Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 26

"The king, he soaked his arrows true
in poison, and beyond the plains
dispatched those messengers and slew
his neighbors in their own domains."

--From a poem by Aleksandr Pushkin recited in Russian by the U.S. Embassy Baghdad Public Affairs Officer, taking part in celebrations of international poetry during the visit to Iraq of poets from the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop; Pushkin image from


Meet the Americans Who Put Together the Coup in Kiev - Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News: "If the US State Department's Victoria Nuland had not said 'Fuck the EU,' few outsiders at the time would have heard of Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, the man on the other end of her famously bugged telephone call. But now Washington's man in Kiev is gaining fame as the face of the CIA-style 'destabilization campaign' that brought down Ukraine's monumentally corrupt but legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovych. ... Arriving in the Ukrainian capital on August 3, Pyatt almost immediately authorized a grant for an online television outlet called Hromadske.TV, which would prove essential to building the Euromaidan street demonstrations against Yanukovych. The grant was only $43,737, with an additional $4,796 by November 13. Just enough to buy the modest equipment the project needed. Many of Hromadske's journalists had worked in the past with American benefactors. Editor-in-chief Roman Skrypin was a frequent contributor to Washington's Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and the US-funded Ukrayinska Pravda. In 2004, he had helped create Channel 5 television, which played a major role in the Orange Revolution that the US and its European allies masterminded in 2004. ... For better or for worse, popular uprisings have changed history long before radio, television, or the Internet. The new technologies only speed up the game. Pyatt and his team understood that and masterfully turned soft power and the exercise of free speech, press, and assembly into a televised revolution on demand, complete with an instant overdub in English. ...  Preparing the uprising started long before Pyatt arrived in country, and much of it revolved around a talented and multi-lingual Ukrainian named Oleh Rybachuk, who had played several key roles in the Orange Revolution of 2004. ... Yanukovych  [won] the presidency in the 2010 election. Western monitors generally found the election ‘free and fair,’ but no matter.

The Americans had already sowed the seeds either to win Yanukovych over or to throw him over, whichever way Washington and its allies decided to go. As early as October 2008, USAID funded one of its many private contractors – a non-profit called Pact Inc. – to run the ‘Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms’ (UNITER). Active in Africa and Central Asia, Pact had worked in Ukraine since 2005 in campaigns against HIV/AIDS. Its new five-year project traded in bureaucratic buzzwords like civil society, democracy, and good governance, which on the public record State and USAID were spending many millions of dollars a year to promote in Ukraine. ... Under the watchful eye of Pact, Rybachuk's New Citizen developed a project to identify the promises of Ukrainian politicians and monitor their implementation. They called it a ‘Powermeter’ (Vladometer), an idea they took from the American website ‘Obamameter.’ Funding came from the US Embassy, through its Media Development Fund, which falls under the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Other money came from the Internews Network, which receives its funding from the State Department, USAID, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and a wide variety of other government agencies, international organizations, and private donors. ... Washington's shows USAID paying PACT in Ukraine over $7 million under the general category of 'Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance.'" Via BB on Facebook. Image from entry, with caption: Geoffrey R. Pyatt, is the current United States Ambassador to Ukraine

E-diplomacy goes global: "More than just politicians and diplomats using Twitter and Facebook, digital diplomacy allows countries to project their power beyond their borders. However the fledgling field is already experiencing a crisis of credibility in the wake of the NSA scandal, writes Antony Funnell - Antony Funnell, For Alex Oliver, from the Lowy Institute for International Affairs, the real benefits of e-diplomacy come from its ability to widen the diplomatic conversation, to engage different stakeholders in an issue or dispute. 'It's one way of reaching these foreign publics, these individuals, these non-state actors, these civil society organisations,' she says. 'It's a way to communicate with them. E-diplomacy is a tool of public diplomacy which in itself is a tool of a nation's soft power.' ... The United States were the first to realise the potential of a concerted e-diplomacy approach during the early years of the Obama administration, according to Fergus Hanson, a visiting fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, and they quickly established a significant digital presence.

