Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2

"Only Americans can hurt America."

--Dwight D. Eisenhower; image from


The YPFP [Young Professionals in Foreign policy] Public Diplomacy Discussion Group focuses on how state and non-state actors can influence the policy attitudes of foreign populations residing abroad. Discussions include strategy as well as tactics and cover a variety of communications platforms, from print and radio to web applications and social media. The group actively recruits YPFP members with an existing command of fields such as communications, marketing, strategy, and technology and a firm academic and/or professional exposure to the principles of diplomacy and international relations.


Library and Documentation Centre
Institute Clingendael


Martin Kace on strategic communication for Israel; via David Saranga on Twitter


Obama boosts budget for State: Money for programs in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan - Nicholas Kralev, Washington Times: "President Obama on Monday proposed a $5 billion increase in the State Department's 2011 budget, most of which is intended for programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq — the only three countries to also benefit from an additional $4.5 billion this year. ...

Public diplomacy spending will jump, too, though educational and cultural-exchange programs will see a small decrease." Image from

Keeping Perspective on America's Jump to #1 in the Nation Brands … - seanhawkins1956, Jump In! [scroll down link for item]: "It’s important to keep in mind that the Defense appropriators and authorizers are actively working with the appropriators and authorizers for State [Department]. In other words, reducing the 'prominence of the military in the delivery of the ‘brand America’ experience' is simply that: reducing the military without increasing State (at least not as of this writing). I am certain, however, that few in Congress will see this as a metric of success and suggest slowing down planned expansion of public diplomacy. Wait, there is no serious planned expansion of PD, never mind…. Imagine if the White House and State had not failed to capitalize on the engagement opportunities afforded by our charismatic leaders over this past year."

Avuncular American: When Medevac Diplomacy Cancels Public Diplomacy- Gerald Loftus:

"One of the main developing stories on BBC and other international media over the weekend is the mystery surrounding the apparent freeze - since Wednesday, 5 long days ago - of US military medevac flights from Haiti to the US, meaning Florida. It's time to get a grip before this becomes a major calamity, human and diplomatic." Image from

Pak-US ties decline after Obama's one-year presidency - Naveed Ahmad, Real Pakistan: "After Barack Obama’s swearing in as President of the United States, intelligencia in Pakistan was hoping for anything but over a dozen and half US drone missile attacks in Febrauary alone on its territory bordering Afghanistan, with death toll crossing 100 mark. ... The massive Kashmir earthquake of October 2005 offered US a rare opportunity for public diplomacy. Besides relief assistance worth $51 million, Washington dispatched marines, efficient and sturdy helicopters, and other means of logistical and medical support. ... With President Obama completing his first year in office, his ratings have not only plummeted at home but abroad as well. The public sentiment expressed in the parliament and in media suggests that the Obama administration is being seen more trigger happy and right-wing slanted on security issues concerning Afghanistan or Iraq."

"A Fondo": new VOA/Radio Martí co-production for, apparently, Venezuela - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Senators Kerry and Lugar have plans for the BBG's "authorities" (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Elimination of VOA Hindi, Croatian, and Greek included in President Obama's proposed FY 2011 savings- Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Scholars in unison on music library: It rocks - California Chronicle: "The Music Library of the University of North Texas ... is one of the largest and most admired music depositories in the country among music scholars. ... Willis Conover -- unknown in the United States but a household name in much of Eastern Europe as a Voice of America announcer -- gave UNT his collection of 22,000 recordings, as well as correspondence, memos, magazines, record catalogs, manuscripts, programs notes, photographs and books. As trucks of the memorabilia arrived at the Willis Library, workers unloaded one of Conover's suits, still on a hanger from the cleaners. 'We really don't know why we have it; I guess they were just loading things up from his apartment,' Martin said." On Conover's importance in cultural diplomacy during the Cold War, see.

SAIC buys virtual world company - Callum Chapman, World of Fedcraft:

"Spooky, secretive, titanic US military contractor SAIC has bought out Forterra, a company that makes virtual worlds for government agencies. I sat on a panel at an SAIC event on games and public diplomacy a few years back that turned out to be filled with CIA and other spooks who wanted to know if Al Qaeda was recruiting in World of Warcraft." Image from

