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Despite the "resetting" of relations between the United States and Russia under the Obama Administration, opinion polls show that anti-Americanism in Russia remains rife. Kremlin-supported youth organizations, "talking heads," think tanks with international reach, documentaries and movies, and the Internet are dissemination tools for anti-American propaganda.
The Kremlin is using anti-Americanism as a strategic tool. On the domestic front, the "enemy image" of the United States serves as a scapegoat for unsuccessful policies and to lend legitimacy to Putin's leadership. In foreign policy, anti-Americanism seeks to unite countries such as Iran and Venezuela against the "common enemy" and to promote a multi-polar world vision in which Russia and many other states would check American influence. This phenomenon has far-reaching implications for U.S.-Russian relations and U.S. global image and cannot be dismissed.
U.S. public diplomacy is most effective when it has a receptive audience, a clear message and a thought-out strategy. This is not the case of the U.S. government's public diplomacy toward Russia. In contrast, the Kremlin's information operations inside the U.S. are highly sophisticated and pro-active. What is the Obama Administration doing to address Russian anti-Americanism? How can U.S. public diplomacy efforts and international broadcasting reach those segments of the Russian population that remain faithful to the ideals of liberal democracy and individual freedom? In addition, what is the extent of Russian information operations inside the U.S. and how effective are they?
More About the Speakers
Homeland Security Policy Institute,
Former Senior Correspondent/Geopolitics Analyst,
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Russian State Information Agency
Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow,
Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security,
The Heritage Foundation
Helle C. Dale
Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy