Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr. (MALD ’80), Chairman of the Stimson Center, addressed faculty, staff and students at The Fletcher School on October 30, 2013 in a lecture entitled American Influence in an Empowered World - Security Lessons for the Future.
In his remarks, Ambassador Bloomfield underscored the increasing importance of national reputation, as digital technologies help to redistribute power and influence in key regions and asymmetric warfare rises:
"When we are looking at Tunisia and Egypt, what brought down those regimes was not bullets or soldiers crossing borders but this (pulls out his cell phone)," observed the ambassador. "There was a certain majesty and reserve that leaders had two generations ago, at the height of the industrial age, when they alone had the microphone and were less exposed to public scrutiny. Everyone would hang on the words of leaders. This is not true now, in the age of information."
"We need to be attentive to our country's reputation for strategic wisdom and readiness to face hard problems," the ambassador continued. "Winning is when others want to cooperate with us and follow our example. Losing is when you have to push every inch with blood and treasure to work your will. Winning means big results with low exertion, and that comes only from reputation."
Photo: Tommy Galloway, MALD candidate 2014