In 1949, the Cold War was in full swing. Barely four years earlier, the White House and the Congress set about to make various programs permanent in the post-war world. These efforts included various information programs — radio, libraries, press feeds, motion pictures, books, and other publications — and various exchange programs — educational, cultural, and technical. There was one primary authority for these — the eventually named Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 — and several supplementary programs — the Fulbright Act and Defense Department information programs run in Japan and Germany/Austria.
And yet, despite the acknowledged importance of information and person to person engagement — as repeatedly and publicly declared by Secretary George C. Marshall, by General Dwight Eisenhower, many in Congress, and many, many others — appropriations were slow. The Advisory Commission noted the imbalance and said the effort, which was widely acknowledged as critical, inexpensive for its impact (relative to military power), and necessary to maximizing the impact of foreign aid, was under funded.
For those paying attention and looking for the D in DIME, Diplomacy was viewed as the obvious platform on which these were all based. Remember that the information program, and face-to-face programs, were primarily based in the State Department, and the Advisory Commission worked closely with the Secretary of State, the President, and the Congress. Within four years, very soon after Eisenhower became President, two reorganization plans were submitted to Congress to further State’s primacy in the conduct of U.S. foreign relations.