'The US is by far and away the leader in this space,' says Hanson. 'The US State Department has around 150 full-time staff working specifically on e-diplomacy related initiatives. You've got about 900 staff overseas at their missions who are using social media tools to some extent in their day-to-day jobs, and you have about 25 different units within the State Department itself that are trying to harness these tools for different purposes within the bureaucracy in Washington.' Hanson, who in 2012 released a comprehensive study of the size and scope of digital-diplomacy and its global practice, argues a defining feature of the American e-diplomacy program is its closeness to the US commercial technology sector. 'It's a little bit like walking into the Googleplex,' he says in describing the US State Department's giant Office of E-Diplomacy. 'It's a really different environment to a traditional Foreign Ministry. People are bouncing ideas off each other, it's a very fluid environment.' ... One of those chosen to help develop the American program was campaigner and activist Ben Scott . ... Though he no longer works for the State Department, Scott bristles at the perception that e-diplomacy is simply about using social media as a form of political broadcast. 'For us, 21st century statecraft had three different components. One was public diplomacy, of which social media was a part, that's where the critics of propaganda come in. A second part was building expertise in technology policy and the way the internet would impact economics, global economics, social movements and political movements, as we saw for example in the Arab Spring. And thirdly, understanding how technology and the internet would affect development policy and how we could use resources more effectively to promote economic growth around the world. There's no way to reduce that down to Twitter and Facebook,' he says. But while the American e-diplomacy program is well advanced, most Western countries, including Australia, still lag well behind the US in their digital skills and outreach. ... Alex Oliver suggests that cost might not be the only reason for Australia's reticence to engage in e-diplomacy; it's also very difficult to quantify its effectiveness. 'Governments want to see instant rewards, and unfortunately the goal of public diplomacy and the impacts of public diplomacy are long-term and they are not concrete. They are quite abstract, and so they are quite difficult to define and quite difficult to measure,' says Oliver." Image from entry, with caption: Member Of The European Parliament Paolo De Castro Discusses A Report As Another Mep Tweets About It In Real-Time (© European Union 2012/ European Parliament Flickr.Com/Cc/By-Nc-Nd/2.0)

$1.8 Million Funding Available for Professional Fellows Congresses [subscription only]- According to Google Search, "'A greater understanding of public diplomacy in the global community.' The funding opportunity number is ECA-ECAPEC-14-040 (CFDA 19.415)"

Building a major country relationship discussed - Hu Haidan, "Even if two countries do not share the same ideology, form of government and cultural background, they can still discover mutual benefits and interests. So said Li Xiaolin, president of the Chinese People Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), which just wrapped up a high-level conference at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government on Tuesday. The subject of the conference was how to build a new type of major country relationship between China and the US.

Among the dignitaries present were Zhao Qizheng, dean of the school of journalism and communication at Renmin University . ... Zhao said people-to-people diplomacy has been given a new understanding and is taking on more and more responsibilities in today's society. 'The people-to-people diplomacy we talked about today is called 'two-track' diplomacy. It's the highest expression of public-diplomacy,' he said. He explained 'two-track' diplomacy normally includes retired government employees, scholars and those who may become government employees in the near future." Image from entry, with caption: Zhao Qizheng, dean of journalism at Renmin University of China; Li Xiaolin, president of CPAFFC and Tony Saich, director of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, pose for a photo on Tuesday after a conference co-hosted by Harvard University

