Thursday, February 28, 2019

China Africa Relations on a New Height As CAPC 2019 Opens

Alaskai Moore Johnson,

Image result for China Africa Relations on a New Height As CAPC 2019 Opens
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MONROVIA – The 2019 edition of the China Africa Press Center program has opened in Beijing China with a challenge to African Journalists to help erase any myth about china and report the true story about the People’s Republic of China and its people.

Under the China Africa Press Center program, thirty four (34) African journalists have assembled in Beijing China for a ten month study in the People’s Republic sponsored by the China Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] Association under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The thirty African Journalists have also being joined by sixteen (16) other journalists from Asia and the South Pacific under the China Asia Pacific Press Center program.

Speaking Wednesday at the joint opening of the China Africa and Asia Pacific Press Center program in Beijing, the Vice President of the China Public Diplomacy Association Hu Zheng Yue described China as a brother and partner to African countries.

Ambassador Hu said China and Africa have a natural community of shared destiny and an important power to global development through fairness and justice.

“Our long standing histories, splendid civilizations and traditional friendship knit us tightly together. Our hearts are connected” the CPDA Vice President added.

The Diplomat also highlighted that under the framework of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road initiative, the People’s Republic and the continent have developed very productive and practical cooperation in many areas, bringing substantial benefits to both Chinese and the African people.

In addition to their academic studies, the Journalists from Africa and Asia are primed for a thrilling stay in China over the next ten months participating in series of activities as the country marks the 70th anniversary of founding of the People’s Republic of China this year.

Activities lining up include the second Belt and Road Forum for International cooperation and the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2019.

According to Ambassador Hu, CAPC and CAPPC 2019 Fellows will also ‘visit government departments, think tanks, universities and companies to interact with government officials, experts and the people of China. He also added ‘You will also go to provinces and cities outside Beijing to learn different regional cultures of China’.

Addressing Diplomats, 2019 Fellows and the local media at the Diplomatic Residence Compound in Beijing, Ambassador Hu Zheng Yue urged African journalists and journalists from Asia Pacific to help facilitate a clear understanding of the friendly exchange between their respective countries and China by reporting the facts.

CAPC has now entered its fifth year while this is the third year that journalists from the Asia Pacific are joining the program.

Liberia is being represented at this year’s fellowship by Journalist Francis Pelenah. By participating in the program, journalists are expected to write objectively about China in a move that will promote friendship and win-win cooperation between China and the rest of the world.

Speaking on behalf of the African Journalists, Ugandan Journalist Mugabo Mubarrak described the program as a great opportunity to see first-hand what life is about in China in a bid to gain a better position in telling the Chinese story to the rest of Africa.

The China International Press Communication Center has authorized the Renmin University of China to arrange and implement press training courses for participants including lectures on the condition of China in the fields of politics, economy, diplomacy, history, society and culture, with professional courses regarding media communication and media development.

The Beijing International Chinese College will arrange primary Chinese courses for participants and also provide cultural activities for participants once a month.

Tanzania Journalists take part in China-Africa Plan

Image from article: Tanzanian President John Magufuli, whose country's journalist are set to participate in the programme. Photo: Tanzanian Media

Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – Tanzanian journalists are set to take part in a 10-month programme organised by the China Public Diplomacy [JB  emphasis] Association (CPDA), Daily News reported.
This educational programme is expected to equip journalists with information that would enable them to deliver objective messages, promote peace and friendship and facilitate win-win cooperation.
This programme which was launched recently, is set to take place in Beijing under the host China International Press Communication Centre (CIPCC). It is an initiative of the China Africa Press Centre (CAPC) and China Asia Pacific Press Centre (CAPPC).
CPDA Vice President, Hu Zhengyue, noted that China and African countries are both developing countries and have always been partners that help each other.
“We are a natural community of shared destiny and an important power to promote the world to develop towards more fairness and justice. Our long history, splendid civilisations and traditional friendship knit us tightly together,” he said.
Zhengyue further made a promise that the CPDA will continue serving as a bridge that connects people’s hearts and civil societies.
This programme is expected to bring together 50 journalists from 49 developing countries from Africa and Asia Pacific.
They are also set to get opportunities to visit government departments, think tanks, universities and companies to interact with government officials and attend diplomatic activities to equip them with social skills to work better.
It is the 6th CAPC intake and the 4th one for CAPPC members. It is happening when the world’s second economic giant country marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Chinese-funded institutes on U.S. college campuses condemned in Senate report

Benjamin Wermund, Politico, 02/27/2019; note mention of  "public diplomacy" in the below article; on other recent article on the Confucius Institutes in the U.S.,  see also (1) (2)

An undergraduate student shows her watercolor painting.
Image from article

A scathing Senate report released Wednesday says that without major changes, so-called Confucius Institutes paid for by the Chinese government and operating on dozens of American college campuses should shut down.

The bipartisan report by a Homeland Security subcommittee blasts the language and cultural centers at more than 100 U.S. universities as too strictly controlled and a threat to academic freedom. It accuses many American colleges of failing to disclose how much money they've received from the Chinese government — which the report says has spent more than $158 million on schools in the U.S. since 2006. Many colleges didn't reveal they've accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from China despite Education Department guidance that requires reporting of foreign gifts.

