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A New Public Diplomacy Approach for NATO

Dr. Stefanie Babst, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Strategy, argues that public diplomacy needs to respond to the challenges of the Web 2.0 world:

NATO should be more courageous in using digital tools to directly interact with the public. Why not host a permanent blog on the NATO website? Why not widen the debate about NATO's new Strategic Concept beyond the 'usual suspects' and try to obtain new thinking through, for instance, online discussions with citizens on specific aspects of NATO's future role? Let us hope that when Allies discuss NATO's future strategic course at the forthcoming Summit in Strasbourg and Kehl, they will also take a moment to sign up to a 21st century public diplomacy approach.

Dear readers,

Do you think NATO would benefit from engaging the blogosphere? Do you think bloggers have constructive advice for NATO's specific challenges?

Do you think NATO would manage to identify and then listen to the smart bloggers and their readers and implement the best suggestions? Here I mean citizen bloggers, not the wonks who blog.

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Don S on :

Perhaps blogs would be a good idea, but more important would be a comment section and some interactivity like exists on this blog and Atlantic Community. NATO doesn't have a reputation for spontenaity, and that makes me believe that an 'official' NATO blog might be as boring a thing as one could imagine. They need to take some effort to make it interesting, occasionly provocative, an bring people back to the blog repeatedly.

Pat Patterson on :

Aside from offering a place for the same type of arguments that can be read on a daily basis probably not. Unless of course whoever or whatever group conducts the blog is interested in first a chronology and then the narrative. Otherwise I suspect that it would devolve into a shouting match as representatives of different political views simply fill the air with invective. Maybe an open call for papers to appear on the website that are representative not of the think tanks but of the public at large. Though even then someone's brilliant suggestion or novel approach to a problem often times is something that either NATO has tried and failed or tried and found prohibitive.

Kareena D. on :

I'm a bit skeptical as to the benefits and feasibility of NATO engaging directly through the blogosphere. Unless there would be an active exchange and moderation of discussion (responding to questions, clearing up concerns, etc) on their part, I see no added value, and I doubt that would be even feasible. Forums like these are probably best for this type of discussion. They attract like-minded people from a particular (and important) age group. If anything, NATO's Public Diplomacy should reach out to these type of forums, discuss collaboration, and perhaps create a spot on their site (a 'youth' or 'public' corner) where these forums would be promoted, and where people going to the NATO site could subsequently engage in dialogue.

Don S on :

One thing Dr. Babst is correct about is that NATO one of NATO's biggest problems right now is public support. Some might argue that NATO's biggest problem is lack of support from most of it's membership, but that lack of support (and lack of knowledge) about NATO is based on lack of support and knowledge within the populace of those countries. If NATO is to have any chance of survival as a meaningful treaty public support of it will have to increase dramatically - and not only in continental Europe but also the US, Canada, and the UK. The citizens of these countries have watched continental Europe withdraw funding and support from NATO for 2 decades now, and their own support of NATO is dramatically lowered by the experience. So NATO needs to engage with the citizenry of all it's countries - to gain tangible support (as oppossed to platitudes) from central Europe AND to convince the citizens of the US and Canada not to just give up altogether on a serially failing alliance......

Marie Claude on :

I am expecting some mess in the comments parts, I have been surfing on french defense or army blogs, it often became lefties vs conservatives quarrels, and or trolls fightings ; so it's better if Nato only limits its consultations with polls

YL on :

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Pat Patterson on :

I can see that NATO needs some type of public relations campaign when people seem to think that they are involved in Iraq just as they are in Afghanistan. Which I'm sure the NATO Council and members would find more than surprising. BTW, that huge amount of money spent on propagandizing the unwashed masses is 1% of the US military budget and most of that is spent on recruitment and public service messages, like don't comment without checking the facts or don't comment and drink, in the US. I can certainly agree that many of the former colonies of the West are a shambles but then what has that to do with the US? The last time I checked the Philippines was doing as well as any other Asian country in this recession and the one true overseas possesion of the US, Puerto Rico, has a majority of its citizens desiring to become a state in the Union. When the first US soldiers, not the Texas Rangers who would have gladly murdered every Mexican they could get their hands on, reached the Plaza de la Constitucion in Mexico City they spent weeks trying to find someone that would take back the keys to the city. We have found we make lousy imperialists but we have often been pretty good at wrecking countries and then rebuilding them with the lives of our military and billions of dollars.