Warfare Three Ways: China waging ‘Three Warfares’ against United States in Asia, Pentagon says - Bill Gertz, "China is waging political warfare against the United States as part of a strategy to drive the U.S. military out of Asia and control seas near its coasts, according to a Pentagon-sponsored study. A defense contractor report produced for the Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon’s think tank on future warfare, describes in detail China’s 'Three Warfares' as psychological, media, and legal operations. They represent an asymmetric 'military technology' that is a surrogate for conflict involving nuclear and conventional weapons. The unclassified 566-page report warns that the U.S. government and the military lack effective tools for countering the non-kinetic warfare methods, and notes that U.S. military academies do not teach future military leaders about the Chinese use of unconventional warfare. It urges greater efforts to understand the threat and adopt steps to counter it. ... The report also calls for bolstering 'public diplomacy' campaigns in Asia, using targeted investment and development in the region, and expanding military talks and exchanges. The Pentagon defines psychological warfare as efforts to influence or disrupt an enemy’s decision-making capabilities, to create doubts, foment anti-leadership sentiments, and deceive opponents. Psychological warfare includes diplomatic pressure, rumors, false narratives, and harassment to 'express displeasure, assert hegemony, and convey threats,' the report said. ... For media warfare, also known as public opinion warfare, the Chinese use constant activities to influence perceptions and attitudes.

'It leverages all instruments that inform and influence public opinion including films, television programs, books, the internet, and the global media network (particularly Xinhua and CCTV) and is undertaken nationally by the [People’s Liberation Army], locally by the People’s Armed Police, and is directed against domestic populations in target countries,' the report said. Hollywood has also been influenced by threats from the Chinese government, which threatens to block market access in an effort to pressure movie studios to avoid themes Beijing opposes. Also, China’s state-controlled television network CCTV maintains a full time White House reporter who regularly joins the rotating media pool, a position that could permit influencing U.S. media on China through pool reports. The goal of media warfare is to weaken an enemy’s will to fight, alter its awareness, and assist psychological and legal warfare goals." Image from entry, with caption: Delegates from Chinese People's Liberation Army

Uzbekistan Equally Important All the Countries of Central Asia! - Vladimir Paramonov, "The ‘Central Eurasia’ in partnership with Internet magazine ‘Time of the East ‘ (Kyrgyzstan) and informational support agency ‘Regnum’ (Russia) continues to virtual expert forum on cooperation in Central Asia (CA), involving the discussion of the various specialists spheres: it is only on the basis of an interdisciplinary approach can be close to solving the key regional issues. ...  Nazokat Kasymova, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor: I think that is difficult to determine which of the post-Soviet Central Asian countries closer and priority for Uzbekistan. Each country has its own significance, again looking at what angle and in what plane to put a question in terms of economy, security, culture, traditions, or from the point of view of the state of the people and civil society.

What you need to do to at least preserve and strengthen the relationship as a maximum? Unequivocally that the most problematic are the issues that we identify with a national perspective. These interests, of course, will be different once defined as national, although, of course, we can speculate about the national, state and other interests. Therefore, in my opinion, the only way towards strengthening relations with our neighbors - is respect and civilized approach to addressing issues as well as the appropriate choice of policy instruments. There are likely to be good so-called  ... public diplomacy [народная/общественная дипломатия], the emphasis on general, regional interests, and can not exist outside of close and friendly relations." Image from entry

Princeton senior receives Rangel Fellowship in international affairs - Karin Dienst, Office of Communications, "Princeton University senior Brittany Hardy has been awarded a Rangel Fellowship to pursue a master's degree focused on international affairs as preparation for a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. Hardy is one of 20 students selected for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship from across the country. The program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service and those with financial need. ... The fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University. Hardy, who is in the process of selecting a master's program, is planning to study global policy studies or public diplomacy. As part of the Rangel Fellowship, Hardy will work for the U.S. Congress on issues related to foreign policy. In the summer of 2015, she will work in a U.S. embassy in preparation for her career in the Foreign Service."


[Malasiyan Airlines] MH370: Chinese participation in search is propaganda coup for Xi Jinping: Spotlight turns on China's ambitions in Arctic and Antarctic as ice-breaker Xue Long joins search for debris from missing plane - Anne-Marie Brady,


-From, with caption: In the past few days at the nuclear security summit 2014..; via JR on Facebook