DoD PD vs DoS PD

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

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

"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 [PSYOP] work in Anbar province, told me, ‘We operate within [PSYOP] 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.

No time for my comment now, but read Rumsfeld’s WaPo contribution and I’ll be back later. Talk amongst yourselves…

(H/T CH)

One thought on “DoD PD vs DoS PD

  1. There’s no question that allowing State to take over USIA’s roles and responsibilities was a bad idea and should be reversed. However, of all people who were former government officials, Don Rumsfeld ought to be the last people to complain about the loss of tools intended to communicate the US message to the world. He and Cheney have to be held responsible (with a large amount of credit to Ms. Rice and Ms. Hughes) for diminishing the State Dept’s ability to communicate said message, and instead allow the DOD to assume some role in “information operations” or propaganda, as it were. We need to fix this situation, but Rummie isn’t the agent of change to suggest a correction.

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