YL on :

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Pat Patterson on :

Ok, again what did the original comment have to do with the US? There probably will never be much agreement that colonization of Africa did anything more than build most of the roads, the hospitals, the schools and train the bureaucracy. The Africans have done a spectacularly good job of destroying their own countries without much help from the West. Now you must be kidding about Congress supporting Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch for two simple reasons, the first being that the Congress has not given a dime to either group and second that both groups have been condemning US policy for years and are especially livid about a joint resolution passed in Congress 10 days ago that completely absolved Israel of conduct during the recent fighting and specifically voting against endorsing a UN resolution. Both of these particular groups have joined with the ICRC in suing to close down Guantanmo Bay and any detention facility that is holding what they claim to be POWs. If Congress is supporting them then it's definetly not getting its money's worth.

Joe Noory on :

A true sign of wisdom: chanelling anything you don't agree with by assuming someone specific said it as though they were to represent any and all of it. Pure genius!

Kevin Sampson on :

Sounds like you need to take this up with Marie Claude.

Marie Claude on :

tu t'ennuies Kevin ?

Marie Claude on :

hey, you got a troll fighting there LMAO

YL on :

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Joe Noory on :

Richard Pearl! HRW! Amenesty! AmeriKKKa! All wrong! All the same! Curiously, it turns out that everone on earth except YL is satanic. The path to "peace" is to surrender all fealty to his guidance as our new leader (his title will be translated into the German), and he will guide us forward to the promised land where there is no personal guilt if you agree with him. [i]Yes we can! Emotional absolution is at hand![/i] Now get in the line where you will be issued quilted Mao jackets. Note to Joerg: comments like YL's are what you will end up with when you can dial-in your feelings about public diplomacy, and eventually the parasite will consume the host. After that, I guess NATO could refashion itself as a respectable looking and meaningless "institute" or something.

YL on :

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Joe Noory on :

Only if you see all affairs in the world as a kind of sports league table could you imagine for a second that a state can be humiliated. Perhaps you're talking about African societies being burdened by brutal treatment. For that, there are people in Paris, London, Lisbon, and Berlin that should hear what you have to say about that. No doubt you would prefer to imagine that colonized areas be renamed things like "Americans west Africa" or that King Leopold was actually a guy named Steve from Nebraska, or that the Cecil Rhodes and the Boers were actually Texan, all things that had their most brutal days after the US civil war. No doubt at all.

YL_anywhere on :

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Joe Noory on :

As easy as it is to pick out some little unenforced bylaw from Alabama as a prop for your world view, you're speaking to this issue from some comfortable place on your sofa becuase you expect that a media reported universe is the universe. They are no more legally obliged to publish the truth as you are. Get over it and learn to place the information available in perspective and check a few facts. It's genuiniely sad, and a ridiculous externalization of what people express as a way of substituting some cause or imagined injustice as a way of making themselves feel personally relevant and useful to the world. As for my use of syntax, heal thyself. You have made quite a few absolutist pronouncements. [i]and fully understand you need to behave more loyal than native US citizens.[/i] You could not be more wrong, and you have no idea what an insult that is. The US is not Europe. Perceptions of people's origin and race are not as simplistic and linear. I get MORE criticism of my views from people for having my own views than feeling like some immigrant in Europe having to present an image of oneself. It's quite revealing when all you can see is a race, tribe, or political faction as a means of trying to understand others. WHy don't you just watch WHAT THEY SAY as individuals, and WHAT THEY DO as individuals instead of imagining that some concept YOU HAVE about their ethnicity is somehow moving their arms and legs. Do you think that I and every person other than yourself is some kind of stupid, unthinking robot whose every motive you can predict? Or that you somehow know the magical codex behind every living person? If that's the case, what's Joerg going to write about tomorrow? Hm? Spare me your kindergarten racism, and stop trying to tell people who you think they should be so that you can pretend to understand them. Typical. Another empty cifer with his own little theories about humanity. What next? Measuring people's heads with calipers?

