Monday, October 18, 2010

It's a Brand New Day...

The Moscow Times reports that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev is using video blogs to promote his international agenda.

According to the Times, "This strategy has the advantage of publicly identifying laudable foreign policy objectives. It provides a direct channel of communication with broad audiences in the target states and Russia... [Medvedev] is rallying international and domestic support behind his positions— and thus campaigning for leadership at home and abroad, boosting his self-esteem. But there is a downside to the video-blog diplomacy. It could turn out to be a high-stakes bet, front-loaded with risks of failure, especially when taping a video blog predates strategy development."

The Times fails to comment on the negative potential of social media oversharing--recently made clear to Russia by the explosive Wormgate story--to say nothing of the crushing embarrassment of being less popular than exploitative tripe like David after Dentist.

But let's focus on that last sentence for just a second, and substitute just about any sort of hard power or soft power effort for the phrase "taping a video blog." Surely every attempt at promoting foreign policy is destined to fail when it preempts strategy--a lesson some US foreign policy strategists could stand to remember as well.

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