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File Notes on Information, Communication, and Public Diplomacy (#96

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File Notes on Information, Communication, and Public Diplomacy (#96

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 02:08 PM PDT

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File Notes on Information, Communication, and Public Diplomacy (#96)

Donald Bishop


4:06 PM (23 minutes ago)


File Notes on Information, Communication, and Public Diplomacy (#96)

October 8, 2018, Seen on the Web 4527-4634

When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maxim, that a “drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great highroad to his reason, and which, when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause really be a just one. On the contrary, assume to dictate to his judgment, or to command his action, or to mark him as one to be shunned and despised, and he will retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart; and though your cause be naked truth itself . . . you shall be no more be able to pierce him, than to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw.

Abraham Lincoln

February 22, 1842


This is a compilation of news, articles, essays, and reports on strategic communications, Public Diplomacy, public affairs, U.S. and foreign government international broadcasting, and information operations.  The editorial intent is to:

● share with busy practitioners the academic and policy ferment in Public Diplomacy and related fields

● from long speeches, testimonies, and articles, flag the portions that bear on Public Diplomacy

● provide a window on armed forces thinking on the fields that neighbor Public Diplomacy such as military public affairs, information operations, inform-influence-engage, and cultural learning, and

● introduce the long history of Public Diplomacy by citing some of the older books, articles, reports, and documents that are not available on the internet.

Public Diplomacy professionals always need a 360-degree view of how ideas are expressed, flow, and gain influence.  Many points of view citied here are contentious, partisan, and/or biased; inclusion does not imply endorsement.

Table of Contents

In the News








8.  “COLD WAR 2.0”

Instruments of Informational Power






Professional Topics



16.  CYBER














Countries, Regions




33.  CHINA




The Public Diplomacy Toolkit





In the News


● We must prevent terrorists from exploiting new technologies in today’s dynamic information environment, and we must counter terrorists’ ability to recruit and radicalize online and through other means. * * * To defeat radical Islamist terrorism, we must also speak out forcefully against a hateful ideology that provides the breeding ground for violence and terrorism. We will expose the destructive, totalitarian nature of the ideology that fuels violent radical Islamist movements, such as ISIS and al-Qa’ida. We will reveal the way violent radical Islamist terrorists have killed, exploited, and betrayed Muslim communities, including women and children. Through our efforts, we will thwart terrorists’ ability to exploit the Internet for directing, enabling, or inspiring attacks.

National Strategy for Counterterrorism of the United States of America

The White House, October 201

● China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections. * * * Our intelligence community says that “China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy. It’s using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing’s political influence.”  In June, Beijing itself circulated a sensitive document, entitled “Propaganda and Censorship Notice.” It laid out its strategy. It stated that China must, in their words, “strike accurately and carefully, splitting apart different domestic groups” in the United States of America.  To that end, Beijing has mobilized covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans’ perception of Chinese policy. As a senior career member of our intelligence community told me just this week, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country. And the American people deserve to know it.

Remarks by Vice President Pence on the Administration’s Policy Toward China

Mike Pence, The White House, October 4, 2018


● We are engaged in a long-term strategic competition with China and Russia. These States have expanded that competition to include persistent campaigns in and through cyberspace that pose long-term strategic risk to the Nation as well as to our allies and partners.  China is eroding U.S. military overmatch and the Nation’s economic vitality by persistently exfiltrating sensitive information from U.S. public and private sector institutions. Russia has used cyber-enabled information operations to influence our population and challenge our democratic processes.  Other actors, such as North Korea and Iran, have similarly employed malicious cyber activities to harm U.S. citizens and threaten U.S. interests. Globally, the scope and pace of malicious cyber activity continue to rise. The United States’ growing dependence on the cyberspace domain for nearly every essential civilian and military function makes this an urgent and unacceptable risk to the Nation.

Summary:  Department of Defense Cyber Strategy 2018

Department of Defense, September, 2018

● “General, do you think if I’m a model prisoner” — you know what’s coming, don’t you? — “could I someday immigrate to America?” * * * Think about that, that the hatred he felt was so much that he would go out and try to put a bomb in the road to kill us, but the example of America was so strong that if he could be sitting where you are today or have his son and daughter in that audience, he’d have given his eyes or teeth. * * * And I was reminded, America’s got two fundamental powers. There’s the power of intimidation * * * But there’s also the power of inspiration. And the power of inspiration could reach halfway around the world to the Euphrates River Valley and affect someone, no matter how blinded they were at that moment by a hatred.  I want you all to remember that because when you’re out there, you’re also going to be a part of the power of inspiration. And you surrender that high ground — that ethical high ground, that moral high ground, the historic legacy that we carry with us — at our nation’s peril.

