U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues

This report provides background on U.S. public diplomacy, and discusses the United States information agency, current structure of public diplomacy within the Department of State, and the public diplomacy budget.

U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Kennon H. Nakamura Analyst in Foreign Affairs Matthew C. Weed Analyst in Foreign Policy Legislation December 18, 2009 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R40989 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Summary Public diplomacy is defined in different ways, but broadly it is a term used to describe a government’s efforts to conduct foreign policy and promote national interests through direct outreach and communication with the population of a foreign country. Public diplomacy activities include providing information to foreign publics through broadcast and Internet media and at libraries and other outreach facilities in foreign countries; conducting cultural diplomacy, such as art exhibits and music performances; and administering international educational and professional exchange programs. The United States has long sought to influence the peoples of foreign countries through public diplomacy. After World War II, during which the U.S. military conducted most information and communication activities, authority for U.S. public diplomacy was placed in civilian hands. During the Cold War, the United States Information Agency (USIA) led U.S. public diplomacy efforts, with a primary mission of combating Soviet propaganda and the spread of communism. Once the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, USIA’s role was diminished, and its resources were reduced during the 1990s. Finally, USIA was abolished in 1999 as part of a post-Cold War reorganization, with public diplomacy responsibilities folded into the Department of State. After the 9/11 terror attacks, there was new interest in promoting effective public diplomacy, as a struggle against extremist ideologies became crucial to the overall fight against terrorism. In recent years, many observers have called for increased resources for and improvement of U.S. public diplomacy efforts. A number of challenges and questions, however, currently affect the future of U.S. government communications with foreign publics. Some argue that abolishing USIA was a mistake and that the State Department is ill-suited to conduct long-term public diplomacy. Also, the Department of Defense and the U.S. military have increased significantly their role in communicating with foreign publics. Determining public diplomacy roles, responsibilities, and coordination procedures among civilian and military actors has therefore become a central issue. In addition, with the rise and rapid evolution of Internet communications, the U.S. government must determine how to effectively communicate with foreign publics in an increasingly complex, accessible, and democratized global communications environment. A number of issues for Congress have arisen concerning U.S. public diplomacy. Determining levels of public diplomacy funding, for programs and personnel, will continue to be of central importance. Establishing capabilities to improve monitoring and assessment of public diplomacy activities, as well as to leverage expertise and best practices outside government, may be important to increasing public diplomacy effectiveness. Questions of possible reorganization of public diplomacy authorities and capabilities, through legislation or otherwise, may be considered. Requirements for effective interagency cooperation and coordination, as well as creation of a national public diplomacy strategy and whole-of-government approaches may be created to improve effective communication with foreign publics. Several pieces of legislation proposed thus far in the 111th Congress concern changes to, improvements in, and funding for public diplomacy. These bills include H.R. 2647 and S. 1707, which have been enacted into law, as well as H.R. 363, H.R. 489, H.R. 490, H.R. 2387, H.R. 2410, S. 230, and S. 894. Congressional consideration of these bills, and continued interest in U.S. public diplomacy, are expected to continue during the 111th Congress’s second session. Congressional Research Service U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Contents Introduction ................................................................................................................................1 Organization of This Report ..................................................................................................3 U.S. Public Diplomacy Background ............................................................................................3 Legislative Authority.............................................................................................................3 State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 ..............................................................3 United States Information and Education and Exchange Act of 1948 ...............................4 Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 ..................................................6 United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 ......................................................7 Moves Toward a Permanent U.S. Public Diplomacy Capacity ...............................................9 United States Information Agency...............................................................................................9 USIA in Washington ........................................................................................................... 10 Bureau of Information................................................................................................... 10 Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ................................................................... 11 Bureau of Management ................................................................................................. 11 U.S. International Broadcasting..................................................................................... 12 USIS in the Field ................................................................................................................ 13 USIA’s Budget and Staff Levels .......................................................................................... 14 Appropriations .............................................................................................................. 14 Personnel ...................................................................................................................... 14 Abolishing USIA and Transferring Public Diplomacy to the State Department........................... 15 Transfer of USIA Functions to the State Department ........................................................... 16 Independence for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) ........................................... 16 Current Structure of Public Diplomacy Within the Department of State ..................................... 17 Public Diplomacy Organization in Washington.................................................................... 17 Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) ........................................................ 20 Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP)....................................................... 21 The Bureau of Public Affairs (PA)................................................................................. 22 Office of Policy Planning and Resources (R/PPR) ......................................................... 22 Office of Private Sector Outreach (R/PSO).................................................................... 22 Public Diplomacy in the Field ............................................................................................. 22 Differences Between USIA and the State Department.......................................................... 23 Authority ...................................................................................................................... 23 Funding ........................................................................................................................ 23 Assignments and Evaluations ........................................................................................ 24 Support in the Field....................................................................................................... 24 Broadcasting Board of Governors ............................................................................................. 24 Public Diplomacy Budget ......................................................................................................... 26 State Department................................................................................................................. 26 International Broadcasting................................................................................................... 27 Public Diplomacy Personnel ............................................................................................... 27 Other Government Agencies Communicating with Foreign Publics ........................................... 28 Department of Defense Communications ............................................................................ 28 Department of Defense Strategic Communication Activities .......................................... 29 Congressional Research Service U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Department of Defense Strategic Communication Doctrine and Coordination Efforts........................................................................................................................ 30 USAID ............................................................................................................................... 31 Additional Actors................................................................................................................ 31 National Strategy and Interagency Coordination Efforts ............................................................ 32 Current Issues Concerning U.S. Public Diplomacy .................................................................... 34 Leadership .......................................................................................................................... 35 National Strategy ................................................................................................................ 36 Global Communications Environment........................................................................... 36 New Approach to Communicating with Foreign Publics................................................ 37 Integrated, Whole-of-Government Implementation........................................................ 39 Agency Roles and Interagency Coordination ....................................................................... 39 DOD: Filling the Communications Gap......................................................................... 41 Coordination Difficulties............................................................................................... 42 State Department Organizational Issues............................................................................... 43 The Culture of Official Diplomacy in the State Department ........................................... 43 Public Diplomacy in the State Department Hierarchy .................................................... 44 A New Agency for Public Diplomacy? .......................................................................... 45 Personnel: Recruitment, Training, and Utilization................................................................ 46 Recruiting and Training................................................................................................. 46 Effective Use of Public Diplomacy Officers .................................................................. 47 Outreach Activities.............................................................................................................. 48 Exchange Programs ...................................................................................................... 48 English Language Education ......................................................................................... 48 America Centers/America Houses ................................................................................. 49 Information Resources and Internet Presence ................................................................ 50 International Broadcasting................................................................................................... 50 Criticism of the Organization of International Broadcasting........................................... 51 Leveraging Non-public Sectors: Expertise, Best Practices, and Innovation .......................... 52 Creating an Independent Support Organization.............................................................. 52 Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Public Diplomacy Activities................................. 53 Prohibiting Domestic Dissemination of Public Diplomacy Information: Smith-Mundt Act................................................................................................................................... 55 Recent Legislative Action ......................................................................................................... 56 Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication .............................................. 58 Interagency Coordination .................................................................................................... 58 Agency Roles and Responsibilities...................................................................................... 59 State Department Public Diplomacy Organization ............................................................... 59 DOD Communications Activities ........................................................................................ 59 Personnel/Human Resources ............................................................................................... 60 America Centers, Libraries, and Increased Outreach............................................................ 60 Increased Exchanges ........................................................................................................... 61 International Broadcasting................................................................................................... 63 Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation................................................................................. 63 Increasing Public Diplomacy Best Practices and Expertise .................................................. 64 Provisions Related to Restrictions on Domestic Dissemination of Public Diplomacy Information...................................................................................................................... 64 Congressional Research Service U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Figures Figure 1. Public Diplomacy Timeline ..........................................................................................8 Figure 2.Organization Chart for the United States Information Agency in 1999 ......................... 12 Figure 3. Organization of Public Diplomacy Within the Department of State ............................. 19 Figure 4. Organization of U.S. International Broadcasting ......................................................... 25 Tables Table 1. FY1997-FY1999 Appropriations for USIA and Related Programs ................................ 14 Table 2. USIA Authorized Personnel Strength 1997-1999 .......................................................... 15 Table 3. FY2008-FY2010 Public Diplomacy Appropriations in U.S. Department of State......... 26 Table 4. FY2008-FY2010 Appropriations for International Broadcasting................................... 27 Table 5. 2008-2010 Public Diplomacy Positions, U.S. Department of State ............................... 27 Contacts Author Contact Information ...................................................................................................... 65 Congressional Research Service U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Introduction The United States has long sought to influence the peoples of foreign countries through public diplomacy (PD) efforts. Public diplomacy provides a foreign policy complement to traditional government-to-government diplomacy, which is dominated by official interaction carried out between professional diplomats. Unlike public affairs, which focus communications activities intended primarily to inform and influence domestic media and the American people, U.S. public diplomacy includes efforts to interact directly with the citizens, community and civil leaders, journalists, and other opinion leaders of another country. PD seeks to influence that society’s attitudes and actions in supporting U.S. policies and national interests. Public diplomacy is viewed as often having a long-term perspective that requires working through the exchange of people and ideas to build lasting relationships and understanding of the United States and its culture, values, and policies. The tools of public diplomacy include people-to-people contact; expert speaker programs; art and cultural performances; books and literature; radio and television broadcasting and movies; and, more recently, the Internet. In contrast, traditional diplomacy involves the strong representation of U.S. policies to foreign governments, analysis and reporting of a foreign government’s activities, attitudes, and trends that affect U.S. interests. There is a growing concern among many in the executive branch, the Congress, the media, and other foreign policy observers, however, that the United States has lost its public diplomacy capacity to successfully respond to today’s international challenges in supporting the accomplishment of U.S. national interests. Public diplomacy capacity and capabilities atrophied in the years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. U.S. public diplomacy efforts were carried out primarily by the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), created in 1953, as well as U.S. non-military international broadcasting by entities such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Liberty. These entities had been well resourced throughout the Cold War; however, with the end of the Soviet threat, those resources dwindled as it was believed that there was no ideological fight still to win. Many analysts believe that the United States generally placed public diplomacy on a “back burner” as a relic of the Cold War. In 1999, new legislation abolished USIA and folded its responsibilities into the State Department, again with reduced resources for public diplomacy. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and with U.S. combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, interest in public diplomacy as a foreign policy and national security tool was renewed. Concerns about the events in the Middle East focused the attention of policy makers on the need for a sound, well-resourced public diplomacy program. This concern was heightened by the realization that the worldwide perception of the United States has declined considerably in recent years with the United States often being considered among the most distrusted and dangerous countries in the world.1 As the United States sought to revitalize its PD initiatives, it became clear the changes in the world order and changes caused by the Internet and information technology in general created a new dynamic for U.S. public diplomacy initiatives. The world of international communications and information sharing is undergoing revolutionary changes at remarkable speeds. The rapid 1 Congressman William Delahunt, “Opening Statement for Subcommittee Hearings on Global Polling Data on Opinion of American Policies, Values and People,” House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight, Washington, March 6, 2007. From March 6, 2007 to May 17, 2007, the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight held five hearings examining polling data about attitudes toward the United States in various parts of the world and the reasons for these attitudes. Congressional Research Service 1 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues increase in available sources of information, through the proliferation of global and regional broadcasters using satellite technologies, as well as the global reach of news and information websites on the Internet, has diversified and complicated the shaping of attitudes of foreign populations. Individual communicators now have the ability to influence large numbers of people on a global scale through social networking, providing a direct challenge to the importance of traditional information media and actors. Traditional media, such as newspapers, have created online interactive exchanges between providers and consumers of information by allowing readers to comment on news reporting. New online social media networks such as weblogs, Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook allow individuals to connect with one another on a global scale, providing opportunities for “many-to-many” exchanges of information that bypass the “one-tomany” sources that formerly dominated the information landscape. In addition, the method of information delivery and receipt has been fundamentally changed, with cell phones and other handheld mobile devices capable of sending and receiving large amounts of written, visual, and audio information. Communication of information through these new media, regardless of how they depict the United States, contribute to the impressions about the United States and its society. It is in this ever expanding and accelerating global communications environment that U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting must operate, “competing for attention and for credibility in a time when rumors can spark riots, and information, whether it’s true or false, quickly spreads across the world, across the internet, in literally instants.”2 The attitudes and perceptions of foreign publics created in this new environment are often as important as reality, and sometimes can even trump reality. These attitudes affect the ability of the United States to form and maintain alliances in pursuit of common policy objectives; impact the cost and the effectiveness of military operations; influence local populations to either cooperate, support or be hostile as the United States pursues foreign policy and/or military objectives in that country; affect the ability to secure support on issues of particular concern in multilateral fora; and dampen foreign publics’ enthusiasm for U.S. business services and products. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale, in discussing the implications of foreign perceptions and attitudes on U.S. foreign policy and national security, said, Governments inclined to support U.S. policies will back away if their populations do not trust us. But if we do this right, if we develop relationships with people around the world, if they trust us as a partner, this dynamic will be reversed. Less cooperative regimes will be forced to moderate their positions under popular pressure. To the extent that we succeed, threats we face today will diminish and new partnerships will be possible.3 Today, 14 Cabinet-level departments and over 48 independent agencies and commissions participate in at least one form of official public diplomacy, mostly regarding exchanges or training programs. 4 Yet because of the increasing recognition of public diplomacy’s key role in the conduct of U.S. foreign affairs, many in the executive branch, Congress, think tanks, nongovernmental organizations, and news media debate different approaches to improving U.S public diplomacy to respond to new challenges, determining public diplomacy authorities and 2 Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes, Remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City, May 10, 2006. 3 Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Judith A. McHale, “Public Diplomacy: A National Security Imperative,” Address at the Center for a New American Security, Washington, June 11, 2009. 4 Interagency Working Group on U.S. Government-Sponsored International Exchanges and Training, FY2008 Annual Report, Washington, D.C., 2008, p. 14, http://www.iawg.gov/reports/inventory/. Congressional Research Service 2 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues responsibilities, defining and executing public diplomacy strategy, and adequately resourcing public diplomacy. Organization of This Report The body of this report is divided into five sections.5 The first section provides background information on U.S. public diplomacy, its legislative foundations, and the history of modern U.S. public diplomacy including the former USIA. The second section discusses the abolishment of USIA and the transfer of its functions to the Department of State. The third section discusses the current structure of public diplomacy within the Department of State as well as its budget and personnel levels. The fourth section gives a detailed overview of some of the major related policy issues and perceived challenges to the effectiveness of U.S. public diplomacy, and proposed reforms and solutions. Finally, the fifth section describes proposed legislation intended to reform and improve U.S. public diplomacy. U.S. Public Diplomacy Background This section provides an overview of the legislative authorities for the conduct of public diplomacy activities within the U.S. government. It continues with a discussion of the historical context of U.S. civilian-led public diplomacy as it developed since World War I, the creation of USIA in 1953, and its activities and organization. It also provides budget and personnel information for the former USIA. Legislative Authority Four acts provide the current foundational authority of the U.S. government to engage in public diplomacy in its many venues, and establish the parameters and restrictions regarding those authorities: the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956; the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948; the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961; and the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994. State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 The State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956, as amended (P.L. 84-885; 22 U.S.C. §§ 2651a, 2669 et seq.), authorizes six Under Secretaries of State for the Department of State, specifically requiring that there be an Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy. Section 1(b)(3) of the Act (22 U.S.C. § 2651a(b)(3)), in describing the position of the Under Secretary for Public 5 This report focuses primarily on the public diplomacy authorities, organization, resources, and activities of the Department of State and the issues concerning reforming and improving the public diplomacy capabilities of the Department. Although the Department of Defense (DOD), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and several other U.S. government agencies communicate with populations abroad, the primary legal authorities and governmental organization for such engagement rest within the State Department, and the State Department remains the central focus and starting point of most calls for reform of the United States’ approach to communicating with foreign publics. Individual public diplomacy and strategic communication issues, such as countering violent extremism and radical ideologies in the Islamic world, are referenced when integral to overarching public diplomacy issues but would require dedicated reports to be treated comprehensively. Congressional Research Service 3 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Diplomacy, states that the Under Secretary has “the primary responsibility to assist the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary in the formation and implementation of United States public diplomacy policies, including international educational and cultural exchange programs, information, and international broadcasting.” The section enumerates several responsibilities of the Under Secretary, including preparing an annual strategic plan for public diplomacy, ensuring the design and implementation of appropriate program evaluation methodologies, and assisting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in presenting the policies of the United States. Section 60 of the act (22 U.S.C. § 2732), entitled “Public Diplomacy Responsibilities of the Department of State,” requires the Secretary of State to make public diplomacy an integral component in the planning and execution of U.S. foreign policy. The Secretary is to make every effort to coordinate the public diplomacy activities of the federal agencies, work with the Broadcasting Board of Governors to develop a comprehensive strategy for the use of PD resources, and establish long-term measurable objectives. The Secretary is also to work with USAID and other private and public assistance organizations to ensure that information on the assistance the United States is providing is disseminated widely, and particularly to the people in the recipient countries. United States Information and Education and Exchange Act of 1948 The United States Information and Education and Exchange Act of 1948, as amended (P.L. 80402; 22 U.S.C. § 1431 et seq.), also known as the Smith-Mundt Act, served as the post-World War II charter for peacetime overseas information and education exchange activities. Section 501 (22 U.S.C. § 1461) states that the objective of the Act is “to enable the Government of the United States to promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” The section authorizes the Secretary of State to prepare and disseminate “information about the United States, its people, and its policies, through press, publications, radio, motion pictures, and other information media, and through information centers and instructors abroad.” Section 501, unlike previous government public information efforts, prohibits materials developed under the authorities of this Act from being disseminated within the United States, its territories, or possessions: (a).... Subject to subsection (b), any information (other than “Problems of Communism” and the “English Teaching Forum” which may continue to be sold by the Government Printing Office) shall not be disseminated within the United States, its territories, or possessions, but, on request, shall be available in the English language at the Department of State, at all reasonable times following its release as information abroad, for examination only by representatives of United States press associations, newspapers, magazines, radio systems, and stations, and by research students and scholars, and, on request, shall be made available for examination only to Members of Congress. (b)(1) The Director of the United States Information Agency shall make available to the Archivist of the United States, for domestic distribution, motion pictures, films, videotapes, and other material prepared for dissemination abroad 12 years after the initial dissemination of the material abroad or, in the case of such material not disseminated abroad, 12 years after the preparation of the material. Section 502 of the act (22 U.S.C. § 1462) also placed limitations on the international information activities of the government so that it would not compete with corresponding private information Congressional Research Service 4 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues dissemination if it is found to be adequate, and ensured that the government would not have a monopoly in the production and sponsorship of short wave or any other medium of information.6 Further, in protecting the private sector and helping it, Section 1005 (22 U.S.C. § 1437) states that a duty of the Secretary of State shall be to utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, “the services and facilities of private agencies, including existing American press, publishing, radio, motion picture, and other agencies through contractual arrangements or otherwise.” Further, the government was to utilize the private agencies in each field “consistent with the present and potential market for their services in each country.” Other Legislative Restrictions on Domestic Dissemination of Public Diplomacy Information In addition to restrictions contained in the Smith-Mundt Act, there are a number of other provisions that restrict the use of funds for public diplomacy activities intended for domestic audiences. 1985 Zorinsky Amendment Section 208 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987 (P.L. 99-93; 99 Stat. 431; 22 U.S.C. § 1461-1a), popularly known as the Zorinsky Amendment,7 limits the use of USIA funds for domestic purposes: SEC. 208. BAN ON DOMESTIC ACTIVITIES BY THE USIA. Except as provided in section 501 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1461) and this section, no funds authorized to be appropriated to the United States Information Agency shall be used to influence public opinion in the United States, and no program material prepared by the United States Information Agency shall be distributed within the United States. This section shall not apply to programs carried out pursuant to the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.).8 Section 1331 of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (Division G of P.L. 105-277; 22 U.S.C. § 6551) states that after USIA’s dissolution, all references to USIA are deemed references to the State Department. Section 1333 (22 U.S.C. § 6552) of the act provides a similar restriction on the use of funds for State Department public diplomacy programs, prohibiting their use for influencing U.S. public opinion and banning domestic distribution or dissemination of program material. State Department/Foreign Operations Prohibition Yearly appropriations language for State Department and foreign operations funding includes a related restriction on using funds for “publicity or propaganda.” For example, Section 7080 of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009 (Division H of P.L. 111–8, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009; 123 Stat. 831) prohibits using funds for publicity or propaganda purposes “within the United States”: SEC. 7080. No part of any appropriation contained in this Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not authorized before the date of the enactment of this Act by the Congress: Provided, That not to exceed $25,000 may be made available to carry out the provisions of section 316 of Public Law 96–533.9 Section 316 of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1980 (P.L. 96–533; 94 Stat. 3149) authorizes U.S. government assistance for private organizations to promote public discussion of world hunger. 6 Ibid., Sec. 502. Senator Edward Zorinsky proposed S.Amdt. 296 to S. 1003 (99th Cong.), the Senate version of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987. The amendment, with the addition of the introductory clause of the first sentence, was included in the House version of the bill that became P.L. 99-93. 8 Sec. 232 of Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995 (P.L. 103-236; 108 Stat. 424) added a new sentence to the end of this section, which states, “The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the United States Information Agency from responding to inquiries from members of the public about its operations, policies, or programs.” 9 123 Stat. 910. 7 Congressional Research Service 5 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended (P.L. 87-256; 22 U.S.C. § 2451 et seq.), also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act, authorizes U.S. exchange programs as a public diplomacy tool. Section 101 of the Act (22 U.S.C. § 2451) states the Act’s four-fold purpose: • to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges; • to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations, and the contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for people throughout the world; • to promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement; and • to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world. Under Section 102 (22 U.S.C. § 2452), the President is authorized to take action when he considers that certain steps would strengthen international cooperation. Among the activities authorized by this Act are the following: • providing grants, contracts, or otherwise for educational and cultural exchanges for U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries; • providing for participation in international fairs and expositions abroad; • providing for the interchange of books, periodicals, and government publications, and the reproduction and translations of such material; • providing for the interchange of technical and scientific material and equipment, and establishing and operating centers for cultural and technical interchanges; • assisting in the establishment, expansion, maintenance, and operation of schools and institutions of learning abroad, and fostering American studies in foreign countries; • promoting foreign language and area studies training for Americans; • providing of U.S. representation at international nongovernmental educational, scientific, and technical meetings; and • promoting respect for and guarantees of religious freedom abroad and by interchanges and visits between the United States and other nations of religious leaders, scholars, and religious and legal experts in the field of religious freedom. Section 103 (22 U.S.C. § 2453) authorizes the President to enter into international agreements with foreign governments and international organizations to advance the purposes of this Act, and to provide for equitable participation and support for the implementation of these agreements. Section 104 (22 U.S.C. § 2454) authorizes the President to delegate his authorities to other officers of the government as he determines to be appropriate. The Department of State and USAID are responsible for the vast majority of U.S. sponsored exchanges. However, several Congressional Research Service 6 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues other federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, also administer exchange programs under this presidential delegation. Section 112 of this act (22 U.S.C. § 2460) establishes a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the Department of State to be responsible for managing, coordinating, and overseeing various programs and exchanges, including the J. William Fulbright Exchange Program, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, the International Visitors Program, the American Cultural Centers and Libraries abroad, and several others. United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 The United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994, as amended (P.L. 103-236; 22 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.), reorganizes U.S. non-military international broadcasting (hereafter referred to as U.S. international broadcasting). It creates the nine-member Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), whose members are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), which operates under the BBG to administer Voice of America and Cuba Broadcasting. It also places all U.S. international broadcasting under the authority of the BBG. The mission of the BBG is “to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding by broadcasting accurate, objective and balanced news and information about the United States and the world to audiences abroad.”10 Section 305(d) of the act (22 U.S.C. § 6204) charges the Secretary of State and the BBG with respecting the professional independence and integrity of the International Broadcasting Bureau, its broadcasting services, and the grantees of the Board. Section 303 of the act (22 U.S.C. § 6202) establishes standards and principles for U.S. international broadcasting. In the list of principles, the act states that such broadcasting shall include 10 • news that is consistently reliable and authoritative, accurate, objective, and comprehensive; • a balanced and comprehensive projection of U.S. thought and institutions, reflecting the diversity of U.S. culture and society; • clear and effective presentation of the policies, including editorials, broadcast by the Voice of America, which present the views of the U.S. government and responsible discussion and opinion on those policies; • the capability to provide a surge capacity to support U.S. foreign policy objectives during crisis abroad; and • programming that meets needs of the people who remain underserved by local media voices. Broadcasting Board of Governors website, http://www.bbg.gov/about/documents/BBGFactSheet2-09.pdf. Congressional Research Service 7 Figure 1. Public Diplomacy Timeline (1917 to present) Source: CRS. CRS-8 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Moves Toward a Permanent U.S. Public Diplomacy Capacity U.S. government efforts to communicate with foreign publics have historically increased as perceived threats to national security grow, particularly during times of war. During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson established the Committee on Public Information (Creel Committee), which represented the U.S. government’s first large-scale efforts at information dissemination to both domestic and foreign audiences. President Wilson established the Committee initially to counter German propaganda, but it began disseminating its own distortions of the truth and propaganda to both U.S. and foreign audiences. At the end of the First World War, the Creel Committee was disbanded. During the Second World War, President Franklin Roosevelt established the Office of War Information (OWI) to provide American and foreign audiences with news of the war, U.S. war policies, and the activities and aims of the U.S. government. Voice of America (VOA), which is the oldest of the U.S. government radio broadcasting services, was an integral part of OWI’s programs. In 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9608, terminating the OWI and transferring its international information functions to the Department of State. VOA, which also was transferred to the State Department, then became the official overseas broadcast arm of the United States. As the United States became more deeply involved in the Cold War with the Soviet Bloc nations, the United States and the Congress began creating programs to counter Soviet influence and once again compete in a war of hearts and minds. The original Fulbright Act of 1946 was enacted to mandate peacetime international exchange programs. In 1948, Congress passed the Smith-Mundt Act, described previously. While serving as the charter for peacetime overseas information programs, some contend that this act was intended from the outset to provide the authority for the U.S. government to engage vigorously in a non-military battle with the Soviet Union, which then U.S. diplomat and Soviet specialist George Kennan described as having declared psychological war on the United States, a war of ideology requiring a fight to the death.11 This was a significant departure in U.S. public information policy in that it provided for a permanent peacetime information effort. On August 1, 1953, following the recommendations of several commissions, President Dwight Eisenhower created the independent United States Information Agency (USIA) to organize and implement U.S. government international information and exchange programs in support of U.S. foreign policy. 12 United States Information Agency With its establishment in 1953, USIA became the agency responsible for executing U.S. public diplomacy efforts to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics in promotion of the U.S. 11 Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman, Keynote Address at the 2009 Smith-Mundt Symposium, Washington, January 13, 2009. 12 On May 1, 1953, President Eisenhower issued Executive Order 10476, Administration of Foreign Aid and Foreign Information Functions, and Executive Order 10477, Authorizing the Director of the United States Information Agency. Congressional Research Service 9 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues interests, and to broaden the dialogue between Americans and foreign publics. USIA’s stated goals were • explaining and advocating U.S. policies in terms that are credible and meaningful in foreign cultures; • providing information about the official policies of the United States, and about the people, values, and institutions which influence those policies; • bringing the benefits of international engagement to American citizens and institutions by helping them build strong long-term relationships with their counterparts overseas; and • advising the President and U.S. government policy-makers on the ways in which foreign attitudes will have a direct bearing on the effectiveness of U.S. policies. 