Rethinking Smith-Mundt: responding to Sharon Weinberger

I appreciate Sharon Weinberger’s thoughtful three-part response at Wired’s Danger Room (Part I, Part II, Part III) to my interim paper “Rethinking Smith-Mundt” over at Small Wars Journal. Several points in her impassioned response deserve attention. However, to begin, it is important to understand that researching and writing “Rethinking Smith-Mundt” was more than an “esoteric” pursuit. Derisively labeling our adversaries exploitation of information as “asymmetric conflict” as if it was something unfair, we clung to our guns as it were as we continued to imagine a bureaucratically controlled global environment (more on asymmetry here). However, even as the Russians roll into Ossetia and Sarkozy recreates the part of Chamberlain, the Russians have not neglected the power of information to affect foreign public opinion. They have used cyber-warfare to block access to Georgian information while actively propagating Russian messages and images.

The fact of the matter is we have just begun to realize that the comfortable world we, as Americans, grew accustomed to since the late-1960’s and early 1970’s, is gone. The global information environment, with its satellite communications, 24/7 news, text messaging, and immediate access to video and images has substantially reduced the autonomy of leaders provided by the raw, supreme power of militaries provided over the last four decades. With few exceptions, war is no longer war among leaders but among the people and between the people. Small groups now have an amplified voice and strategic reach to run the show. Increased communications skills of our adversaries better leverage the digital age, as well as the analog age’s culturally attuned rumors, has changed the objective of war. Whether restricting access to information through cyber-warfare, inserting distortions into the information ecosystem with distortions, the purpose of conflict has become not to destroy the enemy while preserving oneself, but a contest “in spirit, will, and intelligence on a silent battlefield.” Conflict through bullets or economies is transformed as “attitude warfare” or “perception warfare.” It is now organized processes of persuasion.

The U.S. Government, consultancies, and the presidential candidates are all finally realizing the tremendous value of information and the informational effects of policy and actions. While bureaucratic inertia has prevented systemic changes for years, this may be changing. There are several major reports, and a couple of pieces of draft bills, that look to revamp America’s architecture of engagement (think variations on USIA 2.0). Virtually any discussion on restructuring America’s informational engagement with the world includes at least one (almost always) erroneous statement on Smith-Mundt. “Rethinking Smith-Mundt” was written with this in mind.

As described in “Rethinking Smith-Mundt,” the Act was written and debated during a time when “hot war” was unlikely between the major powers, a time before “Us” and “Them” were firmly established. But this was not the Cold War so many invoke today (it was not 1968) with massive military power at the ready and missiles aimed at the other’s capitals. Economies were not substantially linked and the key threat was not invasion but subversion. As our Ambassador to Russia said in 1946, the most important “fact in the field of foreign policy today…is the fact the Russians have declared psychological war on the United States, all over the world.” It was, he continued, “a war of ideology and a fight unto the death.” The struggle for authority and relevance had shifted from the arena of power to the arena of ideas and international persuasion.

However, Sharon’s impassioned critiques of my recommendations are based not on the lessons learned from the past, of a holistic approach to informational activities based on truth. Her comments are based on a selective, band-aid approach to the modern beauty contest known as public diplomacy today. I know we both agree that what is called “public diplomacy” today is broken. Many believe the term itself has become so burdened to be nearly as radioactive as “propaganda.” Even the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy rebuked the State Department for not tasking its public diplomacy officers with “public diplomacy.” Sharon experienced this and the failure of the bureaucracy to even comprehend “public diplomacy” during her brief stint as a Foreign Service Officer.

For a high-level thematic response to Sharon’s posts, see Steve Corman’s Real vs. False Distinctions in Rethinking Smith-Mundt. As Steve notes, Sharon is concerned about an “anything goes atmosphere.” I share this concern, which is why I want oversight and transparency, two elements previously central to the Act (related: 1948 Brookings report). TO be honest, “Rethinking Smith-Mundt” was less about modern recommendations than about dispelling myths about the Act. It was more about finding (surprising) common ground with history for today’s policy makers and report writers. The similarities between past and present were implicit as I didn’t want to bang the reader on the head in an already long and dense read. With that, below I go into more detail to respond to two of Sharon’s more significant of assertions.

