History Rhymes Itself: U.S. Public Diplomacy as a Tool for Political Warfare

90
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-11-41-49
U. Artamonova, artamonova.u@imemo.ru
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 01.06.2022. Revised 20.07.2022. Accepted 02.09.2022.

Abstract. In 2022, the tension between Russia and the U.S. has reached a new high. This trend has been especially noticeable in the information space: influencing public opinion of each other’s populations as well as of global community. Focusing on the concept of “political warfare” (POLWAR), the author analyzes the circumstances of its last notable emergence in the discourse among the American expert community and political elites – the start of the Cold War. The article discovers that American approach to the POLWAR in the first decades of confrontation with the USSR was reactive and even defensive, since the USSR did already have a successful experience of projecting influence on the global public opinion, effectively winning hearts and minds of foreign populations and thus presenting a threat to the newly constructed liberal world order. Hence, the U.S. governments proceeded to a gradual establishment of what later will be called the American “public diplomacy” (PD), including the development of relative legislation, institutes, etc. Thus, the article concludes that PD as a political practice may be considered a product of the Cold War in general and POLWAR in particular, which explains why the American PD has been in systemic crisis since the end of the Cold War. Moreover, studying the latest changes in the U.S. legislation and institutes related to public diplomacy, the author suggests that those events were once again the reaction of the U.S. to the Russian policies which were considered a challenge to the “rule-based world order”. Those steps, however, have been too inconsequent to bring the American PD into the most effective mode. That is why in the POLWAR that started in 2022, the American side fluctuates towards reactive and defensive tactic, mostly focusing on stopping Russian information campaigns influencing the population of the U.S., whereas control over the global public opinion remains second priority and public opinion of Russians is not being considered at all within the framework of this new approach of the U. S. Aside from that the creation of Disinformation Board and introduction of the concept of “domestic PD” likely indicate the desire to boost the public diplomacy resources that are not currently adequate for POLWAR offensive via discovering new talents and ideas among motivated Americans.

Keywords: public diplomacy, hybrid warfare, information warfare, psychological operations, strategic communication, American-Russian relations, U.S.A., soft power, POLWAR, ideological warfare, world order, Ukraine


REFERENCES

1. Kennan G.F. The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare [Redacted Version]. History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 30.04.1948. Available at: https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114320 (accessed 31.05.2022).

2. Smith P.A., Jr. On Political War. Washington, DC, National Defense University Press, 1989. 279 p.

3. Robinson L. et al. Modern Political Warfare. Current Practices and Possible Responses. Santa Monica, RAND Corporation, 2018. 355 p.

4. Clark I. et al. Hegemony in international society. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011. 277 p.

5. Ikenberry G.J. The end of liberal international order? International Affairs, 2018, vol. 94, no. 1, pp. 7-23. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iix241

6. Ikenberry G.J. Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2011. 392 p. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400838196

7. Armstrong M. The Past, Present, and Future of the War for Public Opinion. War on the Rocks, 19.01.2017. Available at: https://warontherocks.com/2017/01/the-past-present-and-future-of-the-war-for-public-opinion/ (accessed 31.05.2022).

8. Francois F. VOKS: The Third Dimension of Soviet Foreign Policy. Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy. Gienow-Hecht J.C.E., Donfried M. C., eds. New York, Berghahn Books, 2013, pp. 33-50.

9. Velikaya A.A., Simons G., eds. Russia’s Public Diplomacy: Evolution and Practice. Cham, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020. 285 p. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12874-6

10. Gould-Davies N. The Logic of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy. Diplomatic History, 2003, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 193-214. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24914263

11. Bontsevich N.N. The Institutionalization of the United States’ Public Diplomacy during President Truman’s Administration. Izv. Saratov Univ. (N. S.), Ser. History. International Relations, 2017, vol. 17, no. 3, . 364-369. (In Russ.) Available at: https://imo.sgu.ru/ru/articles/institucionalizaciya-publichnoy-diplomatii-v-ssha-v-pravlenie-administracii-g-trumena (accessed 31.05.2022).

12. Burnham J. Sticks, Stones, and Atoms. Ordnance, 1961, vol. 1, pp. 484-487. Available at: https://mca-marines.org/wp-content/uploads/Jun1961-Sticks_Stones_amp_Atoms.pdf (accessed 31.05.2022).

13. Arbatov G.. The war of ideas in contemporary international relations. The imperialist doctrine, methods and organization of foreign political propaganda. Moscow, Politizdat, 1970. 349 p. (In Russ.)