13 USIA in Washington During the 46 years of the Cold War, USIA was headed by a director, a deputy director, and three associate directors who led its major bureaus: the Bureau of Information, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the Bureau of Management. USIA’s support offices included the Office of Public Liaison, the Office of the General Counsel, and the Office of Research and Media Reaction. The Office of Research and Media Reaction conducted polling activities and also provided daily analysis of overseas press opinion on U.S. foreign policy.14 USIA regional affairs offices supported and coordinated activities in the field, where USIA was known as the U.S. Information Service (USIS). Figure 2 below provides an organization chart for USIA. Bureau of Information The Bureau of Information produced and distributed to USIS offices in the field a variety of publications in as many as 30 languages supporting U.S. policy objectives, such as an explanation of U.S. drug policy. The bureau also published books and pamphlets providing information on U.S. history, politics, economy, and culture, and adopted new technologies for information delivery. The bureau utilized new technologies as they became available, such as teletype, to move informational materials to the field. When the bureau began utilizing the Internet, availability of printed materials and other types of information grew dramatically. Examples of information sent through electronic media from Washington headquarters included • the Washington File, which provided official U.S. public statements on U.S. policy; • a USIA website, and temporary USIA-sponsored, issue-specific websites such as a site covering the Kyoto Climate Change Conference; • access to the Foreign Affairs Documentation Collection, which contained selected authenticated versions of treaties and other international agreements; and 13 United States Information Agency, United States Information Agency, Washington, D.C., October 1998, p. 5. The Office of Research and Media Reaction published the Early Report each morning, the mid-day Daily Digest, and periodic Special Reports prepared for particular U.S. government agencies upon request in disseminating its analysis. 14 Congressional Research Service 10 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues • an electronic journal with articles that could be downloaded as formatted publications for print distribution on a variety of topics, from providing background on U.S. society and values to NATO-enlargement issues. In addition, the bureau’s Speakers Program sent several hundred recognized U.S. speakers to foreign countries each year. U.S. embassies could organize speaking engagements on college campuses, with the press, or with the general public. While their trips were sponsored by the U.S. government, these speakers expressed their own views, which proved attractive to audiences, according to many public diplomacy officers: When the United States Information Agency existed, there were on-going debates between public diplomacy officers and political officers as to whether official speakers and official events should stick to the party line or incorporate opposing ideas as well.... When USIAsponsored academics respectfully differed with current policy, the result from the audiences was unalloyed admiration for the courage of the U.S. in showcasing free and open discussion.15 The Information Bureau also made speakers available through video and telephone conferences to ensure a more timely discussion of current issues. A link for a video conference using satellites could be established through several embassies at one time. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs The Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs was responsible for the administration of relationships with a variety of educational and cultural exchanges. The bureau administered both the academic exchanges and the professional and cultural exchanges. Examples of academic exchanges are the Fulbright Program, which provides for the exchange of students, scholars, and teachers between the United States and other countries, and the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, which facilitates academic study and internships in the United States for mid-career professionals from developing nations. The professional and cultural exchanges included the International Visitors Program, which brought current and promising leaders of other countries to the United States to travel around the country, meet their counterparts, and learn about and experience U.S. society and culture. The bureau also ran programs for cultural ambassadors, such as musicians, artists, sports figures, and writers to share American culture with foreign publics. Bureau of Management As the name suggests, the Bureau of Management provided agency-wide management support and administrative services. USIA had control of its own human resources program with its own recruiting, employment, assignments and career tracks that were separate from the Department of State. It also controlled its own budget and support of its own operations. 15 Patricia H. Kushlis and Patricia Lee Sharpe, “Public Diplomacy Matters More than Ever,” Foreign Service Journal, vol. 83, no. 10 (Oct. 2006), p. 32. Congressional Research Service 11 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Figure 2. Organization Chart for the United States Information Agency in 1999 Source: United States Information Agency, USIA Program and Budget in Brief, Fiscal Year 1999, p. 3. U.S. International Broadcasting During the life of USIA, the relationships between USIA and U.S. international broadcasting varied. For many years, all broadcasting services were housed within USIA. Later, surrogate broadcasting was under an independent Board of International Broadcasting (BIB), which had an indirect relationship with USIA leadership. With the enactment of the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994, as discussed previously, all U.S. international broadcasting services were consolidated under a new Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) within USIA. The BBG had responsibility for supervising, directing, and overseeing the operations of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). The IBB included the worldwide broadcasting services of the Voice of America (VOA) and television’s Worldnet, Cuba Broadcasting, an Engineering and Technical Operations Office, and various support services. The BBG also had funding and oversight authority over surrogate radio grantees: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Radio Free Asia (RFA). Among BBG’s responsibilities was to review and evaluate the operations of the radios, and assess their quality, effectiveness, and professional integrity. It also was responsible for determining the addition or deletion of the language services under the IBB.16 In 1999, the U.S. government and surrogate services broadcast hours included 16 • 660 hours of weekly VOA programming in 53 languages; • 24 hours-a-day of radio and 4½-hour-per-day television broadcasting in Spanish to Cuba; and United States Information Agency, USIA Congressional Budget Justification, Fiscal Year 1999, “Broadcasting,” p. 1. Congressional Research Service 12 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues • over 500 hours per week of RFE/RL programming in 23 languages to Central Europe, Russia, Iran, Iraq, and the republics of the former Soviet Union, then referred to as Newly Independent States (NIS).17 USIS in the Field In 1999, USIA operated 190 USIS posts in 142 countries. At that time, 520 USIA foreign service officers staffed these posts with the support of 2,521 locally hired foreign service nationals (FSN).18 The USIA officers were posted at embassies, consulates, and USIS libraries around the world. USIS planned and implemented its activities and programs on a country-specific basis, targeting particular audiences identified by the post. Six geographic offices supported and coordinated USIS efforts: the Office of African Affairs, the Office of Inter-American Affairs, the Office of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the Office of West European and Canadian Affairs, the Office of East European and NIS Affairs, and the Office of North African, Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (NEA). 19 There were three principal USIS foreign service positions at an embassy or consulate abroad: • The public affairs officer (PAO) was responsible for managing the embassy’s information and cultural activities. The PAO was the senior advisor to the ambassador and other embassy officials on public diplomacy strategies for policy implementation, public opinion in the country, and various embassy activities, and oversaw the work of the other public diplomacy officers posted to the embassy. • The information officer (IO) worked with the host country and international media, and was the embassy spokesperson. The IO drafted policy guidance on key issues of public interest, arranged press events, issued press releases, arranged live WORLDNET interactive satellite television/teleconference linking local opinion makers with U.S. government officials or other American specialists on time-sensitive issues. The IO worked with local editors and reporters explaining U.S. policies and issues regarding U.S. society and culture, and provided support for American journalists working in the country. • The cultural affairs officer (CAO) administered the educational and cultural exchange programs, and arranged programs, lectures, and seminars with U.S. speakers, artists, musicians, and other representatives of U.S. culture. The CAO also worked with local publishers to reprint and translate American books and publications. The work of the USIS officer involved advocating U.S. positions, but also involved working with a much larger segment of the host country’s society to discuss both broad U.S. government policy, and more specific issues of mutual interest to that country, such as U.S. import quotas or 17 United States Information Agency, Fact Sheet, Washington, D.C., February 1999, http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ usia/usiahome/factshe.htm. 18 Ibid. 19 USIA Budget in Brief for 1999, op cit. pp. 1, 14. Congressional Research Service 13 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues visa issuance policies. In order to communicate convincingly across a broader segment of contacts, USIS officers had to “study and absorb the political and cultural climate of the host country, the better to craft messages and offer insights about America which can be coherently read in the local context.”20 USIA’s Budget and Staff Levels Appropriations Prior to the dissolution of USIA and the consolidation of its functions into the Department of State, the FY1999 appropriations request for USIA was approximately $1.12 billion. Table 1 provides USIA budget and appropriations information sorted by major account.21 Table 1. FY1997-FY1999 Appropriations for USIA and Related Programs ($ in thousands) Base year for Constant $ Comparison is FY2008 FY1997 Actual FY1997 Actual in Constant $ FY1998 Estimate FY1998 Estimate in Constant $ FY1999 Request FY1999 Request in Constant $ International Information Programs (includes salaries and expenses for management and support of agency) 442,183 576,253 453,146 584,694 461,728 586,902 Educational and Cultural Exchanges 218,870 285,231 197,731 255,132 199,024 252,979 Technology Center 5,050 6,581 5,050 6,516 5,050 6,419 355,640 463,470 384,884 496,616 388,690 494,064 42,249 55,057 44,470 57,380 48,500 61,648 5,500 7,168 — — — — 1,099,492 1,432,858 1,125,281 1,451,950 1,119,300 1,422,742 Broadcasting Associated NGOs and Funds Buying Power Maintenance Fund TOTAL Source: United states Information Agency Summary of Positions and Appropriations, 1997-1999, USIA Program & Budget in Brief, Fiscal Year 1999, Washington, D.C, p. 13., and CRS calculations. Personnel The authorized personnel strength reported by USIA for FY1999 is illustrated in Table 2.22 20 Mike Canning, The Overseas Post: The Forgotten Element of Our Public Diplomacy, The Public Diplomacy Council, Washington, D.C., December 1, 2008, p.4, http://www.publicdiplomacycouncil.org/ uploads/canningoverseasposts.pdf. 21 USIA Budget in Brief for 1999, op cit. pp. 13-14. 22 Ibid., p. 14. Congressional Research Service 14 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Table 2. USIA Authorized Personnel Strength 1997-1999 1997 Domestic 1999 Request 1998 3,350 3,336 3,335 736 739 748 Foreign Nationals 2,849 2,753 2,689 TOTAL USIA POSITIONS 6,935 6,826 6,772 Overseas American Abolishing USIA and Transferring Public Diplomacy to the State Department The Foreign Affairs Agencies Consolidation Act of 1998 (Subdivision A of Division G of P.L. 105-277) (Consolidation Act) abolished USIA.23 The Act transferred USIA’s functions to the Secretary of State. It also created the position of Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Department of State. A number of factors have been identified as important to this transfer of public diplomacy responsibilities, not all of which bore directly on the improvement or importance of having a robust U.S. public diplomacy capability. First, the end of the Cold War meant that the central justification for a strong public diplomacy mechanism, namely, the ideological fight against the Soviet Union, no longer existed. After more than four decades of engaging the Soviet Union and its allies in ideological warfare, the Cold War came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The United States was the sole superpower, and the spread of democracy seemed to be on the march around the world. Many believed that the United States and the rest of the free world had won the war of ideas, and terms such as the “end of history” became popular. Some considered USIA an expendable “Cold War relic.” USIA had a difficult time defining its mission in this new context, attempting to focus on new issues such as trade and economic liberalization. 24 Second, while some saw a greatly diminished need for public diplomacy resources in general, others perceived a specific weakness in the public diplomacy apparatus represented by an independent USIA that operated separately from the State Department. As one commentator argued, U.S. public diplomacy is characterized by two types of activities: advocating for U.S. foreign policy, and building mutual understanding between Americans and foreign peoples.25 Arguments for keeping public diplomacy in an organization separate from the State Department often focus on the importance of developing long-term relationships with the people of foreign countries, in order to create a foundation of mutual understanding, values, and interests that prepares the ground for acceptance of specific U.S. policies and actions. Placing those duties too close to the short-term policy activities of traditional diplomats within the State Department might diminish the importance of long-term efforts to achieve mutual understanding. On the other 23 The Consolidation Act also abolished the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and folded its functions into a new Bureau of Arms Control and Disarmament within the State Department. 24 Nancy E. Snow, United States Information Agency, Foreign Policy in Focus, a Project of the Institute for Policy Studies, Volume 2, Number 40, Washington, D.C., August 1997, p. 2, http://www.fpif.org/briefs/vol2/ v2n40usia_body.html. 25 Neil R. Klopfenstein, USIA’s Integration into the State Department: Advocating Policy Trumps Promoting Mutual Understanding, National Defense University, National War College, Washington, D.C., 2003, pp. 4-8. Congressional Research Service 15 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues hand, public diplomats also endeavor to explain U.S. actions and policies to foreign publics in a positive light, advocating for the United States on day-to-day, shorter-term issues moving through foreign news cycles. For these activities, some argue, a closer proximity and relationship to those in the State Department responsible for foreign policy and U.S. actions abroad would improve the synchronization and coordination of public diplomacy with official diplomacy and specific foreign policy. This argument has been bolstered as advances in technology required ever quicker communications in support of policies as news and information is spread instantly to a global audience in a 24-hour-a-day media cycle. The case of abolishing USIA and folding public diplomacy into the State Department has been described as placing quick public diplomacy responses on policy issues ahead of the protection of long-term mutual understanding efforts. 26 Third, and related to the first two factors, certain Members of Congress and leadership within the executive branch were seeking to reorganize and streamline government in general, as well as to reduce the size and resources of U.S. foreign policy agencies in particular. Concerns about the U.S. national debt, annual federal budget deficits, and the size of government led to initiatives to “reinvent government” and reap a “peace dividend” in the form of agency and bureaucracy consolidation. USIA became part of a group of foreign affairs agencies, along with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and the Agency for International Development (USAID), that were targeted as prime candidates for consolidation into the State Department. After an extended period of political wrangling in Congress and the Clinton Administration over issues not related to public diplomacy or arms control,27 Congress passed the Consolidation Act eliminating USIA and ACDA, with USAID surviving but in a restructured form. Transfer of USIA Functions to the State Department Originally, USIA’s Bureau of Information Programs and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs were consolidated into a new State Department Bureau of Information Programs and International Exchanges. The bureau was responsible for educational and cultural affairs and production of information programs to advocate for U.S. policy positions with foreign audiences. State’s Bureau of Public Affairs incorporated the work of running foreign press centers, and the geographic area offices became part of their respective regional bureaus at State. USIA’s research office was integrated into the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. 28 The Bureau of Information Programs and International Exchanges was subsequently divided, and now consists of the Bureau for International Information Programs, headed by a Coordinator, and the Bureau for Educational and Cultural Exchanges, headed by an Assistant Secretary. Independence for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Though the Consolidation Act dismantled USIA, it also established the Broadcasting Board of Governors as an independent entity within the executive branch. The Consolidation Act required 26 Ibid, pp. 12-13. The Clinton Administration which sought to lower the debt and “reinvent government”, also wanted Congress to approve the Chemical Weapons Convention and pay U.S. arrearages to the United Nations to forestall losing its vote in the General Assembly. In agreeing to move ahead with consolidation proposals, the Clinton Administration got the vote on the Chemical Weapons Convention and an agreement with Senator Helms on paying U.N. arrearages. 28 United States Department of State, The Budget in Brief, Fiscal Year 2000, p. 8. 27 Congressional Research Service 16 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues the Secretary of State and the BBG to respect the professional independence and integrity of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), charged with administering day-to-day broadcast operations, the BBG’s broadcasting services, and the grantees of the BBG. This separation, and the requirement to respect the independence and the integrity of the broadcasters, maintained (1) an established deniability for U.S. diplomats when foreign countries objected to a particular broadcast, and (2) a firewall between the Department of State and the broadcasters to prove a degree of independence for the broadcasters. However, the Consolidation Act also recognized the importance of consistency between U.S.-sponsored broadcasting and the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States, as well as the importance of broadcasting as a foreign policy tool. It made the Secretary of State a permanent voting member of the board and authorized the Secretary to assist the Board in carrying out its function by providing information and guidance on foreign policy issues as the Secretary deems appropriate. 29 Current Structure of Public Diplomacy Within the Department of State Many recent recommendations for reform of the public diplomacy structure call for a new agency or other entity to remove public diplomacy from the State Department’s responsibilities, or to reorganize or reform State Department organization to better accommodate public diplomacy. This section explains the current structure of public diplomacy organization, as well as the organization of U.S. international broadcasting, and recent budget information. Public Diplomacy Organization in Washington Planning, funding, and implementation of public diplomacy programs are led by the Department of State through the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, a position created by Section 1(b)(3) of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956, as amended (22 U.S.C. § 2651a(b)(3)).30 The Under Secretary’s organization, carrying the State Department designation of “R,” is tasked with leading the U.S. government’s overall public diplomacy effort, increasing the impact of educational and cultural exchange, and developing and utilizing new technologies to improve the efficiency of public diplomacy programs.31 Judith McHale was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs on May 26, 2009. 29 The Statement of Managers in Conference Report 105-825, which accompanied H.R. 4328 (105th Cong.), the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1999, contained two paragraphs discussing the congressional intent regarding all of Division G, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998. Earlier, on April 28, 1998, Congress passed H.R. 1757 (105th Cong.), the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998. On October 21, 1998, the President signed H.R. 4328 and vetoed H.R. 1757, because of anti-abortion provisions in H.R. 1757. Both bills contained provisions for the abolition of the same foreign affairs agencies, and the transfer of the agency’s functions, personnel and appropriations to the Department of State. Conference Report 105-432, which accompanied H.R. 1757, contains a more detailed discussion of the intentions of Congress regarding the relationship between U.S.