Strategic Communication and Campaign ’08

by Steven R. Corman Here are a couple of quick items from/regarding the campaign, for your reading enjoyment… Yesterday at a news conference Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Jim Glassman said it would be a “great thing” for the image of the United States if Barack Obama were elected president or if Sarah Palin were elected vice president.   He didn’t say which outcome would “greater,” but this means our image is going to […] Read more »

Strategic Communication vs. Public Diplomacy vs. Dialogue

by Bud Goodall In today’s “Blogger’s Roundtable” with Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, James K. Glassman, Matt Armstrong from MountainRunner asked a really good question about the relationship of strategic communication to public diplomacy.  Under Secretary Glassman provided a detailed and thoughtful response that distinguished public diplomacy, which is aimed at various publics engaging each other, from official diplomacy, which is aimed at officials engaging each other.  He went to say that […] Read more »

State Dept. Blogging One Year Later (Part 2): Themes and categories

By Edward T. Palazzolo and Dawn Gilpin (with analysis support from Nick Brody, Jesse Herrera, Krista McNaughton, and Jordan Wolff) This post builds on the previously summarized meeting between Steve Corman and Angela Trethewey (COMOPS Faculty) and Heath Kern and Luke Forgerson (DipNote’s Editors). We reviewed roughly one year’s worth of DipNote posts and reader comments for a content analysis to identify the principle themes throughout the blog. Below we present some of our findings along […] Read more »

Of Mavericks and Jihadists

by Bud Goodall A recent report in The Huffington Post showed once again how much trouble foreign journalists can have in translating colloquial Americanisms: That problem faced Al Jazeera reporter Abderrahim Foukara when he wrestled with how to describe “maverick.” The world’s most watched Arab network finally decided to define the American colloquialism as “a bird that sings outside the flock.” . . . For Al Jazeera, and foreign-language media throughout the world, the issue of […] Read more »

Got a Question for Sean McCormick? Here’s Your Chance

by Steven R. Corman I guess if it’s good enough for Queen Raina, then it’s good enough for State Department Spokesman Sean McCormick.  He will be taking your questions via YouTube video.  All you have to do is go to the State Deparment YouTube Channel and post your question. According to a video statement by McCormick, this is an effort to take questions from ordinary folks (if people with video cams and internet connections can […] Read more »

Did the Bad Guys Scuttle Their Own Forums?

by Steven R. Corman Today the Washington Post reports that AQ Web Forums were “abruptly” taken down.  Abruptly?  Well not if abruptly means suddenly, as in it just happened.  This story has been circulating in the blogs for months, and it’s more like there have been a few waves of take-downs.  It even blipped-up elsewhere in the MSM one month ago. Will at Jihadica reported on a wave of take downs on June 10th, then […] Read more »

Diplomacy on the Cheap

by Steven R. Corman On Thursday the American Academy of Diplomacy released a new report on the dismal state of funding for U.S. diplomacy and public diplomacy efforts, compiled by a Task Force of 14 former senior foreign service officers.  They reckon that the diplomatic capacity of the United States has been “hollowed out” since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The problem is that we cashed-in the peace dividend, resulting in a “roughly 30% […] Read more »

State Dept. Blogging One Year Later (Part 1): Success Despite Challenges

by Steven R. Corman and Angela Trethewey One year ago, COMOPS Journal ran an analysis of the State Department’s blog Dipnote, which was then a brand new effort. We complimented them for making the foray into Web 2.0, reviewed the content and users’ reactions, and made recommendations for improving the blog. For reasons that aren’t completely clear to us, that is the most widely-read post ever on this blog. Since so many readers seem interested […] Read more »

Don’t Drink the Lemonade

by Monika Maslikowski The Global War on Terror has been accurately described by some as a global counterinsurgency against the groups and individuals that promote the ideology of violent Islamic extremism. Unlike traditional counterinsurgency campaigns, however, there is no single host-nation (HN) in this fight; the enemy is disparate, networked, transnational, and bound together by a destructive and intolerant religious ideology. In recent weeks and months, the difficult issues surrounding this global counterinsurgency have been […] Read more »