And it's not just college campuses. The report notes the rapid growth of so-called Confucius Classrooms, Chinese language classes funded by the Chinese government in more than 500 elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S. The K-12 expansion is a top priority for China, according to the report released by Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Chairman Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and ranking member Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.).

The 93-page report says it's all a key part of China's efforts to control its image abroad, and it notes the Chinese government has not allowed the U.S. to do the same in China. "Absent full transparency regarding how Confucius Institutes operate and full reciprocity for U.S. cultural outreach efforts on college campuses in China, Confucius Institutes should not continue in the United States," it says.

The report is the latest example of growing congressional scrutiny of Chinese involvement in the American educational system, including attempts by China and other nations to spy on and steal federally funded research on college campuses. It's a problem facing many research universities, which have to strike a balance between being open and collaborative institutions while also protecting the work they do.

A separate GAO report also released Wednesday drew some contradictory conclusions, including that at 10 universities with Confucius Institutes the GAO reviewed, U.S. university employees reported that they — not China— had full control. Some of them held events on controversial topics like Tibet and Taiwan. The GAO also reviewed 90 agreements establishing institutes at American universities and found some of them included language specifically protecting academic freedom.

Republicans have long been skeptical of Confucius Institutes, but the bipartisan Senate report is the biggest broadside against them — and some of the schools hosting them — yet. The schools are not named.

Portman in a statement cited the “stunning lack of transparency and reciprocity from China" in connection with the institutes. "As China has expanded Confucius Institutes here in the U.S., it has systematically shut down key U.S. State Department public diplomacy efforts on Chinese college campuses,” he said.

Carper in a statement noted the "quiet effort" by China to improve its image in Americans’ minds through its Confucius Institutes.

He said that "while there is no evidence that these institutes are a center for Chinese espionage efforts or any other illegal activity, we must have our eyes wide open about the presence of these institutes in our schools and around young, impressionable students, especially since they were conceived by and are funded by a Chinese government that holds and exports a much different worldview than ours."

The subcommittee is made up of nine senators, including Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former Republican presidential nominee Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

The report also says"a number" of schools have failed to report their Chinese funding as required by law.

The Education Department requires colleges and universities report foreign gifts of $250,000 or more from a single source. Nearly 70 percent of schools that received more than $250,000 from Hanban, an affiliate of the Chinese Ministry of Education that runs Confucius Institutes, didn't report the funding to the department, according to the report.

Hanban typically provides a U.S. college between $100,000 and $200,000 in start-up costs and around 3,000 books and other materials, the report says. Hanban also picks a director and teachers at no cost to the U.S. university.

Those resources comes with "strings that can compromise academic freedom," the report says.

The Chinese government approves all teachers, events and speakers at the institutes and some American colleges contractually agree that both Chinese and U.S. laws apply in them. Chinese teachers at the institutes sign contracts with the Chinese government pledging not to damage the national interests of China, as well.

"Such limitations attempt to export China’s censorship of political debate and prevent discussion of potentially politically sensitive topics," the report says. "Indeed, U.S. school officials told the Subcommittee that Confucius Institutes were not the place to discuss controversial topics ... As one U.S. school administrator explained to the Subcommittee, when something is 'funded by the Chinese government, you know what you’re getting.'"

The Chinese government, meanwhile, has "stifled" American efforts to establish "American Cultural Centers" on Chinese college campuses, which the State Department in 2010 started giving U.S. universities grants to set up. The Chinese government sought to control the centers that did successfully open, according to the report. One Chinese school refused to allow a center to put on a play about professional boxer Muhammad Ali, for example.

The report calls on the Justice Department to determine if Confucius Institutes are trying to influence the U.S. government or public on behalf of foreign principals, and says those that are should register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It also calls for the State Department to review visas of researchers and teachers in all Confucius Institutes and K-12 classrooms.

And it urges the Education Department to update guidance requiring schools to report foreign funding. The Education and Justice departments "should conduct oversight and pursue appropriate action against any U.S. schools that willfully fail to comply with reporting requirements," it says.

The report also makes a series of other recommendations, including that Congress should require all U.S. schools to publish any contracts with foreign governments, including all Confucius Institute contracts, online for students and faculty to review.

Notably, the report says American schools should continue to partner with Chinese universities.

"Partnering with foreign universities offers students unique international learning experiences and enhance research opportunities," it says. "U.S. schools, however, should never, under any circumstances, compromise academic freedom. U.S. schools operating in China should inform students about China’s internet censorship and other relevant constraints."

Paul Rockower - YouTube [pertains to public diplomacy/gastrodiplomacy]

Video for "public diplomacy"

Executive Director / Levantine Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] Gastrodiplomasi alanına ve kavramsallaşmasına öncülük eden Paul Rockower, gastronomi ve dış politikanın kesişimi hakkında kapsamlı araştırmalar yapmış, yazılar yazmış ve dersler vermiştir. ABD Dışişleri Bakanlığı’nın American Music Abroad ve Next Level programlarını bir çok ülkede yönetmiştir. Cezayir’den Irak’a, Venezuela’dan Zimbabwe’ye kadar farklı ülkelerde kültürel diplomasi programları gerçekleştirerek ABD Diplomatik Merkezleri ile projeler geliştirmiştir. Hindistan ve Tayvan Dışişleri Bakanlıkları ile çalışan Rockower, Kamu Diplomasisi Yüksek Lisansı’na sahiptir.

