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A Blog on Understanding, Informing, Empowering, and Influencing Global Publics, published by Matt Armstrong

Q and A with pre-confirmation Secretary State Hillary Clinton (Updated)

Written Q&A between Senators Kerry and Lugar and presumed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, are below.

In the Lugar Q&A, public diplomacy-related questions, including broadcasting (oddly listed as separate from public diplomacy), are on pages 84-87, questions 139-142. The original report is here. It is an image-only 102 page, 4mb PDF. I’ve uploaded a searchable version of the PDF here (warning 78mb PDF!, but it is searchable).

Senator Kerry’s Q&A with HRC is here and a searchable and bookmarked (for public diplomacy-related questions) version is here (72mb PDF). 

Excerpts from both are below the fold. Also, her testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations committee can be found here.

In response to Lugar’s question regarding America’s failure to engage the world and whether the issue with the message or the method of communication:

The President-Elect and I believe strongly that the challenge of restoring America’s leadership in the world community hinges on improving the content of our policies; in altering the strategic approaches we employ in our dealings with the world (especially moving from unilateralism to a more balanced diplomatic and consultative strategic orientation); and thirdly, we must have effective and respected traditional and public diplomatic capabilities. We can do a better job of attracting the best and the brightest. We must do a better job of giving our talented women and men the resources they need to guarantee that our strategy and our policies can be pursued successfully. All three elements are essential -policies, strategy and instruments -and I, if confirmed by the Senate, intend to assure that each is strong, and that they all work together to be mutually re-enforcing.

HRC’s response to Lugar’s question of whether the Broadcasting Board of Governors should be replaced or altered:

A robust and effective BBG in turn requires a strong and unambiguous fire wall between the professional journalists and editors at BBG, and others in the U.S. government whether at the White House or the State Department. I recognize this to be a fundamental requirement of effective international broadcasting.

Kerry Question: What are your views as to how we can craft a more effective worldwide strategy that takes our military operations to capture and kill terrorists and folds them into a larger "information war" designed to win hearts and minds and prevent possible terrorists from ever being recruited?

President-Elect Obama has made it clear that we need a comprehensive strategy to fight terrorism that balances and integrates military force, diplomacy, intelligence, law enforcement,
financial action, economic might, and moral suasion. …

If confirmed by the Senate, I will also work with the President in launching a program of public diplomacy that is a coordinated effort across his Administration.

Kerry Question: A recent study by the American Academy of Diplomacy calls for a rapid increase in resources, training and personnel for the State Department and related civilian agencies. … Do you
support these proposals? Would you go further?

… If confirmed, obtaining the funds needed to realize this staffing increase will be one of my highest management goals. …

We also need to do more to train our personnel for new demands, including those associated with reconstruction anti stabilization missions.

I look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the Department of State is staffed and equipped to meet the many challenges that America faces
abroad.

Kerry Question: Many are critical of the decision to fold the U.S. Information Agency into the State Department in 1999, observing that the long-term efforts of public diplomacy have been subordinated to the short-term rapid-reaction goals emphasized by public affairs. Several have proposed reestablishing a U.S. agency responsible for public diplomacy and strategic communications that would be separate from the State Department…

…USIA was an effective, single purpose agency in many ways, but it is more practical at
this time to improve the functioning of the public diplomacy in the Department than to recreate an independent entity. If confirmed, I look forward to a full assessment of public diplomacy at the State Department and will look to this Committee and the Congress for its counsel as we consider how to make improvements.

  • Da Buffalo Amongst Wolves says:

    I suspect the reason broadcasting is kept separately in governmental discussions of public diplomacy may be due to various international treaties that go back to the days of radios that ‘glow in the dark’ and Morse code, and some more current…

    The key features include agreement on a common purpose in establishing globpqyterally internetworked public networks and services, the role of government in assuring availability, the adherence to some common technical and operational standards, national security considerations (emphasis mine), sharing information… [PDF, 73kb]

    January 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm
  • Da Buffalo Amongst Wolves says:

    “globpqyterally” (?) should read ‘globally’

    January 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm
  • PHK says:

    Don’t forget what HRC said (or didn’t say) about America Houses in the Kerry-Clinton written Q&A: “the Administration will pursue concrete objectives, including opening “America Houses” in cities across the Arab world, which will be modeled on the successful program the United States launched following World War II.”
    I thought Obama originally said “across the Muslim world” but maybe I’m wrong – or not. Anyway, Clinton didn’t either intentionally or inadvertently.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm
  • Dan Kuehl says:

    The most encouraging comment i see is Kerry’s use of “larger information war”. HRC’s answers on the basic PD issue are pretty much the same as Tutwiler and even Hughes gave during their confirmation hearings for the PD job. Only Glassman seemed to have an aggressive concept for what to “do’. If McHale is the choice to follow him, I believe her experience running a media company (Discovery) will be helpful. After all, the USS/PDPA doesn’t “fight the info war”, the troops (ie. the public diplomacy folks) do.

    January 22, 2009 at 9:58 pm

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