SECDEF Mattis’ Speech to Cadets at Virginia Military Institute

U.S. Naval Institute, September 26, 2018


● “The Chinese government uses all of the capabilities at their disposal to influence U.S. policies, spread propaganda, manipulate the media and pressure individuals, including students, critical of Chinese policies,” Coats said before a packed audience in The Citadel’s Holliday Alumni Center. “China has also targeted state and local governments critical of officials. It is trying to exploit divisions between the federal and local levels on policy and uses investments and other strategies to expand its influence.”

Intel chief Dan Coats warns of China’s ‘potent’ cyber threat during Citadel event

Paul Bowers, Post and Courier, September 25, 2018


● Today, the UK and its allies can expose a campaign by the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, of indiscriminate and reckless cyber attacks targeting political institutions, businesses, media and sport.  The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has identified that a number of cyber actors widely known to have been conducting cyber attacks around the world are, in fact, the GRU.

UK exposes Russian cyber attacks

Press Release,, October 4, 2018



Genmaj. O. Eichelscheim, Defence Intelligence and Security Service, October 4, 2018


● The hard piece of data which I [Ben Nimmo] have is that at the end of July Facebook took down thirty-one pages and accounts which they found to be inauthentic. These were all masquerading as progressive groups in the United States organizing anti-Trump activity or posting anti-Trump content. Facebook has not attributed that definitively to the Internet Research Agency [a Russian troll farm engaged in online influence operations], but Facebook shared with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab some of the account handles before they took them offline. We have analyzed those accounts and all the evidence points to the fact that these were run by the Russian troll farm.

Western Nations Go On the Offensive Against Russian Cyberattacks

Ashish Kumar Sen, The Atlantic Council, October 4, 2018

● How did misinformation spread during the 2016 presidential election and has anything changed since? A new study of more than 10 million tweets from 700,000 Twitter accounts that linked to more than 600 misinformation and conspiracy news outlets answers this question.  The report reveals a concentrated “fake news” ecosystem, linking more than 6.6 million tweets to fake news and conspiracy news publishers in the month before the 2016 election. The problem persisted in the aftermath of the election with 4 million tweets to fake and conspiracy news publishers found from mid-March to mid-April 2017. A large majority of these accounts are still active today.  [Report]

Seven ways misinformation spread during the 2016 election

The Knight Foundation, October 4, 2018

● A prominent Russian-linked hacking group that carried out a series of high-profile cyberattacks during the 2016 election has reverted to more covert intelligence gathering methods, a cybersecurity firm revealed Thursday.  Symantec’s investigations team says that the espionage group known as APT28 or Fancy Bear has opted for more low-key operations the past two years after carrying out the cyberattack against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other high-profile attacks during the 2016 presidential election.

Russian-linked group behind DNC hack now conducting covert intel operations, firm says

Olivia Beavers, TheHill, October 4, 2018

● [Rune] Rafaelsen, the mayor of Kirkenes [in Norway], has become a favorite subject in Sputnik’s information operation, with the agency cherry-picking his quotes to suit its agenda.  His continued support for dialogue with Russia, and rolling back EU sanctions, is just what Sputnik wants to hear. * * * What Sputnik’s writers ignore is that Rafaelsen also praises NATO and welcomes LGBTQ activists from across the border to march in the annual pride parade—a clear snub to the homophobic atmosphere in Russia in recent years.  “They are definitely misusing me to fit their context,” Rafaelsen said.

A New Cold Front in Russia’s Information War

Reid Standish, Foreign Policy, October 3, 2018


● Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said Tuesday that a bipartisan election security bill won’t be passed by Congress ahead of November’s midterm elections.  Lankford told The Hill that the text of the bill, known as the Secure Elections Act, is still being worked out.

Election security bill won’t pass ahead of midterms, says key Republican

Jacqueline Thomsen, TheHill, September 25, 2018

8.  “COLD WAR 2.0”

● Politicians and experts still debate whether the United States and Russia are in a new cold war. Let’s end the suspense. Cold War 2.0 is a reality. * * * The present situation is even more dangerous than during the U.S.-Soviet Cold War. The old safeguards to prevent direct military confrontation and tragic, accidental escalation have long since atrophied. * * * Recently I had a chance to talk to Sergey Rogov . . . academic director of the USA and Canada Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences * * * Mr. Rogov’s suggestion could also lead to broader U.S.-Russia political dialogue on cyber security, prohibition of meddling in other countries elections, resolving regional conflicts and other issues.  Mr. Rogov believes that Moscow is ready to start the dialogue. Will Washington join?