Instead of Democracy Promotion, Sell Trumpism to the World

James Jay Carafano,, February 27, 2019; original article contains links; see also (1)

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"Long live Trumpism!" image (not from article) from

Here's a blueprint for how Donald Trump can better explain and use his national security strategy.

Donald Trump doesn’t believe in regime change or nation-building. He is skeptical of international organizations and institutions. He frets over allies that aren’t pulling their weight.

But Trump is no isolationist, and he’s shown no interest in “leading from behind.”

So what does Trump believe in?

His catchphrase, “America First,” suggests that the president views his job as protecting the vital interests of America. But the slogan itself doesn’t have much explanatory value.

Moreover, his large public persona, hyperbolic rhetoric and free-wheeling tweets often cloud an understanding of administration policy. This leaves the administration open to equally outlandish criticisms, with charges ranging from coddling dictators to ignoring human rights.

But tweets are not policy. The president’s policies have been neither mercurial nor unreasonable. Trump does, however, need to do a better job selling Trumpism around the world.

Articulating the Guiding Idea

The 2017 National Security Strategy offers a clear blueprint of Trump’s foreign policy. As my colleague Nile Gardiner summarized:

“It takes a clear-cut view of the immense challenges faced by the United States from an array of actors, from Russia, China, and North Korea to transnational, largely Islamist terror networks. In addition, the strategy emphatically rules out the idea of extending the hand of friendship to rogue regimes such as Iran.”

The document reveals a president committed to pursuing a “peace through strength” military and leaning forward in critical parts of the world where America’s vital interests are under assault.

For two years now the administration has largely followed the game plan: improving military readiness; crushing the Caliphate; stiff-arming Iran; reinforcing the U.S. presence in Europe; pushing back on Putin; challenging China and attempting to tame Kim’s nuclear program.

Even the president’s recent pronouncements on the way forward in Syria and Afghanistan are not necessarily a reversal of his stated course; they may just portend an adjustment to the American footprint to accommodate a long-term U.S. presence there. But the administration must size the footprint correctly; American cannot afford to repeat the kind of mistake Obama made in withdrawing from Iraq.

Running Out of Gas?

Executing the National Security Strategy requires more than adjusting military deployments, however. Trump faces a combative House of Representatives, confused allies overseas, and foreign competitors who may try to just wait out the Trump presidency.

To keep on track, the White House will need to make better use of the nonmilitary instruments of national power its disposal. To date, the administration has undervalued some of these tools.

In his resignation letter, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis rightly observed that the administration has done a poor job explaining U.S. policies to both friends and enemies. The president can be an unconventional statesmen if he wishes, but that does not absolve him of his responsibility to ensure the world clearly understands his policies.

To date, Trump has made only a handful of big speeches on foreign and national security policy. His August 2017 speech in Warsaw was quite impressive, as was his address on Afghanistan policy, delivered that same month. Trump should do more of these.

The administration’s public diplomacy [JB emphasis] efforts have been broadly lacking, as well. The White House has shown little sense of urgency about putting its imprint on this mission. Most of the key appointive positions remain vacant or occupied by Obama holdovers.

This is not entirely Trump’s fault. Helle Dale observes that “without fail, every time a Trump nominee gets closer to a Senate confirmation hearing to head the International Broadcasting Bureau, the media pounces and sounds the alarm.” But it is problematic that, for the most part, the White House seems content to do little about it.

This is not to say that Team Trump has touched none of the levers of power beyond troops, tariffs and sanctions. For example, National Security Advisor John Bolton recently laid out an Africa strategy that seeks to make better use of the instruments of engagement, influence and investment. The administration also championed passage of the Build Act , which will “facilitate the participation of private sector capital and skills in the economic development of countries with low- or lower-middle-income economies.”

But the administration still underperforms in selling Trump’s self-help brand of empowerment to America’s friends, allies and strategic partners. Though uninterested in democracy promotion, nation-building or regime-change, Trump wants to see our partners become freer, stronger, more prosperous, and more self-confident partners. He can do to speed up that outcome to America’s benefit.

The Art of the Sale

To keep the National Security Strategy on track, the administration will need to build bipartisan congressional support for U.S. institutions working constructively overseas. It will also need to help build the capabilities, expertise, and capacity of effective nongovernmental organizations and foreign agencies.

This will require a subordinate strategy to harness these institutions in support of the National Security Strategy—like a matryoshka doll that fits neatly inside a larger one.

As with any good strategy, this will require making hard choices and tackling big problems to drive significant change in organizational behavior. Good strategy does not simply catalogue or validate things already being done. Rather it fiercely commits to turning the ship of state in a different direction—toward a clear goal (ends) with a defined path (ways) and the means to get there.


Ongoing diplomatic efforts will have to be reshaped to match the National Security Strategy. What were once called “democracy promotion activities,” just for the sake of promoting democracy, now have to be justified as part of the American effort to manage great power competition.

