It was December in northern Syria and the temperature was dropping fast. U.S. special operations forces urgently needed to get blankets to their partners. They turned to a small charity run by Jim Hake, a former venture capitalist. Within eight hours, 200 blankets had arrived, paid for by Hake’s NGO, Spirit of America. [...] And Hake argues, if extremists are relying on private donations to launch terrorist attacks, why can’t private citizens in America donate money to help U.S. forces fighting them? “To prevail, we need all elements of national power — private and public,” Hake said.
In the past decade, the United States has accused China of all sorts of aggressive actions in cyberspace against American companies and government agencies. Most often, they involve theft of intellectual properties in high-tech industries. But the revelations by US National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden about pervasive cybersurveillance and spying against both foreigners and American citizens completely knocked the wind out of Washington's diplomatic onslaught.
The Pentagon dismissed an attack on its social media sites Monday as “cybervandalism,” hitting back at an aggressive effort by supporters of the Islamic State to wrest control of Twitter and YouTube accounts belonging to U.S. Central Command.
News reports say Sen. John Kerry (D) will be tapped for State while former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a moderate Republican, may be headed for the Pentagon. If so, this would suggest a return to Mr. Obama’s attempts early in his first presidency to engage America’s adversaries abroad rather than isolate or harm them.
As our attentions are increasingly focused on the Middle East, deficit reduction, spending and job creation…one issue that receives little attention but is inextricably linked to each of these critical issues is the mass privatization of American power. We are exploring this theme in my Corporate Diplomacy II course this spring, the inspiration of which came from the work of international relations scholar Allison Stanger, Director of the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs at Middlebury.
The necessity to fight a ‘war of ideas’ against extremism and to ‘win hearts and minds’ has led to an increasing need for the Pentagon to be involved in supporting public diplomacy efforts.