Joe Noory on :

That's interesting. Obviously your generalized assumption makes you far more intelligent than the remainder of humanity, at least the ones who can't read, because last I checked the "atrocity" consisted of [url=http://www.nato.int/issues/iraq-assistance/index.html]this[/url]: [i]While NATO does not have a direct role in the international stabilization force that has been in Iraq since May 2003, the Alliance is helping Iraq provide for its own security by training Iraqi military personnel, supporting the development of the country’s security institutions, and coordinating the delivery of equipment.[/i] But I guess you're just making blankeet accusations and such in the name of [i]peace[/i] or something. I also suppose that what you mean by [i]peace,[/i] is that so long as the Taliban and al Queda wish to murder people that the safest course of action is to remove any disinsentive there is to actually stopping them. By that standard, crime should not be dealt with and that we'll all be happier when it's rampant. [url=http://www.securityconference.de/konferenzen/rede.php?menu_2009=&menu_konferenzen=&sprache=en&id=237]Sarkozy[/url] put an interesting question in a meeting with British lawmakers. Essencially he asked: [i]Does Europe want peace, or does Europe want to simply be left in peace.[/i] The answer was the latter. These bright lights of humanism will accept that mass murder may take place on their territory and on their populations so long as they aren't require to address it or its' root causes. After all you seem quite certain that the way to acheive peace is akin to providing perfect public health by letting the sick just die, and that your rants at any symbol of authority give you the feeling that you're "doing something for peace". Very cute. Very detached and egotistical of you. You too can be "left in peace" when a bomb goes off when you're standing on a train platform on the way to the big rally demanding other people do somethign or other to salve the concience you constructing with delusions about how the world works.

YL on :

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Pat Patterson on :

YL-Are you just rehearsing for when the West starts talking about the famine in China which seems more the result of Chinese mismanagement of its resources then the effects of the weather? What next Tibet, the Peking Olympics, the Boxer Rebellion, etc? How about correcting your original charges that the US is funding Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International or that NATO was involved in the prosecution of the invasion of Iraq? It may seem unfair that you are treated with disdain but when you repeat fanciful canards from news sources that are tightly controlled by a dictatorship then be prepared to be met with derision. But I am more than willing to consider how much colonialism had to do with the over 2.5 million dead during the Chinese Civil War or the over 30 million killed during Mao's enlightened term of office. Or how can the West be blamed for the Japanese killing some 6+ million Chinese, Koreans, Indonesians, etc between the Russo-Japanese War and the end of World War II which by the way was won by the old colonial powers who within two decades liberated all of their former colonies. Though there are still calls for the British to come back and run Hong Kong as the PRC seems intent on starving the pennisula of capital. BTW, Pres Clinton never apologized for slavery but did say that the West should not have benefitted by it. The President of Pganda, Museveni, blamed "black traitors" more than the white Europeans. But since we all know that China never has had slaves then they certainly are allowed to throw the first stone except that they are indeed throwing it from inside a glass house. Maybe this incident of modern slavery in China is an example that will be repeated in the PRC that the Tai-pans are back? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6752507.stm

David on :

Actually, one president came closer to apologizing than even Bill Clinton, calling slavery "one of the greatest crimes in history": ''Small men took on the powers and airs of tyrants and masters. Years of unpunished brutality and bullying and rape produced a dullness and hardness of conscience. Christian men and women became blind to the clearest commands of their faith and added hypocrisy to injustice.'' - President George W. Bush (July 2003)

Pat Patterson on :

David's reference was to a very good speech that the former president gave in Senegal which acknowledged the evil and the effects of slavery and also the West's reliance on the concept of natural rights for all that lead to slavery's demise. http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=1900

Anonymous on :

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Pat Patterson on :