The overall objective has to be to protect America’s interests by stabilizing global competition, not by remaking the world order. “What is in the best interests of a country?” is a different question than “What’s in best interests of the U.S.?” But efforts to protect U.S. interests should aim for the sweet spot where our goals and those of our partner countries converge. Programs that serve these interests gain the most credibility and legitimacy.

There is, of course, no single solution for achieving better outcomes everywhere. The United States will need to pursue a variety of programs to achieve a cluster of favorable outcomes.

One effort will aim to help our friends and strategic partners strengthen the resilience of their democratic institutions. The focus here should be to reduce corruption and promote good, stable governance and institutions—not to drive particular political outcomes (pushing one political party over another) and agendas (like marriage equality).

Another effort should aim to strengthen the resilience of institutions and infrastructure critical to our friends’ economic and military development. Chinese and Russian “ sharp power ” poses a strategic threat to many key allies. The administration will need to develop specific objectives to counter this threat.

A second cluster of initiatives should be aimed at our adversaries, exploiting their weakness and lack of credible institutions. Authoritarian regimes in Iran, Russia, and China pose the chief threats to regional stability today. Such regimes are most constrained when they feel pressure from within and without, simultaneously. Hence, it makes sense to support reform from within while exerting external pressure. Further, by understanding their instruments of internal repression, we better understand the means of repression these regimes export and how to deal with them most effectively.

The third cluster should aim to build capacity in states strategically relevant to Washington. What’s not needed is a quixotic effort to promote democratic ideology per se. Rather, we should promote legitimate, accountable institutions of governance.

Democracy is predicated upon the legitimacy of government for the governed. If, for example, the Muslim Brotherhood is voted to power, describing the country as a “democracy” is unhelpful because that country will bring poor leaders to power who will poorly serve the people.

As Cliff May of The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has noted, it is not enough that a regime don the “trappings” of democracy (such as elections). What’s needed is “legitimate governance.” Ends ought to be framed and measured in these terms. Also, building weak regimes’ capacity for good governance will entail battling Russian and Chinese “ corrosive capital .”

Whether dealing with friends or enemies, America must be in it to win it. China, Russia, and ISIS see themselves as engaged in a decades-long struggle. So, too, must the United States. This will require developing phased short-, mid-, and long-term objectives.

Since the goal is managed competition and since many competitors led by adversaries will be around a long time, this is actually a generational challenge. Thus, even as the administration addresses immediate challenges, it must also plan for long-term, such as laying the “seeds of democracy”—like the “grassroots” work done by the National Endowment for the Democracy to identify and nurture democratic champions in countries relevant to U.S. foreign policy.

U.S. strategy clearly states that American power should be focused to ensure peace and stability in Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific. But capacity-building efforts need not necessarily be focused in those same regions. For example, they might be more critically needed to ensure that democracy has a firm foundation in our own backyard, making the transatlantic community and Latin America the highest priority.

These efforts can be an “economy of force” tool, a primary means of affecting U.S. interests where great power competition is less intense. Countering Chinese influence in Latin America and Africa could be higher priorities. In addition, countering Russian influence in Central Europe could be a higher priority. Another area for increased efforts could be in the Pacific Islands region and South Asia.


Democracy promotion agendas from previous administrations have left a lot of baggage. This administration should formulate an agenda that focuses on governance (corruption), infrastructure and fundamental human rights. The emphasis will vary from country to country. In some cases, the priority might be religious liberty; in others, it might be economic freedom.

In particular, there needs to be better coordination and deconfliction, specifically where the strategy might be applied in these situations. See, for example, the report on fragile states prepared by a bipartisan task force assembled by the United States Institute of Peace.

There is little question that the president views strategic communications as an important tool. Yet, he has little interest in promoting a grand strategic narrative—something Reagan did so well in framing the struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union as a battle between good and evil.

Trump uses the presidency’s voice for near-term tactical purposes. Thus, top-down public diplomacy isn’t in the cards. Instead, the administration must develop an integrated public diplomacy effort. The State Department’s recent coordinated campaign on human rights/governance in Iran is a constructive example.

The by-words of a successful public diplomacy effort will be partnership, burden-sharing, and, ultimately, self-reliance. Latin America and Europe are nearby and vital to us. India, Japan, and Australia are key partners in the Indo-Pacific. There is, however, a lack of common vision on what needs to be done. More structured dialogues and initiatives will be needed to pull the team together. While the U.S. government should take the lead in this endeavor, our partners should help share the burden.

When it comes to implementation, there is less need for an overall, overarching worldwide approach than a plan to execute a nested series of specific, coordinated actions targeted to support national priorities. Action might be directed with an executive order rather than a strategy document.

Before crafting the plan, the administration should map a crosswalk between U.S. strategy and ongoing and planned activities to see what’s missing or what’s being done that’s not helpful. For example, do we still need to support the Community of Democracies ? Or do we just keep participating on auto-pilot?

In some cases, instruments ought to be used to help civil society hold governments accountable. But, U.S. efforts here need to be more selective and effective. Constructive accountability works best in permissive environments where regimes tolerate the influence of civil society. That is not to preclude activities in less permissive environments, but it means the administration must smartly align expectations, investments, and interests.


