State Department Winging it on Public Diplomacy Programs

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According to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, the dismal decline of America’s public image is not a sufficient reason for the State Department to take public diplomacy as seriously as it deserves. Well, to be precise, the report, titled “U.S. Public Diplomacy: Actions Needed to Improve Strategic Use and Coordination of Research” (pdf file), doesn’t use exactly those words. But here’s what it does say: The State Department’s “commitment to the development of a defined approach to thematic communications, centered on program-specific research, has been absent.” This is GAO-speak for the plain assessment that the U.S. government […]

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