The Preamble to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically mentions rights that are inalienable to all humans which springs from the concept of natural rights. "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world..." I am quite curious if you could link or cite examples of moral law or international law that do not recognize the primacy of human or natural rights. I'm really interested in this idea of sovereign rights which are not even mentioned in the Declaration. http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

Pat Patterson on :

So are you trying to argue that natural rights and human rights are not the same thing? Rather odd considering the quote from the Preamble of the organization you claim is operating in opposition to natural rights. I shouldn't have used the phrase idiot as it is disrepectful. However, perhaps you should have finished the book to its conclusion. The Mohicans were a tribe allied with the British under George II not the Queen, the Hurons with the French under Montcalm and Louis XV. But this is typical of the level of research I have seen from you and it is not encouraging when you insist on memory from a book you didn't finish. BTW, to help you along Chingachgook utters the famous last line after his son Uncas dies defending Alice Munro. That he truly is the last of the Mohicans. Which is a great ending but the Mohican tribe is alive and prospering in Connecticutt via casino ownership. At least rent the video of The Last of the Mohicans because even though the director changed the emphasis he got the facts right on who was on which side and the result. The question I asked and which you did not answer was where in the UN Declaration does it offer a repudiation of natural rights as you claimed? What does Tibet have to do with the original post except perhaps a guilty conscience?

Joe Noory on :

The only conclusion I made was of [b]your[/b] arbitrary conclusions of others - ALL others. NATO is not a meaningful element in Iraq, and yet seemed to have no shortage of standard, rehearsed invective to share for it. [i]t, How many African people are willing to be peddled to North American and South America as slave? You think you are smart to play word riddle here, but you never realize your attitudes hurt so many people ,especially US Black people.[/i] Interesting that you should say that, since they were taken to Brazil in far greater numbers, and like the US, borugh there by Europeans. Later pangs of concience on the subject by Europeans left that problem on the doorsep of those that they brought the slaves too, much as it does with virtually every serious problem they have today. You are also operating on the assumption that only Americans are racist. You clearly have not been anywhere where you have gotten to know people. The United States introduced into the world's zeitgeist an actual application to reality of the ideas of the enlightenment, did more to look itself in the eye to eradicate racism, and numerous other things. On the other hand, a stunningly large number of Europeans, people in the Near East, and in South America and Asia continue to commonly grumble racial prejudices. Just try to imagine how people treat black people in Japan or China, or imagine how utterly delusional the assumptions of Europeans are of Asians. The entire racket of Europeans dwelling on what they really wish was any sort of American catastrophe they can talk up, such as the common assumption about race in American life, is a search for someone to look down on to salve self-hatred. It gives rise to the unceasing nagging and lecturing of others by a continent of people who did nearly nothing about mass murder on their own continent in the Balkans for a decade in the 1980s. Simply having an opinion about humanism dosen't make one a superior sort of humanist if all you're willing to do about it is hoping your governments will show you a symbolic and ineffectual display of that same salve for the population's personal guilt.

Pat Patterson on :

Here's what Pres Clinton actually said in regard to slavery when in Uganda in April of '98, "It is as well not to dwell too much on the past, but I think it is worth pointing out that the United States has not always done the right thing by Africa." And as I mentioned before the Pres of Uganda blamed "black traitors" not white Europeans. Now the logical thing to do is to find contradictory evidence proving your point rather than changing the subject of repeating the same nonsense from the last time. And considering Jessie Jackson Sr was with the President when the latter spoke and the civil rights leader raised no objections for not specifically apologizing. Show the quote of an apology not what you think happened or should have happened, Again a BTW, using HRW as an example, the same thing applies to Amnesty International, of an organization that is completely funded by private sources. Currently HRW receives $15 million a year in a challenge grant from the Sandler Family Foundation which no one, considering George Soros is on the board, could consider it a front for the US government. Also if you are curious here's HRW's super-duper secret tax return for 2007. http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/finStmt2007.pdf As to NATO your last comment shows how confused you have become alternating between NATO is in Iraq and then also claiming that the US has appealed for NATO to join the effort. Which is it? And this time provide citations or links.