Continue reading “Rethinking Smith-Mundt: responding to Sharon Weinberger

Trusting the media? A new report from Pew Research

Briefly, from Editor & Publisher:

The results of the new Pew Survey on News Consumption (taken every two years and released this afternoon) suggest that viewers of the “fake news” programs "The Daily Show"and "The Colbert Report" are more knowledgeable about current events (as judged by three test questions) than watchers of “real” cable news shows hosted by Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly and Larry King, among others — as well as average consumers of NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN, C-SPAN and daily newspapers.

From Pew Research, Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources:

The public continues to express skepticism about what they see, hear and read in the media. No major news outlet – whether broadcast or cable, print or online – stands out as particularly credible.

There has been little change in public perceptions of the credibility of most major news organizations between 2006 and 2008. Over the last 10 years, however, virtually every news organization or program has seen its credibility marks decline.

In 1998, for example, 42% of those who could rate CNN gave it the highest rating for credibility (four on a scale from one to four). That fell to 28% in 2006, and remains low in the current survey (30%). Credibility ratings for several other television news organizations – including the three major broadcast news outlets – also have declined since 1998. Comparable percentages say they can believe all or most of what NBC News (24%), ABC News (24%) and CBS News (22%) report (based on those who can rate those organizations).

Credibility ratings for the Fox News Channel have remained largely stable in recent years. Currently, 23% say they can believe all or most of what they hear from Fox, down slightly from 2006 and 2004 (25%).

About a quarter (27%) who can rate NPR give it the highest credibility rating, up five points since 2006. NPR is viewed as somewhat more credible today than in 1998 (27% vs. 19%). The credibility ratings for local TV news also have gone up a bit since the last media consumption survey (from 23% to 28%). But a decade ago, 34% said what they saw and heard on their local TV news was highly credible.

On Jon Stewart and Rush:

Regular viewers of The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart are much more liberal than the public at large. More than a third of Colbert’s regular viewers (36%) describe their political views as liberal and 45% of regular Daily Show viewers say they are liberal. The audiences for these two shows are roughly equal in size; 19% watch The Colbert Report regularly or sometimes while 23% watch The Daily Show.

Despite the ideological bent of many of these talk show audiences, majorities of the shows’ viewers say they prefer to get political news from sources that don’t have a particular political point of view rather than sources that share their point of view. Rush Limbaugh’s regular listeners are among the most likely to say they prefer sources that share their point of view – 37% express this view while 53% say they prefer news sources that don’t have a particular point of view. Similarly, 37% of Larry King’s regular audience prefers sources that share their political views. Stephen Colbert’s viewers are among the least likely to seek out sources that reflect their political views. Only 15% of regular viewers of The Colbert Report say they prefer news sources that share their point of view, while 79% say they prefer sources without a political point of view.

Check put the whole report here.

Off topic: Olympic swimming is over, finally

4 x 100 free relay and IM, 4 x 200 free, 50m free… finally it’s all done. Mike Phelps has his “Phelpsian” moment with 8 medals capped off with an awesome Medley Relay. Unlike Spitz, Phelps can hang out and enjoy his time in the Olympic village and at the other events (the terrorist attack on Munich happened right after Mike Spitz earned his medals… he never had time to “bask in the glory”).

Now, among the many sports, it’s time to watch men’s water polo. We took down the Croats. Next, it’s the Germans.

Unasked in NYT’s “photography as a weapon”: does the media have an obligation to check its facts?

Relying on the mainstream media to debunk foreign propaganda is increasingly difficult. Errol Morris, writing on the New York Times opinion blog, discusses the Photoshopped Iranian missile launch. This case, like an increasing number, was caught by “New Media” effectively acting as an “Old Media” watchdog. While many papers issued retractions after the catch, the impression was set. The clarifications that rarely, if ever, received the same front-page treatment as the error they were correcting may not have been noticed.

Twenty years ago, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman noted that changes in the media were changing the information landscape in the United States. The increased concentration of media ownership changed the motive from a duty to inform the public to one of profit and an increased dependency on outside sources from the government, corporations, or “elite” experts for analysis. The recent Pew Research report shows that twenty years later the trend is worse as media has further retreated from the realm foreign affairs.

The result is easy manipulation of domestic by foreign and domestic communicators. The photography as a weapon discussion is aspect of this. Another is the Pentagon Pundits (aka “Hidden Hand”) scandal where substantial blame properly rests on the media as forewarned by Chomsky, although they have deflected much of what they’re due. (On this subject, see also this post.)

Outside the scope of this post is how do you reconcile the trashing of transparency and truth by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke who both orchestrated the leveraging the military analysts and “outed” the Office of Strategic Influence to protect her turf. Her skill at manipulation and disinformation in exposing an office that was essentially a public diplomacy office within the Pentagon (no, the place it should be, but it was 2001 and State is just now stepping up in 2008, so cut some slack) had no place in strategic communication, public diplomacy, or public affairs. Clarke manipulation highlights the failure of the media to investigate and understand the news it covers.

Read the discussion at the New York Times.

Also, for the truly interested, I suggest Robert Entman’s Projections of Power: Framing News, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy.

Thinking about 2014

Take a look at this map courtesy a Galhran / Information Dissemination reader:

Look at the coast on the left side between the 43rd and 44th latitudes. There you’ll find Sochi, the site of the 2014 winter Olympics.

Will the Russian invasion bring peace to the Pankisi or Kodori Gorges? Maybe the Russian move was simply to enhance their security perimeter (not). Think all will be forgotten and everyone will have kissed and made up by 2014?

Back in Beijing, as of now, the Georgians have one Olympic medal: a bronze in 10m pistol. Think she was imaging anything on the target? Too bad Georgia doesn’t have a water polo team in the competition. The 1956 Hungary v USSR game was one of the best.

Contractors: the hundred billion dollar temporary fix

Way back when, before most people were paying attention, there were warnings on the failure to provide adequate oversight over contractor expenses and action. Before he warned of the military-industrial-Congressional complex, President Eisenhower committed the U.S. government to increasingly “rely on commercial sources” started the outsourcing ball rolling. In 1966, Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 formalized the preference for the private sector over the public sector provided the private sector could provide the service or product more economically.

Continue reading “Contractors: the hundred billion dollar temporary fix

Are the Russians violating US sovereignty in the cyber war?

The purpose of Computer Network Operations (CNO) and Electronic Warfare (EW) are, put quite simply, to create and deny access to information. Typically considered tools to interfere with the decision making of leaders, they are being used by the Russians to shape international opinion. Georgian CNO, having been defeated and on the retreat, moved some sites to Google-hosted services. Whether these are in the United States or not is unknown. The question hasn’t been raised so far, perhaps because Google largely operates in its own pseudo-sovereign realm

The Associated Press is reporting that some Georgian sites (maybe the same sites?) have been moved to U.S. servers:

The website of the president of Georgia, the small nation that is battling Russian forces over a breakaway enclave, was moved to a U.S. hosting facility this weekend after allegedly being attacked by Russian hackers.

The original servers located in the country of Georgia were “flooded and blocked by Russians” over the weekend, Nino Doijashvili, chief executive of Atlanta-based hosting company Tulip Systems Inc., said Monday.

Making this particularly interesting is the question of whether these servers are U.S. sovereign territory. If so, then the Russian hackers, government or not, are attacking the United States. This would be like a foreign national taking refuge inside an American embassy and the local police charging in after them. This is at least the position of some of the U.S. government even if they don’t realize it.

How so, you ask?

Simply put, the U.S. Government is prohibited from engaging discussion boards, blogs, etc. hosted on U.S. servers in part because of the modern interpretation of Smith-Mundt, but not entirely. The concern is the U.S. Government, mostly military as they are the most active in the informational sphere, may influence American citizens by virtue of the fact the server is on American soil regardless of the physical location of the users. So-called “public affairs authority” changes things a bit and permits access, but there remain special considerations for engaging U.S.-based servers.

So, if the U.S. considers U.S.-based servers as the equivalent of U.S. physical territory for the purpose of informational engagement, how is a foreign attack on the same not an incursion against the United States? This dichotomy is going to hurt us sooner than we think.

