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A busy day for blogfriends and associates….want to draw your attention to a few highlights:

First, congratulations to Matt Armstrong of MountainRunner on his new appointment as Executive Director of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. It’s hard to think of anyone better qualified than Matt!

There is a new Executive Director of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy

The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy is charged with appraising U.S. Government activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics. The Commission formulates and recommends to the President, the Secretary of State, and Members of Congress policies and programs to carry out the public diplomacy functions vested in the State Department, Broadcasting Board of Governors, and other government agencies, as well as appraising the effectiveness of the public diplomacy policies and programs carried out by government agencies.

There are seven members on the Commission, with “not more than four members may be from one political party.” In February, the White House sent to the Senate four nominations for the Commission.

Today, Matt Armstrong, author and publisher of MountainRunner.us, was sworn in as the Executive Director of the Advisory Commission. The immediate impact is the suspension of blogging, including the publishing of guest posts, at MountainRunner.us.

Secondly, Steven Pressfield has a new book out, titled Do The Work, in Kindle format and, for a limited time, it is free! One of the great things about Steve is that as an author, he gives back to his readership in myriad ways and isn’t afraid to break new ground:

A Publishing First: General Electric sponsorship for a Best Selling Author’s latest book

Never before done in the history of the publishing industry has this been done before (as far as we know, and we’ve checked) and we are so proud to be offering this phenomenal opportunity to our readership and the world.

General Electric has become our “Launch a Book” sponsor for  Do the Work, our latest release from The Domino Project.

What this means for you, the reader, is that you have access to the digital edition of this book for FREE. It won’t be free forever, so you should act now to grab your free copy. Order it here and it will be automatically delivered on pub date. You can read it on a Kindle, an iPad, an iPhone a PC and more. (If you already ordered your copy, your payment will be credited back to you…

Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett threw some props my way for the Wikistrat futurist simulation on Turkey and managed to find a few sentences from my section that were non-abstruse and jargon-free 🙂 . The nice thing about the analytical process at Wikistrat is that people can grasp the part of the scenario where their strengths are emphasized ( I looked at possible external strategic options and impacts and left Turkish internals to those who could better drill-down):

Turkey – Re-Rise of the Ottoman Empire?

One of the most interesting things we do in Wikistrat is Scenario Planning. Through the use of live collaborative simulations, our analysts and subscribers alike engage in the mapping of scenarios, country interests and policy options on a given issue. We ran such drills on Egypt (The Egypt War Room) and on the “Sudden death of Kim Jong Il“.

Our current Simulation is on Turkey, and deals with its political and economic rise in the Middle East, its implications and potential pathways. So far several interesting scenarios were mapped, as well as interests and policy objectives for major regional and global powers affected by Turkey’s Rise.

Essentially we ask – Will Turkey’s rise continue? Will its relations with the West deteriorate given its “Shift eastward”? And- How should the US, the EU, Israel, Iran and the KSA react? [….]

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