YL on :

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YL on :

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Joe Noory on :

Native Americans are not a "single race", and they certainly arent a class-war faction as you seem to think they are. Look, just because you have some view of your own society, doesn't mean that it's accurate to project it on the rest of humanity as if it's universal. You should probably try to live a little first.

YL on :

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Pat Patterson on :

Well if you had bothered to read the post and the link it was very clear that the President of Uganda in '98 was Yoweri Kuguta Museveni when Clinton gave his speech regretting slavery but not aplogizing for it. He did not use the word only at all so don't add dialog. But he congratulated the US for taking the lead in new dialogs and free trade areas either bilaterally or regional in eastern Africa. Plus there are an estimated, depends on how you count, 4.1 million Native Americans just in the United States. Not bad for being extinct. Now if you want engage in a discussion of what I actually said then fine if not then bother some other website. Obviously this is a suggestion because unlike most of the Chinese websites I have tried to post on Joerg doesn't censor comments.

YL on :

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Pat Patterson on :

The original link was to the actual quote not someone else's opinion of what was said. The fact remains that Clinton didn't apologize and Museveni blamed slavery on "black traitors." Now whether they are correct in their viewpoint is arguable but what they actually said cannot be unsaid. BTW,quotes from opinion pieces are not considered primary sources but merely opinion. Alertnet? I said that there was no relationship between Alternet and Reuters not Alertnet? Jeez, check the spelling next time.

YL on :

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Pat Patterson on :

Idiot, the Mohicans, Uncas and Chingachgook, were the heroes of the book The Last of the Mohicans. The villain were the Huron Magua, the French General Montcalm and Major Heyward. Reread my intital comment, I made no defense of the West and slavery but only pointed out that due to sloppy scholarship you claimed that Clinton apologized when the text shows that he did not and you still have not refuted his actual words or that Pres Museveni blamed black Africans more than he blamed white Europeans. If you don't like his attitude then take it up with him. Plus why not respond to actual current incidences of slavery in China? Or does enslaving your own citizens not count? http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,499877,00.html Loving v. Virginia essentially ended anti-miscegenation laws in the US in 1965, after 1970 there were no prosecutions in the few states that still had these shameful laws and the last state that had these laws was Alabama. Which by popular vote ended anti-miscegenation laws. As to the rest I think I will just assume that your English is simply not good enough to understand the difference between making a factual correction and stating a point of view. If someone claims that WWII ended in Oct of 1944 does the correction by another party mean that they wanted the war to continue till the summer of 1945?

YL on :

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Pat Patterson on :

And yet you have not linked or provided one citation that disproves any of the things I have stated. It's not really about having a disagreeable opinion except that honest people can differ on what the facts are but those facts have to be true. Not dismissed as simply an opinion or belief.

Joe Noory on :

You make claims to things you know nothing about. That you are either an idiot or a cretin is not in question. Just because ther is an [i]image[/i] of something out there that appeals to you... like the idea that there was some kind of magical socialist native american solidiarity prior the to European settlement, doesn't make it true. What's even worse is that like so many small minds, you're trying to find a convenient racial explanation to periods in history that you admit to know nothing about. You also seem to have a hard time with the complexity and depth of reality. [i]JOE,apparantly you misunderstand me here. I seldom mention America's colonization history. For blocking Paterson's egoism,[/i] I don't care what you "seldom" do! I'm responding to what it was that you said. I not going to waste any time and energy looking for the entire history of every opinion you spat out. Do you really think that every precious opinion you have matters to others? Come to think of it, judging by your good-cast/bad-cast concept of people and history based on their ethnicity, do you even know the difference between a fact and opinion?

