U.S. Public Diplomacy Update: nothing new to report

Nothing's new in PD, move along

It is the beginning of May 2008 and according to the Department of State’s office of the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, the office has done nothing interesting since 31 December 2007.  That’s nice.

You really can’t blame State, though.  A new boss went through the nomination hearings (quickly and quietly), but his confirmation has been held up by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

A question for Senator Coburn: in your opinion, are we really better off without an Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy (and Public Affairs) than with Jim Glassman?  While Jim won’t be able to do much substantial work in the short time left (made shorter by the Senator’s hold on Jim’s confirmation), he will be able to set up the next Administration, and next Undersecretary, for success, which is critical to the national security of this country.  With it unclear whether a Republican or Democrat will be in the Oval Office, isn’t it prudent to make your mark now when you can, rather than wait until you’re in the opposition?  Regardless of your view of Jim Glassman, is keeping the office vacant really in America’s best interest?

Coburn-Hadley_2008On why the Senator from Oklahoma continues to block Jim Glassman’s confirmation, read his letter to National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley that I referred to in this earlier post.  

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