On the Record: David Ensor's New Gig at AmEmbassy Kabul - Domani Spero, Diplopundit: "Last week, I posted about former CNN correspondent, David Ensor joining the US Embassy in Afghanistan. I sent an email to the press office inquiring about his new position in Kabul. I understand that there will be no formal announcement on this appointment but below is embassy spokesperson Caitlin Hayden’s response: 'David B. Ensor will shortly join the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to serve as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy. In this capacity, he will oversee and unify the communication activities of all the U.S. civilian departments and agencies in Afghanistan, and he will be the counterpart to the Director of Communication for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A). His portfolio includes support for the development of Afghanistan's independent media and government-media relations, building people-to-people ties between the United States and Afghanistan, and countering extremist voices.' ... I have to add that one great thing about the Public Affairs shop at the US Embassy in Kabul

is that they actually respond to email inquiries (maalasef, they are the exception, not the rule). On top of that, they run an up-to date Facebook page, a tri-lingual website (English , Pashto , Dari ), Twitter and a Flickr page (with photos that are, you know -- actually usable because they have not been reduced to thumbprint size for elves). Now, if that PA office in a warzone can do that, what good reason is there why the PA office at the US Embassy in Baghdad or anywhere else from Algiers to Harare cannot take the time to respond to a public inquiry? Can you think of one?" Image from

The State Department’s dueling Twitterati - Josh Rogin, The cable, Foreign Policy: "The Urban Dictionary defines 'Twitterati' as 'The Tweet elite, whose feeds attract thousands of followers and whose 140-character spews capture the attention of the rapt who doggedly monitor them.' At the State Department, that honor applies to two rising stars, Special Advisor on Innovation Alec Ross (@alecjross) and Policy Planning staffer Jared Cohen (@jaredcohen). Both tech celebrities in their own right, the two are competing for the coveted title of most-followed State Department tweeter." Via LB.

Comment on “Raising the iron curtain on twitter: Why the US Must Revise the Smith-Mundt Act to Improve Public Diplomacy – Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner.us

German-British Relationship; transcending history - Nicholas Beecroft blog: "There do seem to be certain persistent problems which hold both countries back from having as close and positive a relationship as would be desirable. ... Both countries’ Diplomatic Services and cultural organisations have tried hard to overcome the problems in the relationship with some degree of success.

Many polls and research have been carried out. There have been many attempts at correcting misconceptions and getting to know one another better through education, public diplomacy, exchanges and engagement of key opinion leaders. Despite this good work, there seem to be certain frustrating blocks in the relationship which just won’t shift and are limiting the potential of both countries to work together for mutual benefit." Image from

New peace initiatives of official Tbilisi - Irakli Tskitishvili, Experts' club: "Last week official Tbilisi presented new peace initiatives in connection with settlement of existing conflicts on the territory of Georgia. A document that has already been approved by the Government is also interesting as not only government agencies but also a large circle of experts, regardless of their political position, worked on them. ... This document itself can be viewed on the web- site of the office of the State Minister for Reintegration of Georgia. The document clearly shows [how] ... our authorities intend to reintegrate our fellow citizens who live in the occupied territories into the united Georgian state. The strategy includes the following areas: economic relations, infrastructure and transport, education, healthcare, public diplomacy and protection and preservation of cultural heritage and national identity, unhindered access to information, legal and administrative measures, human rights, prevention of natural disasters."

How can means used in 'public diplomacy' facilitate this incident? - Cafarelli S, The New Diplomacy: The Reflective Group Blog Of The Students On The New Diplomacy Module At London Metropolitan University: "Although it has been a while since we completed the 'New Diplomacy' module ... , I just wanted to share something which has been in the news for quite some time now. Back in October (23rd) last year, a British couple Rachel and Paul Chandler were kidnapped by Somali pirates

whilst sailing along the Indian Ocean on their yacht. Three months on, and the British couple remain in pirate's hand. David Miliband, Foreign Secretary, has made clear that the British government will not get involved in any 'ransom payment' in order to secure the release of Mr and Mrs Chandler. ... From a 'new diplomacy' point of view, British government response to the £4.3 million random demanded by the pirates resembles a form of 'hard power'. 'Hard power' in this context involves the British government and its foreign affairs officials to engage in (via 'media' channels) 'disciplining' the 'wrong-doers (pirates), and reaffirm the international protocol against such unjust activities. Despite the application of 'hard power', Whitehall officials and the government have an expert 'hostage negotiator' on stand-by as the event unravel. Somali priate image from

Washington: Bishop Chane to retire in 2011 - Episcopal-Life: "Episcopal Diocese of Washington Bishop John Bryson Chane announced Jan. 30 that he will retire in the fall of 2011. ... The bishop has spoken on links between religion and terrorism at the National Defense University and the U.S. State Department's 'Secretary's Open Forum.' Next month he will present a paper on the role of religion in public diplomacy at the Brookings Institution's U.S. Islamic World Forum," held in Doha, Qatar."

Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy - Dennis M. Murphy, American Diplomacy: “'Public diplomacy outreach…includes communications with international audiences, cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges, international visitor programs, and U.S. Government efforts to confront ideological support for terrorism.' So states the U.S. Department of State website.

Interestingly and importantly this definition focuses on the means by with the innocuous 'public diplomacy' effort is implemented and neglects the important processes (ways) and most important outcomes (ends) expected of public diplomacy in support of foreign policy objectives. To address these shortcomings and provide a balanced, and heretofore lacking conceptual framework, Nancy Snow and Philip Taylor have pulled together an impressive number of academics and practitioners to lay the foundations of the concept in the 29 chapters of this handbook. Organized topically into six parts, the editors have attempted to provide a resource with wide-appeal ranging from the lay-person interested in public diplomacy to the advanced practitioner." Image from article.

Global Voices Launches RuNet Echo Project - Vadim Isakov, Global Voices: “I am excited and honored to start the new year with this introduction of a new project, RuNet Echo, which was launched by Global Voices at the end of 2009. ... When we created this project, we took an ambitious and difficult role of examining and analyzing Russian Internet (also called RuNet). ... I am honored to work with a wonderful and professional team of editors. ... [Among them is] Gregory Asmolov [who] worked for several prestigious newspapers in Moscow such as 'Kommersant' and 'Novaya Gazeta.' He has also taught courses on new media and public diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and the Open University of Israel."

K2 Global Communications involved in diplomacy again - Taryn Clark, Times Herald-Record -

"Gregory M. Kelly, CEO of K2 Global Communications, has announced the firm's return to public diplomacy. K2 Global Communications creates and implements creative, high-profile, high-impact public diplomacy and marketing models, opening new markets for its clients. Citing the globalization of politics and the media, K2 is built on the premise that it's imperative for companies to be able to influence public opinion to achieve business objectives." Image from K2 Communications website

Corporate Culture and Collaboration in Community - Tanya Hilleary, Supernova: "We [Merostar Systems] are a company that uses technology to bridge collaboration between people. Sometimes those people are Marines sharing data around the globe; other times we’re leveraging the best social media technology on a global scale in the interest of the State Department’s public diplomacy campaigns. By doing what we do, we effect change in the world."

Global Readership of the MountainRunner blog - Matt Armstrong, MountainRunner.us:

"The image above is a partial representation of the visitors to http://www.mountainrunner.us/ for the month of January 2010. Clearly the issues of US public diplomacy and strategic communication have a global audience.

Panel – Redefining the Diplomatic Mission: Implications for Theory and Practice - guerrilladiplomacy.com:
Sponsor(s): Diplomatic Studies
Chair: Kathy R. Fitzpatrick, Quinnipiac University
Disc.: Daryl Copeland, Foreign and International Affairs, Canada
[Panel includes:]

Multilateral Cooperation or Competitive Identity? Public Diplomacy’s Strategic Challenge
Ali R. Fisher: Mappa Mundi Consulting

U.S. Public Diplomacy in Romania: New Strategies for a New Time
Antoneta Vanc: Quinnipiac University

Diplomatic Amateurs or Qualified Professionals? Profiling the American Ambassador
Kathy R. Fitzpatrick: Quinnipiac University

10 Ghazni PRT members Receive Certificates of Appreciation - PRT Ghazni: Recipients include Ms. Mahtab Farid, Dept. of State Public Diplomacy Officer.

622 Visits and Research Officer - Wok i Kik - Vanuatu Job Alerts: Australian High Commission:

Location: Port Vila, Vanuatu . ... Job Description: The Australian High Commission would like to invite applications for the following above. The responsibilities of the position [include]: ... 3. Assist with the management and coordination of public diplomacy events." Image from


Gitmo a big propaganda tool for extremists: Obama - Zee News: Stating that the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention centre is one of the biggest recruitment propaganda tools for extremist organisations world over, US President Barack Obama today reiterated his commitment to close Gitmo at the earliest.

"There's been no bigger propaganda weapon for many of these extremists than pointing to Guantanamo and saying that we don't live up to our own ideals. That's something that I strongly believe we have to resist, even if it has some costs to it, and even if it's not always the most politically popular thing to do," Obama told YouTube in an interview. Image from

israel: Barrels Of Explosives On The Beach Boost Morale - Strategy Page: Israel continues to battle Palestinian propaganda portraying last years Israeli attack on Gaza a wanton war crime, and not an attempt to halt Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel.

Georgia Russian-language TV channel has troubled start: Georgia's attempt to create a Russian-language news channel has got off to an inauspicious start.

