• Defense Department,  Psychological Struggle

    Admiral Mike Mullen on Military Strategy at Kansas State University, March 2010

    Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered a speech at Kansas State University as part of the Landon Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Some highlights are at the top, full text, including Q&A, is below the fold. U.S. foreign policy is still too dominated by the military. Secretaries Clinton and Gates have called for more funding and more emphasis on our soft power, and I could not agree with them more.  Should we choose to exert American influence solely through our troops, we should expect to see that influence diminish in time.  In fact, I would argue that in the future struggles of the…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Making Radio Free Asia Permanent

    In another sign that we need a strategic review of our public diplomacy – the White House / NSC Section 1055 report required by Congress provided a framework not a strategy – an element of America’s global engagement continues to exist on appropriations and not a permanent authorization. The situation was similar over sixty years ago when the State Department went to Congress to make VOA and other outreach methods and mediums permanent rather than, as was the case for a period, operating only on appropriations in the absence of Congressional authorization. As the most visibly active member of Congress on the issue of public diplomacy, Senate of House (there…

  • Media,  Public Diplomacy

    Interagency failure: DHS detains VOA reporter for 10 days

    This beyond-boneheaded decision undermines not only our ability to engage in the struggle for minds and wills played out primarily in AM and FM in Afghanistan and Pakistan – the “market” Bunairee used to work and had to physically escape from – it also sends a message to other reporters currently and potentially working for America.

  • Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy,  Smith-Mundt

    American Public Diplomacy Wears Combat Boots: the Pentagon’s $300 million to “engage and inspire”

    Our national security, which includes our economic security, depends on the ability to effectively counter misinformation, create understanding of our policies, and develop partnerships. We are nearly a decade into the Second Great War of Ideas and the Pentagon remains the America's unwitting public diplomat engaging the world's audiences. American public diplomacy will continue to wear combat boots until the top leadership at the Department of State realizes that it must fully and aggressively commit to engaging and challenging non-state actors from individuals to armed groups.