-sponsored international broadcasting activities and the Department of State than does Conference Report 105-432. U.S. Congress, Conference Committees, H.Rept. 105-432 (Washington: GPO, 1998), pp. 125-130. 30 Sec. 1313 of the Foreign Affairs Agencies Consolidation Act of 1998 (Subdivision A of Division G of P.L. 105-277) added the provision creating this under secretary position. 31 Website for the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, http://www.state.gov/r/. Congressional Research Service 17 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Three bureaus and two offices report to the Under Secretary: • the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) headed by an Assistant Secretary; • the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) headed by a Coordinator; • the Bureau of Public Affairs (PA) headed by an Assistant Secretary; • the Office of Policy, Planning and Resources (R/PPR) headed by a Director, and • the Office of Private Sector Outreach (R/PSO), also headed by a Director. Congressional Research Service 18 Figure 3. Organization of Public Diplomacy Within the Department of State Source: Figure created by CRS, based in part on information from U.S. Department of State, Foreign Affairs Manual, and U.S. Department of State website, http://www.state.gov/r/index.htm, and http://www.state.gov/r/partnerships/. CRS-19 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Like its earlier USIA version, ECA’s mission is to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.32 To achieve this goal, the Offices of Academic Exchange Programs, Citizen Exchanges, English Language Programs, Exchange Coordination and Designation, Global Educational Programs, and International Visitors implement programs for educational and professional exchange and leadership and professional development. The Fulbright Program, which is administered by the Office of Academic Exchange Programs, is often considered the flagship of such exchanges. For the 2008-2009 academic year, with total available funding of $262,454,000, approximately 7,000 new Fulbright awards were made. Of these, 1,500 were for U.S. students, 2,700 for visiting students, 1,400 for U.S. scholars, 900 for visiting scholars, and the remainder for awards under the Fulbright teacher program.33 The Office of Private Sector Exchanges oversees 15 different categories of citizen exchanges bringing foreign nationals to the United States: Alien Physicians, Au Pairs, Camp Counselors, Government Visitors, International Visitors, Interns, Professors, Research Scholars, Short-Term Scholars, Specialists, Students-Secondary, Students-College/University, Summer Work Travel, Teachers, and Trainees. This office • designates the sponsoring organizations that implement the international exchange programs; • oversees organizations’ compliance with federal regulations concerning each exchange category; and • investigates and resolves problems that may arise in the exchange programs and the treatment of the participating international exchange students. The Office has designated more than 1,400 sponsoring organizations to administer international exchanges.34 The State Department estimates that more than 300,000 individuals participate in these exchange programs annually; currently there are over 1 million alumni of U.S. exchange programs around the world. These alumni include more than 40 Nobel laureates and more than 300 current and former heads of state or government.35 Exchange programs offer highly varied experiences. The Office of Citizen Exchanges implements cultural, professional, sports, and youth programs. For example, the Citizen Exchange Office administers the “Cultural Envoy Program.” This program seeks to promote cross-cultural understanding and collaboration by sharing American artistic traditions with foreign audiences. It has sponsored dancers and choreographers to teach American dance; blues musicians; offBroadway companies; and choirs to show the breadth of American performing arts.36 32 Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Website, Department of State, Washington, http://exchanges.state.gov/. E-mail received from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, January 1, 2009. 34 E-mail response from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, June 4, 2009. 35 Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website, http://exchanges.state.gov/about.html. 36 For descriptions of various Cultural Envoy Programs administered by the Office of Citizen Exchanges, see the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website, http://exchanges.state.gov/cultural/index.html. 33 Congressional Research Service 20 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues The Obama Administration has expressed its support for exchanges, stating that such programs foster engagement and dialogue among all citizens around the world, particularly with key “influencers” including educators, clerics, journalists, women, and youth. It provides these influencers first-hand experience with Americans and U.S. values and culture.37 Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) Like its USIA forerunner, the Bureau of Information Programs, IIP administers programs that present information on foreign policy, society, and values to foreign audiences through print and electronic resources in several languages to improve international receptiveness to the United States, its people and national interests. The bureau also provides policy and technical support for outreach efforts through U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 140 countries. IIP continues a publication program that produces 40 to 50 publications annually in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Persian, Russian, Spanish, and other languages, when appropriate, on topics that explore U.S. policy, society, and culture. These IIP produced books range from pocketsized publications to illustrated “coffee-table” books. Topics include Free at Last: The U.S. Civil Rights Movement, Being Muslim in America, and Outline of the U.S. Economy. IIP also translates literary and non-fiction titles by American authors into several languages and, working through the embassies, establishes joint publishing agreements with local publishers. The translations can be full-length books, condensed editions, anthologies, and special adaptations in book form. IIP also continues the speakers program and operates American Corners. As most freestanding American Centers were closed in major foreign city centers largely due to security concerns about terrorism, America Corners took their place as embassies partnered with host country institutions such as universities and libraries to house U.S. material and host events for the local population to meet visiting U.S. officials and speakers. Unlike American Centers, which were staffed by U.S. personnel, American Corners are often staffed by the partnered institution’s personnel. IIP has increased its information presence on the Internet in recent years. America.gov provides videos, blogs, timelines, web chats, articles and news stories on world events, American society, and U.S. policies, in several major languages. Videos on the website generally run for little more than a minute, and discuss a wide variety of subjects from the diversity of religions in America to the experience of a young Chinese American cartoonist growing up in the United States. Ejournal is a monthly electronic magazine providing information on a wide variety of subjects such as jury trials, U.S. presidential transitions, and multicultural literature. IIP also has a 10-person Digital Outreach Team that communicates on popular Arabic, Persian, and Urdu blogs, news sites, and discussion groups to explain U.S. foreign policy and counter misinformation. The Digital Outreach Team members identify themselves as employees of the Department of State as they interact on 25 to 30 Internet sites per week. The team posts short comments as well as longer op-ed pieces and translated videos previously produced by IIP. The joint ECA-IIP Grants Division provides grants to organizations to carry out educational and cultural programs and free exchange of information. 37 Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification United States Department of State. Fiscal Year 2010, Washington, D.C., May 2009, p. 526. Congressional Research Service 21 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues The Bureau of Public Affairs (PA) The Bureau of Public Affairs (PA) has a separate mission and audience from IIP’s. While IIP’s work and products are made for foreign audiences, and by law cannot be developed for domestic consumption, PA’s function is to inform the American public about U.S. foreign policy, and to share American concerns and views with U.S. policymakers. The bureau • conducts press briefings for domestic and foreign press corps; • manages the State Department website at State.gov; • arranges town meetings and schedules speakers to visit communities in the United States to discuss U.S. foreign policy; and • prepares the historical studies on U.S. diplomacy and foreign affairs matters. Office of Policy Planning and Resources (R/PPR) R/PPR provides the Under Secretary with strategic planning and performance measurement capability for public diplomacy and public affairs initiatives so that public diplomacy resources can be allocated to meet national security objectives. The Evaluation and Measurement Unit (EMU) within PPR was created in 2004 to evaluate all public diplomacy programs in Washington and in the field through the development of data collection methods and analytical procedures. Office of Private Sector Outreach (R/PSO) R/PSO seeks to develop working relationships with private sector leaders in U.S. companies, universities, and foundations to promote foreign policy objectives such as countering violent extremism, empowering women business and civic leaders, and strengthening international education. Public Diplomacy in the Field Each U.S. embassy maintains a public affairs section to manage informational and cultural programs in a host country. The section is tasked with explaining U.S. government policy and actions to that country’s officials, media, and people. At large embassies the section’s overall responsibilities are shared by a cultural affairs officer (CAO) and an information officer (IO), while at other embassies the duties are handled by the public affairs officer (PAO). The CAO or PAO manages cultural programs designed to educate foreign publics about the United States, and to dispel false conceptions about Americans, American attitudes and beliefs, and life in the United States. These programs include sending foreign individuals to the United States for various periods of time for professional and educational exchange. The public affairs section also sponsors trips by American cultural ambassadors as previously mentioned in the ECA discussion, and brings American speakers to the host country to engage the people on important issues. The PAO will also often conduct informal outreach by attending receptions and concerts in the host country, and by hosting receptions for foreign individuals in his or her home. 38 38 Department of State, Inside a U.S. Embassy (Washington: American Foreign Service Association, 2005), pp.28-29. Congressional Research Service 22 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues In addition, the PAO also coordinates the embassy’s communications with the media in the host country, and is the only embassy person, besides the U.S. ambassador, who is authorized to speak directly to the press. The PAO issues press releases on current issues concerning U.S. government policy or action, and responds to inquiries in press conferences and interviews provided to local media. The PAO will inform Washington of this activity as well as provide analysis on the coverage of such activities. The PAO, as well as other public diplomacy officers (PDO), makes presentations to various groups and institutions within the host country. The PAO also must perform a number of administrative duties within the embassy, related to supporting the ambassador, and manage exchange and other public diplomacy programs, budgets, and personnel within the public affairs section. 39 Differences Between USIA and the State Department There are a number of differences in organization and operations of public diplomacy between the former USIA and the current State Department public diplomacy structure. Authority In USIA, the agency’s director had a direct line of authority to the geographical area offices, and public diplomacy officers (PDOs) were part of a chain of command that descended directly from the director. At the State Department, in contrast, much of the public diplomacy staff is located in separate public diplomacy offices in the regional and functional bureaus, outside R’s organizational structure. These public diplomacy offices within each bureau are designed to place PDOs in close contact with the bureaus’ policy-makers, in order to improve integration of traditional and public diplomacy on foreign policy issues. Therefore, while public diplomacy policy and planning fall under the R’s authority, public diplomacy staff in the regional and functional bureaus are under the authority of the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the case of regional bureaus, as well as the various under secretaries heading the functional organizations within State.40 Funding Funds for public diplomacy activities are disbursed and expended differently within the State Department in comparison to the former USIA. Funding for public diplomacy has a separate line in the State Department’s operating account and is sequestered from other funds within the State Department. Funding for public diplomacy activities and for salaries of foreign service nationals (FSNs) employed in public diplomacy positions is provided through allotments from the budget of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Under secretaries and assistant secretaries outside R may not transfer public diplomacy funds to other uses within their organizations. 41 Unlike USIA, however, R does not have complete control over public diplomacy funding. Because PDOs located in each of the regional and functional bureaus are in many cases the primary actors undertaking public diplomacy activities in the department, day-to-day 39 Ibid. 40 CRS interview with Jim Bigert, Office of Policy, Planning and Resources, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, October 2, 2008. 41 Ibid. Congressional Research Service 23 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues expenditure of public diplomacy funds is dictated by the regional and functional bureaus themselves, not by R. Assignments and Evaluations PDO assignments and evaluations are handled differently in the State Department. The USIA Director made all position assignments through USIA’s dedicated human resources office, and the Director’s direct chain of command implemented all performance evaluations and promotion decisions. Evaluations were based primarily on an Officer’s public diplomacy skills and accomplishments. The State Department, on the other hand, uses its department-wide Human Resources Bureau to make assignments and to evaluate PDOs alongside other FSOs from the other four career cones (Consular, Economic, Management, Political) in the department. Under the State Department’s generalist approach to the careers of its FSOs, the department regularly assigns PDOs to non-public diplomacy positions, and also fills public diplomacy positions with FSOs from other cones. Evaluations of PDOs within State are based on a general set of criteria not specifically related to accomplishment and skill in public diplomacy. The fact that R does not administer employee performance evaluations for the PD officers at posts abroad or in the regional and functional bureaus represents a significant difference from the evaluation structure of the former USIA. 42 Support in the Field Critics of the current organizational structure also contend that since the old USIA regional bureaus became part of the Department of State’s regional bureaus, PDOs assigned to U.S. posts and missions abroad no longer get the same support from the State Department regional and functional bureaus. The “area directors” for each region of the world supervised a staff of FSOs in a single Washington office who were all experienced public diplomacy professionals and who had served abroad, usually in that region. These area offices were efficient in evaluating field requests because they understood in detail what the circumstances were that the PAO was operating in, and they were prompt in responding to the PAO.43 Broadcasting Board of Governors With the enactment of the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-236), all U.S. international broadcasting services were consolidated under a new Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) within USIA. In 1998, Congress passed legislation establishing the BBG as an independent entity within the executive branch at the same time it abolished USIA. The BBG, which acts independently of the Department of State, is composed of nine members, with the Secretary of State serving as a voting member ex officio and providing foreign policy information and guidance to the Board. By ensuring broadcasting independence while at the same time institutionalizing guidance from the Secretary of State, the legislation struck a balance between 42 Bill Rugh, Enabling Public Diplomacy Field Officers to Do Their Jobs, The Public Diplomacy Council, Washington, D.C., December 20, 2008, pp. 5-6. 43 Ibid, p. 5. Congressional Research Service 24 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues U.S. international broadcasting that is credible in the view of foreign audiences and support for the foreign policy objectives of the United States. The President appoints the remaining eight members to three-year terms, and the members are confirmed by the Senate. The BBG has responsibility for supervising, directing, and overseeing the operations of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). The IBB, whose director is appointed by the BBG, supervises the worldwide broadcasting services of the Voice of America (VOA) and Worldnet television broadcasts, Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti), an Engineering and Technical Operations Office, and various support and transmission services to the broadcasters. The BBG also has funding and oversight authority over surrogate radio44 grantees: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) which also operates Radio Farda (Iran) and Radio Free Iraq; Radio Free Asia (RFA); and the Middle East Broadcasting Network which operates Radio Sawa and Alhurra television. Among BBG’s responsibilities is reviewing and evaluating the operations of the radios, and assessing their quality, effectiveness, and professional integrity. It is also responsible for determining the addition or deletion of the language services under the IBB. 45 See Figure 4. Figure 4. Organization of U.S. International Broadcasting Source: Broadcasting Board of Governors, http://www.bbg.gov/about/index.html. 44 Surrogate services broadcast into areas that do not have a free press and media, and broadcast as if they are a domestic, uncensored radio or television station broadcasting in that country. The broadcasts are in the language of the area and present local and national news not covered in a state-controlled domestic media. Besides news stories, surrogate services often cover religion, science, sports, Western music, and banned literature and music. These broadcasts also give voice to dissidents and opposition movements through interviews and background stories. 45 United States Information Agency, USIA Congressional Budget Justification, Fiscal Year 1999, p. 1 in the Broadcasting section. Congressional Research Service 25 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Public Diplomacy Budget Funding for public diplomacy is located in annual State Department/Foreign Operations appropriations legislation, which includes funds appropriated for public diplomacy within the State Department and separate funding for international broadcasting. State Department The State Department includes its requests for funding of public diplomacy under the Diplomatic and Consular Programs heading in appropriations legislation, as well as under a number of other headings, such as Educational and Cultural Programs. Table 3 denotes public diplomacy appropriations for FY2008-2009 and the FY2010 request. Table 3. FY2008-FY2010 Public Diplomacy Appropriations in U.S. Department of State ($ in thousands) FY2008 Actual FY2009 Estimate FY2010 Request Diplomatic and Consular Programs (D&CP): Regional Bureaus 280,613 293,928 302,998 Bureau of International Information Programs 51,547 58,829 66,425 Functional Bureaus 26,197 20,691 62,987 2,238 2,238 5,472 FY2008 Supplemental 20,000 — — FY2009 Supplemental 4,000 3,320 — 19,688 62,396 PUBLIC DIPLOMACY FROM D&CP TOTAL 364,595 398,694 500,278 Educational and Cultural Exchanges 501,347 538,000 633,243 —a 115,000 100,000 19,342 21,000 11,730 Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship Program — 500 500 Israeli Arab Scholarship Program 232 375 375 Sec. 810 United States Information and Educational Exchange Act Fees 7,568 6,000 6,000 Representation Allowances 1,805 1,859 1,859 890,889 1,081,428 1,253,985 Payment—Foreign Service National Separation Liability Trust Fund Central Program Increases National Endowment for Democracy East-West Center PUBLIC DIPLOMACY OVERALL TOTAL (includes D&CP) Source: U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, Fiscal Year 2010, p. 13. a. Funded by the Democracy Fund in FY2008 in the estimated amount of $99,190,000. U.S. Department of State, Summary and Highlights, International Affairs Function 150, Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Request, p. 3. Congressional Research Service 26 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues International Broadcasting Table 4 below shows appropriations for the BBG for FY2008-2009, and the FY2010 request. Table 4. FY2008-FY2010 Appropriations for International Broadcasting ($ in thousands) International Broadcasting Operations Broadcasting Capital Improvements INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING TOTAL FY2008 Actual FY2009 Enacted FY2009 Pending Supp. 673,343 704,187 — 704,187 732,187 10,661 11,296 — 11,296 13,263 684,004 715,483 — 715,483 745,450 FY2009 Total FY2010 Request Source: U.S. Department of State, Summary and Highlights, International Affairs Function 150, Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request, p. 63. Public Diplomacy Personnel Table 5 provides staff numbers in the major areas of public diplomacy function within the State Department. The FY2009 request included appropriations to fund an additional 20 public diplomacy positions for both domestic and overseas positions in IIP, as well as new locally engaged staff overseas. Table 5. 