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Thread: US Public Diplomacy

  1. #1
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    Default US Public Diplomacy

    Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight, 26 Apr 07:

    GAO: Strategic Planning Efforts Have Improved, but Agencies Face Significant Implementation Challenges
    Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, polling data have generally shown that anti-Americanism has spread and deepened around the world, and several groups have concluded that this trend may have harmed U.S. interests in significant ways. U.S. public diplomacy activities undertaken by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which totaled almost $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2006, are designed to counter such sentiments. Based on our prior reports, this testimony addresses
    (1) the negative consequences various groups have associated with rising anti-American sentiments;
    (2) strategic planning, coordination, and performance measurement issues affecting U.S. public diplomacy efforts; and
    (3) key challenges that hamper agency activities.
    Heritage Foundation: Efforts to Deal with America’s Image Abroad: Are They Working?
    ...To improve U.S. public diplomacy, we should:

    · Continue to raise the status of public diplomacy as a key element in fighting Islamic extremism and protecting U.S. national security.

    · More clearly link the mission of USAID and the role of development and humanitarian assistance to core national security objectives and ensure close coordination between USAID and State Department on programming for aid projects.

    · Consider establishing a semi-governmental entity to con*duct public opinion research in individual countries to allow us to tailor our messages to different audiences and to give U.S. pub*lic diplomacy efforts a solid factual foundation.

    · Re-establish the once-popular American libraries in city centers to supplement our efforts to reach people through the internet and electronic media and reinvigorate the book translation program.

    · Revitalize U.S. international broadcasting leadership and recommit resources and funding to Voice of America.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Interagency Campaign Planning

    ...To improve U.S. public diplomacy, we should:

    · Continue to raise the status of public diplomacy as a key element in fighting Islamic extremism and protecting U.S. national security.

    · More clearly link the mission of USAID and the role of development and humanitarian assistance to core national security objectives and ensure close coordination between USAID and State Department on programming for aid projects.

    · Consider establishing a semi-governmental entity to conduct public opinion research in individual countries to allow us to tailor our messages to different audiences and to give U.S. public diplomacy efforts a solid factual foundation.

    · Re-establish the once-popular American libraries in city centers to supplement our efforts to reach people through the internet and electronic media and reinvigorate the book translation program.

    · Revitalize U.S. international broadcasting leadership and recommit resources and funding to Voice of America.
    I like all of those 'cept:

    · More clearly link the mission of USAID and the role of development and humanitarian assistance to core national security objectives and ensure close coordination between USAID and State Department on programming for aid projects.
    because I don't see the issue as a failure to link with established objectives. I see it as a failure to first identify the objectives and define them so they can be linked in a rational fashion. As stated above, this follows the idea that development and humanitarian assistance are the same; they are not. It is also tied to the idea that development is a reward for supporting our objectives, the classic "carrot." I see the realm of development and humanitarian assistance as tied to broader objectives (or lines of operation) seeking to expand our influence and improve our standing. State has never really grasped that and I am not sure they would now. Re-energizing USIA with the correct folks would help. And JIIM approach tieing inter-agency "campaign plans" for the various regions would also help.

    Best

    Tom

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    Although focused on Iran, this report makes some points that are broadly applicable:

    WINEP Policy Focus, Apr 07:

    Through the Veil: The Role of Broadcasting in U.S. Public Diplomacy toward Iranians
    ...This study scrutinizes the problems that the United States faces in its public diplomacy with Iran by looking at various aspects of communication. What motivates the study is that an improvement in public diplomacy and broadcasting for Iranians would help the United States play a more important role in influencing trends and events not only in Iran but also throughout the region.

    The paper first examines two initiatives that took place during the last decade: Radio Farda and VOA’s Persian Television. Second, it examines European public diplomacy initiatives toward Iran—more specifically, three radio stations: the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) Persian service in London, Persian Radio France Internationale (RFI) in Paris, and Persian Deutsche Welle (DW) in Bonn. Analyzing different European broadcasting efforts toward Iran provides a better picture of the foreign information sources available to the Iranian audience. With a clearer understanding of the Iranian media market, the peculiarities and weaknesses of American broadcasting to the Islamic Republic can more easily be appraised. Finally, this study briefly explores the Iranian radio and television channels run by Iranian-origin private citizens who reside in the United States, mainly in Los Angeles.....

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    Dos anyone know what happened to the proposal by Secretary Rice (in her January 2006 Georgetown speech) that US embassies create chat rooms to engage local students with our diplomats?

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    Testimony on Strategic Communications and Comparative Ideas: Winning the Hearts and Minds in the Global War Against Terrorists, before the HASC Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, 11 Jul 07:

    Dr. Linton Wells, Force Transformation Chair, NDU

    Dr. Amy Zalman, Policy Analyst, SAIC

    Frank Kramer, Former ASD for International Security Policy

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