Restricted by a tight budget and limited resources, and accused by Russia of peddling propaganda, First Caucasian has now lost its only broadcast partner, as Tom Esslemont reports from Tbilisi - BBC News. Image from article: First Caucasian is the brainchild of President Mikhail Saakashvili's administration

Brand Ghana office is not propaganda outlet - Joy Online: The Chief Executive Officer of the Brand Ghana Project, Mr Matthias Akotia has stated that the Brand Ghana office is not a propaganda outfit.

He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, that the objective of the office was not to spin information but to unite the nation around common values aimed at establishing the country’s unique identity. Image from article: Chief Executive Officer of the Brand Ghana Project, Mr Matthias Akotia

opinion Shaper: Avoid propagandists' control - Doug Kniffen, SuburbanJournals - Propaganda, the most powerful method of mind control, is a technique of using information to control people's thoughts and actions. Few people are able to fully recognize it; even fewer are aware of how it works. Propaganda has become so omnipresent that it doesn't attract attention. It's like your heartbeat, which you should be able to feel every waking moment without using your hand, but most people simply don't pay attention as long as their heart is beating normally. Same thing with propaganda; as long as nothing seems out of the ordinary, nobody gives thought to what's really going on. Because they're not paying attention before something changes, few are able to realize what's happening when the source of change is outside themselves.

Edward Bernays (1891-1995), more than anybody else, pioneered the use and development of modern propaganda. Behind his many ostensible accomplishments, including a corporate takeover of a foreign government, Bernays discovered how to influence the subconscious mind. Image from


CULTURE AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY (from an American Embassy to a correspondent, kindly provided by said correspondent):

"Dear ...

Your program indeed looks quite interesting. Our new office director has placed our programming emphasis on speakers and hosting seminars rather than culture/music. For this reason, I do not believe it will be possible to use our budget for programs that fall outside of our current agenda. We wish you the best success and appreciate the work you are doing.

Cultural Affairs Attache
U.S. Embassy"

1 comment:

John Byrnes said...

Profiling has failed us; we don’t need profiling to identify Individuals like the Christmas-Day Bomber or the Fort Hood Shooter! There is a better solution!

Virtually all media outlets are discussing whether we should be profiling all Arab Muslims; I will in the one-page explain why we don’t need profiling. Over 15 years ago, we at the Center for Aggression Management developed an easily-applied, measurable and culturally-neutral body language and behavior indicators exhibited by people who intend to perpetrate a terrorist act. This unique methodology utilizes proven research from the fields of psychology, medicine and law enforcement which, when joined together, identify clear, easily-used physiologically-based characteristics of individuals who are about to engage in terrorist activities in time to prevent their Moment of Commitment.

The Problem
Since the foiled terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national on Northwest Flight 253 to Detroit, the President has repeatedly stated that there has been a systemic failure as he reiterates his commitment to fill this gap in our security. This incident, like the Fort Hood shooting, exemplifies why our government must apply every valid preventative approach to identify a potential terrorist.

The myriad methods to identify a terrorist, whether “no-fly list,” “explosive and weapons detection,” mental illness based approaches, “profiling” or “deception detection” - all continue to fail us. Furthermore, the development of deception detection training at Boston Logan Airport demonstrated that the Israeli methods of interrogation will not work in the United States.

All media outlets are discussing the need for profiling of Muslim Arabs, but profiling does not work for the following three reasons:

1. In practice, ethnic profiling tells us that within a certain group of people there is a higher probability for a terrorist; it does not tell us who the next terrorist is!

2. Ethnic profiling is contrary to the value our society places on diversity and freedom from discrimination based on racial, ethnic, religious, age and/or gender based criteria. If we use profiling it will diminish our position among the majority of affected citizens who support us as a beacon of freedom and liberty.

3. By narrowing our field of vision, profiling can lead to the consequence of letting terrorists go undetected, because the terrorist may not be part of any known “profile worthy” group – e.g., the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh

The Solution
Our unique methodology for screening passengers can easily discern (independently of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, age, and gender) the defining characteristics of human beings who are about to engage in terrorist acts.

The question is when will our government use true “hostile intent” through the “continuum of aggressive behavior” to identify potential terrorists? Only when observers focus specifically on “aggressive behavior” do the objective and culturally neutral signs of “aggression” clearly stand out, providing the opportunity to prevent these violent encounters. This method will not only make all citizens safer, but will also pass the inevitable test of legal defensibility given probable action by the ACLU.

As our Government analyzes what went wrong regarding Abdulmatallab’s entrance into the United States, you can be assured that Al Qaeda is also analyzing how their plans went wrong. Who do you think will figure it out first . . . ?

Visit our blog at http://blog.AggressionManagement.com where we discuss the shooting at Fort Hood and the attempted terrorist act on Flight 253.