Is it Public Diplomacy or Information Operations?

“Is it public diplomacy or is it an information operation?” Maybe this will become a “question of the week” as we come across more sites like The Other Iraq (also see my brief and Paul Kretkowski’s deeper comments), like this one lauding the accomplishments of outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld (see also Greg Djerejian’s comments here).

Briefly, here are some highlights for your reading pleasure:

  • Overall: A multinational coalition has liberated 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq, with formation of representative governments and security forces.
  • Liberated 31 million Afghans from Taliban control and destroyed Al-Qaeda sanctuary – conquering elements that successfully fought off the Soviet Union for over nine years – and stood up a Loya Jurga governing council eight months after operations began.
  • Liberated 26.7 million Iraqis from a brutal dictatorship and turned over sovereignty of the country to an Iraqi government in 16 months.
  • Military to Civilian Conversion: About 20,000 positions previously held by uniformed military personnel are now performed by civilians, freeing up troops for military tasks and assignments.

Verdict: neither. Personally, I don’t think this reminiscing is either IO or PD. I think the intended audience for this propaganda is the defense community itself. Comments?