2008-2010 Public Diplomacy Positions, U.S. Department of State FY2008 FY2009 FY2010 Request 2,370 2,370 2,370 Educational and Cultural Exchanges 362 381 410 Bureau of International Information Programs 263 263 263 Central Program Increases — 20 20 Functional Bureaus/Other Support 39 39 59 TOTAL PUBLIC DIPLOMACY POSITIONS 3,034 3,083 3,122 Regional Bureaus Source: U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, Fiscal Year 2009, p. 13. Note: The term “Public Diplomacy Positions” includes all direct-hire full-time employees in Foreign Service and Civil Service positions, but does not include Locally Engaged Staff (LES). Congressional Research Service 27 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Other Government Agencies Communicating with Foreign Publics While the State Department is the recognized lead for U.S. public diplomacy efforts, a number of government agencies engage in communications with foreign publics by virtue of their missions. The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Agency for International Development (USAID) are two organizations with clear foreign policy aspects to their activities. A number of other agencies conduct exchanges under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1956 (MECEA), and, with the advent of instant global communication through satellite and Internet media, more agencies must consider the effect of their messaging on foreign publics than before. An overview of DOD and other agencies’ efforts follows. Department of Defense Communications The Department of Defense (DOD) has focused increasingly on improving its communications with foreign publics, as well as measuring and assessing the effect its words and actions have on populations living in the areas where U.S. military operations are taking place. It has attempted to shift its focus in many cases from traditional military operations and missions to the non-kinetic, information- and influence-based activities contemplated within concepts of “strategic communication,” integrating communication and influence guidance throughout operational planning and execution. DOD has defined the term “strategic communication” as [f]ocused United States Government efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives through the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the actions of all instruments of national power.46 Two observations may be made about this definition. First, although the term “strategic communication” (SC) is attributed to DOD activities to a much greater extent than other government agencies, its definition of the term includes the efforts of the entire U.S. government. Second, the definition describes a process of activity, not an organizational structure within DOD or any other government agency. In DOD, activities related to strategic communication are primarily supported by three capabilities: (1) Information Operations (IO), and primarily within IO, Psychological Operations (PSYOP); (2) Public Affairs (PA); and (3) Defense Support to Public Diplomacy (DSPD). Military Diplomacy (MD) and Visual Information (VI) also support SC-related activities. In addition, while the term “public diplomacy” as used by the State Department describes communications with foreign populations, strategic communication involves DOD interacting with and influencing foreign publics, military adversaries, partner and non-partner governments, other U.S. government agencies, and the American people. 46 DOD Dictionary of Military Terms, “strategic communication,” http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/doddict/ data/s/18179.html. Congressional Research Service 28 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Department of Defense Strategic Communication Activities DOD undertakes a number of specified activities through SC-support organizations such as PSYOP, PA, and VI, and has in recent years increased its communication efforts on the Internet as well as in areas where kinetic military operations are ongoing, including Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also attempted to improve the understanding of foreign societies in order to better communicate with these publics. Beginning in 2007, for instance, DOD created small teams of social scientists and anthropologists, known as Human Terrain Teams, and embedded them in brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan. These teams are responsible for providing insights into the customs and values of local populations.47 In addition, responding to the release of the 2007 National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication, which called for relevant agencies to provide information on activities related to the goals and concepts in the Strategy (see “National Strategy and Interagency Coordination Efforts” below), DOD identified a number of specific SC-related programs and activities. These included a number of government-to-government and military-to-military activities, but DOD also described programs for interaction with foreign publics, and related activities. As DOD considers messages conveyed through actions a major part of strategic communication in addition to those delivered through words, it included the department’s humanitarian assistance activities as important to interaction with foreign populations, and also described the activities of its PA organization that publicize such assistance to explain the source of that assistance. Deeds-based SC activities also included the Global Maritime Partnership, which involves deployment of Navy warships and hospital ships to conduct civil-military operations in foreign countries as well as deliver humanitarian assistance. A number of programs designed to support the effort to counter terrorist and extremist groups also were listed. The Trans-regional Web Initiative (TRWI) directed Combatant Commands (COCOMs) to create regionally focused websites with tailored communications to foreign audiences and measure and assess their effectiveness. The department created the Expanded Trans-Regional PSYOP Program (ETRP) to unify and synchronize communications themes and objectives across all theatres, guiding individual COCOM-created communications to selected foreign audiences in each region. ETRP authorized communications through audio-visual, telephonic, and web-based applications. DOD has also created Regional Centers for Security Studies, 48 which provide educational opportunities in the United States and Germany for key foreign audiences on regional security issues. These centers create networks of influential alumni who “serve as a vanguard of indirect strategic communications efforts.”49 DOD is also seeking to measure and assess more effectively the effects of its actions and messages on foreign populations, and to develop improved communications. DOD has identified a number of activities and capabilities required to achieve these goals, including the following: 47 See U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System website, http://humanterrainsystem.army.mil/. Section 184(b)(2) of Title 10 of the U.S. Code lists the five established Centers: The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii; The Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, Washington, D.C.; The Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Washington, D.C.; and The Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, Washington, D.C. 49 Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael S. Doran, Support to Public Diplomacy & Deputy Assistant Secretary of State H.E. Pittman, Joint Communication, Memorandum for Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs: DOD Response to U.S. National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication, undated memorandum, p. 11. 48 Congressional Research Service 29 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues • utilizing network science in addition to opinion polling to identify key audiences, key issues, and effective communications activities; • using new software to track and analyze Internet activity to identify trends, developing issues, and local, regional, and global sentiment; • identifying and tracking the statements, actions, and attitudes of key foreign opinion leaders; • utilizing independent inspector teams to interact directly with foreign populations to determine communication and influence problems and to alter actions and words to improve explanation and acceptance of DOD actions; and • mapping social communications systems for reference in building communications strategies. 50 Department of Defense Strategic Communication Doctrine and Coordination Efforts51 DOD created the office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Support to Public Diplomacy in 2007 to coordinate DOD communications with other government entities. With reports surfacing that the office was providing guidance to military commanders that did not meet DOD’s standards of accuracy and transparency, Michele A. Flournoy, appointed in early 2009 as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, abolished the office and the Deputy Assistant Secretary position. In its place as a coordinating entity for strategic communication strategy and activities within DOD, Under Secretary Flournoy created the Global Strategic Engagement Team (GSET) headed by Rosa Brooks, senior advisor to the Under Secretary. The GSET is currently in the midst of reviewing the overall DOD approach to enterprise-wide strategic coordination; existing SC-related capabilities and activities; recent DOD documents regarding SC concepts, principles, goals, and best practices;52 and avenues for creating formal SC doctrine. Ms. Brooks has also instituted a Global Strategic Engagement Coordinating Committee, 50 See Department of Defense, Strategic Communication Joint Integrating Concept, Version 0.9, August 26, 2008. Certain information in this section is derived from discussions with DOD officials in the Offices of the Undersecretaries of Defense for Policy (OUSD(P)) and Intelligence (OUSD(I)), as well as the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (OASD(PA)). 52 DOD has produced a number of documents discussing SC concepts, principles, goals, and best practices in recent years. These include the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Strategic Communication Execution Roadmap, which includes 55 tasks to be completed by the Department to address issues in SC identified in the 2006 QDR. The Roadmap contains a plan of action and milestones for completion of such tasks by “Offices of Primary Responsibility.” In August 2008, DOD published a six-page document entitled Principles of Strategic Communication. It was written by representatives of DOD, the Department of State, and outside educators and practitioners. The principles included in this publication were intended to standardize SC education and promote understanding and dialogue concerning SC while DOD develops formal doctrine and policy. Also completed in August 2008, DOD produced the latest version of the Strategic Communication Joint Integrating Concept (JIC), which lays out in detail the challenges, solutions, capabilities, and resources required for a joint force commander to implement a comprehensive approach to strategic communication alongside other government actors. In September 2008, U.S. Joint Forces Command released the Commander’s Handbook for Strategic Communication, which provides principles, current organization, processes, and best practices for SC. The Handbook is divided into five main chapters, dealing with SC challenges, established policy and guidance, current practices and initiatives, planning and assessment, and operational implications. According to DOD representatives, these documents are currently informing the process of reviewing strategic communication within the Department. 51 Congressional Research Service 30 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues represented by the various organizations that provide crucial support to DOD’s strategic communication efforts, including PA, Legislative Affairs, IO, Joint Staff, and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy itself. This Committee provides the opportunity for policy discussion and oversight, creation of a common orientation toward SC issues and coordination, as well as senior-level SC review and direction. Ms. Brooks’s team is directing reviews of existing SC capabilities such as IO to analyze their activities and doctrine in support of wider SC coordination and integration efforts. As this process has begun recently, DOD officials anticipate a timeline of several months before the initial review process is finished. USAID It is acknowledged that USAID, because of its administration of foreign assistance, has an important role in public diplomacy. The agency creates long-standing relationships between the United States and the people of other countries, relationships that are capable of influencing foreign publics to view U.S. policies and actions as beneficial and to cooperate with U.S. government initiatives. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, USAID claims it has increased its outreach to foreign publics to better explain the humanitarian and assistance programs intended to improve the living conditions and development of vulnerable populations. USAID employs its own public diplomacy officers, called Development Outreach and Communication Officers, to carry out USAID’s mission to inform host country publics about U.S. assistance efforts.53 These Officers develop mission-specific communication strategies based on audience research and including goals, objectives, action plans, and budgets required to carry them out.54 USAID provides its Communications Officers with specialized training and has developed a field manual for communicating with foreign publics. USAID works with the State Department through the State-USAID Joint Policy Council and Management Council to coordinate the two agencies’ public diplomacy efforts. In addition, the Secretary of State is encouraged to work with USAID and other private organizations in ensuring when practicable that assistance provided through USAID, whether it is in the provision of commodities and services or funding large civil works projects, is clearly marked “from the American people,” with the logo of USAID. 55 Additional Actors While State and USAID sponsor nearly four-fifths of U.S. and foreign participants in educational and cultural exchange programs,56 other government agencies are responsible for the remaining 53 Government Accountability Office, U.S. Public Diplomacy: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight, GAO-09679SP, May 2009, p. 6. 54 Ibid., p. 16. 55 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458; 22 U.S.C. § 2732(d). It seems from the language of this subsection that there is technically no requirement that U.S. assistance be marked in this way, and some have highlighted practical, security, and effectiveness concerns for the marking of assistance. See written testimony of Kristen M. Lord, submitted for the record in U.S. Congress, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, Flag on the Bag?: Foreign Assistance and the Struggle Against Terrorism, 111th Cong., 1st sess., November 18, 2009. 56 Interagency Working Group on U.S. Government-Sponsored International Exchanges and Training, Inventories of Programs, Department of State, Washington, D.C., 2008, p. 17, http://www.iawg.gov/ rawmedia_repository/63ded484_d6ef_4862_af8e_41a344873a91. Congressional Research Service 31 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues participants in exchange programs authorized under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. Examples include the short-term exchange of scientists program at the National Cancer Institute, and the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board with its 74 foreign participants in 2007. These exchanges, while not having been designed strictly as public diplomacy initiatives, nevertheless have the same effect with foreign participants meeting, working with, and living in the United States. A number of congressionally mandated NGOs, many founded during the Cold War, continue to receive appropriated funds to perform work in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives. These NGOs seek to develop long-term relationships and to improve foreign populations’ understanding of and attitudes toward the United States. Among these organizations are the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Asia Foundation, the East West Center at the University of Hawaii, and the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship Program. Although most U.S. government agencies do not have a mandate to communicate with foreign publics, Internet and satellite broadcasting technologies make any public messages and statements instantly available to a global audience. Thus, when the Secretary of the Treasury discusses the state of the U.S. economy and steps that the department is proposing, or the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency discusses pollution standards or the agency’s position on climate change, all are communicating to foreign publics even if that is not the intent. National Strategy and Interagency Coordination Efforts There have been numerous attempts to create government-wide strategies and to foster interagency coordination for public diplomacy and strategic communication in recent years, but none has been regarded as successful. The National Security Council established a Strategic Communication Policy Coordinating Committee in 2002, and tasked it with creating a national strategy for strategic communication. Although a draft strategy was produced, it was not released, and this Policy Coordinating Committee was disbanded with the advent of the war in Iraq.57 President George W. Bush created the Office of Global Communications in July 2002, with a similar assignment to provide strategic direction to U.S.-government communications, but instead it performed only day-to-day public affairs functions, providing guidance on policy messaging. It was disbanded in 2005. In April 2006, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley authorized creation of a new Policy Coordinating Committee for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication (PCC), to be led by the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, with support from the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication and Global Outreach. The PCC was intended to act as the principal interagency coordination body for U.S. government communications with foreign publics, and is comprised of representatives from the State Department, DOD, the Department of the Treasury, the National Security Council, the intelligence community, and other agencies. The Global Strategic Engagement Center, established by former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman, 57 Government Accountability Office, U.S. Public Diplomacy: Interagency Coordination Efforts Hampered by the Lack of a National Communication Strategy, GAO-05-323, p. 10. Congressional Research Service 32 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues acts as a subject-matter advisory group for the PCC, and also serves as a response unit for counterterrorism communications. It is staffed by civilian personnel from the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other agencies, as well as by active-duty military personnel. In 2007, the PCC released the National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication. It articulates three strategic objectives for U.S. government communications with foreign publics: 1. America must offer a positive vision of hope and opportunity that is rooted in our most basic values. 2. With our partners, we seek to isolate and marginalize violent extremists who threaten the freedom and peace sought by civilized people of every nation, culture and faith. 3. America must work to nurture common interests and values between Americans and peoples of different countries, cultures and faiths across the world. It identifies three main target audiences: (1) key influencers, those who can effectively guide foreign societies in line with U.S. interests; (2) vulnerable populations, including the youth, women and girls, and minority groups; and (3) mass audiences, who are more connected to information about the United States and the world than ever before through new and expanding global communications media. The Strategy identifies three public diplomacy priorities: • expand education and exchange programs, “perhaps the single most effective public diplomacy tool of the last fifty years”; • modernize communications, including a heightened profile for U.S. officials in foreign media, increased foreign language training for U.S. diplomats, and utilization of Internet media such as web chats, blogs, and interactive websites; and • promote the “diplomacy of deeds,” publicizing U.S. activities to benefit foreign populations through humanitarian assistance, health and education programs, and economic development, as well as U.S. government activities that show respect for foreign culture and history. 58 As the first steps toward better interagency coordination and unity of effort with regard to public diplomacy and strategic communication, the Strategy asked each relevant agency to develop an agency-specific plan to implement the objectives of the Strategy, as well as to increase information sharing with other agencies to encourage clear and consistent messaging across all U.S. government communications to foreign publics. Although the Strategy was considered a step forward in government-wide coordination of communications efforts, it was criticized for failing to clearly define agency roles and responsibilities, and implementation of the Strategy has been lacking, especially with regard to the creation and coordination of agency-specific plans.59 In addition, the PCC does not convene 58 Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy Policy Coordinating Committee, U.S. National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication, June 2007. 