As I noted earlier, the Georgian dilemma highlights the extreme importance of information in wars among people and the critical requirement to get your side of the story into the information ecosystem. This war of bits and bytes is ultimately a war of perceptions. There is a “tremendous symphony” playing globally right now that involves the government of Russia as well as private sympathizers (e.g. private citizens acting on their own or with encouragement) that is drowning out the Georgians. The Russians cannot have information superiority unless they deny their adversary the ability to communicate, and then they can propagate their message without a counter-narrative, truthful or not. The cyber attacks are muzzling Georgia to prevent opportunities to portray the Russians as anything but “peacekeepers” and “defenders.”

(H/T on the AP article to Jeff Carr)

Outsourcing to break the “cyber-lock”

Noah Shachtman at Wired draws our attention to an interesting bit of virtual geography: George is largely “cyber-locked” (see the Packet Clearing House diagram). The solution? Outsource to Google:, the Georgian news site, is "under permanent [cyber] attack." So they’ve switched their operations to one of Google’s Blogspot domains, to keep the information flowing about what’s going on in their country.

"In a sense," notes Jim Stogdill, "they must be saying ‘we can’t keep our sites up, but we don’t think [Russian hackers] can take down Blogspot, given Google’s much better infrastructure and ability to defend it.’"

Yes, and the cost was probably attractive attribute as well.

Besides the interesting reliance on the private sector, the Georgian dilemma highlights the extreme importance of information and the ability to get out your side of the story. The war of bits and bytes is ultimately a war of perceptions. The cyber attacks are efforts to muzzle the Georgians and to prevent opportunities to portray the Russians as anything but “peacekeepers” and “defenders.”

See for example Joshua Keating: Georgians feel betrayed and abandoned by their American allies. The Russian media isn’t really reporting it that way though.”

iPhone as a weapon

The Netwar between Georgia and Russia is interesting. Not the least of which for the way language is being exploited to put the other side in a negative light (otherwise known as propaganda). But there’s an unrelated article on network warfare you may find interesting:

With a jailbroken, iPhone attackers can use this to find out information about a network using just a phone. Gathering information or footprinting is important to have when wanting to attack a secure network. According to Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, and George Kurtz (1999), “systematic footprinting of an organization will allow attackers to create a complete profile of an organization’s security posture”(p. 5). They go on to say “Footprinting is necessary to systematically and methodically ensure that all pieces of information related to the aforementioned technologies are identified”( Kurtz et al., 1999, p6). Footprinting can involve scanning tools such as Metasploit, Nmap, Whois, tcpdump and others.

Read the whole thing at the blog of MountainRunner friend Sam Liles.

With all these techniques, gathering information from a wireless network has gone from carrying a laptop to using the device that one mostly already has, smart phones. Peter Grabosky and Russell G. Smith say, “In 1995, 250,000 smart phones were sold in the United States” (p.6). Two-hundred and fifty thousands smart phones were sold in 1995 and today who many young adults do not want an mp3 player with build-in wireless card that can be used to run attacks against networks because they saw it on You Tube. You Tube is providing people with the knowledge to unlock there smart phone and use it for there own good well or terrorize someone else’s job.

YouTube… not just the place to watch funny cats, but the DIY-center for propaganda and mobilizing for and facilitating network-centric warfare.

WaPo: When American Public Diplomacy Wears Combat Boots, we waste money and opportunities

Dana Hedgpeth at the Washington Post describes U.S. public diplomacy as it used to be, except the context is today, in Iraq, and instead of USIA officers, it’s the American military. Instead of cultural or public affairs funding, it’s the Commander’s Emergency Response Program. The purpose of CERP is to fund “short-term, small-scale urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction.”

Army documents show that $48,000 was spent on 6,000 pairs of children’s shoes; an additional $50,000 bought 625 sheep for people described in records as "starving poor locals" in a Baghdad neighborhood. Soldiers ordered $100,000 worth of dolls and $500,000 in action figures made to look like Iraqi Security Forces. About $14,250 was spent on "I Love Iraq" T-shirts. More than $75,000 sent a delegation to a women’s and civil rights conference in Cairo. And $12,800 was spent for two pools to cool bears and tigers at Zawra Park Zoo in Baghdad.

In truth, the news story highlights a significant problem when American public diplomacy wears combat boots.

Continue reading “WaPo: When American Public Diplomacy Wears Combat Boots, we waste money and opportunities

Who’s talking now? USA Men’s 4×100 Free Relay!!


