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American Public Diplomacy: Roadmap to Recovery

Recorded on June 14, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

America's foreign communications has lacked effective leadership, coordination, and goals since the U.S Department of State absorbed the U.S. Information Agency in 1999. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, lawmakers and policymakers concluded that something must be done to bolster America's overseas communication capability. Despite a succession of Under Secretaries of State for Public Diplomacy and the establishment of new U.S.-funded broadcasting outlets to the Middle East, there is no chain of accountability and little coordination among federal agencies on foreign communications. Meanwhile, the Islamic world is in crisis about its identity and relationship to the United States. Only coordinated full-service public diplomacy and international broadcasting can promote the kind of exchanges and views that will kindle a democratic fire in the minds of foreign citizens.