Welcome, Undersecretary Stengel

Rick Stengel was recently sworn in as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and sat down with CNN to discuss public diplomacy and his new role. He offered several interesting remarks, especially in light of Stengel’s previous experience as a journalist in Russia and recent events in there and in Ukraine.

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NATO Admiral Says the Future of Global Security is Strategic Communication

by Scott W. Ruston The title of this post is my interpretation of what ADM James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander of United States European Command (USEUCOM), says in a new TED Talk. To be fair, what he actually says is that strategic communication should be the means by which the partnerships of an open source security strategy will be knitted together. I’ve been admirer of ADM Stavridis for a long […] Read more »

Critics Fret About Smith-Mundt Modernization Act

by Steven R. Corman The House of Representatives has been working to amend the laws that govern the dissemination of “propaganda” materials in the U.S.  What seemed like a good idea to me and others–one long overdue–is being spun by some observers as a dark effort by the DoD and State Department who want authorization to brainwash Americans. Last night Buzzfeed posted an article claiming that the changes were being quietly inserted into a defense […] Read more »

Strategic Ambiguity, Communication, and Public Diplomacy in an Uncertain World: Principles and Practices

by Bud Goodall, Angela Trethewey, & Kelly McDonald There is widespread recognition that the U. S. public diplomacy efforts worldwide have failed. In response to this image crisis, the Pentagon, State Department, and other agencies of the federal government are currently seeking new models for message strategy, coordination, and alignment. There are two major reasons for failures of communication in public diplomacy: (1) reliance on an outdated one-way model of influence, and (2) an inability […] Read more »