Monday, July 24, 2017

"Seen on the Web" (#79) -- Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy

Donald Bishop  via emailSun, Jul 23, 2017 at 9:52 PM

July 23, 2017
Seen on the Web 2954-3055


This is a compilation of news, articles, essays, and reports on strategic communications, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. and foreign 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


In The News
    [Election 2016 controversies]

Instruments of Informational Power

Professional Topics

Countries and Regions



In The News

● ISIS propaganda is also under strain and lacking credibility, thanks to our work with key partners: UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, and others, as well as the efforts of the private sector: Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, all of which have recently enhanced their capacity to track and remove ISIS content on a daily basis.
Brett McGurk, Department of State, July 13, 2017

● U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said everyone knows that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections, as well as other elections around the world, despite President Trump's refusal to say they did.  "Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections," Haley told CNN's Dana Bash in a pre-taped interview for "State of the Union."
 Julia Manchester, The Hill, July 8, 2017

● Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said he assured President Trump that Russia did not interfere in the U.S. election, and that he thinks the president believed his denial.  Putin was the first leader to provide detailed comments about the meeting, which took place on Friday.
Alicia Cohn, The Hill, July 8, 2017

Elements of Informational Power

. . . too often, public affairs sections seem disconnected from specific policy initiatives.  Many PD staffers have trouble articulating the links between their work and policy advocacy. Media activities too often do little more than repeat generic messages from Washington and promote embassy events.
Joe B. Johnson, Foreign Service Journal, June 2017

● . . . military force is one of several elements of national power that a nation can use to achieve its foreign policy goals. (Others include economics and trade; information and public diplomacy; negotiation and foreign aid.)
Wanda Nesbitt, Foreign Service Journal, June 2017

● This is a good time for a quick analysis of the analysts . . . who examine the Presidential rhetoric, the words that world leaders use. . . . there are few actual reasons why they matter. 1. First, there are journalists. * * * 2. Politicians usually only refer to a message that reinforces their position, based on party lines, their personal agenda, and very rarely, their constituents. * * * 3. Professional analysts. People in the State Departments, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Think Tanks tend to look at the speeches and dissect the meaning, interpreting some words multiple ways. * * * 4. Readers.  Chances are most people will not read a speech by a politician . . . .
Joel Harding, To Inform is to Influence, July 8, 2017

● However, the completion of every school was a major media and political event, with dignitaries from the US and Philippine governments often flying to the island from as far as Manila for the dedication. Despite the fanfare, in truth, most of the new schools were a civil-military failure.
Herb Daniels, Calhoun: Institutional Archive of the Naval Postgraduate School, 2009

● Second principle of the future as a ground combat on the front lines is going to have to contend with what the Chinese call “informationalized warfare”.  This is the combination of cyber, electronic warfare, information ops, deception and denial to disrupt our command and control to give the enemy an advantage in the decision cycle.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, Army War College Strategy Conference, U.S. Army War College, April 8, 2015

● . . . the vastness of space and cyberspace—along with the far-ranging effects of information operations, electronic warfare, and even some conventional weapons—ensures that the battlefield is limitless. From home station to the close area, there is the potential to be engaged instantaneously with long-range fires, cyberspace, space, electronic warfare, and information.
Gen. David G. Perkins, U.S. Army, Military Review, July-August 2017

● It was common practice in 2016 for action at the lowest tactical level to be directly supported by nationally and coalition sourced multi-domain capabilities (e.g., ISR, information operations [IO], cyber, electronic warfare [EW], military deception, and others). Often this occurred without the direct knowledge or input of the tactical maneuver force itself.
Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, U.S. Army and Maj. Gen. Roger Noble, Australian Army, Military Review, June 22, 2017

● Russia's largest state-run TV network Channel One and China Central Television (CCTV) have agreed to launch Katusha, a TV network with Russian content for Chinese audiences, Channel One said Thursday.  Katusha will feature cultural, educational, scientific and historical shows related to Russia, as well as movies and documentaries, which will be aired in Russian with Chinese subtitles.
Vladimir Kozlov, The Hollywood Reporter, July 6, 2017