YL on :

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Joe Noory on :

[i]"You are also operating on the assumption that only Americans are racist."[/i] ...which is precisely what you did when you glossed over the entirety of European history to base a thesis about people on "Americans humiliating African States", by which you meant the era of slavery when there were few actual states, and the ommission that slaves were taken to parts of the world other that to North America. And you want to assume that your statement wasn't a "claim"? You are transperantly bigotted, so spare me your silly theories about who you think I am and what my motives are. In addition to living in the near east, I lived in the DDR too. What was that supposed to "symbolically program me" for that you can conveniently assume? What am I overcompensating for THERE? I used to work for the government - how does THAT give you a magical codex of how my arms and legs are moved by some big mysterious force. If you are trying to explain away anything you don't agree with ideas that it is only possible for people not to buy into the same ideas you do for some reason that you can explain away with theinr ethnicity, then you are an idiot. If you want to keep playing fortune teller without surrendering one detail about yourself, then go amuse yourself with somebody else. People aren't paper cut-outs. They don't live their lives to prove theories you have about their motives.

YL_YL JOE_POP_UP on :

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YL on :

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Pat Patterson on :

I made no claim who was to blame but merely quoted who at least some Africans did blame. There own citizens who had been selling each other to the Egyptians, then the Arabs and then the West for centuries. One thing unmentioned, Joe alluded to it, was that Africa was at the mercy of everybody due to few functioning governments and the fact that what government there was also participated in the slave trade.

Pat Patterson on :

Joe is probably busy but I'll ask one easy to answer question. You claimed that Indians were extinct and yet still have not shown any rational reason for making that claim. Are they extinct or is the US Census Bureau lying when it identifies 4.1 million American citizens/residents as being Native Americans?

Joe Noory on :

Admitting what? You're really getting wrapped around the axle, aren't you. You also need to be aware enough to realize that other people aren't going to be able to explian to you everything you don't know. It's like trying to prove a negative, and it certainly isn't their responsibility. For example, the idea that you think all Arabs should think alike and you percive them to have the same sort of political motives that you think are assigned to them is a sign of intense stupidity. I could have told you 20 years ago that the jihad was a danger because its' first victims were Arab Jews, Arab Christians, and Arabs who beleive in pluralism. Instead you feel comfortable to identify all of us alike pecause it fits your narrow idea of what you think a faction is. Your "cowboys and indians" view of factions and classes at war, the accusation that you have that America is somehow unique in "humiliating African nations" is telling and beneath the temprament of this blog. And yes, I am busy. Some of us actually work for a living.

Pat Patterson on :

Is this the Chinese version of all Arabs look alike?

Joe Noory on :

I did NOT say that there was no decimation of the American Indian nor any slavery, I was pointing out your oversimplification of the USE of those examples in a manner identical to those people who repeat endlessly the "crimes" of America and suggesting that it's singular. Huntington had a theory. Good for him. I don't think you quite get that his theory of spheres of civilization in conflict with one another applied to individuals' opinions. It's not the same as SEEING peoples' ethnicity as the single bit of programming by whicvh they operate, see the world, and make choices. That's barbaric, primitive, and specious. I also find it distasteful that you could only imagine dwelling on somebody else's origins as the automatic predictor of what you assume they think and believe while not applying that same rule to yourself - if "the personal is the political" as your personally targetted view holds, then why not volunteer any information about yourself? Because you might discover that people DON'T judge you by your ethnicity and blow that theory out of the water? IS that worth getting emotional and angry about? Why don't you ask YOURSELF that IF you had offered anyone else any information about yourself (which you haven't), and they assumed that that feature alone, no experience or intellect makes one who they are.

Joe Noory on :

NO-ONE tried to tell you that Native Americans didn't exist. That's insane. Look, I've had it with your silly assertions, and with Marie-Claude's absurd melodrama. I'm going to take my leave of you. It's like trying to converse with livestock. Good luck with whatever it is you're getting dyspeptic about.

Kevin Sampson on :

'I once visited Grand Canyon in AZ in 1994...During that trip and other two following trips in US, I can hardly met American Indian people' Did you visit Hualapai Pueblo? If not, why didn't you?

Kevin Sampson on :

So you admit that you are largely ignorant of modern or historic Indian culture and also completely closed-minded on the subject. And apparently disinterested too. Joe is right.

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