• Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy

    Reforming U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century

    Required reading for today: Heritage’s latest titled Reforming U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century by Tony Blankley, Helle C. Dale and Oliver Horn. (also required: President-elect Obama, we need a new kind of public diplomacy by Heritage’s Kim Holmes.) Margaret Thatcher once said that America is the only nation in the world "built upon an idea." This idea–liberty–has transcended geography and ethnicity to shape American identity and to inspire political discourse, both domestic and foreign, since the nation’s founding nearly two and a half centuries ago. Indeed, John Adams wrote that the American Revolution occurred first "in the hearts and minds of the people." Ideas lie at the very…

  • Events,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy

    Can Facebook defeat terrorism?

    Facebook, Google, YouTube, MTV, Howcast, Columbia Law School, the U.S. Department of State and Access 360 Media are bringing leaders of 17 pioneering organizations from 15 countries together with technology experts next month in New York for the first-ever conclave to empower youth against violence and oppression through the use of the latest online tools.

  • Media,  Public Affairs

    You must be agile to be effective in the global information environment

    The presidential campaign was a close-to-home example of how speed is essential to modern campaigns of informing and persuading. You must be quick and adept in your response lest your adversary beat you with an effective blow, truthful or not. Truth may be the greatest ally in any struggle for minds and wills from presidential politics to countering Al-Qaeda propaganda in Iraq. But truth is useless if you can’t get the word out. A barrier to getting the word out includes not having “public affairs authority” to release a statement, or video to counter, or even preempt, adversarial narratives of all sorts of engagements. Only when the media, or the…

  • Public Affairs

    Briefing 2.0 – Answers

    Ask questions and you get answers. Assistant Secretary of State Sean McCormack announced a new program to engage the American public in fulfillment of the his mandate “to help Americans understand the importance of foreign affairs.” Sean took a different route – a hybrid route – than his boss and the Department of Defense, both of whom bypassed the Fourth Estate and went after the proto-/pseudo-/pamphleteering media of the Fifth Estate with their own Blogger Roundtables where the discussion was propagated by the bloggers. Instead, Sean used new media – YouTube, Facebook, and State’s own blog DipNote – to field questions from the general public and respond directly within the…

  • Media,  Public Affairs

    FCC to Probe “Hidden Hand” Analysts

    The Federal Communications Commission is looking into whether the Pentagon's program to use and leverage retired officers as "message force multipliers." David Barstow broke the story in The New York Times earlier this year. Today, the Congressional Quarterly's John M. Donnelly reports the FCC launched a probe to "address congressional questions about a Pentagon program viewed by some lawmakers as propaganda."

  • Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy

    Principles of Strategic Communication (Updated)

    This is Part I of two posts on describing “Strategic Communication.” Part II is here. In the coming months, reports and Congressional legislation will attempt to change how the United States communicates with the world. Called “public diplomacy” or “Strategic Communication,” the importance of this type engagement has finally come to the forefront of our national security debate, at least for those taking a serious look at the present and future. Irregular conflict, the present and future reality of war, is based not on our ability to “kill our way to victory” but to operate in a local and global information environment. When there are no capitals to take or…

  • Psychological Struggle

    Boyd and Information Operations

    More than 35 Airmen and civilians from installations worldwide converged at Maxwell Air Force Base’s Curtis LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education Aug. 11 through 15 to learn how the OODA Loop and other key concepts apply in information operations.