The reality of Cold War 2.0

Edward Lozansky, The Washington Times, April 26, 2018

● This is not a Cold War, this is a cold war.  The difference is we are being attacked in ways we do not recognize . . . . This is not your parents’ Cold War, this is cold war 2.0.  We are currently under attack. The information we see is under attack. The Internet of Things, everything wired into everything, is under attack. We are flooded with disinformation, bad graphics, fake news, and shocking strongly partisan politics.

cold war 2.0, Worst Case Scenario

Joel Harding, To Inform is to Influence, October 5, 2018

● Despite President Trump’s mixed appraisals of the Russian threat, a clear consensus is emerging among foreign policy experts on both sides of the Atlantic: this is a new Cold War, with new dangers.  Why it matters: “We are deep into what you might call Cold War 2.0,” Brookings Institution fellow Strobe Talbott said Wednesday, and this time it’s “far more dangerous.”

Cold War 2.0

Dave Lawler, Axios, April 5, 2018

Instruments of Informational Power


● . . . [Public Diplomacy] PD work much involves leveraging [America’s] knowledge- and culture-exporting institutions to present the United States and its policies to people in other nations and to inform, educate, and advocate.  At the same time, foreign policy and national security practitioners know that these organizations with informational power have their own corporate or institutional goals. Harvard, Hollywood, and the Hoover Institution don’t respond to the U.S. government, the State Department, or military commands.  We all know that the U.S. government can deploy informational power through (1) Public Affairs, (2) Public Diplomacy, (3) the USG international broadcasting networks, and (4) information operations (IO) by military commands.

The Instruments of U.S. Informational Power Need to Work Together

Donald M. Bishop,, September 24, 2018

● Russia and China view efforts to support democracy—especially U.S. efforts—as thinly veiled attempts to expand U.S. influence and undermine their regimes and have consistently sought to counter Western democracy promotion. These efforts are not new, but they are changing in scope and intensity. Since 2014, Russia in particular has been taking the fight to Western democracies. Because Moscow and Beijing gauge their power in relation to the United States, they view weakening Western democracy as a means of enhancing their own standing.

How Russia and China Undermine Democracy

Andrea Kendall-Taylor and David Shullman, Foreign Affairs, October 2, 2018

● Forget bots and trolls. Russia has stepped up its overt public diplomacy— taking a page from President Donald Trump’s Twitter playbook, and also taking comfort or refuge from his repeated refrain, undercutting his own national security team, that the Russia investigation is a “witch hunt.” “Over the past nine months to a year, we’ve seen a much more aggressive overt messaging campaign from Russian outlets, from a lot of embassy accounts and the Foreign Ministry,” said Laura Rosenberger, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Security Democracy, which tracks such interference. She attributed it to Russian President Vladimir Putin being emboldened by Trump’s dismissive attitude toward Russian interference.

Russia Is Running an Actual Contest to Troll the World

Kimberly Dozier, Daily Beast, September 25, 2018

● During my time at the U.S. Embassy in Riga * * * one set of congressional visitors was different from the others. They came periodically, often in the fall, winter or early spring. There were no spouses. * * * Senator John McCain, frequently accompanied by fellow senators Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, and perhaps one or two other like-minded members of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, alternated visits to Riga, Vilnius, and elsewhere, simply to meet with and listen to dissidents from Belarus and other countries around the periphery of Russia.

Living Public Diplomacy – Remembering John McCain

Brian Carlson, Public Diplomacy Council Blog, August 29, 2018


● During the Cold War, the U.S. Information Agency coordinated public diplomacy and strategic communications on behalf of the U.S. government. For four decades, the agency grappled with how to adopt emerging technologies—from shortwave radio to satellite television and the internet—into efforts to advance U.S. policy by engaging with foreign publics. The agency’s most celebrated director, journalist Edward R. Murrow, cautioned his staff against fixating on new media platforms and to focus instead on tailoring messages for specific audiences around the world. Carrying the message the “last three feet” often required U.S. Information Agency employees to personally engage in conversation with inquisitive visitors to U.S. embassies, consulates, or one of more than a hundred libraries operated overseas by the agency. Through one-on-one dialogue, many foreigners began to discern the differences between the empty promises of communist utopia and the real potential for progress offered in the American model.

“The Last Three Feet,” Reinvesting in Tactical Information Operations

Lt. Col. Gregory M. Tomlin, Military Review Online Exclusive, August 2018

● To accomplish these objectives, NSDD-75 argued that the United States needed to use a broad panoply of military, economic, political, and other instruments—including ideological ones: “U.S. policy must have an ideological thrust which clearly affirms the superiority of U.S. and Western values of individual dignity and freedom, a free press, free trade unions, free enterprise, and political democracy over the repressive features of Soviet Communism.”