“The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for.” — smack-talking French swimmer Alain Bernard

Lezak touching out Bernard

Only, Lezak ate up Bernard, outtouching him as the USA demolished the World Record (which was set by the American’s in the qualifying heat) with an amazing 3:08.24. The French would have set the WR themselves, but they didn’t.

Michael Phelps lead off: 47.51 (new American record)
Garrett Weber-Gale: 47.02
Cullen Jones: 47.65
Jason Lezak: 46.06 (fastest relay split, ever)

Lezak on what was going through his mind: “I was really tired of losing.” 

What do the French have to say about it?

See also:

Recommended Reading

The following informational posts will increase your knowledge.

  • Social Media as “Influencer Relations” from Hill & Knowlton

    …social media has long been associated with sites like Facebook, Youtube and Myspace, there’s a danger that corporates tend to view social media as a leisure activity and not an avenue for telling a story or communicating with consumers. … pitching social media engagement as something else, possibly "Network Media", "Peer Media", or "Influencer Relations" might enable PR agencies and other advisors to overcome C-suite resistance. … we’re resisting calling online outreach "social media engagement" and instead think of it as targeted stakeholder engagement. This mental shift helps position the internet as a strong, powerful communications tool, and not just a place to while away hours sending pictures to friends (though, of course, we love the internet’s capacity for that too). 

  • Marc Tyrrell responds to my post on new media with Looking at the new (?) media
  • Chris Albon and David Axe report from the USS Kearsarge (see also Galrahn’s post on same)
  • Pentagon’s Unmanned Spokesdrone Completes First Press Conference Mission

Follow up on American Public Diplomacy Wears Combat Boots

The struggle today is not a struggle against a tactic, but for the minds and wills of groups and individuals around the world. This is not a “battle” to be won or lost, but a continuing struggle to create resistance against threats to America’s national interests and security.

The importance of communicating in the modern environment is critical. It requires informational activities that disregards often quaint notions of state borders, including our own. We lament the ability of a guy in a cave to out-communicate the United States, but the group that was a virtual unknown in 1998 faced little opposition in the information war. We lost that fight as much, possibly more than, Al-Qaeda won it. We are in an era when the value brute force is severely diminished. Increasingly, the pen, or keyboard and camera-phone, is mightier than the gun.

However, like it or not, American public diplomacy still wears combat boots. The military does not like it and neither does the State Department. The Defense Department should not be, as I wrote yesterday, America’s ambassadors to the world. This is especially ironic considering fewer American’s know someone in uniform.

Yesterday I commented on the reality of America’s international engagement. In doing so, I shifted the blame from the Defense Department to the leadership of the State Department as well as on to the Congress. Only recently has the State Department, for example, begun to push to increase the size of the Foreign Service Officer corps. The most visible pressure, however, continues to come not from the State Department, but from the Defense Department.

It should not be a surprise that over the last seven years, the Secretaries of Defense have seemingly fielded more questions about the resurrection of USIA than the Secretaries of State, or the Under Secretaries for Public Diplomacy for that matter.

While “War of Ideas” is not entirely accurate, it is appropriate considering where we are today. The term will die by January 2009, but by then, forward momentum will have been achieved. Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Jim Glassman is playing the right game to influence U.S. policy makers. The unfortunate phrase does not further militarize America’s foreign policy, it simply reflects an existing condition.

Below, without additional comment, are some key quotes from last week’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Defining the Military’s Role Towards Foreign Policy” that reinforces both points.

Continue reading “Follow up on American Public Diplomacy Wears Combat Boots

American Public Diplomacy Wears Combat Boots, it’s wrong but it’s true

Last week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing with the subject Defining the Military’s Role Towards Foreign Policy. The purpose was to explore, in Senator Joseph Biden’s (D-Del) words, “an important trend affecting this country…the expanding role of the military in U.S. foreign policy.” He went to say that “there has been a migration of functions and authorities from U.S. civilian agencies to the Department of Defense.”

Today, American public diplomacy, its international communications with the world, wears combat boots. The Secretaries of Defense have used their podium to communicate not only to the American public but to the world far more effectively than the Secretaries of State since 9/11. At a time when fewer Americans know someone in uniform, it is increasingly the U.S. military that is in the critical “last three feet” of engagement with foreign publics in the most unstable lands. Around the world, images of combat boots and “digicams” (the new “digital camouflage”) lead while cameras don’t seem to find the civilians. Maybe it’s because there are so few there.

