Defense Department public diplomacy versus State Department public diplomacy: has the invasion of turf begun?

Posted: 01 Dec 2007   Print   Send a link
"The United States has also lost several tools that were central to winning the Cold War. Notably, U.S. institutions of public diplomacy and strategic communications -- both critical to the current struggle of ideas against Islamic radicalism -- no longer exist. Some believed that after the fall of the Soviet Union such mechanisms were no longer needed and could even threaten the free flow of information. But when the U.S. Information Agency became part of the State Department in 1999, the country lost what had been a valuable institution capable of communicating America's message to international audiences powerfully and repeatedly." Donald Rumsfeld, Washington Post, 2 December 2007. Discussion of public diplomacy aspects of the U.S. Navy's relief efforts in parts of Bangladesh affected by tropical storm Sidr. Department of Defense transcript, 30 November 2007. "Major Brian Yarbrough, who, until recently headed up all pysops work in Anbar province, told me, 'We operate within psyops objectives determined in Washington. Baghdad draws up the supporting objectives. Then we work out specific themes and actions.'" Noah Shachtman, Wired Danger Room blog, 30 November 2007. See previous posts on 29 November and 27 November about same subject.