Get out of Afghanistan

LOS ANGELES — For years, since I moved there to cover Watergate, I have wanted to write a column about how Washington really works — a checklist of sorts. But I never got around to it. The closest I ever got was quoting the late San Francisco humor writer Arthur Hoppe. Writing from 3,000 miles away, he said, if I remember correctly: Washington is 67 square miles, about as high as the Washington Monument, and surrounded on all sides by reality. Last week, Joe Scarborough, former Florida congressman, talking head on MSNBC, and now guest columnist for Politico.com, did a…

Board member Thomas Nides appointed to State Department

The Center on Communication Leadership & Policy is proud to announce that a member of its board, Thomas Nides, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to a senior post in the US State Department. Beginning on December 30, 2010, Nides takes on a new role as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources under Sec. Hilary Clinton. The State Department announced Nides' position in their first briefing of the new year….

The Game-Changer List

The Associated Press, as usual, released last week its editors' poll of the 10 top stories of the year. No. 1, with 54 first-place votes, was the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The congressional passage of health care reform was second with 30 votes. The list by the men and women who actually edit our news continued: (3) midterm elections; (4) U.S. economy; (5) Haiti earthquake; (6) tea party movement; (7) Chile mine rescue; (8) Iraq; (9) WikiLeaks; (10) Afghanistan. All of those were obviously big stories. But hold the presses! It is not a list I would…

Dr. Strangelove Redux

And now a quote that could come from Dr. Strangelove: "A lot of people fear artificial intelligence. I will stand my artificial intelligence against your human any day of the week and tell you that my A.I. will pay more attention to the rules of engagement and create fewer ethical lapses than a human force." That is from John Arquilla, executive director of the Information Operations Center at the Naval Postgraduate School. "Dr. Arquilla," reports The New York Times, "argues that weapons systems controlled by software will not act out of anger and malice and, in certain cases, can already…

The Cowardice of America at War

Photo credit storqmplusI had to pull over to the side of La Cienega Boulevard last Tuesday evening as I drove home from work. I was crying. It was nothing, or it was the same old thing. I was listening to the news on National Public Radio when there was another story about another death in Afghanistan. Pfc. Andrew Meari, age 21. A village called Senjaray. An Afghan on a moped pulled up next to an American truck and blew himself up, killing Meari and another guy. The Americans, my countrymen, were there, near Kandahar, working to win the trust and…

We need more diplomats … and time to train them

When President Obama said, "Our commitment in Iraq is changing – from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats," he underscored a fact that has become very clear from the research I am doing for the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Stimson Center in Washington on preparing our diplomats for 21st century statecraft. A key message of our research to date is the absolute necessity for Congress to continue funding a surge in State Department hiring – an initiative launched in 2009 called Diplomacy 3.0 – so that we have not…

Seib in Huff Po – CENTCOM

"Whether these engagements," says Faculty Fellow Phil Seib "are changing anyone's outlook about the United States is open to question, but this work must be done." Seib is referring to CENTCOM, or the United States Central Command. The goal of this government organization is that it "promotes cooperation among nations, responds to crises, and deters or defeats state and non-state aggression, and supports development and, when necessary, reconstruction in order to establish the conditions for regional security, stability, and prosperity." Seib's latest article in The Huffington Post is a critique about how CENTCOM has been handling combat operations in Iraq…

Reeves mentioned in NYT Wikileaks op-ed

Senior Fellow Richard Reeves was mentioned in The New York Times in an op-ed piece by Frank Rich making the comparison of the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to the recent publishing of classified documents on the website Wikileaks on the failures in the Afghan war. In Rich's piece, President Nixon by Richard Reeves is referenced, and his book, Reeves revealed that though the Pentagon Papers were labeled "top secret", over 700,000 individuals had access to them….

Obama's Afghanistan – Video used at WorldNews

In response to the change in leadership involving military forces in Afghanistan, WorldNews has created a library of videos on President Obama and his leadership during the war. The website features the CCLP's "Global Communication Forum on Obama's Afghanistan: The Media and the War" with Senior Fellow Cinny Kennard….

Bennis Offers Candid Assessment of Leadership & General McChrystal

Distinguished CCLP Fellow Warren Bennis was interviewed for The Washington Post's "On Leadership" section of the paper's website, offering his opinion on the forced resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal by President Barack Obama. In his piece, Bennis discusses the abrupt change of leadership in the war in Afghanistan and how it could effect the outcome of the ongoing nine year conflict. Gen. McChrystal was removed from his position leading all military forces in Operation Enduring Freedom on Wednesday after the publication of negative comments he and his aides made in an article in Rolling Stone magazine about the current Presidential…