Public Diplomacy brought to you by the Department of Defense, not State

News brief from Yemen:

US Troops help animals in Yemen. More than 780 animals were treated as part of a free veterinary project by American forces last week, the US military news agency reported. Local veterinarians joined with civil affairs team members from the US Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa to treat herds in the villages of Bani Mamoon, Thula and Hababa. Animals were given vitamins and anti-parasitic medication and were checked for any other problems. While the number of animals treated was lower than in past held by the task force, team members said they felt the mission was succesful, according to the American Forces Press Service. "We made a big difference for probably 700-plus families, each with their own work animal," said Army Major Jim Riche, a veterinarian and civic action team leader. "Each animal was extremely valuable to the owner, so we had a larger effect on the human population owning these animals than we originally expected." In addition to helping the villagers, team members shared and learnt techniques with the local vets they worked with. "They were a lot of fun, even if communication was a little difficult at times," said Riche. "There were a lot of tools we use that they weren’t familiar with, and techniques they use we’ve never seen before, so the experience improved the profession on both sides."

Is the US military really the best tool for public diplomacy? Initial PD makes sense, especially in war ravaged or dangerous regions. But there must be follow through folks.

Technorati Tags: Public Diplomacy, 4GW, Yemen, Horn of Africa