• Government Broadcasting,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy

    Still unarmed in the struggle for minds and wills

    Last month, The New York Times reported on the recruiting successes of Somali-based terrorist group Al Shabab. From Charges Detail Road to Terror for 20 in US by Andrea Elliott: The case represents the largest group of American citizens suspected of joining an extremist movement affiliated with Al Qaeda, senior officials said. Many of the recruits had come to America as young refugees fleeing a brutal civil war, only to settle in a gang-ridden enclave of Minneapolis. … The disclosures are the government’s first public account of a recruitment operation that it says has largely focused on Somali-American men from the Minneapolis area. Those young men included Shirwa Ahmed, 26,…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Media,  Public Diplomacy

    White House nominates a new slate to the Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors oversees the United States Government’s non-military broadcasting. Its function is to provide managerial guidance from talented private sector leaders. The combined audience of the broadcasting it oversees is over 171 million, an increase of 71% over 2003, according to the BBG. Programming is in 60 languages and is provided though online media, satellite, terrestrial and cable television, as well as shortwave, AM, and FM radio. Like most advisory boards, the Governors, including the Chairman, are part-timers. The Board is to have eight members, including the Chairman, plus the Secretary of State as an ex officio member. For over a year, however, the Board barely had…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy

    Guest Post: “Brand America” back on top

    Each year, around 20,000 people in 20 countries are asked to record their perceptions of each country's government and its domestic and foreign policies on human rights, the environment, and international peace and security; of the people of each country, their talents, education, skills and their kindess to strangers; of each country's cultural heritage and popular culture; about the quality and attractiveness of the products and services it produces; of the landscape and climate and tourist appeal of each country; of the economic and educational opportunities each country offers its own population and to immigrants.

  • Admin,  Congress,  Defense Department,  Government Broadcasting,  Psychological Struggle,  State Department

    Recommended Reading

    Due to travel, there will be no posting until 4 October. If you haven’t already, check out the posts below (additional comments in italics) as well as explore other previous posts through the Archives or through the categories in the bottom left of the page.  Preparing to Lose the Information War? – Is Congress or the media paying attention? Apparently not based on the statements and questions from both Congress and the media that include words like “mystifying” and continue to focus on Taliban kinetic capabilities. Has anybody read Appendix D of McChrystal’s report that declares the need “win the battle of perceptions” through “gaining and maintaining…trust and confidence in…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy,  State Department

    Renewing America’s Voices – Ideas for Reform

    From Walter Roberts, Barry Zorthian, and Alan Heil, three men who have more than a half-century of combined experience managing US Government broadcasting in the practice of public diplomacy. On October 1, the Broadcasting Board of Governors will mark the tenth anniversary of its establishment as the sole overseer of U.S. publicly funded overseas broadcasts. We recommend a bipartisan Executive and Legislative Branch commission to review U.S. international broadcasting based on these [eight] principles: 1. Restore and reinvigorate VOA English radio worldwide. … 2. Ensure that all United Nations languages and those judged by the State Department and NSC as critical to national security be broadcast interactively by VOA on…