• Public Diplomacy,  Smith-Mundt

    Pentagon “roadmap” calls for “boundaries”…

    Heads up on a report just acquired by FOIA by National Security Archive: Information Operations Roadmap. The National Security Archive headline describes it thus: A secret Pentagon "roadmap" on war propaganda, personally approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in October 2003, calls for "boundaries" between information operations abroad and the news media at home, but provides for no such limits and claims that as long as the American public is not "targeted," any leakage of PSYOP to the American public does not matter. Obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and posted on the Web today, the 74-page "Information Operations…

  • Civil-Military Relations,  Private Military Companies

    L. Paul Bremer joins the band wagon: We needed more troops

    The WashingtonPost has a story on L. Paul Bremer's new book and how his request for more troops was denied (either explicitly or implicitly). According to the article (I have ordered but not read the book yet), "Bremer recounted how Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then the top U.S. commander in Iraq, reinforced this view, telling Bremer that with two more divisions, Baghdad could be controlled."

  • Public Diplomacy

    DOD as our public diplomat in Pakistan

    The headline Schoomaker champions Pakistan relief mission is just further emphasis of the empty promises of the Karen Hughes public diplomacy and the emphasis by the military on public outreach (see US Military rates PD higher the USG). True, the military is a branch of the USG (US Government), but the paltry sum the USG itself dedicated to cultural diplomacy compared to sustained efforts and funding by the military, instead of USAID or other services / functions / paths, is not to lauded. The fact the military is the outreach is great, but is the military liason w/ the civilian sector going to build the long-term relations we want? Is…

  • Africa,  China,  Peacekeeping,  Public Diplomacy

    Chinese Public Diplomacy via UN Peacekeeping

    The Chinese state media has highlighted an interesting point as part of their growing public diplomacy campaign to win the hearts and minds of the world, and not least of the impovrished and non-G8 that have important resources China needs. In the last six months, China has had generally 1,000 troops or police on United Nations peacekeeping missions. A Chinese scholar said Tuesday that China has sent out more than 3,000 troops and policemen to United Nations peacekeeping missions since the late 1980s, reflecting its firm support of the UN’s role in maintaining world peace and security.  "China has contributed the largest number of troops to UN peacekeeping operations among…

  • Private Military Companies,  Public Diplomacy

    Public Diplomacy by Proxy

    The Los Angeles Times story on Private Security "Guards" (companies) in Iraq largely stems from the recent AEGIS "trophy video", but is largely an emotional reaction to larger and deeper issues that is barely touches on. Perhaps that is the limitation of the mainstream media, especially for an above the fold story like this one, but is the door into the larger debate over appropriateness and inappropriateness of private military forces. A recent public opinion poll shows an increasing concern that Washington is too quick to use a military response, including private security companies that augment "real" military force, to foreign policy challenges in lieu of soft power alternatives. Falling…