Professional Topics

● The [Federal Communications Commission] should make reasonable efforts to ensure that its comment system collects coherent arguments from actual people and organizations, not machine-generated mass-mailings. At the same time, it should avoid revealing personally identifiable information to the public.
Sarah Oh and Brandon Silberstein, Real Clear Policy, July 7, 2017

● Computers can manipulate public opinion. This is the conclusion of a new study by the Oxford Internet Institute, which highlights the significant spread of computer-generated political messages on social media . . . . in “attempts to artificially shape public life”. The authors conclude that bots – software designed to artificially amplify messages on social networks – “are often key tools in propelling disinformation across sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and beyond”.
Euro-Maidan Press, June 27, 2017

● Experts also recommend that faculty members not to respond to attacks. While it’s human nature to want to defend yourself, it exposes you to additional risk . . . . Not only does it fuel the outrage machine, he says, it can change a person’s legal status from a private figure to what’s called a limited public figure.  "You can literally make anybody a limited public figure by drawing them into the controversy, then you can attack them because of that," he says. "That’s what this is all about. It’s a media trick."
Beth McMurtrie, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 26, 2017

● There are different categories of bailing. There is canceling on friends. * * * Then there is professional bailing. * * * Finally, there’s the networker flake. . . .
David Brooks, The New York Times, July 7, 2017


● The assumption made by NATO CCD COE researchers of a 'state actor' being behind the cyber attack seems more plausible now as many cyber security firms have concluded that NotPetya was meant for destructive purposes rather that financial gains.
Sihartha Shukla, Money Control, July 6, 2017

● Two separate European security authorities have concluded that the widespread Petya ransomware attack, also known as NonPetya, was not about money, but rather an assault conducted by a nation-state.
Robert Lemos, eWeek, July 3, 2017

● Germany is a big target of spying and cyber attacks by foreign governments such as Turkey, Russia and China, a government report said on Tuesday, warning of "ticking time bombs" that could sabotage critical infrastructure.
Andrea Shalal, Reuters, July 4, 2017

● Several official Ohio government websites were hacked and filled with pro-Islamic State propaganda Sunday morning.
Allen Cone, UPI, June 25, 2017

● There are seven key megatrends driving the future of enterprise IT. You can remember them all with the mnemonic acronym CAMBRIC, which stands for Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Mobility, Big Data, Robotics, Internet of Things, CyberSecurity.
Bob Gourley, CTO Vision, July 5, 2017

● This week in pro-Kremlin disinformation, we learned once again that European countries are "Russophobic"; that they steal children away from their parents without any grounds; and that they are imposing LGBT policies to make Georgian children immoral so that they conduct colour revolutions when they grow up.
Disinformation Review, July 6, 2017

 [Amnesty International's] Citizen Evidence Lab verifies videos and images of alleged human-rights abuses. It uses Google Earth to examine background landscapes and to test whether a video or image was captured when and where it claims. It uses Wolfram Alpha, a search engine, to cross-reference historical weather conditions against those claimed in the video. Amnesty’s work mostly catches old videos that are being labelled as a new atrocity, but it will have to watch out for generated video, too.
Joel Harding, To Inform is to Influence, July 4, 2017

● If there is one word that gives the signal that a media outlet is clearly pro-Kremlin, it is “Russophobia”.  Outlets such as RT, Sputnik and Russian national state television use the term to explain away almost any foreign criticism of Kremlin policies.  “Russophobia” can pop up all over the place – whether it concerns Syria, the UK, the EU, Ukraine, or basically any place in the world. Last month, the word was even used by President Putin when he compared “Russophobia” in the West to anti-Semitism.
Disinformation Review, July 4, 2017

● Fake news is false information masquerading as news, especially when the author knows it’s a work of fiction. Recently, the term “fake news” has been misappropriated to describe real news that is at odds with one’s personal opinion. That’s not the same as fake news, but biased news and fact rejection are related issues that are also important in terms of how we produce and consume information.
Joe Pierre, Psychology Today, July 1, 2017

● A picture may say a thousand words, but what if the photograph has been fabricated? There are ways to spot a fake – you just have to look closely enough
Tiffanie Wen, BBC, June 30, 2017