Going on the Offensive:  A U.S. Strategy to Combat Russian Information Warfare

Seth G. Jones, Center for Strategic and International Studies Brief, October, 2018

● Today, there are calls to recreate USIA, most of which are ill-informed on what USIA was and was not, and none consider substantial organization questions. * * * First, we need the president and the cabinet to accept the necessity of coordination and collaboration on policies, particularly as it relates to the information environment. Eisenhower’s statement “Everything we say and do, and everything we fail to say and do, will have an impact in other lands” was valid then and more so today. Second, there are political risks when the president installs a political actor as the central head of information.

1957: Eisenhower, Dulles and merging USIA back into State, or Not

Matt Armstrong,, September 27, 2018


● Effective immediately, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent U.S. government agency that employs thousands of talented journalists, storytellers, and media professionals, is now the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM).

U.S. Government Media Agency Rebrands:

Statement from CEO John F. Lansing

PRNewswire, August 22, 2019

● Nineteen years after its creation, the Broadcasting Board of Governors last week announced its new name: The U.S. Agency for Global Media.  The reason, according to CEO and Director John Lansing in an Aug. 23 statement, is that the agency in 2018 is a “modern media organization, operating far beyond the traditional broadcast mediums of television and radio to include digital and mobile platforms. The term ‘broadcasting’ does not accurately describe what we do,” he said.

Meet the New U.S. Agency for Global Media

Charles S. Clark, Government Executive, August 29, 2019

● . . . the Chinese Communist Party is also spending billions of dollars on propaganda outlets in the United States and, frankly, around the world.  China Radio International now broadcasts Beijing-friendly programs on over 30 U.S. outlets, many in major American cities. The China Global Television Network reaches more than 75 million Americans, and it gets its marching orders directly from its Communist Party masters. As China’s top leader put it during a visit to the network’s headquarters, and I quote, “The media run by the Party and the government are propaganda fronts and must have the Party as their surname.”  It’s for those reasons and that reality that, last month, the Department of Justice ordered that network to register as a foreign agent.

Remarks by Vice President Pence on the Administration’s Policy Toward China

Mike Pence, The White House, October 4, 2018

● There were two possible models for a station like CGTN [China Global Television Network], flush with the cash of an autocratic state that wanted a global voice: Al Jazeera and Russia Today. Qatar’s Al Jazeera offered the ideal of being a serious news station that presented an alternative perspective on the world. Russia Today, now known as RT, was in contrast a genuinely effective and disruptive propaganda outlet that spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt to Moscow’s advantage.  In 2009, it was Al Jazeera that was usually held up internally as the example CGTN should be working toward, yet by 2016 the standard was very clearly RT. That came about because of China’s firmly nationalistic, censorious, and anti-Western swing under Xi, beginning from late 2012. * * * But neither of these models can work for CGTN.

China’s Global Propaganda Is Aimed at Bosses, Not Foreigners

[Message clipped]  View entire messag

Diplomacy for collaborative climate action

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 01:27 PM PDT

Munir Ahmed,

Promoting cycling is a good idea to reduce carbon footprint, but the question is: do we have cycling tracks alongside of the roads in any city in Pakistan? Even, we don’t have in the model city of Islamabad.


In 2016, the Council of the European Union defined three strands that climate diplomacy has to build upon after COP21. The first one is to continue advocating climate change as a strategic priority in diplomatic dialogues, public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and external policy instruments. Secondly, supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement in the context of low-emission and climate resilient development; and thirdly to increase efforts to address the nexus between climate, natural resources, prosperity, stability and migration. …

Don’t we all love Facebook?

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 01:28 PM PDT

Someone reported you for impersonation




Oct 3, 2018, 8:52 AM (4 days ago)

Hi John, Hi, It looks the account with name John Brown has been disabled for pretending to be someone else, which goes against our Community Standards. To learn

John Brown <>

6:30 PM (3 minutes ago)

to case++aazq5nfn5d56ry

Why am I not getting a Facebook reply from whomever you may be? I have sent two emails to you/your colleague with images of two of my IDs, as requested. Maybe “you,” not I, are an impersonator … Best, Dr. John H. Brown, former Senior Foreign Service officer who served our country (I hope it’s yours as well) in the field of public diplomacy as best he could for over 20 years, mostly in “hardship posts.”

FYI (not part of this email to Facebook): Having had the privilege of serving in Moscow (99-02) as the Cultural Affairs officer at the US Embassy, I had the pleasure of meeting the “best and the brightest” of Russian society. Until now, Facebook has been a way to share — keep up with — mutual interests with these distinguished people. But it appears such interaction is currently verboten to me, evidently because of John Brown’s body “impersonation” issues on Facebook.