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  • Snails-Pace Senate Finally Moves on Public Diplomacy Chief

    Belatedly, last week, the new Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, Tara Sonenshine, and a bundle of other diplomatic nominees received the Senate stamp of approval. Having someone competent and knowledgeable to steer the U.S. government’s communication to the rest of the world is critically important. Yet this job has been vacant … More

    Obama and Medvedev: Best Friends Forever

    Imagine a foreign leader, visiting the White House, being overheard and captured on microphone whispering conspiratorially to the U.S. President that he intends to undermine the interests of his own country in order to please the United States. Could one imagine British Prime Minister David Cameron saying that he would … More

    House to Hear about Chinese Public Diplomacy

    There used to be a saying about the Chinese: “They work while we sleep.” In the field of public diplomacy, it is absolutely spot on. The Chinese have taken to public diplomacy and information warfare with a vengeance, using every tool of state and military craft to advance their ideology … More

    Punch Drunk in the Oval Office

    Could someone get the President some new speechwriters? President Obama is woefully in need of new vocabulary, as a recent expose by Danish television hilariously and embarrassingly reveals. For leaders of smaller nations, a meeting and a photo op with the American President in the White House is always a … More

    American Avatar: A Discussion of the Many Images of the United States

    American exceptionalism is term that sticks in the craw of many foreigners. “Aren’t all countries exceptional?” they say. At the same time, though, most people around the world have a collection of images that they associate with America as well as a deep fascination with all things American. As remarked … More

    Iranian Broadcasting Targets Latin America

    Challenges to U.S. international broadcasting and public diplomacy continue to mount. Iran, joining China and Russia, also nourishes ambitions as a global power and is moving forward with soft-power advances in Latin America. (Not that there is anything “soft” about Iranian soft power.) Part of the explanation is that Iran … More

    Chinese News Makes Inroads in U.S.

    Chinese TV has taken a page from Al Jazeera’s playbook. With sparkling new offices in Washington, D.C., on New York Avenue since February 6, and a staff of 75 soon to be 100, CCTV America is making a serious and well-financed bid to be a player in the U.S. media … More

    America's Complicated Relationship with Pakistan

    The rioting in Afghanistan resulting from the inadvertent incineration of several copies of the Quran at a U.S. military library has hammered the home the need for cultural understanding in the context of Afghanistan. The forces fanning the flames of popular outrage (i.e., the Taliban) clearly have their own anti-American … More

    Syria’s (Literal) Information Warfare

    To hide its myriad of other crimes, the Syrian government is determined to prevent news of its atrocities against its own citizens from getting out. Journalists claim that this week they were deliberately targeted by troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and they have released videos pleading for help. … More

    Quieting the Voice of America

    More than 30 years have passed since Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote about the “Soft Voice of America” in an article that first appeared in National Review on April 30, 1982. Incredibly, today we appear again to be headed in the direction bemoaned by Solzhenitsyn all those years ago. While the budget … More