A recent national survey found adequate public support for the public diplomacy efforts suggested here. And many of these programs enjoy strong bipartisan congressional support as well. That’s a good foundation to build on.

How resources are allocated is at least as important as how much are allocated. What matters is that spending fits in with the overall strategy. The ongoing U.S. foreign assistance review, if done right, could dovetail well with this effort.

Grassroots assistance and capacity building also have a place. Organizations like the International Republican Institute conduct grassroots programs that can be very effective. There is a case to be made for more, smaller, targeted grants that could be directed to local nonprofits. This could invigorate flexible, low-overhead programs currently hamstrung by burdensome oversight and compliance requirements.

Meanwhile, the larger programs should be scrutinized closely for how they spend U.S. taxpayer dollars. There is great potential here for finding significant savings.

Nontraditional NGOs —independent non-neutral humanitarian organizations that purposefully align their operations with U.S. policy—should also be part of the mix. Organizations like Spirit of America , which uses private donations to provide voluntary services to our soldiers and diplomats overseas, conduct the kinds of activity that would neatly fit into efforts to support the National Security Strategy.

There is also a question of whether we have adequate tools to evaluate freedom and democracy in its different contexts. Sadly, many U.S. government reports on human rights practices are not very helpful. Rather, they are overly complex, dedicated to meeting statutory requirements and not targeted for specific audiences. These reports should be overhauled, pared down, and tailored to provide actionable information that will help their audiences have a strategic effect.

Nongovernmental reports are a mixed bag. For example, there are several useful indices of economic freedom. On the other hand, there are real concerns about the legitimacy of Freedom House ratings and various measures of press freedom.

There are also concerns about the proliferation of “rights,” ongoing campaigns to expand or reshape what constitutes “freedom,” and demands to “re-baseline” the human freedoms discussion. This could open a place for a national commission to assess what freedom is and how to measure it—serving as a powerful driver for the domestic and global conversation.

What else must the plan include? A technology component, to be sure. The multi-stakeholder process of oversight for the Internet and cyber won’t work. China and Russia, through international forums or brute force, will balkanize the Internet to advance repression. America currently lacks an effective capacity to deal with this.

Further, America must develop the means to analyze and counter the range of cyber tools (AI) being used by Russia, China, and other authoritarian states to undermine others (such as election interference) and to expand their societal controls through monitoring behavior.

The U.S. government also must improve its dialogue and partnership with the private sector on the consequences of cooperation and exploitation by adversarial states. The recent example of the restricted Google search developed for China highlights this challenge.

Further, the government needs to engage with more than just the “tech community.” Mass media and institutions of higher learning could be valuable partners in the war against cyber-mischief and repression.

Finally, what’s needed most is leadership. Washington lacks an effective interagency capacity for granular coordination of specific programs. Rather than broad government reforms, we need solutions that work now for this government and this strategy.

The goal is not to gin up a whole-of-government approach, but to amass enough instruments of power to have a competitive advantage against a specific adversary for a specific mission or task. Part of that has to be getting more of the Trump team on board. As long as key appointive positions remain unfilled or occupied by uncooperative holdovers, efforts to implement a public diplomacy strategy that complements the National Security Strategy will be seriously—perhaps fatally—hamstrung.

A Heritage Foundation vice president, James Jay Carafano directs the think tank’s research on issues of national security and foreign policy.

[NYT obituary of Amb Richard Gardner, "a strong believer in the study of foreign cultures and languages, which he called 'public diplomacy.'"]

Gaia Pianigiani, The New York Times, Feb 27, 2019; original article contains links; see also (1)

Image from article, with caption: 
Richard Gardner in 1977, the year he was appointed ambassador to Italy. He toggled between diplomatic assignments and a career as a Columbia University law professor.

Richard Gardner, who in the late 1970s served as the American ambassador to Italy in a period of political violence there and concern in Washington about the Italian Communist Party’s growing strength, died on Feb. 16 at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.

His daughter, Nina Gardner, said the cause was congestive heart failure.

While his profile was probably highest when he was posted to Rome, Dr. Gardner was also an adviser to Democratic presidential candidates and a distinguished law professor at Columbia University.

One candidate he advised was Jimmy Carter, who on becoming president in 1977 appointed Dr. Gardner to the Rome post.

Until then, American officials had long supported Italy’s Christian Democrats, who dominated politics there, and kept the door closed to leftist parties. It was the height of the Cold War, and Washington was worried about Communist influence in Western Europe, especially in France and Italy.

The administration had loosened its position on Eurocommunism when it sent Dr. Gardner to Italy, but gave him instructions not to be the first one to articulate this new policy.

Image from article: Federal judge A. Leon Higginbotham swearing in Dr. Gardner as the ambassador to Italy in 1977 as President Jimmy Carter and Dr. Gardner’s wife, Danielle Luzzatto, looked on. Dr. Gardner had been a foreign policy campaign adviser to Mr. Carter.

When reporters asked him on his arrival what his policy on the Italian Communist Party was going to be, Dr. Gardner responded with something more creative than a “no comment.”

As he recalled in his 2005 memoir, “Mission Italy: On the Front Lines of the Cold War,” he answered, diplomatically, with an old Venetian proverb, “Prima de parlar, tasi” — “Before you speak, be quiet.”

