Passive Communication is Poor Communication, Mr. President

By Andrew Overton
posted on May 18, 2013 in

There's been no shortage of criticism of the Obama Administration's communication efforts during the president’s first term. They botched communicating the benefits of his signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act. Conservatives successfully communicated their take on the bill, and although it did pass, the bill’s passage came at a great political cost. By failing to be out in front, Obama let his political opponents drive the dialogue. The Obama Administration should have learned a valuable communication lesson: being proactive is key to controlling the message.


Replanting Grassroots Access

By Amy White
posted on May 18, 2013 in

The Obama Administration is known for their grassroots approach to politics. One of the campaign’s inherent strengths was their strategic approach to offering the public transparent goals for the future, including public participation and open access to the campaign. In many ways, their message of inclusivity and openness continued into their elected terms; this includes outreach via technology, public addresses, and showing the personalities of the administration.


Social Media, Speculation, and Terrorism: a Double-Edged Sword in Boston

By Kameel Dada
posted on May 9, 2013 in

Like many people throughout the United States, I was shocked and sickened by the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon. I recall telling a colleague the attack resembled the methods of homegrown terrorists and that the perpetrators would be caught soon. It would only be a matter of time before the government agencies created to combat terrorism would catch up to the individuals responsible for the attack.


Syria’s Silent War Crimes Call for Intervention

By Amanda Strayer
posted on May 9, 2013 in ,

Recent events in Syria raise concerns that the redline of chemical weapons use has been crossed, forcing the U.S. to reconsider intervening in the two-year civil war.  At this crossroads, it is important to look beyond the use of chemical weapons and at the entire scope of the conflict and range of weapons used – including rape.


Somalia’s Political Transition and USAID Forward Implementation

By Prudence Ukwishatse
posted on May 4, 2013 in , ,

YPFP's Africa Discussion Group recently held a discussion on Somalia’s political transition and the USAID Forward Implementation in the Horn of Africa, featuring Larry Meserve, USAID’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) and a former USAID East Africa Regional Director. Mr.


Countering Violent Extremism

By Elizabeth Scott
posted on May 4, 2013 in ,

Last week, members of the Grand Strategy and Middle East Discussion Groups held a joint meeting where they discussed the lessons learned from countering violent extremism (CVE). Bidjan Nashat, a member of the Middle East group, walked the groups through current CVE theories and practices. CVE is a complex problem, with interconnected players that support or actively generate violence. Participants can be individuals, non-state actors, or even states themselves.