● Following Brexit, the United Kingdom must present itself to the world anew, re-engaging with old friends and new allies alike. Summed up by the Foreign Secretary as the building of a “Global Britain”, this vision must be based on the country setting an example of openness, fairness and creativity. * * * government needs to understand better the value of soft power, not just as an instrumental matter of cultural exchange but also a vital component of Britain’s vision for a more stable, equitable, accountable global politics.
Phillip Blond, James Noyes and Duncan Sim, ResPublica, July 2017

● Foreign aid isn't the only source of soft power. Nongovernmental organizations, Hollywood, universities and Silicon Valley can be other means for soft power. Each helps build cultural or technological ties between the U.S. and folks abroad.  But even those centers of influence could be damaged by America's growing unpopularity around the globe — and by the decay of U.S. soft power.
Jake Godin, Newsy, June 4, 2017

● The Baltic states have upped their game considerably in response to Russian threats both novel (hybrid and cyber warfare) and traditional (intimidation with large-scale military exercises). But most European governments conduct their national security policies at a much greater distance from their militaries, celebrating their concentration on “soft power” tools in lieu of force. Not only do they privilege those tools, they often consider their policies, and themselves, morally superior for the choice.
Kori Schake, The American Interest, May 25, 2017

● Gerasimov [in 2013] first asserts that a combination of nonmilitary methods, including the protest potential of the population, covert military measures, information operations, and special forces’ activities, are being implemented by some nations to control conflict. * * * U.S. military centers around the country continue to focus on NGW [New Generation War] concepts. . . . this concept, a “one off,” has disappeared from Russian writings. It is time that an equal amount of focus be placed on NTW [New Type War], the concept of recent emphasis, which even the authors of the new-generation article appear to have adopted.
Timothy Thomas, Military Review, July-August 2017

● Today mankind faces the challenge of hybrid wars, whether we like it or not. These wars will breed the new hybrid world or, to be more precise, the new hybrid world order. We must face these challenges earnestly and accept them as part of the new reality in which we live. Russian aggression against Ukraine became a starting point for the formation of the new hybrid world order.
Volodymyr Horbulin, National Institute for Strategic Studies, 2017


● Adversaries increasingly operate in this “gray zone.” Examples include Russia’s aggressive dissemination of disinformation through social media and other means, China’s deployment of military vessels disguised as civilian fishing boats and Iran’s harassment activities in the Strait of Hormuz that fall short of overt military provocations. . . . Significantly, General Votel was invited as a special guest to address SOF efforts in the “gray zone” . . . at last year’s State Department chief-of-mission conference. A fellow speaker, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, praised the effectiveness of special operations activities in countering Russian propaganda in that country.
Steven Kashkett, America Foreign Service Association, June 2017

● Kremlin ideologues are quite clear that their asymmetric capabilities give them a key advantage against their adversaries . . . . They state openly that their advantage is in these asymmetric means—information, influence and cyber operations; the use of “guerrilla” cells that can carry out activities in Europe and the United States; cyberattacks against critical infrastructure; cultural outreach; and more—and that they will use this means to achieve their goals of undermining NATO and American power.
Molly K. McKew, Politico Magazine, July 7, 2017

● Viewing the United States as its main threat, Moscow is utilizing psychological information warfare as the key means of achieving its ambition to dominate the world stage, deploying disinformation tactics used by the KGB during the Cold War, according to a new Defense Intelligence Agency report.
Art Moore, WND, July 9, 2017

● The report provides new details on Moscow's capabilities for conducting similar technical-cyber activities, including the use of private hacker groups, government-backed internet trolls, and automated computer "bots" capable of flooding websites with pro-Moscow propaganda.
Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon, July 7, 2017

● . . . the immediate Russian threat may come from its information warfare and cyber campaigns directed against the West. That's a battle that has already been joined. And it is one the West is equally ill-prepared for.
BBC News, June 29, 2017

● Achieving information superiority in a future conflict will not be a supporting action for China. It will be the main line of effort. The degree to which the Chinese have emphasized information warfare to gain an asymmetric advantage cannot be overstated.
J. Michael Dahm, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, January 2017