At the time, the Communist Party had become the second-largest political force in Italy, a member of NATO, and was close to entering the government. One mission of the American Embassy in Rome was to gain a deeper understanding of Italy’s Communists and their intentions.

These were the so-called Years of Lead in Italy, when extremists on the left, mainly the Red Brigades, terrorized the country with bombings and killings of politicians, businessmen and other public figures, while right-wing extremists murdered citizens in attacks on banks, train stations and public gatherings.

In 1978, amid intense political maneuvering in Italy to allow the Communists and other opposition parties to enter the government, Dr. Gardner was called back to Washington for consultations.

The Carter administration then issued a statement stressing opposition to Communist participation in Western European governments.

Image from article: Dr. Gardner with President Giovanni Leone of Italy at the presidential palace in 1977. Ambassador Gardner served during the so-called Years of Lead, when extremists on both the left and right terrorized the country.

Yet in tandem with such calls, the Carter administration softened visa restrictions for Italy’s Communists Party officials, including Giorgio Napolitano, who was later president of Italy. In 1977, the Italian government allowed the party’s newspaper, L’Unità, to open a bureau in New York.

And it invited prominent Italian leftists, including the filmmaker Federico Fellini, the writer Alberto Moravia and the painter Renato Guttuso, to embassy functions.

In 1979, in a diplomatic accomplishment that many credited to Dr. Gardner, the United States secured Italy’s agreement to accept placing new American missiles there as part of NATO’s program to modernize nuclear forces.

Italy was the first European country to do so, despite having the largest Communist party in the West, and Germany followed. The leader of the Italian Socialist Party, with whom Dr. Gardner was on good terms, also supported the decision, despite the party’s having once rejected NATO.

After leaving Rome in 1981, Dr. Gardner advised Al Gore on foreign policy during his 1988 presidential campaign and Bill Clinton in his campaign in 1992. Under President Clinton, Dr. Gardner was ambassador to Spain from 1993 to 1997.

Richard Newton Gardner was born in Manhattan on July 9, 1927, to Samuel and Ethel (Alias) Gardner. His father was a lawyer, his mother a homemaker.

Image from article: Dr. Gardner, right, at a private party in New York in 1997 with the writer and human-rights activist Elie Wiesel, left, and Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general.

After military service with the Army News Service in New Jersey, he studied international economics at Harvard College and received a law degree from Yale in 1951. A Rhodes scholar, he earned a Ph.D. in economics from Oxford University in 1954. His doctoral thesis became a book, “Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy: The Origins and the Prospects of Our International Economic Order” (1969).

In 1956 he married Danielle Luzzatto, who had been born into a Jewish family in Venice and had fled Italy — to Switzerland, France and later the United States — under Benito Mussolini’s racial laws of 1938. She died in 2008.

In addition to his daughter, a lecturer in international law at Johns Hopkins University and director of a consulting firm, he is survived by his son, Anthony, who was the United States ambassador to the European Union during the Obama administration; and three grandchildren.

Dr. Gardner began teaching international law at Columbia University in 1954. In the early 1960s he was deputy assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs under President John F. Kennedy. He returned to academia between his diplomatic postings.

At Columbia, he taught a popular seminar, “Legal Aspects of U.S. Foreign Economic Policy.” On the first day of the seminar, his students were asked to jot down their mid- and long-term career aspirations, notes that Dr. Gardner kept and later used when politicians or government officials sought his advice on a new hire. The seminar lasted from 1955 to 2012, when Dr. Gardner retired.

Dr. Gardner was a strong believer in the study of foreign cultures and languages, which he called “public diplomacy. [JB emphasis]”

“We are denying our foreign policy one of our greatest sources of strength as a nation — our system of higher education and our rich pluralistic culture,” he wrote in a New York Times commentary in 1983. “We have also shamefully neglected the education of our young people in foreign languages and foreign area studies. All this seems to me the height of folly.”

[Harvard event on the Syrian Negotiation Commission, Feb 27]

TIME: 12:00 - 1:30 PM
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Middle East Negotiation Initiative are pleased to present:

What Can the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) Do for the Syrians While the War Goes On and Formal Negotiations Are Stalled?

