Thursday, July 28, 2005

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Hey, Karen Hughes!!!! Over here!!!!

Dear Karen,

I see you are slowly wending your way through the confirmation process for the post of Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Congrats on that unanimous vote.

By the way, Robert Satloff has a must-read piece in TNR Online on the hurdles you will face at Foggy Bottom. Here are the opening and closing paragraphs:

In her Senate nominating testimony last week, Undersecretary of State-designate for public diplomacy Karen Hughes characterized America's challenge to win allies and understanding around the globe as a "struggle of ideas." Here's a story of what happened when one bright idea--ahem, my bright idea--offered as a modest proposal to help fight the post-9/11 hearts-and-minds battle in the Middle East ran up against a truly formidable adversary: the federal bureaucracy....

Both Hughes and [Dina] Powell have reputations for being smart, savvy professionals; but neither has ever worked in the State bureaucracy, where purse-strings are power and turf is holy ground. To be sure, officials in each one of State's alphabet soup of offices--ECA, OOS, MEPI--are caring, committed professionals, forced to make solomonic decisions about lots of worthy projects with limited funds. But Hughes and Powell have a special responsibility to see the big picture and to connect the many little dots that will make it come to life--in other words, to break through the bureaucratic brick-wall that is hampering our efforts to win hearts and minds in the Middle East. Hughes is right that the war on terrorism is a "struggle of ideas." It would be nice if implementing ideas to fight that battle weren't such a struggle.

Read the whole thing. And then roll up your sleeves.

And then -- only if you have the time, mind you -- go read Anne Applebaum too. .

posted by Dan on 07.28.05 at 02:10 PM


Or, you could read this Belgravia Dispatch post from three months ago:

I was wondering when someone besides this Joseph Britt person, whoever he is, was going to notice the difference between the amount of work that has to be done in the public diplomacy area and the tools we have available to do that work, among the weakest of which is Karen Hughes herself.

posted by: Zathras on 07.28.05 at 02:10 PM [permalink]

The best public diplomacy campaign possible would be for the USA to end its imeperial quest for world domination. Then they stop throwing away tax payer dollars on idiotic "i'm an american" tv ads and start acting like like they were serious when they spoke of democracy and peace and human rights. Bush is a greater and more efficient terrorist then Bin Laden will ever be.

posted by: public diplomacy on 07.28.05 at 02:10 PM [permalink]

>Hughes is right that the war on terrorism is a "struggle of ideas."

I think not...

More like a "struggle of actions" which define what kind of people you are.

If the actions don't match the ideas you are pitching, you not only lose the
PR war, but the HOT war itself.

Besides, The 'war on terrorism' is over...Bushies have changed the

At least it was a short war.

posted by: James on 07.28.05 at 02:10 PM [permalink]


New name for 'war on terror'
By Matthew Davis
BBC News, Washington

The Bush administration is abandoning the phrase "war on terror" to better
express the fight against al-Qaeda and other groups as an ideological
struggle as much as a military mission.

While the slogan - first used by President George W Bush in the wake of the
9/11 attacks - may still be heard from time to time, the White House says it
will increasingly be couched in other language.

In recent days, senior administration figures have been speaking publicly of
"a global struggle against the enemies of freedom", and of the need to use
all "tools of statecraft" to defeat them.

The shift in terms comes at a time when the US public is increasingly
pessimistic about the war in Iraq - and sceptical about its links to the
fight against terrorism.

One White House official told the BBC the move did not mark a change of
approach, but was intended to give a broader perspective to the "evolving
nature" of the struggle.

'Economic influence'

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke in the new language on Friday,
praising a retiring Navy officer who had served as "our country wages the
global struggle against the enemies of freedom, the enemies of

The long-term problem is as much diplomatic, as much economic, in fact more
diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military
General Richard Myers

The next day, national security advisor Steven Hadley co-wrote a piece for
the New York Times in which he set out the current thinking.

"Military action is only one piece of the war on terrorism," Mr Hadley

"At the same time, however, we must bring all of the tools of statecraft,
economic influence and private enterprise to bear in this war.

"Freedom-loving people around the world must reach out through every means -
communications, trade, education - to support the courageous Muslims who are
speaking the truth about their proud religion and history, and seizing it
back from those who would hijack it for evil ends."

The country's top military officer spoke in a similar vein on Monday.

General Richard Myers told a meeting at the National Press Club: "The
long-term problem is as much diplomatic, as much economic, in fact more
diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military.

"And that's where the focus has to be in the future."

posted by: No von mises on 07.28.05 at 02:10 PM [permalink]

Prof D:

Think again about this "sclerotic bureaucracy" trope. State, including the public diplomacy side of the hous, has given sound advice to the Bush team since 2001, in terms of the costs and benefits of confronting, engaging, Islam and the governments of the Islamic world.

Bush nominated Hughes months and months ago; nobody in Congress delayed here arrival, nobody in the Department of State delayed her; she simply found it more convenient to show up this Summer rather than months ago, when America actually needed an undersecretary. Family issues, I gather. Such overlord arrogance has already lost her the respect of teh bureacracy you say she needs to refrom. Give me a break: Bush should have todl her to show up for the job on time, or found a serious and committed leader for public diplomacy, not just the summa of Bush loyalists.

posted by: Observer on 07.28.05 at 02:10 PM [permalink]

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