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DOD and Strategic Communication focus of September Discussion

American military officer explains psychological operations to Sri Lankan military in a program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo.

The US Embassy in Colombo sponsored a workshop for the Sri Lankan military in September 2017. It focused on “structure and purposes of psychological operations, information management, process of psychological operations, target audience analysis, recognition of propaganda and review,” according to a Sri Lankan military website. It was presented by USPACOM.

(Updated 9/12/18) A third speaker has been added to the lineup for the September 24 program. LTC Scott Howell from the Joint Staff Operations Directorate has agreed to participate. LTC Howell serves with a small team responsible for synchronizing strategic communications across the joint force. Joint Chiefs Chair Dunford established the office in 2017, and its efforts will interest PDAA members who have witnessed State grapple with the appropriate position for PD within the department since the closure of USIA. Prior to his current assignment at the Pentagon, Howell served at AFRICOM headquarters, so he can share his experiences from that region.

Department of Defense and State Department coordination in the information domain will be the focus of PDAA’s first discussion for the program year on September 24.

The speakers will include LTC Gregory Tomlin and retired FSO Don Bishop.

Tomlin’s first book, The Gods of Diyala, describes his battalion’s cultural training in Germany prior to deploying to Iraq. A Naval Post-Graduate professor went so far as to tell 4,000 troops that they could be “gods” in Iraq because the population would be in awe of their sophisticated, Western ways.  “Although hyperbolic, some-mid-grade officers and NCOs took the professor seriously,” Tomlin says. He disagrees with that approach.

Tomlin is currently chief of the Targeting Doctrine and Policy Branch on the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Targeting Division.

He will be joined by Don Bishop, the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico.

Don served as a Foreign Service Officer for 31 years, attaining the rank of Minister-Counselor, and was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of its board of directors.

The discussion will take place on Mon., Sep. 24, from 12:00 to 2:00, at DACOR Bacon House, 1801 F St., NW. To register, please complete the form on page 7 of the newsletter or register using the drop-down menu below. Deadline is Sep. 20 at 5:00 p.m. Thereafter, we will maintain a waiting list.

Select appropriate price from the drop-down menu

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