● Daesh built the Salafist, takfiri ideology into them. They were training children from six, seven years old, to hold weapons and kill people. What we need is to reeducate them in schools, and teachers should show them how to get rid of these ideas, because they are children and these things stay in their minds."
Sulome Anderson, NBC News, July 6, 2017

● Japanese and Chinese researchers who have been working for three years in an attempt to produce an historical study and demonstrate that the old adversaries could jointly produce an objective account of Sino-Japanese relations that includes the dark days of World War II have elected instead to agree that they disagree about a key event. . . . .the Nanking massacre of 1937 . . . .
Peter Brown, Asia Times July 7, 2017

● In June 2017, a month after the 73d anniversary of Sürgünlik (the deportation of Crimean Tatars), the Russian occupation authorities of Crimea initiated the prosecution of activists who laid flowers at the two monuments to its victims in Dzhankoy (north Crimea). According to the so-called police, they “violated” the Russian law on mass rallies.
Ihor Vynokurov, Euro-Maidan Press, July 7, 2017

● With communism ditched and liberal capitalism largely discredited as an alternative, the Soviet Union’s victorious 1941-45 struggle against Nazism has become the untouchable cornerstone of a new state ideology built around a sanitized history of patriotic sacrifice, discipline and national unity.
Andrew Higgins, The New York Times, June 21, 2017

● Russians have picked Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as the greatest figure in history, a new poll said Monday, beating President Vladimir Putin into joint second alongside poet Alexander Pushkin.
Joel Harding, To Inform is to Influence, June 26, 2017

● . . . in the early 1960s, East Germany mounted a vast anti-Semitic campaign in the West, financing and coordinating with various Nazi nostalgic parties and organizations to demoralize a young democracy and undermine the credibility of Bonn. “You Jewish pig, we forgot to gas you,” was one of the sample letters discovered in Stasi material after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Jeffrey Gedmin, The American Interest, July 6, 2017

● It was all a tissue of lies, tinged with anti-Semitism. Those accusing the Jews of operating on the basis of racial hatred were themselves driven by that base force.
Gabriel Schoenfeld, The Weekly Standard, June 19, 2017

● The foreign funding for Islamist extremism in Britain primarily comes from governments and government  linked foundations based in the Gulf, as well as Iran. Foremost among these has been Saudi Arabia, which since the 1960s has sponsored a multimillion dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the West.
Tom Wilson, Centre for the Response to Radicalisation and Terrorism, July 2017

● The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 changed everything. All previous experiences paled before the extent to which deliberate lying, deception and misleading became a conscious choice in the forge of the Bolshevik special services.
Marko Mihkelsoni, Euro-Maidan Press, July 6, 2017

● . . . the new [1982] version of FM 100-5 emphasized the fundamentally psychological nature of combat: technology was important, but these devices were tools in the hands of human decision makers vulnerable to war’s inherent chaos, chance, and unpredictability. War was and would always be a contest of wills.
R. Z. Alessi-Friedlander, Military Review, April 26, 2017

● I am 72 years old now and as USAID rallies its supporters for a continuation of its trajectory, I must argue against it. No doubt, America has an extraordinary narrative, but let that narrative be told and purveyed by the bedrock of that narrative — our civil society and our entrepreneurs. And while there are some overseas relief and development functions I would save for the federal government, they are few and far between.
David Holdridge, Fair Observer, July 12, 2017

● Those practices we describe as diplomacy are expanding. We are seeing discussions on digital diplomacy, climate diplomacy, health diplomacy, business diplomacy, education diplomacy, and sports diplomacy to name a few. Should we, as scholars and practitioners of diplomacy, be concerned? The worry seems all too real. If everything is diplomacy, then nothing is.
Katharina E. Hone, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, July 5, 2017

● . . . many violent extremists are not particularly pious or well-versed in Islamic doctrine or history—and that the vast majority of devout and learned Muslims are horrified by the actions of terrorists who claim their faith. Fear of Muslims is irrational.
Judd Birdsall & Drew Collins, The Review of Faith & International Affairs, June 16, 2017

