relevant and influential non-state actors. Moreover, diplomats are increasingly out of touch with reality, particularly in their home countries. (On a side-note, he also gives a good boost to public diplomacy: 'diplomats and governments have believed that somehow the message about the role of governments can be separated in the public’s mind from what they actually do.; Hear, hear.)" Image from

Today’s career Prep - Ren’s Micro Diplomacy: "No work today, so here’s the reading and watching with which I filled my day: three chapters of the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, part two of Frontline’s DVD 'Bush’s War' and the May issue of The Atlantic."


A few reactions to Obama’s speech to the Muslim world - Scott Kistler, Tempora Christiana

Not Quite a Right Turn in Europe - Harold Meyerson, Washington Post:

Is Barack Obama going against a global tide by trying to make American capitalism a bit more social democratic while Europe's social democratic parties sputter and wheeze? Few on the European right would say so. Even their conservatives view America's deregulated economy not only as inhumane but also as a threat to global, and European, economic stability. Image from

Can The One Have Fun? - Maureen Dowd, New York Times: The right signal is Michelle and her daughters being charming ambassadors, “gobsmacking” the town, as a British tabloid put it, by scarfing down fish and chips at a London pub for £7.95 (about $13), like regular tourists. What a relief to have an urbane, cultivated, curious president who’s out and about, engaged in the world.

Required Reading: 100 Years of COIN: What new have we Learned? - Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner

Get Your North Korean Propaganda Goodies From CafePress While They're Hot - The Cajun Boy, Gawker:

It has to be one of the more interesting internet finds in the history of blogging, Webnewser's Hunter Walker has stumbled across an official North Korean CafePress page where you can purchase brutal totalitarian regime-themed mugs, T-shirts, caps, etc.

Pretty Persuasion: Pumped Up Propaganda of the Past - Steve, WebUrbanist: Propaganda, presented graphically as posters, pamphlets and pictorial artwork, aims to influence the attitudes of people to serve the purposes of the propagandists. Governmental guerrilla marketing in a sense, propaganda also has its good side: it can inspire and unite people behind a worthy cause. Here are 13 examples of propaganda showing it at its best, worst and purest.

10 Funniest 1950's Propaganda Films - Bill Doty, Big Stupid Idiot


Ren said...

Hey, thanks for linking to my blog!: Ren's Micro Diplomacy. I read your posts every day and was shocked to see mine along with all the great ones you list. Thanks for collecting the PD news; you are providing a great resource to the community.

Ryan said...

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the ever changing landscape of US-African relationships. I think there will be a new "Race for Africa" in the 2010's only this time it will be investment.

I've attempted to map the relationships between the US and African countries. I welcome your comments to make the map more accurate and to help in this important discussion!

US-African Relations Map

туры в барселоне said...

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