Issue Brief posted December 13, 2012
How to Save Radio Liberty
For over half a century, Radio Liberty (RL) has been a central part of the U.S. government’s efforts to support human rights and free expression in Russia and, before it, the Soviet Union. Today, tragically, Radio Liberty—or Radio Svoboda, as the Russians know it—is in turmoil, its Moscow-based staff decimated by deep cuts, and its future uncertain. And RL’s listeners are…
Issue Brief posted September 24, 2012
Top Five Statements Obama Should Make to U.N.
On September 25, President Obama will address the U.N. General Assembly. With anti-American protests continuing throughout the Islamic world and setbacks to key U.S. foreign policy goals, the President should deliver a strong, confident speech that reflects America’s determination to defend its interests and serve as a constructive force for good.
Lecture posted May 8, 2012
The Obama Doctrine at Year Three: An Assessment
Abstract: Even before taking office, President Obama began laying out the tenets of a doctrine that would enable his Administration to remake America as one nation among many, with no singular claim to responsibility or exceptionalism. These tenets include a more humble engagement with the world and more reliance on others, as well as treaties and international…
Issue Brief posted April 27, 2012
Target Cyber-Oppressors, Not U.S. Businesses
The Obama Administration has been heavily criticized for not acting forcefully to stem human rights abuses in the Middle East. Criticism of the Administration has largely focused on Iran and Syria, where Bashar al-Assad’s government is guilty of atrocious bloodshed against its own people. In response, President Obama announced several new initiatives on April 23,…
Backgrounder posted March 5, 2012
Why America Has Trouble Reaching Iran: VOA’s Persian News Network in Dire Need of Reform
The regime that controls Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, and close to acquiring a nuclear weapon. Controlled by this regime are 74 million Iranians, 60 percent of which are under age 30, multitudes of whom reject the fanatic theocracy that tries to separate them from outside ideas. Millions of…
WebMemo posted February 9, 2012
U.S. Urgently Needs to Reset Its Bilateral Relationship with Egypt
Egypt’s transitional military regime threw down a direct challenge to the Obama Administration on Monday when government prosecutors announced that 43 people, including 19 Americans, will stand trial for allegedly interfering in Egypt’s internal politics. Egyptian officials claim that they illegally funded political groups in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, while the…
WebMemo posted February 3, 2012
Fill the Public Diplomacy Leadership Vacuum
The U.S. government’s public diplomacy institutions are running on autopilot. While other nations, such as China, are ramping up public diplomacy and soft-power capabilities, the attention of the political leaders in this country is focused elsewhere: the budget deficit, the economy, the presidential election, etc. The effect is that the people who should be advocating…
WebMemo posted November 7, 2011
Congress Should Overhaul BBG Management
Congress should undertake much overdue oversight of the management practices and structures of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). U.S. international broadcasting needs professional management and a transparent structure and does not have it at the moment.
As a part-time, rotating, nine-member board that makes…
WebMemo posted August 31, 2011
Congress Must Set High Bar for White House Strategic Communications Plan
The U.S. government is struggling to coordinate the volumes of information from the many agencies and departments that make up slices of the public diplomacy and strategic communications pie. Congress needs to use its oversight to evaluate the variety of agencies, set specific goals, and ensure that the vital work of public diplomacy moves forward.
WebMemo posted August 10, 2011
Security Assistance Act: Responsibly Tying Foreign Policy Budgets to Security Demands
The Security Assistance Act of 2011 (Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012, H.R. 2583), which authorizes appropriations for the State Department for fiscal year (FY) 2012, represents a strong, back-to-basics answer to the Obama Administration’s overly ambitious attempts at redefining U.S. foreign relations. The bill’s aim is to tie American foreign affairs…