Recommended Reading

Due to travel, there will be no posting until 4 October. If you haven’t already, check out the posts below (additional comments in italics) as well as explore other previous posts through the Archives or through the categories in the bottom left of the page. 

  • Preparing to Lose the Information War? - Is Congress or the media paying attention? Apparently not based on the statements and questions from both Congress and the media that include words like “mystifying” and continue to focus on Taliban kinetic capabilities. Has anybody read Appendix D of McChrystal’s report that declares the need “win the battle of perceptions” through “gaining and maintaining…trust and confidence in [Afghan Government] institutions.” Among the overdue recommendations is the need to “orientate the the message from a struggle for the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Afghan population to one of giving them ‘trust and confidence’.
  • Broadcasting Board of Governors: Empty Seats at the Public Diplomacy Table - neglecting the part-time management of America's international broadcasting. Besides the missing Governors, an arguably more important gap is the since-2005 empty seat of the Presidentially appointed Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB).
  • U.S. envoys hesitate to report bad news by Nicholas Kralev at The Washington Times on the “rampant self-censorship” of “bad news” from the diplomats in the field to DC.
  • The Bad News: America’s good news only Ambassadors by Pat Kushlis at The Whirled View adds details to Nicholas’s article.
  • Hitting Bottom at Foggy Bottom - My article at ForeignPolicy.com on the structural failures at State and the need to fix it rather than let it breakup - or be cannibalized. (Sep 11, 2009) Subsequent to the article was the request by US Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to Secretaries Gates and Clinton to transfer $170m from State, Defense, and USAID over two years to USDA efforts in Afghanistan. USDA should be involved – and has been involved – but at a time that USAID and State’s internal S/CRS – headed by John Herbst – is struggling with leadership, funding, mission, and just inclusion, this request appears a lot more like cannibalism than anything else.
  • Understanding and Engaging 'Now Media' professional development course – a professional development course taught by me examining the convergence of "new media" and "old media" into "now media" with the purpose of educating and empowering the student to be a more effective information actor.
  • Smith-Mundt Symposium Report (PDF, 387kb) – The January 13, 2009, symposium, subtitled “A Discourse to Shape America’s Discourse”, was a frank and open discussion included a diverse group of stakeholders, practitioners, and observers from Congress, the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, and outside of government, many of whom never had a reason to be in the same room with one another before, to discuss public diplomacy, strategic communication, or whatever their particular "tribe" calls information and perception warfare.
  • Guidelines for publishing on Twitter – a policy from the UK very much worth reviewing.