59 See, e.g., Government Accountability Office, U.S. Public Diplomacy: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight, GAO-09-679SP, May 2009, pp. 12-14. Congressional Research Service 33 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues regularly, although Rosa Brooks, Senior Advisor to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, currently meets regularly with Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale to discuss interagency issues and plans concerning public diplomacy and strategic communication. In light of these deficiencies, Congress has mandated creation of a new strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication. Section 1055 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (P.L. 110-417) requires the President to submit by the end of 2009 a report on a federal government strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication to specified congressional committees. For more information see the section entitled “Recent Legislative Action.” The National Security Council (NSC) also provides fora for interagency public diplomacy and strategic communication coordination. When events occur that may impact counterterrorism efforts or that generally require coordinated response, the NSC convenes the International Crisis Communication Team, which includes NSC, White House, DOD, and State Department representatives, as well as other agency representatives as needed, to coordinate a governmentwide communication response. In addition, in May 2009, President Obama announced the creation of a Global Engagement Directorate (GED) within the NSC, “to drive comprehensive engagement policies that leverage diplomacy, communications, international development and assistance, and domestic engagement and outreach in pursuit of a host of national security objectives....”60 As part of the activities of the GED, NSC holds weekly interagency policy committee meetings that can directly concern public diplomacy and strategic communication issues. Current Issues Concerning U.S. Public Diplomacy A number of issues currently present challenges to the future implementation of U.S. public diplomacy efforts. These issues relate to the following: • leadership; • strategy at the national level; • roles, responsibilities, and interagency coordination; • organizational issues within the State Department; • personnel matters; • exchanges and other outreach activities; • U.S. international broadcasting; • leveraging outside expertise and best practices; • monitoring and evaluation of public diplomacy; and • restrictions on domestic dissemination of public diplomacy information. 60 The White House, Statement by the President on the White House Organization for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, May 26, 2009, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Statement-by-the-President-on-theWhite-House-Organization-for-Homeland-Security-and-Counterterrorism/. Congressional Research Service 34 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Congress might wish to take these issues into account when considering new legislation or conducting oversight over U.S. public diplomacy and strategic communication. A number of Members of Congress have already proposed legislation in the 111th Congress that touches upon a number of the issues discussed in this section. Leadership As with many other efforts at reform and improvement of government effectiveness, leadership, both at the presidential and agency level, is crucial. This seems to hold especially true with regard to the U.S. government’s communications with foreign publics, as the President is the government’s most high-profile communicator. President Obama has made communicating to the world a priority thus far in his Administration. He has made major speeches in Europe, Russia, Egypt, and Ghana, and has given an exclusive interview to the television broadcaster Al Arabiya, a leading source of information programming in the Middle East. He has addressed directly his vision that the United States will engage with the world in an atmosphere of mutual respect and shared values and goals. In the White House, he has created a Global Engagement Directorate within the National Security Council that, the President has asserted, will rely on government communications as well as other non-military elements of national power to meet national security objectives. According to some, however, the President’s leadership has not manifested itself sufficiently in reform-minded proposals necessary to improve the public diplomacy apparatus within the State Department, the interagency coordination process for communications with foreign publics, and the effectiveness of U.S. public diplomacy on the whole. Foremost in the comments of some was the lack of agency-level leadership for public diplomacy, as the position of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs was left vacant for the first four months of the Obama Administration (as it was at many times during past Administrations). 61 Some feared this delay could signify that changes to public diplomacy, at least within the State Department, would not receive top priority from the new Administration. In May 2009, President Obama filled the Under Secretary position, appointing Judith McHale. Although Under Secretary McHale has extensive experience in broadcasting both domestically and abroad, some observers noted her lack of experience with the State Department’s bureaucracy, taking it as a possible sign that the Obama administration does not expect to raise the profile of public diplomacy within the State Department and across other pertinent agencies. Furthermore, some criticized Under Secretary McHale’s lack of experience with traditional public diplomacy activities, the expansion and improvement of which many see as crucial to reestablishing the effectiveness of U.S. public diplomacy overall. 62 Although it certainly remains to be seen what impact Under Secretary McHale will have on public diplomacy within her organization at the State Department, it may be that the Obama Administration, as some have suggested, is content with concentrating major 61 See Matt Armstrong, “Updating the Under Secretary Incumbency Chart,” http://mountainrunner.us/2009/ 05/tracking_the_office.html. 62 See, e.g., Marc Lynch, “Why Judith McHale Would Be a Bad Public Diplomacy Choice,” Foreign Policy, January 23, 2009, http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/01/23/rumors_of_a_bad_public_diplomacy_choice; John Brown, “Can America Change Hearts and Minds?”, the Guardian, April 22, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/ commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/apr/21/obama-public-diplomacy-judith-mchale; Spencer Ackerman, “Judith McHale on Public Diplomacy’s Role in National Security,” Washington Independent, June 11, 2009, http://washingtonindependent.com/46590/judith-mchale-on-public-diplomacys-role-in-national-security; Patricia Kushlis, “Judith McHale and the White House Press Corps,” WhirledView, July 29, 2009, http://whirledview.typepad.com/whirledview/2009/07/judith-mchale-and-the-white-house-press-corps-1.html. Congressional Research Service 35 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues communications efforts intended for foreign audiences in the White House, and in the President himself. (See “Agency Roles and Interagency Coordination”, and “State Department Organizational Issues,” below, for more discussion on the State Department’s role.) National Strategy The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (P.L. 110-417) requires the President to report to Congress, no later than December 31, 2009, on the creation of a new national strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication. This strategy will replace the June 2007 National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication, which has been criticized by some as deficient in both construction and implementation. Several studies have considered creation of a new national strategy for communicating with foreign publics and have provided recommendations. Analyzing these recommendations, there seems to be an emerging consensus on the need for a new U.S. national strategy to address certain core public diplomacy issues in order to ensure effective communications with foreign publics. These issues include (1) effectively placing U.S. public diplomacy within the global communications environment; (2) providing a reconsidered, more sophisticated approach to public diplomacy and strategic communication; (3) and ensuring the integrated, flexible, whole-of-government implementation of public diplomacy strategy to meet the objectives of U.S. foreign policy. Global Communications Environment Much discussion about U.S. public diplomacy concerns the nature of the global communications environment, and the position both of the U.S. government and the United States as a whole in that environment. Personal communications technology is relatively inexpensive and increasingly available to higher numbers of people, and communications technology and new media are expanding rapidly. Non-state actors, including NGOs, corporations, and individuals, can now exert exponentially higher communications capabilities through the improvement in speed and capacity of the Internet. The Internet has given rise to new phenomena in communications technology. According to one report, for example, an individual blogger can today reach more people globally than could the British Broadcasting Service (BBC) or the Voice of America (VOA) thirty years ago. 63 The Internet has also raised the importance of so-called “many-tomany” communications media, where networks of actors can both receive messages from and send messages to each other in a continuous two-way conversation. This differs from traditional “one-to-many” communications, through which one information source provides one message to large numbers of people. Also, the “many-to-many” communications model has made message influence a matter of convincing potential consumers to choose to receive information from a plethora of communications sources. Rather than consuming programming and information from a limited number of sources that “push” information to large numbers of people, now foreign publics can “pull” information from the sources they deem to be most representative of their interests or most trustworthy. In addition, while the influence of traditional media has fallen as the Internet has grown in importance, many new actors have moved into traditional broadcasting, with a proliferation of new satellite broadcast networks having gained a large share of listeners and viewership in recent years. 63 Kushlis and Sharpe, p. 27. Congressional Research Service 36 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues These developments in new communications media have complicated the work of U.S. public diplomacy, reducing the guaranteed audience the United States used to enjoy, and increasing the number of information sources where the U.S. government seeks an influential message presence. These challenges exist alongside the perceived need for improving traditional public diplomacy activities. From the several calls to expand and improve traditional U.S. international broadcasting, as well as to expand the United States’ ability to conduct in-country, person-toperson public diplomacy, it is apparent that a new national strategy would require an approach that meets the challenges of traditional outreach and contemporary communications media and technology simultaneously. Internet communications, including social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, have characteristics of both broadcast communications, such as the ability to communicate written and spoken words, still images, and motion pictures to a wide audience, and in-country, person-to-person outreach, which engenders personal relationships connected in networks of individuals connected by common interests, not just common geography. Thus, the new U.S. national strategy could attempt to integrate outreach approaches from these two traditionally separate communications areas to create effective outreach solutions for the challenges created by the global communications environment. New Approach to Communicating with Foreign Publics Pointing to various perceived deficiencies in recent U.S. public diplomacy efforts, some observers have suggested implementing a newly considered, sophisticated approach to public diplomacy that provides frameworks, tools, and techniques to meet clear strategic objectives in order to improve the government’s ability to communicate with foreign populations. Adherence to Traditional Public Diplomacy Principles Certain recommendations have stressed the importance of the central principles underpinning theories of effective public diplomacy activities. These include the principle that communications with foreign publics should be open and truthful, and any covert communications activities that must be undertaken by the U.S. government should be effectively separated from the communications undertaken by public diplomacy actors.64 Also, the United States should “listen” to foreign publics, that is to say, U.S. public diplomacy activities should encourage and sustain two-way communications between U.S. public diplomacy actors and members of foreign populations, especially those “key influencers” within such populations.65 U.S. public diplomacy efforts would adhere to these principles as they meet identified objectives, including cultivating common understanding between citizens of the United States and foreign populations, and promoting shared values and interests. According to some, increasing common understanding could include teaching Americans more about the cultures, languages, and interests of foreign countries and peoples.66 In the opinion of some analysts, integrating such principles into a national strategy to be implemented by all relevant government agencies could represent a step forward for U.S. government communications with foreign publics. 64 Canning, p. 3. Hady Amr and P.W. Singer, “To Win the ‘War on Terror,’ We Must First Win the ‘War of Ideas’: Here’s How,” ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 618, no. 1 (July 2008), p. 215; Kristen M. Lord, Voices of America: U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century, Brookings Institution, Nov. 2008, p. 39. 66 Defense Science Board, Final Report of the DSB Task Force on Strategic Communication, Jan. 2008, p. 21; Lord, Voices of America, pp. 38-39. 65 Congressional Research Service 37 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Adaptive and Culturally Sensitive Communications Many recommendations call for a more nuanced approach to U.S. public diplomacy efforts, placing emphasis on understanding how different foreign publics perceive U.S. government messages and whether they trust U.S. government messengers. For example, there are calls for U.S. public diplomacy to be more delicate in the way it promotes and defends America to foreign publics. Some argue that U.S. government communicators must determine whether touting and promoting American values, such as human rights, rule of law, democracy, or free trade, might backfire due to the perception of foreign publics that U.S. policies do not follow those values, either at home or abroad. Some have also suggested that any defense of certain unpopular U.S. policies and actions in foreign countries, especially in a manner that some characterize as arrogant or dismissive, should in some cases be eschewed altogether as it damages the long-term trust of U.S. government messages by foreign populations. When U.S. policies are unpopular within a given foreign population, public diplomacy messages could instead focus on the drawbacks and deficiencies of U.S. adversaries and opponents in the corresponding country or region. Other recommendations suggest better utilization of non-U.S. government messengers, especially individuals identified as “key influencers,” to deliver messages that will aid U.S. interests and allow U.S. government actors to stay out of the spotlight.67 Under this approach, determining which type of messenger to utilize in any given situation would be made continuously based on knowledge of the cultural and political climate within a given target population developed over the long term. 68 In addition, the strict controls over U.S. government messages and information have clashed with the need for Public Diplomacy Officers to have access and permission to employ every tool of communication with foreign publics. Flexible, adaptive communications might provide the most potential for success in achieving U.S. public diplomacy and related foreign policy objectives. Increased public diplomacy resources and training, both to enhance traditional public diplomacy capabilities as well as to take advantage of new communications techniques and technologies, could provide a more complete public diplomacy toolkit, thus improving the flexibility of communications response proposed.69 Comprehensive Approach and Long-Term Focus Some have called for U.S. public diplomacy strategy and approaches to concentrate on comprehensive and long-term objectives in support of U.S. foreign policy. Some observers of U.S. communications with foreign publics describe the focus in recent years on communications in support of counterterrorism as necessary, but in some ways too narrow and shortsighted in terms of the proper exercise of overall U.S. public diplomacy.70 Although the terrorism threat and engagement with the Muslim world must take some precedence in the current national security environment, there are warnings that overemphasis of communications efforts on isolated issues and regions might cause the weakening of relationships with the publics of other important countries and regions. Some argue that because the greatest impact of public diplomacy efforts is the creation of deep, long-term relationships with foreign publics that build a lasting trust of the 67 Humphrey Taylor, “The Not-So-Black Art of Public Diplomacy,” World Policy Journal, vol. XXIV, no. 4 (Winter 2007/2008), pp. 52, 54-56; Kristen M. Lord, John A. Nagl, and Seth D. Rosen, Beyond Bullets: A Pragmatic Strategy to Combat Violent Extremism, Center for a New American Century, June 2009, pp. 12, 15. 68 See generally Defense Science Board, p. 20; Lord, Voices of America, pp. 14, 39. 69 Lord, Voices of America, p. 14. 70 Canning, p. 7. Congressional Research Service 38 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues U.S. government as an honest messenger, resources and personnel for public diplomacy must be deployed in sufficient amount and numbers in all regions of importance. Such comprehensive, global coverage could improve the likelihood that when the next crisis arises, the U.S. government will have a ready-made network of relationships with the relevant foreign publics on which it can rely for, if not outright support, at least an honest discussion of the issues and an accepting outlet for U.S. messaging. 71 Even in an age of instant global communications from nearly unlimited sources, therefore, the existence of long-term networks of communication between trusted U.S. public diplomacy actors and members of foreign publics, based both on geographical and virtual connections, could improve the effectiveness of U.S. communications. 72 Integrated, Whole-of-Government Implementation Some experts have claimed that U.S. public diplomacy and strategic communication is not guided by a national strategy that integrates communications efforts across government or within other foreign policy and national security objectives. Without a national strategy, agencies pursue their own communications interests, leading to disunity of voice, redundant messaging, and the possibility of communications working at cross-purposes. 73 Each relevant government agency could be required to provide a plan for communicating with foreign publics, and these plans could serve as the basis for government-wide coordination of public diplomacy efforts. (See “Agency Roles and Interagency Coordination” below.) Certain recommendations for improving public diplomacy and strategic communications call for integration of communications issues within already existing strategies for other uses of U.S. national power, including traditional diplomacy, foreign assistance, and national defense. Such integration might increase the incidence of policy makers considering public diplomacy issues at the creation of policies, instead of bringing U.S. public diplomacy actors into situations after the fact to quell opposition to U.S. actions from foreign publics.74 In May 2009, the Obama Administration announced the creation of the Global Engagement Directorate (GED) within the National Security Council. The GED is intended to coordinate several different elements of national power, including communications, to achieve national security goals. Although the GED is still in its nascent stages, it may serve as a locus for the implementation of a new national strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication, integrated into other strategic platforms, as has been recommended. Agency Roles and Interagency Coordination The Department of State is the lead agency and the primary practitioner of public diplomacy within the U.S. government. Yet, as previously explained, several U.S. government agencies participate in at least one form of official public diplomacy or strategic communication activity. Most of these agencies primarily participate in engagement with foreign publics through foreign exchange programs, and DOD and USAID communicate in various ways with foreign publics 71 72 Kushlis and Sharpe, p. 29. Defense Science Board, pp. 18, 20. 73 Tony Blankley and Oliver Horn, Strategizing Strategic Communication, Heritage Foundation, WebMemo no. 1939, May 29, 2008, p. 2. 