● How did U.S. “diplomacy” get turned around wrong this way? The answer is twofold: first, a post-Cold War loss of focus in the government, military, and foreign policy community on the ends and means of foreign policy; and second, a Department of State that has played down, in its institutional structures and culture, traditional diplomacy while advancing an outreach-to-populations, or social engineering model, of U.S. international action.
James Jeffrey, The American Interest, May 15, 2017

● For many years, U.S. grand strategy has been based on the idea that the unitary U.S.-led order reflected universal values, was easy to join, and exercised a gravitational pull on other countries. Those assumptions do not hold as strongly as they once did.
Michael J. Mazarr, Foreign Affairs, January/February 2017

● Emotional calls for action are usually more inspiring than listening to a litany of logic-based proposals. So, if you are trying to convince a friend to join your political team or root for your team, aim for their heart and not their head.
Suzanne Degges-White, Psychology Today, October 20, 2016

● Andy Young’s record on civil rights and in politics is stellar, because they suited his abilities and personality. But he was a poor ambassador because he wasn’t content to subdue his personal beliefs and abide by the rules of the profession. In other words, a good man in the wrong trade. I think my point is that diplomacy is terrifically important and, by and large, is best not left to amateurs. I admire professionals in all trades, and diplomacy is no exception.
Cecile Shea, Foreign Service Journal, December 2015

● Scholars of political science and international relations chronically lament that the very nature of their disciplines has disconnected them from, and made them irrelevant to, the practice of policymaking and implementation.
Barbara K. Bodine, Foreign Service Journal, January/February 2015

● Generally speaking, practitioners of diplomacy are not interested in what the people who study international relations have to say about them. When they do glance at an academic book on diplomacy, they will often be puzzled as to why so much time and space was required to make the point in question.
Paul Sharp, Foreign Service Journal, January/February 2015

● Diplomacy has been squeezed out of the course catalogs in American higher education by the two master frames driving American views of how to deal with the world: defend against it, or transform it. Americans are far less interested in managing international relations through perpetual systemic engagement. They want either to avoid or to fix problems, transcending the never-ending compromises of diplomacy, which seem to many both old-world and old-hat.
Donna Marie Oglesby, Foreign Service Journal, January/February 2015

● . . . these Americans, like most Americans, vote on the basis of their vision of what makes a great nation. These voters, like most voters, believe that the values of the people are the health of the nation.
David Brooks, The New York Times, July 4, 2017

● What is remarkable is how successful Americans have been at keeping an exclusive and chauvinist nationalism at bay while, seemingly paradoxically, maintaining a vigorous and collective love of country and rising to become the most powerful nation the planet has ever seen. There is nothing inherent in the idea of nationalism that would lead us to expect this result. Indeed, the history of the rest of the world provides mountains of evidence to the contrary.
Daniel Krauthammer, The Weekly Standard, May 8, 2017

Countries and Regions


● It’s nearly summer holiday time, and the news cycle is slowing down. But when Russians turn on their TVs at their summer houses, Ukraine and Syria still receive the lion’s share of news time.
Disinformation Review, July 5, 2017

● Sytin’s dozen clearly show why Putin’s Russian world project is unlikely to be successful beyond the borders of his country.
Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia – New Series, July, 2017

● The phenomenon of fake news has become almost trendy in the U.S., but the Russian public and media have experienced it for years. “We dealt with this when it was not so fashionable,” said Galina Timchenko . . . “We have been working with a fake agenda for years.” * * * Over time, fake news, combined with an increasingly hostile state attitude toward a free press, has culminated in a media environment with little space for free and independent journalism.  “The Kremlin’s idea is, and unfortunately they won, that there is no truth at all,” she said. “[That] everybody has his own truth.”
Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic, June 30, 2017

● . . . as Islam has become more important in the lives of the Muslims of Russia, that has created a problem for them as well as one for the Russian state. Muslims have the option to choose among the fetwas on offer, many of which contradict each other, and the Russian state is faced with uncertainty about just what advice even Russian-based muftis are giving.
Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia – New Series, June 26, 2017
● Russian support for an international convention on “information security” shows both its belief in its rightful ability to control information within its borders and its desire to develop the international order to reflect its views.
Andrew Radin and Clint Reach, RAND, 2017