14. Staar R., ed. Public Diplomacy: USA versus USSR. Stanford CA, Hoover Institution Press, 1988. 305 p.

15. Cull N.J. The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945–1989. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008. 568 p. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511817151.002

16. Artamonova U.Z. American public diplomacy during the first year of J. Biden’s presidency. Russia and America in the 21st Century, 2021, Special Issue. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.18254/S207054760018142-3

17. Tsvetkova N.A. Informational containment of Russia: New perspectives in the U.S. public diplomacy’s development. Antology of the Department of American Studies: in the memory of Nina Vladimirovna Bahareva. Shiryaev B.A., Tsvetkova N.A., Boguslavskaya Yu.K., eds. Saint-Petersburg, Skifia-print, 2019, pp. 136-142. (In Russ.)

18. Tsvetkova N.A., Fedorova I.V. Continuity and new trends in the public diplomacy of Donald Trump administration (2017–2018). XXVII International Russian-American seminar at Saint-Petersburg State University. Shiryaev B.A., Tsvetkova N.A., Minkova K.V., Boguslavskaya Yu.K., eds. Saint-Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg State University’s press, 2020, pp. 198-205. (In Russ.)

19. Artamonova U.Z. International broadcasting reform in the light of US public diplomacy systemic crisis. Russia and America in the 21st Century, 2020, iss. 4. (In Russ.) Available at: https://doi.org/10.18254/S207054760013295-1 (accessed 31.05.2022).

20. Fridman O., Kabernik V., Pearce J.C., eds. Hybrid Conflicts and Information Warfare: New Labels, Old Politics. Boulder, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Incorporated, 2019. 271 p. DOI: 10.1515/9781626377622


SOURCES

1. 2021 Comprehensive annual report on public diplomacy and international broadcasting. US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, 2022. Available at: https://www.state.gov/2021-comprehensive-annual-report-on-public-diplomacy-and-international-broadcasting-2/ (accessed 31.05.2022).

2. Text – H.R.5681. 115th Congress (2017–2018): Global Engagement Center Authorities Act of 2018. Available at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5681/text (accessed 31.05.2022).

3. The creation of the Bureau of Global public affairs. U.S. Department of State, May 2019. Available at: https://2017-2021.state.gov/the-creation-of-the-bureau-of-global-public-affairs/index.html (accessed 31.05.2022).

4. 2020 Comprehensive annual report on public diplomacy and international broadcasting. US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, 2020. Available at: https://www.state.gov/2019-comprehensive-annual-report-on-public-diplomacy-andinternational-broadcasting (accessed 31.05.2022).

5. Remarks and Releases – Global Engagement Center. U.S. Department of State. Available at: https://www.state.gov/remarks-and-releases-global-engagement-center/?results=30&currpage=1&totalpages=1&coll_filter_year&coll_filter_month&coll_filter_speaker&coll_filter_country&coll_filter_release_type&coll_filter_bureau&coll_filter_program&coll_filter_profession (accessed 31.05.2022).

6. Exploring U.S. Public Diplomacy’s Domestic Dimensions: Purviews, Publics, and Policies. ACPD Special Report. US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, 25.04.2022. Available at: https://www.state.gov/exploring-u-s-public-diplomacys-domestic-dimensions-purviews-publics-and-policies-2022/ (accessed 31.05.2022).

7. Disinformation board to tackle Russia, migrant smugglers. Associated Press, 28.04.2022. Available at: https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-immigration-media-europe-misinformation-4e873389889bb1d9e2ad8659d9975e9d (accessed 31.05.2022).

8. Biden sets up “Disinformation Board” headed by Russia expert who called Hunter’s laptop a “Trump campaign product” and said she “shudders to think” about Elon Musk taking over Twitter. Daily Mail, 27.04.2022. Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10760907/Biden-starts-Disinformation-Board-led-Russia-expert-called-Hunters-laptop-Trump-product.html (accessed 31.05.2022).


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Artamonova U. History Rhymes Itself: U.S. Public Diplomacy as a Tool for Political Warfare. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 11, pp. 41-49. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-11-41-49



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed

 

 

 

 

Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies

 

Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 7
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The Supporting Structure of Global Security
  • Institutional Features of the Fourth Energy Transition
  • The Evolution of Modern German Christian Democracy
  • The Monarchies of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia
Submit an Article
INVITATION FOR PUBLICATION
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.