Don’t do it: why the Foreign Agent designation is welcomed by RT and Sputnik

The discussion on whether to classify the broadcasters RT, formerly Russia Today, and Sputnik as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act is full of nuance, most of which is absent in the public debates over the topic. The fundamental question at issue is whether these two broadcasters are under both the direction and receiving funding from the Kremlin. There is no debate over the latter, while management of both unconvincingly disputes the former. But as we ask the question, we should know not just why we are asking, but what is the outcome we seek to achieve. Continue reading “Don’t do it: why the Foreign Agent designation is welcomed by RT and Sputnik”

Sputnik and the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA)

Russia today advertising campaign05

Earlier this week, Yahoo News reported the FBI is looking into whether Kremlin-funded and directed media agency is operating in the U.S. as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. Ironically, the FBI obtained a cache of internal Sputnik email and documents that will assist the bureau in its investigation. The timing of the investigation coincides with interest by some in Congress to update the Foreign Agent Registration Act, or FARA, to deal with modern operations such as Russia’s Sputnik and RT, the media outlet formerly known as Russia Today.

Continue reading “Sputnik and the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA)”

A Strategic Perspective on “Information Warfare” & “Counter-Propaganda”

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the Emerging Threats & Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee convened a hearing entitled “Crafting an Info Warfare & Counter-Propaganda Strategy for the Emerging Security Environment .”

I recommed watching the worthwhile conversation. Below are my prepared remarks given at the top of the hearing.

Continue reading “A Strategic Perspective on “Information Warfare” & “Counter-Propaganda””

Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy “Seen on the Web” (#59)

March 19, 2017
Seen on the Web, 1521-1570

This is a compilation of news, articles, essays, and reports on strategic communications, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. 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 flow and gain influence. Many points of view citied here are contentious 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

Download Don Bishop’s Quotable’s No. 59.

Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy “Seen on the Web” (#58)

March 12, 2017
Seen on the Web,  1461-1520

This is a compilation of news, articles, essays, and reports on strategic communications, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. 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 flow and gain influence. Many points of view citied here are contentious 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

Download Don Bishop’s Quotable’s No. 58.

Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy “Seen on the Web” (#57)

March 11, 2017
Seen on the Web,  1394-1460

This is a compilation of news, articles, essays, and reports on strategic communications, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. 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 flow and gain influence. Many points of view citied here are contentious 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

Download Don Bishop’s Quotables No. 57.

Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy “Seen on the Web” (#56)

March 5, 2017
Seen on the Web,  1365-1394

This is a compilation of news, articles, essays, and reports on strategic communications, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. 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 flow and gain influence. Many points of view citied here are contentious 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

Download Don Bishop’s Quotables No. 56.