● The claim that Ukraine are training terrorists was emphasized by a manipulated image, where the text that appear on the flag used by ISIS was put on the Ukrainian flag.
EU East Stratcom Task Force, Disinformation Review, July 13, 2017

● Ukraine’s experiences places it on the front lines of this new form of conflict—it has seen kinetic operations in Crimea and the Donbas; cyber attacks; unconventional tactics like targeted assassinations; distributed hit lists against Ukrainian officials, officers, and soldiers; and information operations directed against the population.
Aaron F. Brantly, Nerea M. Cal, and Devlin Winkelstein, Lawfare, July 7, 2017
- - -
● [The Lawfare piece is an] Excellent article but two minor points skewed the entire article into a standard cyber-centric focus. * * * What is missing is the informational aspects, the information spread like wildfire through news reports, word of mouth, phone, and so on. The information or the lack of information contributes to the state of mind of the audience. The second piece missing is the overwhelming, almost crushing information war that is constantly being waged on the citizens and leadership of Ukraine on a constant, ongoing basis from Russia . . .
Joel Harding, To Inform is to Influence, July 8, 2017

● . . . Ukraine’s media oligarchy and its dependence on Russia’s information space made Ukraine vulnerable to the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign.  The disinformation campaign has created many false narratives. We have seen different interpretations of events, and contrasting claims about who’s involved and even different names for the conflict.
Vera Zimmerman, Atlantic Council, July 3, 2017


● Germany is expecting Russia to try to influence its general election on Sept. 24, but there are no indications of which party it would seek to back, officials said on Tuesday.
Andrea Shalal, Reuters, July 4, 2017

● If Orwell were alive today, the country which might best conform to “1984” might well be Turkey. The issue isn’t simply President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s corruption or authoritarianism. In that, he is really no different from Russian President Vladimir Putin or Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. Rather, it is how Erdogan has seized control of the media in order to impose narratives that change as rapidly as Oceania’s wars against Eastasia and Eurasia.
Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute, July 12, 2017 


● China's dying Nobel Peace Prize winner is at the centre of an information war.  The country's state-run media say Liu Xiaobo's cancer "mustn't be politicised" as they publish leaked recordings of him under surveillance while in jail and now in hospital.
Stephen McDonell, BBC News, July 11, 2017

● Researchers at Citizen Lab have unearthed a broad campaign aimed at infiltrating Chinese language news sites after discovering a phishing campaign targeting journalists at the US-based China Digital Times. Digital espionage operations targeting news organizations have become commonplace with numerous attacks traced to China-based operators.
Dell Cameron, Gizmodo, July 6, 2017

● The house lights dimmed, and moviegoers in a Beijing cinema settled in with their popcorn for some of Hollywood’s finest escapist entertainment.  But first they got a dose of Communist Party propaganda, courtesy of China’s film authorities: a short video message promoting “socialist core values.”
Amy Qin, The New York Times, July 6, 2017

● . . . cinemas have been instructed to show one of four, minute-long videos collectively titled “The Glory and the Dream” before every movie screening. The clips will be shown from July through October in the run-up to the Communist Party’s 19th National Congress in November — China’s most important political event held every five years.
Wan Huang, China Film Insider, June 30, 2017

● A new video asks Beijingers to report on spies in exchange for rewards of up to 500,000 yuan. SupChina presents an abridged version with subtitles.
Jia Guo, SupChina, April 11, 2017

● This report reveals a campaign of reconnaissance, phishing, and malware operations that use content and domains made to mimic Chinese language news websites.
Jakub Dalek, Geoffrey Alexander, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, and Matt Brooks, The Citizen Lab, July 5, 2017

● Originating in China, rumours on social media have circulated since about 2010 of plastic rice being manufactured and mixed in with the real rice supply in order to trick consumers. The rumours were originally prompted by "fake rice" scandals, although they didn't involve food made entirely out of plastic.
Anisa Subedar, BBC News, July 5, 2017

