Strategic Communication by Any Other Name

by Steven R. Corman There has been some dispute in our little corner of the blogosphere lately about whether strategic communication is a good term for describing the government’s efforts to communicate strategically.  Matt Armstrong commented on this in the course of reviewing the latest plan from the DoD to get their strategic communication house in order.  Craig Hayden brought it up while commenting on the Brownback Bill, which would create a new coordinating authority […] Read more »

Debate Scorecard on Public Diplomacy: Obama 0.5, McCain 0

by Steven R. Corman You would think that any presidential debate on foreign policy would have to spend a lot of time talking about how American policy is perceived and how its perception influences our ability to project power, pursue our strategies, and achieve our goals. You would be wrong. In the entire 90 minute presidential debate last night, that issue only came up once near the end of the debate when, in response to […] Read more »

State Department Digital Debaters = Trolls?

by Steven R. Corman Writing today in Danger Room, David Axe called members of the State Department’s Digital Outreach Team (DOT) “trolls.”  Axe was responding to some statements by Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Jim Glassman’s in a bloggers’ roundtable earlier this week.  Glassman discussed a recent and unusual engagement with an Iranian official by the DOT, which Matt has already written about. I was more than a little surprised to see this […] Read more »

Arab Americans on the Presidential Race

by Steven R. Corman Yesterday the Arab American Institute released the results of a Zogby poll of Arab Americans on the Presidential race.  Here are the overall percentages for the candidates compared to an “all voters” average of three polls I calculated from data on USA Election Polls: Canddiate All Voters AAI Poll Obama 48% 46% McCain 44% 32% Barr 1% 1% Nader 2% 6% Others 5% 16% Support for Obama is pretty similar to […] Read more »

Glassman: America Branding Alive and Well

by Steven R. Corman Earlier today I paticipated in a bloggers’ roundtable with Assistant Undersecretary of State James Glassman.  My question for him was whether the U.S. National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication (NSPDSC) is still in force. I asked this because Glassman has made comments in multiple appearances, like his speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, in which he seemed to de-emphasize the the number one goal of the NSPDSC, selling  […] Read more »

Surveying Surveillance in NYC

by Chase Clow & Z. S. Justus Recently the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed a lawsuit against the New York Police Department (NYPD) over its plan to use 3,000 surveillance cameras to help secure lower Manhattan against terrorist attacks. The NYCLU is chiefly concerned with the data the thousands of closed-circuit cameras captures. They are asking legitimate questions like: How will it be used? How will it be stored? Who will have access […] Read more »

Sen. Lieberman’s Not-So-Straight Talk on Public Diplomacy

by Angela Trethewey and Joe Faina In addition to his prime time speech last week at the Republican National Convention, Senator Lieberman also appeared at a convention panel in place of McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser, Randy Sheunnemann.  In that talk, Lieberman outlined what a McCain administration would mean for foreign policy. Lieberman promised that McCain would provide more support for public diplomacy and USAID than his predecessor.  That would be a useful first step […] Read more »

15 Percent Think U.S. Did 9/11

by Steven R. Corman Worldpublicopinon.org has just released the results of a study of world opinion about who committed the 9/11 attacks.  On average, 46% think AQ did it, 15% think we did it to ourselves, 7% think Israel did it, 7% think someone else did it, and 25% don’t know.  Here is the complete breakdown graph from the study. To be honest I am kind of surprised these numbers are as favorable to the […] Read more »

Al-Qaeda’s talking, but are Americans listening?

by Monika Maslikowski Online PSYOP campaigns are a cheap and easy way for extremists to infiltrate U.S. public discourse about the fight against terrorism. The campaigns attempt to break the political will of U.S. policymakers and persuade the public to doubt the purpose and effectiveness of their government’s policies. Does extremist propaganda have enough breadth and resonance with Western audiences to make them re-think their government’s actions? The extremists must think so, because these efforts […] Read more »