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Conference looks at public diplomacy, counterpropaganda & political warfare

Seeking to expand the debate on public diplomacy to include other elements of statecraft, the Institute sponsored a conference on “Public Diplomacy, Counterpropaganda and Political Warfare” on February 25.

Three eminent thinkers and practitioners delivered papers in their respective fields: Naval War College Professor Carnes Lord, on public diplomacy; Herbert Romerstein, former chief of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation and Active Measures at the US Information Agency on counterpropaganda; and Boston University Professor Angelo Codevilla, on political warfare.

Discussants included Stephanie Kinney, former deputy chief of the State Department Office on Counterterrorism; Yale Richmond, a thirty-year foreign service veteran and author of books on public diplomacy including Cultural Exchange and the Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain; Max Holland, a contributing editor at The Nation magazine; Charles Krohn, a University of Michigan professor of journalism and noted authority on public affairs; counterinsurgency expert and author David Spencer; and former Voice of America President Robert Reilly.

Guests included former and current senior officials from the Defense Department, State Department, Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, Voice of America, the late US Information Agency, Government Accountability Office, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Council, and other agencies and non-governmental organizations.

The conference was open to students in the current public diplomacy and political warfare class or graduate specialization, and to public diplomacy, counterpropaganda and political warfare professionals. The proceedings will be made available to the public as part of an edited volume on integrated strategic communication.