● China's clamping down on users who rely on virtual private networks (VPN) to break free of its notorious internet filter.  Dubbed the Great Firewall, the filter blocks access to news sites deemed undesireable by the Chinese government as well as social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, platforms the Chinese government has no control over. To bypass the restrictions, users have been using a VPN, which routes traffic to servers overseas free of the filters, but this may not be an option soon.
Aloysius Low, CNet, July 4, 2017

● In post-Mao China, censorship of the press has become a way to mask bad economic policies, especially when the government’s legitimacy leans heavily on boosting growth.
Weifeng Zhong, Foreign Affairs, July 4, 2017

● China's latest maneuvre in a sweeping crackdown on internet content has sent a chill through a diverse community of filmmakers, bloggers, media and educators who fear their sites could be shut down as Beijing tightens control.
Pei Li and Adam Jourdan, Reuters, July 3, 2017

● The Chinese and Russian media cannot let others interpret the international order and international rules on their behalf, and should take the initiative in this fierce international competition over discourse, Lu added. “This new media era has redefined the way in which information is disseminated and acquired, creating a rare opportunity for developing countries and emerging market countries to win the right to speak.”
Curtis Stone, People’s Daily Online, July 5, 2017

● Lu said that strategic cooperation between China and Russia, two major powers in the world, is crucial to the global stability. Their cooperation on discourse is also important. The mass media era has redefined how we get and spread information, and this has created an opportunity for China and Russia to win in discourse.
People’s Daily Online, July 4, 2017

● . . . China has already opened the doors to the newest component of its global outreach strategy, building a fully functional international university to compete with long-standing American, British, and Australian offerings.
Vincent Bevins and Tom Phillips, The Guardian, July 6, 2017

● While Modi has used the phrase “inch toward miles” as the motto of India-China cooperation, the PLA has continued its cynical territorial aggrandizement by translating that slogan into incremental advance. After spending so many years on the defensive, India must retake the narrative. The first order of business is to abandon the platitudes.
Brahma Chellaney, Project Syndicate, Jun 15, 2017


● The international response to the launch will only have inspired Kim to wring every last drop of propaganda value from the wave of opprobrium emanating from the White House and the Pentagon.  His response was straight from the North Korean propaganda playbook – designed to both grab the world’s attention and remind his domestic audience that, five-and-a-half years after his coronation following the sudden death of his father, Kim Jong-il, he has dramatically strengthened his country’s hand.
Justin McCurry, The Guardian, July 5, 2017

● Washington must strengthen deterrence and build out missile defenses, revive the Bush Administration’s antiproliferation dragnet, convince countries in the region to cut their ties with North Korea, consider shooting down future Korean test missiles, and spread news about the regime’s crimes to people in the North.
The Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2017

● We in the United States often call the Korean conflict the “Forgotten War.” My high school history textbook in Minnesota devoted barely a paragraph to it, and growing up as the child of Korean immigrants, I knew almost nothing about a war my own parents survived as children. But the war is very much alive and present in North Korea, and the standoff with the United States figures prominently in their propaganda, identity, and policy.
Jean H. Lee, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2017


● There are several possible explanations that separately or in some combination explain the radical shift in 2017 to reorganise the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for information war.
Greg Austin, The Interpreter, July 4, 2017


● In authoritarian Vietnam, the internet has become the de facto forum for the country’s growing number of dissenting voices. Facebook connections in particular have mobilized opposition to government policies; they played a key role in mass protests against the state’s handling of an environmental disaster last year. Now, the government is tightening its grip on the internet, arresting and threatening bloggers, and pressing Facebook and YouTube to censor what appears on their sites.
Julia Wallace, The New York Times, July 2, 2017


● . . . the State of Israel is waging one of its most important and difficult battles: The war on delegitimization and on the boycott movement. [The] director-general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which is leading the battle these days, sees it as a war . . . “The delegitimization against the State of Israel can be curbed and contained through public diplomacy and soft tools,” she says. “In order to win, however, we must use tricks and craftiness. The bottom line is the rival has moved from its comfort zone into our comfort zone. Today the rival is on the defense and we are on the offensive.”
Itamar Eichner, YNet, July 12, 2017


