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  WorldPublicOpinion.org.  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 »

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 »

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 »

Three Unasked Questions for Glassman

by Steven R. Corman As Matt over at MountainRunner noted, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Jim Glassman’s recent PR offensive included a roundtable conference call with bloggers earlier this week. What a difference and appointee makes. I haven’t actually counted appearances, but I’ll bet has has allready outdone his predecessors (maybe even both of them, combined) in terms of Op-Ed pieces, speeches, appearances, and so on.  And he wins hands-down on the blogger […] Read more »

Narrowing the Listen-Do Gap in U.S. Public Diplomacy

by Steven R. Corman On Monday, recently sworn-in Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Jim Glassman published an op-ed piece in the International Herald Tribune.  Entitled “The Animosity Does Not Run Deep,” it interprets the latest Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Survey. In a nutshell, he says that the survey is not all bad news.  Some metrics are not as bad as on the last survey, and the dislike is not uniform.  In general […] Read more »