The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Monday, December 6

a new report and it's not pretty

Daily Kos has a post up on the Defense Science Board report.

Pentagon: Bush's 'hypocrisy' lost us hearts and minds
The war has increased mistrust of America in Europe, weakened  support for the war on terrorism, and undermined U.S. credibility worldwide. Media commentary is consistent with polling data. In a State Department (INR) survey of editorials and op-eds in 72 countries, 82.5% of commentaries were negative, 17.5%  positive.
That was from the report. Written by the Defense Science Board at the Pentagon.
There is consensus in these reports that U.S. public diplomacy is in crisis. Missing are strong leadership, strategic direction, adequate coordination, sufficient resources, and a culture of measurement and evaluation. America's image problem, many suggest, is linked to perceptions of the United States as arrogant, hypocritical, and self-indulgent. There is agreement too that public diplomacy could be a powerful asset with stronger Presidential leadership, Congressional support, inter-agency coordination, partnership with the private sector, and resources (people, tools, structures, programs, funding). Solutions lie not in short term, manipulative public relations. Results will depend on fundamental transformation of strategic communication instruments and a sustained long term, approach at the level of ideas, cultures, and values.

The number and depth of these reports indicate widespread concern among influential observers that something must be done about public diplomacy. But so far these concerns have produced no real change. The White House has paid little attention.
We haven't read the report yet. Should be interesting. Looking forward to the footnotes most especially.

Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication (PDF) 111 pages dated September 23, 2004


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