Hind Kabawat
Visiting Scholar, Program on Negotiation 
Deputy Head of Syrian Negotiation Commission Office in Geneva
Director of Interfaith Peacebuilding, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Pound Hall Room 100
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
Free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.
About the event:
Hind Kabawat will illustrate how the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC), made up of diverse Syrian opposition groups, is able to make small, but meaningful advances for the Syrian people, in the face of great challenges created by years of civil war. These challenges include millions of refugees and displaced, meddling by self-interested external parties, internal and external spoilers and the refusal of the regime to negotiate a political resolution. From her vast field of experience, Ms. Kabawat will provide examples of decisions and actions taken by the SNC to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, empower the resistance, include women in the political process, and impact the high level political process – all while formal negotiations are stalled.
About the speaker:
Hind Kabawat is a visiting scholar with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She is the Deputy Head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission’s (SNC) Geneva office, where she founded the Women’s Consulting Group. In recent years, she has led a variety of public diplomacy [JB emphasis] efforts in Syria to promote interfaith tolerance and cooperation, modernization and reform, as well as educational innovations in conflict resolution and diplomacy education. She was formerly a member of the High Negotiations Committee at the Syrian peace talks in Geneva, an umbrella body which was created to represent the Syrian opposition in negotiations with the Syrian regime and participated in all eight rounds of the Geneva peace talks on Syria (2017).
As Director of Interfaith Peacebuilding at George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC), Ms. Kabawat has directed CRDC’s Syria work since 2004 and has trained hundreds of Syrians in multi-faith collaboration and civil society development. Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, she has piloted numerous training programs related to conflict resolution, women’s empowerment, and negotiation skills in Aleppo, Idlib, the Atmeh IDP camp, Istanbul, and Amman. She is also an instructor for CRDC’s graduate seminar Approaches to Conflict Management and Resolution.
Ms. Kabawat is also a founding member and head of the interfaith committee for Tastakel, an organization that includes women from diverse groups working for peace and reconciliation through women’s empowerment and education. In this position, she directs a literacy center for Syrian refugee girls in southern Turkey. She has also served as a member of the Future of the Middle East Committee at the World Economic Forum. She was awarded the Peacemakers in Action Award from the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding in New York in 2007 and the Public Diplomacy Award from CRDC in 2009. From 1995 – 2014, Ms. Kawabat worked at law firms in Toronto as an international counsel.
She holds an MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, a law degree from the Arab University in Beirut and a BA in Economics from Damascus University. She has also earned certificates in conflict resolution and strategy leadership from the University of Toronto and a certificate in negotiation from Harvard University.

See how the DPRK has thawed diplomatic and cultural exchanges since the first US-DPRK summit (video)

Image result for See how the DPRK has thawed diplomatic and cultural exchanges since the first US-DPRK summit (video)
image from video
CGTN America
Published on Feb 27, 2019

In June 2018, Donald Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to meet with a leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Trump and Kim made history with their summit in Singapore. Prior to the US-DPRK summit the DPRK and South Korea also held an inter-Korean Summit in April 2018. Since those meetings, the DPRK has thawed some of its diplomatic and cultural relationships in Asia and with the United States, and began a new round of public diplomacy. [JB emphasis].

From Loyal Soldiers to Whistle Blowers: These Are Netanyahu's Confidants Who Turned State's Evidence

Three of the prime minister's formerly closest associates – Ari Harow, Shlomo Filber and Nir Hefetz – are now part of the state prosecution’s case against him


Former Netanyahu communications adviser Nir Hefetz in court in May, 2018.
Image from article: Former Netanyahu communications adviser Nir Hefetz in court in May, 2018.

Nir Hefetz

Position: National public diplomacy [JB emphasis] head, personal communications adviser to the Netanyahu family

Date of state’s evidence agreement: March 4, 2018

Suspicions that he was facing: Bribe-taking, along with Netanyahu and obstruction of justice

Information that he supplied against Netanyahu: In Case 4000 he gave an account in which he spoke of a connection between alleged requests to skew Walla’s news coverage and policy decisions made by Netanyahu

The state’s evidence agreement: He will not be charged and will not pay a fine.

Nir Hefetz is a former newspaper editor who served as media adviser to the prime minister’s family. Notorious for throwing his weight around when he wasn’t happy with press coverage of his clients, he was known to be especially mindful of the needs of Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife.

Hefetz was arrested in connection with Case 4000 over allegations that Bezeq reaped huge financial benefits for allegedly helping the Netanyahu family obtain favorable coverage on Walla. Hefetz was known to be close to Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, which owned the Walla website. Hefetz was suspected of serving as a key intermediary in the dealings between the Netanyahu family and Walla.

Hefetz’s association with Netanyahu began in 2009, when he was appointed chief spokesman for the prime minister, then beginning his second stint in office. Hefetz’s time in the Prime Minister’s Office was brief, but in 2014, he began working with Netanyahu again, this time as a media adviser for the prime minister’s family. His services were provided through a private consultancy company he established. During the 2015 Knesset election, Hefetz also worked as a campaign strategist for Netanyahu’s Likud party.

As part of the state’s evidence agreement with Hefetz, he provided the police with text messages and recordings from 2009 and 2010 that purportedly buttress the suspicions against Netanyahu. They relate primarily to Case 2000 and early contacts over a “cease-fire” between the prime minister and Yedioth Ahronoth.

