Noteworthy

“An overview of the review team’s mission obtained by The Post says that including other government agencies and other nations in the planning will ‘mitigate the risk of over-militarization of efforts and the development of short-term solutions to long-term problems.’ … Another priority is to take a regional approach to the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including more robust diplomacy with neighbors and a regional economic development effort.” – from a Washington Post article by Ann Scott Tyson on General David Petraeus’s 100-day assessment of strategy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq.

“We also pride ourselves on our ability to move ahead of the sound of guns. If we can move ahead of the sound of guns, and prevent them, we're all better off.” - SOCOM Commander Adm. Eric T. Olson quoted in the Los Angeles Times. SOCOM’s operating mantra of “by, with, and through” the indigenous population is how informational activities must also act.

“The United States’ current counterterrorism strategy lacks any efforts to break the terrorists’ ties to the communities that conceal them and the culture of martyrdom that inspires them.” Malcolm Nance in Foreign Policy (subscription req’d)

“As we've noted before, today's jihadists don't just use the Internet, occasionally.  ‘They don't exist without the Web,’ says Naval Postgraduate School professor John Arquilla. Everything from recruiting to training to propaganda is handled online.” – Noah Shachtman at Wired. Twenty years+ ago is was “media is the oxygen of the terrorist.” Today, New Media and traditional media are the oxygen of the terrorist, the insurgent, the counterinsurgent, and the counterterrorist.

“A project at the University of Sao Paulo aims to overcome one of these hurdles by using the sun to power a self-contained wi-fi access point.” – BBC World Service. This is an ICT4D application that empower and engage poor communities in susceptible regions. See also Picking ICT Targets and ICT to Deny Sanctuary.

“When conducting HA missions, PSYOP is necessary for initiating and coordinating reliable communications among aid workers and with the local populace. … CA operations cannot succeed without winning “the hearts and minds” of the people, and PSYOP cannot succeed without CA support.” – short paper by Myrtle Vacirca-Quinn, M.D. Sternfeld and Luis Carlos Montalván at Small Wars Journal.

“German diplomats, for example, spend a year in a sort of Foreign Service boot camp and are expected to speak fluent French and English before being posted abroad. American diplomats typically get seven weeks—most of it spent learning rules and regulations, not economics or political science or history or even management skills—before they’re thrown into a consular job somewhere overseas.” Andrew Curry writing about the Foreign Service Officer Test in Foreign Policy. See also the report by the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

“This is the imperative to rely far more on traditional diplomacy, public diplomacy and foreign aid delivered through civilian means to begin to repair America’s face and effectively conduct its business abroad.” – Pat Kushlis at WhirldView.

Last note: I have the Paret edition, how about you?