• Africa,  Now Media,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy,  Smith-Mundt,  Social Media

    Al-Shabaab receiving support from U.S. citizens and others in the U.S.

    In a press conference today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department unsealed four separate indictments charging 14 individuals in Minnesota, California, and Alabama with terrorism violations, including providing money, personnel, and services to the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. An indictment in Minnesota charged 10 men for leaving the U.S. to join al-Shabaab, an organization with ties to al-Qaeda, as foreign fighters. In Minnesota alone, 19 have been charged with material support of al-Shabaab. Two women, naturalized U.S. citizens and residents of Minnesota, were charged with raising money to support al-Shabaab through door-to-door solicitations and teleconferences in the Somali communities in Minneapolis, Rochester, and elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada.…

  • Defense Department,  Public Diplomacy,  Smith-Mundt,  Social Media,  State Department

    The 2009 Smith-Mundt Symposium: a Discourse on America’s Discourse

    The 2009 Smith-Mundt Symposium brought together public diplomacy and strategic communication practitioners from the State Department, the Defense Department, the Agency for International Development, and other governmental and non-governmental groups, including academia, media, and Congress for a first of its kind discussion. The goal to have a frank and open discussion on the foundation and structure America’s global engagement was achieved. Held on January 13, 2009, just one week before the Obama Administration came into office and just short of the Smith-Mundt Act’s sixty‐first anniversary, this one‐day event fueled an emerging discourse inside and outside of Government on the purpose and structure of public diplomacy. The symposium was convened and…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Public Meeting of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy

    The US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy will hold a public meeting on July 20, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the conference room of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) located at 1850 K Street, NW., Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20006. The Commissioners will discuss public diplomacy issues, including measurement of U.S. government public diplomacy efforts. The Advisory Commission was originally established under Section 604 of the United States Information and Exchange Act of 1948, as amended (22 U.S.C. 1469) and Section 8 of Reorganization Plan Numbered 2 of 1977. It was reauthorized pursuant to Public Law 11-70 (2009), 22 U.S.C. 6553. The public may attend…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Declaring Independence: an act of public diplomacy

    As we Americans celebrate the act of diplomacy in public toward European political, economic, and social leaders, we should recall the passages that were critical to the Founders and not the selected text we remember we tend to recall today. Reread the text below as it was intended: a declaration of reason, purpose, a call for support, and ultimately an act of public diplomacy.

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Other,  Psychological Struggle

    USA Wins! and other news

    USA just won its group in the World Cup! Despite more bad referring! USA advances to the next round to play a team to be determined later this morning. Matt Ygelsias unbelievably jokes this is a result of the “failure of Obama public diplomacy” soon before Twitter’s fail whale appears. Right, and England advances from Group C as well. In other news: General McChrystal and his staff ironically fail to grasp true and full nature of the information war they are in as they roll their stones into new careers (excluding the oft-repeated highlights, the Rolling Stone article isn’t bad). Psychological Operations gets a necessary name change to Military Information…

  • Defense Department,  Public Diplomacy,  State Department,  White House/NSC

    National Security Strategy punts on strategic communication and public diplomacy

    Last month, President Obama released his first National Security Strategy. It is a substantial departure from President George W. Bush’s narrowly focused 2002 strategy that imagined “every tool in our arsenal” as only “military power, better homeland defenses, law enforcement, intelligence, and vigorous efforts to cut off terrorist financing.” In contrast, President Obama’s new National Security Strategy acknowledges that countering violent extremism is “only one element of our strategic environment and cannot define America’s engagement with the world.”

  • Public Diplomacy

    The need for a national strategy for Communication and Engagement

    It is clear from the general discourse surrounding the terms public diplomacy, strategic communication (and a recommended alternative “Signaling Integration” to be announced), and global engagement that each of these terms face their own inadequacies. None of them can be used to capture the essential elements required to convey the value, importance, and imperative of addressing the failings at the strategic down to the tactical levels, overcoming the institutional friction to adapt to modern requirements that may be simultaneously local, regional, and global. As each of the aforementioned terms are tainted in some way or another, I recommend a new label that is comprehensive, simple, and flexible.

  • Defense Department,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy

    Defense Department releases its Section 1055 report on strategic communication

    According to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009, the Defense Department was required to provide a report on the organizational structure within the Department of Defense for advising the Secretary on the direction and priorities for strategic communication activities, including an assessment of the option of establishing a board, composed of representatives from among the organizations within the Department responsible for strategic communications, public diplomacy, and public affairs, and including advisory members from the broader interagency community as appropriate, for purposes of (1) providing strategic direction for Department of Defense efforts related to strategic communications and public diplomacy; and (2) setting priorities for the Department of Defense…