74 Tony Blankley, Helle C. Dale, and Oliver Horn, Reforming U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century, Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder no. 2211, Nov. 20, 2008, p. 4. Congressional Research Service 39 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues based on their respective international missions. U.S. international broadcasting, overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), is another major independent public diplomacy actor.75 Many observers suggest that while multiple government actors have a proper role to play in public diplomacy, those roles need definition, and the corresponding activities require coordination.76 Such efforts might encourage conflict between agencies currently engaging with foreign publics, as questions of authority and turf come to the fore. Complicating the determination of proper public diplomacy roles and coordination of effort across government is the fact that many agencies do not expressly focus on communicating with foreign publics. Certain agencies may not have specific authority or programs for communicating with foreign publics. Given the global and instant nature of communications, however, their public statements can reach the foreign populations, and their actions in some cases could affect those populations’ attitudes toward the United States. Identifying the effect each agency has on foreign publics might be required before any roles can be defined and coordinated. Another difficulty arises from the use of different terminology regarding communications with foreign publics. While the State Department has long relied on the term “public diplomacy” to describe its communications with foreign publics, DOD has adopted the term “strategic communication” to describe its activities. Also, the term “engagement” has entered the lexicon of terms describing U.S. government interface with foreign populations. Placing activities that are similar in nature under categories with different terms and definitions could continue to obstruct attempts to delineate the foreign-public communications roles of the numerous agencies involved in such activities. Although some recommend strengthening State Department authorities and leadership for public diplomacy and strategic communication, the importance of ensuring that other agencies have the capability to communicate effectively with foreign publics has also been recognized. This seems to apply especially to agencies and departments that possess as part of their reasons for existence some sort of engagement with the people of foreign countries. Thus, DOD and USAID, as examples, have strong needs for maintaining a communications capacity, because they operate in foreign countries, their work affects foreign publics, and they must be able to explain the intentions and policies behind their activities.77 A coordinated communications effort could maintain the State Department as lead public diplomacy actor, communicating with foreign publics on the overall range of foreign policy issues affecting those populations, as well as informing foreign publics on the culture and other aspects of the United States and the American people that would aid deeper mutual understanding and cooperation. Other government agencies operating abroad would then supplement such communications with specialized information pertaining to the work they are performing in each foreign country, to enhance the effectiveness of their particular projects and missions.78 75 For a discussion of current issues concerning U.S. international broadcasting, please see “International Broadcasting,” below. 76 See, e.g., Lord, Voices of America, p. 32. 77 Philip Seib and Carola Weil, AFRICOM, the American Military and Public Diplomacy in Africa, USC Annenberg School for Communication, Policy Briefing, Mar. 2008, p. 2. 78 See generally Lord, Voices of America, p. 33. Congressional Research Service 40 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues DOD: Filling the Communications Gap Many observers, including some Members of congressional committees, have criticized DOD’s expansion into non-military communications and public diplomacy that they believe the State Department should undertake. One of the oft-stated reasons for this expansion is the degradation of the State Department’s capacity to conduct public diplomacy and other traditionally civilianled international activities due to the lack of resources and funding. DOD strategic communication spending, on the other hand, has increased, totaling at least $10 billion since the 9/11 terror attacks.79 Spending on information operations (IO) has increased from $9 million for FY2005 to a nearly $1-billion request for FY2010.80 For its part, DOD officials, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, have expressed their desire for State and other pertinent civilian agencies to receive the resources they need to effectively carry out their responsibilities. DOD in general explains that public diplomacy activities are the responsibility of the State Department, and that DOD has merely a support role in that area. Yet DOD continues to “fill the gap” when it comes to the perceived deficiencies of State Department public diplomacy capacity and efforts.81 Some of this gap-filling may occur because of the importance of communications with foreign publics in areas where U.S. armed forces are carrying out military operations and security is a factor, primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the difficulty U.S. civilian agencies have operating in such environments. There are signs, however, that DOD communications with foreign publics might continue to increase. As counterterrorism and counterinsurgency have gained importance in overall U.S. military planning and strategy, communicating with and “winning the hearts and minds” of foreign populations that may produce terrorists and insurgents have become increasingly important to the success of the mission. Regional combatant commands such as the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) have placed significant importance on strategic communication and public diplomacy activities. DOD program spending on non-military communications to foreign publics under IO has increased from $9 million to nearly $1 billion in annual funding since FY2005, according to the House Appropriations Committee. 82 Because DOD does not break out strategic communication or public diplomacy figures in its annual budget requests, overall DOD spending on communicating with foreign populations is not known. Whatever the reasons for the expansion of DOD engagement with foreign publics, many analysts see problems with it. The House Appropriations Committee recently commented on its concerns: The Committee has serious concerns about ... the Department’s assumption of this mission area [certain new information operations programs] within its roles and responsibilities. Much of the content of what is being produced ... is focused so far beyond a traditional military information operation that the term non-traditional military information operation does not justly apply. At face value, much of what is being produced appears to be United States Military, and more alarmingly non-military propaganda, public relations, and behavioral modification messaging.83 79 U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Armed Services, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, report to accompany S. 1390, 111th Cong., 1st sess., S.Rept. 111-35 (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 182. 80 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Appropriations, Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, 2010, report to accompany H.R. 3326, 111th Cong., 1st sess., H.Rept. 111-230 (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 67. 81 Kushlis and Sharpe, p. 30. 82 H.Rept. 111-230, p. 67. 83 Ibid. Congressional Research Service 41 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues This statement seems to parallel the historical aversion to military communications with foreign publics that resulted in the State Department’s primacy in public diplomacy. This was a primary reason for creating the civilian USIA after World War II to lead U.S. public diplomacy efforts. Other criticisms focus on DOD’s dual role in communicating with foreign publics. While both civilian agencies and the U.S. military public diplomacy seek to inform foreign publics about America and U.S. policies in a truthful manner, the military also engages in communications designed specifically to achieve military objectives, including military deception. DOD has also been involved in “supposed efforts to minimize target audience knowledge of United States’ government sponsorship of certain production materials,”84 including the planting of news stories in foreign media, as well as operation of news and entertainment websites such as Magharebia.com that do not carry a “.mil” or “.gov” designation and whose government sources are not obviously labeled. DOD has not always made clear delineations between public diplomacy and military operation communications within its organization, and some claim that the military’s dual messaging role may lead to confusion, broken trust, and rejection of U.S. government communications in foreign publics. Coordination Difficulties Even if agency roles for public diplomacy across the U.S. government were to become more clearly defined, there will likely still be a substantial amount of work required to effectively coordinate public diplomacy and related communications efforts among all agencies. As explained previously, the Office of Global Communications in the White House did not provide strategic direction for communications with foreign publics as originally intended. Most observers have not characterized the Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy Policy Coordinating Committee (PCC), headed by the Secretary of State, as successful in fostering interagency coordination of communications with foreign publics, or in implementing the June 2007 National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication. The Global Strategic Engagement Center (GSEC) has not been resourced to effectively carry out directives emanating from the PCC. One recommendation for improving interagency coordination would create a robust coordination organization within the National Security Council (NSC), with a Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication (DNSA) heading a new Strategic Communication Policy Committee. This DNSA would possess legal authority to assign agency roles and to direct funding for public diplomacy and strategic communication, with a direct relationship to an Associate Director for Strategic Communication in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). As discussed above, the President has created the GED within NSC to facilitate coordination of global engagement, but it is not clear if this interagency process will lead to a shift of authorities for public diplomacy or other activities to the NSC. Some have concerns over a new NSC structure, as it might simply add another stakeholder in an already complicated web of public diplomacy and strategic communication actors and activities. 85 Other recommendations call instead for the reinforcement of State’s lead authority over public diplomacy and strategic communication, by requiring the PCC to meet at regular, frequent intervals, and ensuring that complete information on all U.S. government open and covert communications activities, including those undertaken by DOD and the intelligence agencies, is reported to R for interagency coordination purposes. GSEC would be staffed and resourced at 84 85 Ibid. Defense Science Board, p. xvi; but see Lord, Voices of America, p. 33. Congressional Research Service 42 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues higher levels to act as a fully operational secretariat supporting the PCC by building networks of public diplomacy actors across all pertinent government agencies to enable coordinated efforts.86 State Department Organizational Issues There are several criticisms currently leveled at the public diplomacy organization and authorities within the Department of State. Critics contend that these organizational problems present major stumbling blocks to improving the effectiveness of U.S. public diplomacy as well as public diplomacy’s stature within overall U.S. foreign policy. The Culture of Official Diplomacy in the State Department The most fundamental criticism is that the State Department’s culture of official diplomacy, centering on the protocols of diplomat-to-diplomat interaction and short-term policy considerations, is not entirely compatible with the practice of public diplomacy. Unlike official diplomacy, public diplomacy discussions often take place in informal environments amongst a multitude of participants, only one of which is the U.S. government. The intended audiences of U.S. public diplomacy efforts are highly diverse, containing a spectrum of viewpoints present in any society, unlike the controlled and exclusive foreign government audience a traditional diplomat encounters. While the conduct of traditional diplomacy can focus on specific issues of bilateral relations with another country’s government, public diplomacy is intended to focus foremost on long-term relationships with several different sectors of a foreign population that may or may not produce any specific advancement of current U.S. policy objectives or result with regard to U.S. interests. Also, some have identified a clash between the State Department’s bureaucratic process of communication and the practice of public diplomacy outreach. Owing to the sensitivity of official diplomatic communication, some analysts argue, the State Department has developed a multilevel clearance process that can be time-consuming and restrictive. In contrast, they explain, effective public diplomacy officers are reliant on the ability to communicate freely and flexibly with foreign publics, often in informal settings and in an informal manner. Because public diplomacy officers within the State Department are burdened with a cumbersome clearance process, some say the effectiveness of their outreach is hampered. There have been suggestions that public diplomacy communication be given a pared-down clearance process to enable responsive engagement with foreign populations on important issues.87 These basic differences in concept, conduct, and results can lead to a lack of importance placed on public diplomacy, some argue, within those parts of the State Department and U.S. embassies that do not have direct experience with outreach to foreign publics.88 It can also lead to the misunderstanding that public diplomacy is primarily a tool used to placate foreign publics when they react negatively to U.S. government activities and official bilateral relations in promotion of its foreign policy. Many commentators state that public diplomacy leaders often do not play an 86 Lord, Voices of America, p. 33. 87 Shawn Zeller, “Damage Control: Karen Hughes Does PD,” Foreign Service Journal, vol. 83, no. 10 (Oct. 2006), p. 20; Lord, Voices of America, p. 35. 88 Blankley, Dale, and Horn, p. 5, Executive Summary p. 1. Congressional Research Service 43 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues equal role with other decision makers when foreign policy is made, leading to public diplomacy that is largely reactive in nature, diminishing its effectiveness. 89 Other observers assert, however, that while there have been some problems with the integration of public diplomacy into the State Department since the abolition of USIA in 1999, placing public diplomacy within the State Department structure is the best way to ensure that U.S. foreign policy is being promoted in a coordinated fashion through both official diplomatic efforts and communications with foreign publics. They also state that the integration of public diplomacy officers with officers from the other foreign service cones within the State Department has increased the familiarity of the State Department with public diplomacy in a way that could not have occurred otherwise. As foreign service officers from other career tracks get public diplomacy experience from their rotations outside their cones, they will be able to gain an appreciation for public diplomacy that they can apply once they return to positions in their chosen career tracks.90 Public Diplomacy in the State Department Hierarchy Some have suggested that placing the head of public diplomacy in an Under Secretary position, and thus subject to the direction of Secretary of State, is equal to subordinating public diplomacy to traditional, official diplomacy, with concomitant detrimental effects on the importance of public diplomacy as a tool of foreign policy. Converting the Under Secretary position to a Deputy Secretary position has been suggested as one possible way of raising the profile of public diplomacy to the highest levels of policy making within the State Department. Other recommendations focus on improving the authorities of the Under Secretary and her organization (“R,” in State Department parlance) within the current structure.91 As explained in the “U.S. Public Diplomacy Background” section of this report, the Under Secretary does not enjoy overriding operational control over public diplomacy activities, personnel, and resources in Washington or at U.S. missions overseas. Unlike the geographic area offices that were at the USIA Director’s disposal, public diplomacy staffs within State’s regional bureaus answer to the regional Assistant Secretaries and the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. At embassies, public diplomacy officers are subject to the primary direction of the Chief of Mission, and they report back to Washington through the regional bureaus, not through R. To remedy some of these perceived problems, some analysts have recommended that the President provide new authorities to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the areas of public diplomacy policy, budgets, and utilization of public diplomacy personnel. Creation of dedicated Deputy Assistant Secretaries (DAS) for Public Diplomacy within each of the regional bureaus could also create a more robust capability for strategic approaches to outreach tailored to each geographic region and country. A DAS in each bureau would provide the Under Secretary a higher-level group of officers who could potentially better carry out strategic initiatives conceived within R. Junior public diplomacy officers in each regional DAS’s organization could handle more routine 89 Some have attributed this to a lack of Public Diplomacy Officers in positions of policy-making importance, as well as placement of non-Public Diplomacy Officers in significant public diplomacy positions. United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, Getting the People Part Right: A Report on the Human Resources Dimension of U.S. Public Diplomacy, June 2008, Executive Summary; Zeller, p. 22. 90 Cf. William A. Rugh, “PD Practitioners: Still Second-Class Citizens,” Foreign Service Journal, Vol. 86, no. 10, (Oct. 2009), p. 30 (explaining and subsequently dismissing the argument). 91 Blankley, Dale, and Horn, p. 10; Lord, Voices of America, p. 33. Congressional Research Service 44 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues public diplomacy duties to free the DAS to play a more important role in the overall work and direction of each regional bureau.92 At U.S. foreign missions, it has been suggested, the public affairs officer (PAO) heading public diplomacy efforts could administer a discretionary fund solely for public diplomacy activities, monitored by R, creating a dedicated resource and focus on public diplomacy within each embassy.93 At least one report has made a far-reaching recommendation to create regional public diplomacy hubs, based on the current handful of media hubs, that would establish separate facilities for public diplomacy organized along a regional structure similar to that of DOD’s combatant commands. These regional hubs would coordinate U.S. public diplomacy efforts in a particular region, and would act as the primary Washington-field coordination and feedback nexus for public diplomacy.94 This concept of public diplomacy hubs would seem to place importance on the separation of public diplomacy from other U.S. mission activities, although the public diplomacy function would remain within the State Department’s purview through its foreign missions. A New Agency for Public Diplomacy? Although numerous perceived problems with the State Department’s public diplomacy organization have been identified, it appears that most experts are not willing to promote recreating USIA or setting up a new government agency in order to restore the separation of public diplomacy from the State Department. Senator Sam Brownback introduced legislation in the 110th Congress that would have created a National Center for Strategic Communications, which would have served as the new focal point for public diplomacy and strategic communication for the U.S. government.95 Under this proposal, the public diplomacy apparatus within State would have been transferred to the Center, and the Center would also have had a defined leadership role in interagency coordination for communications with foreign publics. Broadcasting would have been placed under the leadership of the Center as well. For a number of reasons, however, most expert opinion appears focused on making improvements to the State Department’s organizational structure removing the public diplomacy function to a new agency. First, standing up a new government agency would take a significant amount of time. 96 Second, creating new bureaucracies is not seen as an optimal solution—creating a new bureaucracy that does not consolidate older organizations, but actually separates organizational structures into separate bureaucratic entities. A new agency for public diplomacy would require a new management bureau to replace the State Department’s management organization that the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs currently relies upon. A new inspector general for the public diplomacy agency would also need to be created, among other things. Third, many observers have noted the current debate over the public diplomacy roles and responsibilities of several government agencies, especially between the State Department and DOD, as an impediment to successfully creating a new agency. It could be expected that any 92 Lord, Voices of America, p. 35. Canning, p. 11. 94 Lord, Voices of America, p. 34. 95 Strategic Communications Act of 2008, S. 3546 (110th Cong.). 96 Christopher Paul, Whiter Strategic Communication?, Rand Corporation Occasional Paper, 2009, p. 10. 