US PD Advisory Commission is no more

by Steven R. Corman In an apparent budget cutting move, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy was cut from the recently passed budget, and has ceased to exist. The move eliminates an organization over 60 years old. The Commission was established under the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 as the U.S. Advisory Commission on Information.  It was merged with an educational exchange commission in 1977 to produce the current name […] Read more »

Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #59

by Bruce Gregory Asia Foundation, Afghanistan in 2011: A Survey of the Afghan People, November 15, 2011.  While nearly half (46%) of Afghans say their country is moving in the right direction, more respondents (35%) than at any time since the Foundation began polling there in 2004 say Afghanistan is headed in the wrong direction.  Attacks, violence, and terrorism are cited.  The survey also found, however, that Afghans see progress in access to education, drinking […] Read more »

Examining likelihoods in 2012: autocratic & democratic regime change

Events throughout 2011 have demonstrated that terrorism remains a high priority for nation-states through the world. Regime and nation-state stability have played an influential role, particularity in the Middle East and Africa in affecting global terrorism. In an attempt to … Continue reading Read more »

Contesting New Media: Indonesia vs. the Muslim World League

By Mark Woodward and Inayah Rohmaniyah* Earlier this month (December 13-15) we were privileged to participate in a “The 2nd International Conference on Islamic Media” sponsored by the Saudi sponsored Muslim World League (MWL, Rabita al-Alam al-Islami) and the Indonesian Ministry of Religion in Jakarta Indonesia.  Tension between the co-sponsors was evident in the selection of participants, the themes of formal presentations and in social interaction over the course of the conference. Differing perspectives on […] Read more »

Ridiculing AQ’s Irrelevance in the Arab Spring

by Steven R. Corman A few weeks ago I did a keynote speech at a public meeting of the U.S. Advisory Commission in Public Diplomacy.  Later in the meeting I heard a presentation by Ambassador Richard LeBaron, Coordinator of the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC).  The topic of his talk tied together several topics recently discussed on COMOPS Journal, and accordingly I want to share it with readers. Presumably in response to […] Read more »

Global war on terror blog weekly round-up 9 December

Afghanistan Spencer Ackerman is worried by the proposed outsourcing of U.S security operations on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Counterinsurgency Andrew Exum believes that counterinsurgency will continue to remain important. Egypt The Arabist looks at the dispute between SCAF and the Muslim … Continue reading Read more »

Why Story is Not Narrative

By Jeffry R. Halverson I’ll admit that I slip sometimes in everyday conversation and use the word “story” as a synonym for “narrative.” A lot of people do it. But I should know better. There’s an important difference between the two. For the average conversation the difference doesn’t really matter much. However, when it comes to strategic communication and understanding the role of narrative in messaging strategies, it’s a distinction that has to be made. […] Read more »

From Bad to Worse

You would think that, after ten long and bloody years, there would be little new the Afghan war could offer in terms of brutality. But Tuesday’s twin suicide strikes on Shi’a Muslim processions in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, leaving 58 dead and more than a hundred wounded, marks an unprecedented insurgent assault on civilians. Never before [...] Read more »