A new narrative for Iranian foreign policy

Mahsa Rouhi and Esfandyar Batmanghelidj,; original article contains links

Iran Talks Vienna 14 July 2015 (19067069963).jpg
Image from Wikipedia, with caption: Officials announcing the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] agreement
What does Zarif's resignation mean for Iranian diplomacy? With the erosion of a unipolar world Iran has the chance to shift its foreign policy, whilst continuing to comply with the JCPOA [JB see] and maintain broad diplomatic engagement.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif announced his resignation in a late-night Instagram post, sending shockwaves through political circles in Iran and abroad. Just ten days earlier, Javad Zarif’s fiery performance at the Munich Security Conference had won him praise across the political spectrum in Iran. At a time when public support for the JCPOA among Iranians has slipped to just 51%, Zarif’s strong message struck a chord with the Iranian public, who flooded social media with clips of him defending Iran’s missile program and refuting any notion that the West held the moral high ground. Zarif also made clear that while Europe has made the ‘right political statements’ regarding the JCPOA, it has yet to prove that it is willing ‘to pay the price’ to defend the deal in the face of US ‘bullying’.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has rejected Zarif’s resignation, citing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s trust in and esteem for Zarif. But the foreign minister’s reasons for tendering his resignation are hardly opaque. With parliamentary and presidential elections on the horizon, and the economy falling under increasing pressure, he has had to reassure the public of the Rouhani administration’s nationalist credentials and parry accusations of weak leadership from hardliners, which tried to impeach him in December 2018 over his support for Iran’s Financial Action Task Force reforms. The last straw was reportedly his exclusion from meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was in Tehran on Monday. Zarif felt that the foreign ministry was being unduly sidelined, and told an Iranian newspaper that he sought to defend the ‘integrity’ of the ministry by resigning. Should he stay on, Rouhani and Khamenei’s testimonials may help Zarif prevent the Foreign Ministry’s marginalisation.

Preserving the JCPOA
Regardless of who is foreign minister, Iran’s public diplomacy[JB emphasis] must find a new balance. Zarif’s resignation illustrates how growing divergence in foreign policy between the Iran’s moderates and hardliners could impede the critical political mission of preserving the JCPOA until 2021, when Iran’s newly elected president will likely have the chance to engage a new American president.

Just as the JCPOA remains the signature foreign policy achievement of the Rouhani administration, it also serves as a symbol of multilateralism for the E3 and especially the European Union. However, as demonstrated by the tortured wording of the recent European Council conclusions on Iran, there is growing fatigue in Europe over efforts to shield the JCPOA from the Trump administration’s attacks and increasing frustration over what are perceived as Iran’s destabilising activities in the Middle East and – in light of attempted political assassinations – in Europe. Many European officials view Iran as intractable and are inclined to take a much harsher stance, albeit short of the Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign. ...

Provided Iranian officials can maintain Iran’s broad diplomatic engagement, they could leave the door open to improved dialogue with the United States while placing the onus on American leaders to earn back trust of the remaining parties to the deal. It bodes well that the Democratic National Committee has already adopted a resolution calling upon the US to re-enter the JCPOA.

Understanding and Combating Russian and Chinese Influence Operations

Carolyn Kenney, Max Bergmann, and James Lamond,

A motorcade car adorned with Chinese and Russian flags sits idle at Vladivostok International Airport, Russia, on September 11, 2018.
Image from article, with caption: A motorcade car adorned with Chinese and Russian flags awaits Chinese President Xi Jinping's arrival at Vladivostok International Airport, Russia, on September 11, 2018.

In an effort to develop legal and policy solutions to this threat, different democracies around the world are trying to establish frameworks for distinguishing types of influence activities that are acceptable from those that are not. For the purposes of this issue brief, the authors adopt the framework provided by former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in his speech on countering foreign threats, focusing primarily on influence activities carried out or supported by foreign governments that are “covert, coercive or corrupt.”4 As such, this brief does not focus on legitimate, benign forms of foreign government influence, such as public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and exchange programs, but rather on illegitimate, malign forms of foreign government influence—also referred to as “interference” or “foreign influence operations.” Such operations include hacking political campaigns, bribing government officials, and conducting cyberespionage. This distinction is important, especially when it comes to crafting appropriate responses; the focus should be on responding to illegitimate activities in ways that do not restrict legitimate activities. To identify possible solutions to the challenges these regimes pose, as well as where those solutions may overlap, this brief explores the goals and objectives of Russia and China; the broad array of activities they have undertaken in support of these goals and objectives; and how each regime’s actions are similar or different. ...

Approaches to countering foreign influence and curbing interference

Reinvest in U.S. public diplomacy operations. The single greatest tool that the United States and its democratic allies have to combat disinformation around the world is to advance a clear, coherent, and truthful narrative about the United States, its values, and its role in the world. Unfortunately, President Trump has catastrophically undermined that narrative by violating some of the nation’s most cherished values at home and abroad.30 The next president must take on the important job of repairing America’s image. To do this, he or she will need to make clear what America stands for in the world and reinvest in public diplomacy tools in order to illustrate U.S. values and beliefs. This effort might include increasing funding for government-funded media organizations such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); investing more in cultural and educational exchanges; and empowering the U.S. State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in the next administration. ...
Foreign influence operations are by no means a new phenomenon. However, as witnessed in a series of recent elections and referenda across the United States and Europe, recent technological developments have made it easier for international actors to quickly and maliciously interfere with democratic processes. Russia and China constitute the greatest threats in both the short and long term. Although their goals, strategies, and tactics may differ, there are important measures that democracies can and should take to respond to and prevent future interference. 
Carolyn Kenney is a senior policy analyst for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress. Max Bergmann is a senior fellow at the Center. James Lamond is a senior policy adviser at the Center.
Endnotes ...
4. Malcolm Turnbull, “Speech introducing the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017,”, December 7, 2017, available at  ...
30. Magsamen and others, “Securing a Democratic World.”  ...