● At first, a social media campaign calling on Sudanese people to participate in a stay-at-home strike seemed doomed to fail: only a quarter of the population have access to the internet. And looking back at Sudan’s history, political mobilisation had occurred through unions, not social media. But, somehow, it worked.
Simona Foltyn, The Guardian, January 11, 2017


● . . . the ruling CNDD-FDD has become the sole state party, with monuments glorifying it erected, party flags placed at entrances to public schools and violent propaganda broadcast urging Burundians to be ready to fight and eliminate opponents.
Yahoo!, July 3, 2017


● Investigators said Monday that targets of high-tech spying in Mexico included an international group of experts backed by the Organization of American States who had criticized the government’s probe into the disappearance of 43 students.
Maria Verza and Mark Stevenson, Fifth Domain, July 10, 2017

● In Wilayat al-Jazirah, the Islamic State is weaker than in any of its four Iraqi "provinces," . . . . the group's most isolated . . . . The province is correspondingly light in terms of public administration, with IS not having released governance-related content after April 2017 . . . in the middle of that month, it had two dawa (proselytizing) campaigns, wherein IS members distributed propaganda to residents of Tal Afar . . . . the absence of any governance-related content for the past three months indicates a substantially diminished ability to govern.
Aaron Y. Zelin, The Washington Institute, July 13, 2017

● The caliphate also lives on in the virtual realm, as its operatives and supporters churn out propaganda, bomb manuals, encryption guides and suggestions for how to kill the largest number of people with trucks.
Ben Hubbard and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, July 8, 2017

● ISIS, on the other hand, specializes in inspiration. Straying from its roots in Zarqawi's days, ISIS has embraced technology and devoted great effort to recruiting Muslims all over the world, especially in the West. By mastering social media, it has become the global jihad's online brand. Indeed most jihad attacks carried out by "radicalized" Muslims in the West over the last three years have been conducted by people who claimed to be ISIS members or whom ISIS claimed as members.
A.J. Caschetta, New English Review, July 2017

● . . . the Islamic State’s cyber jihad, fully launched in 2014, is currently undergoing a regression that is demonstrated by the weakening of its quality, coverage and effectiveness. Comparing . . . Daesh’s releases from 2014 and 2015 with its most up-to-date productions, one can notice evident alterations signaling the long-awaited, but limited as yet, impairment of the “Caliphate’s” propaganda machine . . .
Miron Lakomy, Perspectives on Terrorism, 2017


● The world’s fair has evolved from an industrial exposition into the Olympics of public diplomacy, and the United States should be there.
Matthew Asada, Foreign Service Journal, October 2015


● Sports ties between North and South Korea often mirror their rocky political ties. * * * With seven months until the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korea's new President Moon Jae-in wants North Korea to attend the Winter Games as a way to encourage reconciliation on the divided Korean Peninsula. Success will depend largely on whether the Koreas can avoid the violence and animosity that has ruined sports cooperation throughout their history.
Hyung-Jin Kim, Yahoo!, July 3, 2017

● The headlines in global demand are the shifts away from the USA (35.7% to 31.9%) and the UK (28% to 25.6%) and the notable growth in Canada (4.9% to 10.6%).
Hotcourses Insights, June 2017

● Despite fears of a potential large drop in new international students’ willingness to enter U.S. higher education institutions in Fall 2017, the findings of the survey, based on responses received from 165 colleges and universities, suggest that interest among international students remains steady overall, with no single trend evident across the broad range of U.S. colleges and universities.
Christine Farrugia, Ph.D. and Natalya Andrejko, IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research and Impact, July 2017

● Though it has been over five months since the first immigration executive order was signed, much uncertainty remains as to how the current political climate and immigration policies may be affecting that flow. A short survey conducted by CGS finds that member deans are seeing a decline in admission yields of prospective international graduate students, a sign that the global appeal for U.S. graduate education may be suffering.
Hironao Okahana, Council of Graduate Schools, 2017
● If China’s ruling elite were forced to choose between supporting North Korea and their children’s access to American universities, is it all that hard to see where they would come down? This might be especially true if we continued to allow ordinary Chinese citizens with no family connections to the party or government to come study here.
William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2017

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