• China,  Cultural Diplomacy,  Public Diplomacy,  State Department

    Shanghai’d, or the USA Pavilion as a corporate theme park

    Below is an excerpt from a must-read post at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy by Cynthia Schneider and Hailey Woldt on America’s “contribution” to the World Expo now underway in China. Let’s begin with the positive: the United States is present at the World Expo in Shanghai. The Secretary of State deserves praise for making this possible, by launching an eleventh hour fundraising drive, after the previous administration had done virtually nothing (besides rejecting a proposal that included Frank Gehry as architect). The Chinese cared enough about the U.S. presence to have contributed both public and private funds to guarantee that the U.S. showed up for Expo Shanghai 2010.…

  • Book Reviews,  Bruce Gregory's List,  Public Diplomacy

    Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #51 (Courtesy of Bruce Gregory)

    Courtesy of Bruce Gregory, Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University. Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest. Suggestions for future updates are welcome. Bruce Gregory Adjunct Professor George Washington University/Georgetown University

  • 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.”

  • Now Media,  Social Media

    The evolving role of now media in Thailand

    For a little over two months, Thailand’s brewing political conflict surfaced the streets of Bangkok, leading “red shirt” and “yellow shirt” protestors to violently battle their political differences. The riots killed nearly 90 and wounded nearly 1,800 people, disrupting the lives of tourists and locals, including Thai Facebook users. On May 24, 2010, The Christian Science Monitor published an article titled “Thailand’s red shirts and yellow shirts battle it out on Facebook“. The author, Simon Montlake, explains how Thai protestors took advantage of Facebook to fuel hate speech, peer pressure, intolerance, and zealous debate. Ironically, Thais are generally known as polite people who try to avoid confrontation. Regardless, the cultural…

  • Peacekeeping,  Public Diplomacy

    Tom Barnett on the next generation of UN peacekeeping

    A subtle evolution of United Nations peacekeeping operations is underway. If the first of these missions kept an agreed-upon peace, and later missions sought to make peace, several countries now use these operations to advance their foreign and economic policy agendas, and raise their global profile. This shift, selective as it is to date, may potentially raise the standard of conduct in U.N. peacekeeping operations increasingly fraught with charges of criminal behavior, corruption, lack of accountability, and general ineffectiveness. However, there are significant downsides to this approach.

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Update on the confirmation of US Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The US Broadcasting Board of Governors continues to operate with a minimum of members, just enough for a quorum. The Board currently has four members, no chair, each of which continues several years (from over 3 to nearly 6) past their terms expired. Since March 23, 2010, the six of the replacement slate of eight members have been queued up for confirmation. Two of members, Dana Perino and Michael Meehan, were in a holding pattern pending more questions and answers from Senators. Last week, it appeared the nominees would be confirmed before the Senate recessed for Memorial Day. Alan Heil, noted expert on US government broadcasting explains the current situation:…

  • Congress,  Government Broadcasting

    Movement on the BBG? (Updated)

    No, not yet. The Senate has adjourned until June 7. Questions from Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to at least one of nominees to the Broadcasting Board of Governors is available from the Huffington Post (scroll down to COBURN’S QUESTIONNAIRE FOR DANA PERINO), or click here for the Word document with the questions. Meanwhile, the head of the Persian News Network was “reassigned” and his deputy was fired. See also: All eight BBG nominees are now committee approved, await Senate floor vote by Kim Andrew Elliott, 26 May 2010.  VOA Persian tilts in favor of Tehran? (updated) by Kim Andrew Elliott, 15 February 2010. Voice of the Mullahs? Not quite. from…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Public Diplomacy,  State Department

    A Tale from the Field about Religion, Culture, and Perception

    By Gregory L. Garland Matt’s blog has become a force to behold in the discussion about strategic communication, public diplomacy, and State/DOD relations. It has shined a light on what largely was a rarified, inside-the-beltway debate symptomatic of the old USIA’s domestic blank spot. What has been lacking are stories from the field outside the U.S. – examples of PD as it actually is conducted by PD professionals. Here’s one from my own experience that in many ways is typical. I’ve run effective PD programs that didn’t cost Uncle Sam anything except my own time. I’ve run next to useless PD programs so flush that I couldn’t spend all the…

  • Psychological Struggle

    South Korea’s psychological warfare on North Korea

    Since May 20, 2010, South Korea has consistently made international headlines by formally accusing North Korea of sinking one of its warships in March, killing 46 South Korean sailors, and announcing major economic decisions to punish the North. Perhaps more interesting is South Korea’s psychological warfare against North Korea.

  • 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…