December 23, 2011

The war... diminished America’s soft power and credibility globally...One of the ways in which the US has left Iraq a better place is that it has nudged the country towards democracy...The major adverse effect of the US withdrawal could be renewed fighting among warring ethnic groups.

December 18, 2011

America lost its soft power once it used its hard power against Iraq. The global standing of the US suffered tremendously as the war dragged on, with hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties and the revelation of atrocities committed by American troops against civilians and prisoners.

Some may continue to point to the structural advantages enjoyed by the United States...of its rare combination of hard and soft power; of the fact that it remains the only serious power with true global reach... But in the current climate such facts appear to be cutting little ice with those who now insist that as result of Bush's ill-conceived war on terror, followed by the financial crisis, American decline is now a foregone conclusion.

If this sounds cynical, it is. The president’s speech, like much of the rhetoric surrounding the Afghan war, was a triumph of misdirection — the smoke-and-mirrors approach to public diplomacy...But the president’s speechwriters knew what they were doing.

March 14, 2011
March 1, 2011

Rolling Stone has done it again with another scoop by Michael Hastings showing the U.S. military's manipulation of public opinion and wanton disregard for civilian leadership. The article, "Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators," is another example of an officer corps run amok...

U.S. military psychological operations (PSYOP or psy-ops) and information operations (IO) are supposed to be directed to local and enemy populations in overseas "theaters," specific geographical areas of armed conflict, not where you watch Auntie Mame perform.