Getting Beat in the War of Ideas

by Steven R. Corman A new study of public opinion in Muslim countries was released this week by  The study was conducted between July and September of 2008, using in-home interviews of around 1100 people in each of Egypt, Indonesia, and Pakistan, plus “supplemental polling” of 500-1000 people in each of Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Turkey, and Nigeria. The headline results are that about 75% of those polled think it’s acceptable for al Qaeda […] Read more »

Nothing New in White Oak Recommendations on Public Diplomacy

by Steven R. Corman Yesterday I participated in a bloggers’ roundtable on the just-released White Oak Recommendations on Public Diplomacy.  They were formulated by a large group described as “principal stakeholders” from government, academia, business, the arts, and media.  They spent three days at the Gilman Foundation’s White Oak conference center to arrive at a cross-disciplinary consensus on fundamental recommendations to guide the new Administration and Congress, as they seek to revitalize and adapt public […] Read more »

Three Reasons We Can’t Go Slow on a Public Diplomacy Chief

by Steven R. Corman Earlier this week John Brown posted a blog questioning those of us who have expressed concern about slow movement on filling the position of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department. Maybe this go-slow approach is not such a bad thing, he says. I have great respect for John and his opinions, but in this case I find his position wanting.  If I understand […] Read more »

DoD to Better Coordinate Strategic Communication with State

by Steven R. Corman The new strategic communication leadership at the State Department is still a work in progress.  Nonetheless DoD is making plans for better corrdination with it.  So says the Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review (QRM) released last week. This emphasis is an outgrowth of DoD’s evolving doctrine on Irregular Warfare (IW).  The QRM notes that Irregular warfare emphasizes winning the support of relevant populations, promoting friendly political authority, and eroding adversarial control, […] Read more »

More Bad Signs for Public Diplomacy at State

by Steven R. Corman In an earlier post I commented on what seemed to be a rather unambitious Public Diplomacy agenda outlined by Secretary Hillary Clinton in her confirmation hearings.  At the time I noted that the new administration was just getting started and there was no point getting alarmed.  Since then there have been other worrying signs that Public Diplomacy might not get very high priority under new leadership at the State Department. As […] Read more »