Kony 2012 and the Case of the Invisible Media

March 25, 2012 by

Much has been said about Invisible Children’s video campaign to rally awareness towards the atrocities of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. But more important is what Kony 2012 means in our ongoing relationship with viral news events. It’s time to uncloak the “invisible” social media.

Why Kony 2012 Fails

March 22, 2012 by

From Twitter trending to the front page of The New York Times to public statements by the White House and the Pentagon, the Kony 2012 campaign has shown the power of social media to affect U.S. public debate. But it has also demonstrated the dangers posed by oversimplification in an age when policy is made in the 24-hour news cycle. This has proven especially so on issues concerning Africa where, lacking historical context, over-simplistic media framing can quickly take root and lead to problematic policy “solutions.”

Video: U.S. Commanders brief Congress on Afghanistan

March 21, 2012 by

Gen. John Allen and Defense Department Policy Undersecretary James Miller testified on Tuesday in front of the House Armed Services Committee on updates on the Afghan War following the alleged tragic shooting of 16 civilians by an American soldier. Congress is seeking updates from commanders on the ground in Afghanistan on a war that is increasingly unpopular after a decade of fighting.

Freedom of Speech and Harm: A Thought Experiment

March 20, 2012 by

Unlike my settled and rather dull existence, Jane’s life has taken a different course lately. It probably all began when she got very tired of her job. It’s a little hard to work out exactly when everything began to fall apart, but it was probably when she wanted a research assistant to help her with her workload. She wanted a woman research assistant, for reasons of her own, and she insisted that she should be able to place an advertisement in the newspaper to that effect. When people wondered about Jane’s choice, she used the reputed retort of Pauline Hanson, and asked: well if I can’t advertise for a woman, can I advertise for a person with breasts then?

Viral video, gone bad: Kony 2012 and the perils of social media

March 19, 2012 by

There have been enough social media disasters of late to make one thing clear: manipulating sentiment through social networks is next to impossible. The McDonald’s #McDStories campaign in January was supposed to allow the public to share fond memories of eating at McDonald’s. Instead, responses quickly became abusive and negative. Qantas famously made the same mistake with their ill-fated #QantasLuxury campaign in November of last year.

Video: RT interview with Daniel Wagner

March 8, 2012 by

Below is RT’s interview with Daniel Wagner, CEO of Country Risk Solutions, and a regular contributor to International Policy Digest. Daniel Wagner is author of “Managing Country Risk” which is available for sale on Amazon. Daniel discussed the recent presidential elections in Russia that witnessed Vladimir Putin’s victory by significant margins.

Video: President Obama’s Address to the Annual AIPAC Conference

March 4, 2012 by

On the Sunday before he is scheduled to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister at the White House, President Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference, gathered in Washington. Obama addressed situations in the Middle East, with a significant portion of his speech focused on Iran.

Review of the BBC’s ‘This World: Inside the Meltdown’

February 29, 2012 by

The BBC documentary, “Inside the Meltdown,” on the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant is oddly powerful in its depiction of the savage destructive nature of the environment as it battered and subsequently caused the meltdown of the Fukushima plant.

Obama stresses a renewed focus on Asia-Pacific

January 5, 2012 by

President Obama, in a rare appearance at the Pentagon on Thursday, flanked by his military commanders and defense secretary, stressed the need to curtail some spending at the Pentagon while shifting America’s focus to the Asia Pacific region. Besides the president, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made remarks.

TED Talks: Carne Ross

September 4, 2010 by

After 15 years in the British diplomatic corps, Carne Ross became a “freelance diplomat,” running a bold nonprofit that gives small, developing and yet-unrecognized nations a voice in international relations. At the BIF-5 conference, he calls for a new kind of diplomacy that gives voice to small countries, that works with changing boundaries and that welcomes innovation.

TED Talks: Thomas Barnett

June 4, 2007 by

In this bracingly honest talk, international security strategist Thomas Barnett outlines a post-Cold War solution for the foundering U.S. military that is both sensible and breathtaking in its simplicity: Break it in two.