Secretary Gates on America's "miserable" international communications.

Posted: 27 Nov 2007   Print   Send a link
Defense Secretary Robert Gates "said the U.S. government must improve its skills at public diplomacy and public affairs to better describe the nation's strategy and values to a global audience. 'We are miserable at communicating to the rest of the world what we are about as a society and a culture, about freedom and democracy, about our policies and our goals,' he said. 'It is just plain embarrassing that Al Qaeda is better at communicating its message on the Internet than America.' Gates expressed regret over decisions by previous administrations to cut the U.S. Agency for International Development and to abolish the U.S. Information Agency and divide its responsibilities among other offices." New York Times, 27 November 2007. In the transcript of the speech, Secretary Gates does not use the term "public diplomacy." -- "In her own State Department, Rice's concept of 'transformational diplomacy' is largely forgotten, a fanfare about better public diplomacy has faded and morale is sinking." McClatchy Newspapers, 26 November 2007.