Continue reading “American Public Diplomacy Wears Combat Boots, it’s wrong but it’s true

Niche news aggregators and other monitoring tools

A few news aggregators you may be interested in but may not have known about. You know about Google News, but do you know about: 

Not an aggregator, but worth mentioning:

While on the subject of monitoring, you undoubtedly know about Technorati (which seems to arbitrarily ignore blogs linking to MountainRunner), but do you know about:

  • Blog Pulse by Nielsen to explore trends and track conversations
  • Talk Digger self-described as “the best way to find, follow and enter conversations of the Web”.

Talk Digger is interesting, but if you’re reading this blog it is probably not tracking the conversations you’re interested in. BUT, it’s still worth exploring. Maybe if we ALL jump on board, it will become useful in tracking discussions related to participation in the global information environment.

A book for the aspiring architect of USIA 2.0

OverseasInformation “Brookings Report Sees Flaws in U.S. Information Service” was the page 2 headline in the Washington Post on December 13, 1948. The report, Overseas Information Service of the United States Government by Charles Thomson, looked at the information activities during World War II and more importantly, immediately after. It was published shy of eleven months after the Smith-Mundt Act was passed. In reflecting on the “unprecedented instruments of world propaganda” created by the U.S. Government for the war, Thomson notes the “machinery” was not new, but the scale of peacetime engagement was new.

The Declaration of Independence was issued out of a decent respect for the opinion of mankind, as a means of explaining and justifying the historic step then taken. Benjamin Franklin was our first cultural ambassador, and our diplomatic service has traditionally dealt with the problem of representing America fairly to influential persons and groups in other countries.

A change, he notes, is the increased importance of engaging a larger segment of the population instead of the “influential persons” in and near government. In line with this, he suggests the information service should be “closely related to foreign policy and foreign relations.” It is also to be an “instrument of national interest and national strategy, although not confined to short-run operations or effects.”

Thomson explored many of the models currently under discussion today by the many groups looking at creating “USIA 2.0.” The range of possibilities start from a wholly government agency to a public corporation. For each, he explores the shift from one to another from capabilities to capital costs.

He also makes several recommendations to be addressed at the time. These included some of the following amendments to the Smith-Mundt Act:

  • “The authority to disseminate information abroad should be broadened to include the distribution of any information, whether about the United States or not, which furthers the purpose of the act.”
  • “The policies governing release of material used in the information service should be broadened to authorize release to the general public at any time after use. What is safe for foreign audiences to get should be safe for our own people.”
  • The “two Advisory Commissions [one was for information activities and the other for exchanges of persons, these were later combined into the single U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy] should be abolished and replaced by a larger single commission, able to give the Secretary of State comprehensive advice covering the whole problem of how to run information and cultural relations activities in the interest of the country.”
  • Eliminate the emphasis of the U.S. role in the United Nations. “This is the sort of decision which must be left to current considerations. For example, our United States role in Palestine policy is hardly one to be proud of; our information service should not be required to overemphasize vacillation and weaknesses.”

Thomson also recommended a Board of Visitors, a joint subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to be the main liaison point between Congress and an “information program liable to lose domestic perspective in its concentration on foreign objectives.” This Board would analyze on behalf of Congress the reports of the Advisory Commissions and the Secretary of State.

In discussing the U.S. information space, he reminds the reader of the propaganda environment within the U.S. but he is one of the few that reminds us of the Congressional response to these activities: Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. He was fully aware foreign information services (“other propagandas”) were active within our borders. He sought to temper the concerns of many, including those in Congress, that they must “compete with the information activities established in this country, which possesses a press and motion picture industry second to none.”

Many of the questions being asked today are, as I’ve noted before, are similar to those of the past. The only difference today is that over the last several decades we’ve forgotten the importance of engaging people in favor of governments. In the 1940s, the reality of the “war among the people” was acute.

The dust jacket notes the book presents “a detailed history of the operations of the information services of the U.S. Government, the volume is invaluable to librarians, radio specialists, publicists and to every serious student of the subject.” I agree. The cover scan above is from my copy.