2008 Strategic Communication Achievement Awards

by Steven R. Corman With the end of the year, it’s time for some shout-outs to five individuals who made significant achievements in strategic communication during 2008.  They are (in alphabetical order): Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who had the good sense to put some serious money into social science research through the Minerva project.  Despite a somewhat disappointing five-year allocation that is less than the cost of two Joint Strike Fighters, the Secretary deserves […] Read more »

COMOPS Top Posts of 2008

by Steven R. Corman Below is a list of the top ten posts of 2008 on COMOPS Journal, by page views: Minerva on the Cheap? Did the Bad Guys Scuttle Their Own Forums? Obama Garb Photo Hits AQ Boards Candidates’ PD Positions Miss the Point Cracks in The Base Time to Stop Fooling Ourselves About Salafis Can Facebook Defeat Terrorism? New DSB Report on Strategic Communication al Qaeda’s Talking but Are Americans Listening? A Bad […] Read more »

Bad Public Diplomacy Outcomes in Pakistan

by Steven R. Corman Pakistani public opinion about the U.S. and its war against extremists is a matter of  considerable concern given the tenuous situation in that country.  As we know, the public is quite unhappy about cross-border missile strikes the U.S. has been conducting this year. Even if the U.S. and Pakistani governments have a tacit agreement allowing the missile strikes from unmanned aircraft, this does not make them acceptable to the public at […] Read more »

State Dept. Blogging One Year Later (Part 5): Going Forward

by Steven R. Corman & Ed Palazzolo This is the last in a five part series on the one-year anniversary of the State Department’s Dipnote blog, and an analysis we posted in October 2007 on the blog’s first month of operation.  In this series: Part 1 focused on reviewing Dipnote management and processes. Part 2 looked at what the State Department bloggers were writing about. Part 3 reported an in-depth content analysis of reader comments […] Read more »

DoD Inspector General Questions Public Affairs Activity

by Steven R. Corman Yesterday that the DoD Office of Inspector General released a report with the unparsimonious title “Organizational Structure and Managers’ Internal Control Program for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) and American Forces Information Service” (H/T WaPo). It’s main conclusion has to do with the “Managers’ Internal Control Program established at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) (OASD[PA]) and the American Forces Information Service (AFIS).”  It’s “what […] Read more »

A Bad Year for Dr. Zawahiri

by Monika Maslikowski For Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri’s communication strategy, its been a year full of ups and downs. Individually, the mishaps seem like minor blips in an otherwise burgeoning online presence, but when combined, they could point to Zawahiri’s diminishing abilities as a skilled communicator and principal figure of al-Qaeda’s online media strategy. Earlier this year, Zawahiri held an extensive online Q&A session, soliciting questions from anyone who wanted to ask. It was initially thought […] Read more »

Alliance of Youth Movements Confab Meets Most Goals but Produces Little Buzz

by Steven R. Corman The Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM) Summit took place last week in New York City.  The event was announced during a press conference on November 24 by Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Jim Glassman and Jared Cohen of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. During the conference, Glassman described the summit this way: a conference is being held in New York City at the Columbia University Law School that […] Read more »

New UK Primer on Strategic Communication

by Steven R. Corman The Advanced Research and Assessment Group of the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom has just released a new primer on Strategic Communication.  The executive summary says: This paper attempts to address a perceived gap in UK defence thinking which currently has little documentation, on the emerging and cross governmental art of Strategic Communication. After defining the term this paper attempts to locate its utility within the defence community, considering its […] Read more »

Hillary’s View of Statecraft One Year Ago

by Steven R. Corman With news that the Hillary Clinton pick for Secretary of State is final, I thought it might be useful to summarize what she had to say one year ago in her essay for Foreign Affairs (subscription link).  Of course, these were her priorities as an erstwhile president, and the Secretary of State position has less scope.  Still, at the time people said there wasn’t a lot of daylight between her position […] Read more »