93 Congressional Research Service 45 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues problems with the determination of roles and the improvement of interagency coordination would be intensified with any effort to create a new agency, as different government actors would likely seek to further protect their perceived authorities in the area of communications with foreign publics. Interagency coordination would likely not improve through legislation designating a new agency as the lead on public diplomacy and strategic communication, given that current legislative language clearly designating the State Department as lead on such communications has not resolved questions about roles and authorities thus far. Personnel: Recruitment, Training, and Utilization The size, utilization, and fitness of the Department of State’s public diplomacy workforce is a central issue for the discussions on improving U.S. public diplomacy. A primary area of concern is the number of personnel carrying out public diplomacy duties within the Department of State. Although the number of foreign service officers overall have increased recently, the number of officers specializing in public diplomacy is at a significantly low level, in comparison to the apex of USIA’s activities during the Cold War. Public Diplomacy Officer (PDO) numbers have dropped consistently during the decade after USIA’s abolition. Overall numbers of civil servants and locally engaged staff (LES) assigned to public diplomacy duties have also declined substantially. Several analysts have called for increases in the number of personnel for public diplomacy assignments, as high as 100% over current numbers, to augment the human capital required to cultivate a culture of mutual understanding and shared values with foreign publics. These increases would include more LES, who can provide a ready-made, deep-seated connection to their own people. Increases in public diplomacy personnel could also create a human resources “float” that would allow all public diplomacy slots to be filled while also providing a certain percentage of public diplomacy officers with opportunities for public diplomacy training. Recruiting and Training Some analysts argue for improving public diplomacy recruiting and training. They note that the State Department does not actively recruit individuals who already have public diplomacy experience or skills. The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy recently found that the Foreign Service Officer Test and Oral Assessment do not specifically test for communication skills and public diplomacy instincts. According to the Commission, hiring experienced officers could rapidly improve outreach efforts.97 Improving public diplomacy capabilities at the entrylevel positions, however, will not immediately address another deficiency in public diplomacy personnel: the current shortage of mid-level officers, which arose due to accelerated promotion and retirements among PDOs. Some experts have called for the short-term appointment of former public diplomacy officers to fill this mid-level gap.98 Many have called for improving public diplomacy training. While public diplomacy courses available to foreign service officers have increased in recent years, many argue that too many courses focus on administration, such as managing exchange programs, and too few on public diplomacy theory, techniques, and execution. There are several calls for an increase in foreign language training for to address deficiencies in language skills among Officers in public 97 Getting the People Part Right, pp. 8, 10. Joe Johnson, “How Does Public Diplomacy Measure Up?”, Foreign Service Journal, vol. 83, no. 10 (Oct. 2006), p. 50; Lord, Voices of America, p. 35. 98 Congressional Research Service 46 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues diplomacy posts.99 Private-sector partnership training has been encouraged to support the leveraging of private sector communications capacity and expertise. Some commentators suggest increased alternative training, including distance learning at post and on-the-job programs. Increased LES training, both abroad and in Washington, has also been recommended. 100 Effective Use of Public Diplomacy Officers There are numerous concerns over the utilization of PDOs. First, many observers believe that PDOs do not spend enough time in public diplomacy positions. They note that the rate of public diplomacy position vacancies within the department and at foreign posts has ranged near 20% during recent years,101 while at the same time a large percentage of PDOs are placed in nonpublic diplomacy positions. Some PDOs must wait until their third or fourth rotations before being assigned a public diplomacy position, yet many public diplomacy positions are filled by FSOs from the other cones (consular, management, economic, and political). Because of these conditions, some argue that public diplomacy expertise and experience have been critically reduced. Suggestions for remedying this situation include requiring early-career public diplomacy postings for PDOs; increasing the number of public diplomacy rotations for each PDO; lengthening public diplomacy rotations for PDOs; and allowing PDOs with specific cultural and language skills to rotate exclusively within the geographic area appropriate to their expertise. 102 Other analysts counter, however, that outside-cone rotations are necessary to maintain the generalist approach to a career in the Foreign Service, which the State Department values highly. Second, some have criticized the State Department for allowing public diplomacy positions to be heavily burdened with administrative responsibilities. They assert that the public affairs officer (PAO), the senior public diplomacy officer at a U.S. embassy, has been transformed into a manager generally supporting the ambassador, unable to focus on outreach or strategic public diplomacy planning. Similarly, some reports claim that junior- and mid-level public diplomacy officers also are expected to focus primarily on administrative tasks.103 This perceived lack of importance placed on active outreach is reinforced by the lack of career incentives to demonstrate commitment to public diplomacy activities. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Public Diplomacy reported in 2008 that the Department of State’s employee evaluation report (EER), used to determine promotions, does not contain a section devoted to public diplomacy. Also, in the work requirements statements (WRS) of some public diplomacy officers, only one of 11 job requirements described substantive public diplomacy outreach, while nine were squarely administrative in nature. Some of these seeming anomalies in assessment might factor into problems for career advancement, as PDOs are “promoted at the lowest rate of any track.”104 99 Robert J. Callahan, “Neither Madison Avenue Nor Hollywood,” Foreign Service Journal, vol. 83, no. 10 (Oct. 2006), p. 35; Canning, p. 10; Getting the People Part Right, Executive Summary. 100 Lord, Voices of America, p. 41; Johnson, “How Does Public Diplomacy Measure Up?”, p. 51. 101 Blankley, Dale, and Horn, p. 6. 102 Canning, pp. 8-9; Lord, Voices of America, p. 35; Callahan, p. 36. 103 Canning, p. 10; Getting the People Part Right, Executive Summary, p. 29. 104 Getting the People Part Right, p. 19. Congressional Research Service 47 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Outreach Activities Some observers have suggested that outreach to foreign publics must increase in general, both in the overall number and frequency of public diplomacy activities and in the techniques and tools of communications for public diplomacy. These increases are recommended for both educational and cultural exchange and international information programs; they include both traditional, inperson activities in foreign countries, and the “virtual” presence of U.S. public diplomacy on the Internet and other related forms of communications media. Exchange Programs There is widespread consensus that educational and cultural exchange programs supported by the U.S. government are highly effective public diplomacy tools. Exchanges target influential audiences within foreign publics, and provide them with experiences of American society. They build an environment of mutual understanding by creating a cadre of both American and foreign citizens who develop a first-hand knowledge of another culture, and they create long-term relationships that can be drawn upon to enhance cooperation and understanding between the United States and foreign countries. Many analysts have recommended increases in exchanges in order for the United States to further benefit from the long-term connections they create. Although exchanges funding and participation have increased in recent years, and the number of visas for foreign exchange participants coming to the United States have also begun to rise after a period of decline, some have called for significant increases in exchanges funding, up to 100% over current levels.105 Certain increases have occurred in exchanges involving individuals from Muslim-majority countries as well as American Muslims, but some analysts have cautioned against concentrating exchanges increases in just one or a few regions. Exchange participation between Americans and foreign nationals from developing countries have also increased.106 English Language Education Some observers have focused on the importance of increasing English language education for foreign populations provided by U.S. missions abroad, contending that the reduction in such language instruction represents a significant lost opportunity to engage foreign publics and to encourage long-lasting connections with and goodwill toward the United States. They claim that other countries are much more successful teaching foreign publics their respective native languages, including the United Kingdom, which devotes a greater amount of resources to English language instruction than the United States.107 U.S. missions abroad have engaged in more English language instruction in recent years,108 but there are calls for greater increases, as well as better efforts to leverage the connections made to foreign publics in the language classes to create robust, active language-graduate alumni groups in a similar fashion to alumni of foreign exchanges. Because fees may be charged to provide English language classes to foreign publics, 105 American Academy of Diplomacy & the Henry L. Stimson Center, A Foreign Affairs Budget for the Future: Fixing the Crisis in Diplomatic Readiness, Oct. 2008, p. 24. 106 Kushlis and Sharpe, p. 30; Department of State information received in response to a request for information on international exchanges, June 12, 2009. 107 U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Public Diplomacy—Time to Get Back in the Game, 111th Cong. 1st sess., S.Rept. 111-6 (Washington: GPO, 2009), pp. 14-15. 108 Defense Science Board, p. 6. Congressional Research Service 48 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues it is suggested that U.S. missions could expand language instruction without requiring as much new funding as other projects, making the types of long-term connections possible through language education that is much more cost-effective. Although keeping costs low for English language classes is considered important, one recommendation for increased language education suggests that the United States needs also to increase the number of official U.S.-mission staff instructors instead of hiring subcontractors, to ensure instructor quality.109 Permanent staff instructors could be expected to increase country, cultural, and native language expertise within U.S. mission staff through direct contact with the population. America Centers/America Houses During the Cold War and the existence of USIA, the United States operated a large number of “America Centers,” facilities that were open to foreign publics and provided a substantial physical U.S. presence in the centers of large foreign cities. At these Centers foreign citizens could avail themselves of libraries and reading rooms, English language instruction, U.S. speaker programs on a wide range of topics, and exhibitions of American films, among other outreach programs. Although some of these types of facilities still exist, most have been closed. With the end of the Cold War, many observe, America Centers were considered expendable. Added to the decreased emphasis on public diplomacy’s overall importance, security concerns for all U.S. government facilities abroad came to the fore after the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Legislation passed soon after these bombings required U.S. missions abroad to be “co-located” on one secure campus, unless a specific waiver is granted.110 Several America Centers, most often located in city centers and separate from the main U.S. embassy complex, were not housed in facilities that met the requirements of these new security rules. To make up for the loss of the America Centers, U.S. embassy complexes now house Information Resource Centers (IRCs), but the IRCs have much less to offer foreign publics than did the America Centers. Also, because U.S. embassies have been hardened against terrorist attacks and have developed more stringent security measures, members of foreign publics have more difficulty accessing IRCs as compared to the open access to former America Centers. Many IRCs require foreign citizens to make appointments with IRC staff before they may visit. In addition, many U.S. embassies have moved well outside city centers, limiting further the number of individuals visiting the IRCs.111 Some analysts see the closure of America Centers as a key deficiency in U.S. outreach to foreign publics, because such Centers served high numbers of foreign citizens and were critical points of contact for the United States to build long-term relationships with foreign publics.112 Some have pointed out that as the United States has retreated from outreach in important countries and regions, other countries, including Iran, have increased their presence and influence in the same places. It has been recommended, therefore, that the U.S. government seek to reestablish America Centers in the downtown areas of large cities in countries where important U.S. foreign policy interests can be served. 113 These recommendations state that while security at America Centers is 109 Time to Get Back in the Game, pp. 7-8. Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999 (Title VI of H.R. 3427 (106th Cong.) enacted by reference in Section 1000(a)(7) of P.L. 106-113; 22 U.S.C. § 4865 note). 111 Time to Get Back in the Game, pp. 4, 7, 10-11. 112 Ibid., pp. 5-7; Foreign Affairs Budget for the Future, p. 16. 113 Although it can be expected that the focus on establishing Centers would be on Muslim-majority countries given the current national security environment, some commentators have also suggested reinvestment in Binational Centers in (continued...) 110 Congressional Research Service 49 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues a key consideration, security interests should not trump engagement with foreign publics. Some have called for waivers of the co-location requirement in order to allow America Centers to exist as freestanding facilities, with the understanding that such Centers may be closed if the security situation involves too much risk. A Senate report on U.S. public diplomacy called for temporary closure of Centers experiencing security issues, not an outright abandonment of the facilities as has occurred in the past.114 Information Resources and Internet Presence Some observers recommend resurrecting certain international information programs that have atrophied in recent years, such as programs to translate books from English into Arabic. Calls have also been made for publishing more and more effective U.S. informational materials and interactive applications on the Internet, given its potential to reach mass audiences. Such materials could include new online libraries, online English language instruction, and robust websites containing more publications.115 These recommendations parallel suggestions for increasing outreach activities online, including augmenting the capabilities of the State Department’s Digital Outreach Team, which responds to misinformation about the United States on prominent online discussion sites, as well as investing more heavily in the most up-to-date communications technologies, both in hardware and software.116 Determining how to best reach targeted audiences with such information, understanding what information and formats will best serve U.S. foreign policy interests, and building trust in U.S. government messages will be challenges to effective online information outreach just as they are to traditional outreach accomplished through a physical presence. If anything, these challenges might be more difficult to address given the lack of control over the receipt and effect of messages on the Internet, preventing their misuse or distortion, and determining what effect such messages had through valid feedback. 117 International Broadcasting The current state of U.S. international broadcasting is also the subject of debate. First, some argue that U.S. international broadcasting needs to be better integrated with U.S. foreign policy activities, strategies, and goals, in order to more effectively advance U.S. national interests. Since the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 created an independent Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), there has been a perception among some that U.S. international broadcasters might make programming decisions that distract or detract from U.S. public (...continued) Latin America. The Binational Centers were begun as partnerships between private organizations in Latin American countries and the United States, which operated with resources and programs similar to those of the America Centers. Canning, p. 13. This recommendation to reengage in Latin America even while other geographic regions are demanding more attention underscores an approach to public diplomacy that stresses long-term relationships and the belief that U.S. engagement must have global coverage in order to play a vital role in meeting the foreign policy and national security challenges that will present themselves in the future. 114 Time to Get Back in the Game, pp. 7-8. 115 Lord, Voices of America, p. 32; Defense Science Board, p. xvii; Amr and Singer, p. 208. 116 Defense Science Board, p. xvii. 117 Some of these issues are further discussed under the “Leveraging Non-Public Sectors” and “Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation” sections of this report. Congressional Research Service 50 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues diplomacy efforts at both the government-wide and individual U.S. mission levels.118 This perception has persisted despite the inclusion of the Secretary of State as a voting member of the BBG. Affording the State Department, or perhaps a new government agency for international broadcasting, the authority to more directly supervise broadcasting programming might develop international broadcasting into a more effective tool for advancing U.S. interests. The primary counterargument to such integration of international broadcasting is based on journalistic integrity. Some argue that unless international broadcasting is independent of the political, policydriven influences of government agencies, international broadcasting will lose its credibility and thereby become less useful in gaining the trust of foreign publics. They assert that independent international broadcasting is imperative to provide an example of a free press in a democracy to foreign publics where little or no free press exists.119 Criticism of the Organization of International Broadcasting Some observers criticize the organization of U.S. international broadcasting as well. They assert that the current structure of numerous independent U.S. broadcasters, some directly supervised by the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), and some operating as surrogate grantees, has produced inefficiencies and redundancies across a spectrum of organizational factors. These include duplication of services and programming, a lack of coordination among the broadcasters on program content, and a non-integrated technology infrastructure that results in inefficient use of resources. Because each broadcaster retains a substantial amount of independent discretion over what it will broadcast, some criticize the lack of an overall strategy for U.S. international broadcasting itself. 120 Perceived problems exist concerning over- or under-programming in certain foreign languages, lack of efficient utilization of new communications media, and deficient programming models and audience research. Some commentators have recommended a complete review of U.S. international broadcasting to determine whether a streamlining of the organizational structure is needed to consolidate broadcasters in order to encourage creating and implementing clear strategy and reducing redundancies.121 Others, however, counter that promotion of U.S. government-run broadcasting services in general undermine U.S. policies concerning the problems of state-run media, government enterprises that in many countries still represent biased, non-reliable sources of information, and suggest privatizing surrogate U.S. broadcasters to ensure credibility.122 There are also concerns regarding individual U.S. international broadcast entities. Some have questioned the resourcing of VOA in recent years, claiming that the new Middle East broadcast entities have swallowed up a considerable portion of funding that could otherwise have been used to bolster VOA programming, especially programming in Arabic.123 At the same time, two of the new Middle East broadcasters, television broadcaster Alhurra and its counterpart Radio Sawa, have had numerous problems and have garnered considerable criticism. Observers have 118 Zeller, p. 24; Lord, Voices of America, p. 40. Zeller, p. 26. 120 Johnson, “How Does Public Diplomacy Measure Up?”, pp. 48-49. 121 Ibid.; Defense Science Board, p. xviii. 122 Stephen Johnson, Helle C. Dale, and Patrick Cronin, Strengthening U.S. Public Diplomacy Requires Organization, Coordination, and Strategy, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder no. 1875, August 5, 2005, Executive Summary p. 2; Amr and Singer, p. 218. 123 Peter Krause and Stephen Van Evera, “Public Diplomacy: Ideas for the War of Ideas,” Middle East Policy, vol. XVI, no. 3 (Fall 2009), p. 110. 119 Congressional Research Service 51 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues characterized the management and oversight of the broadcasters as poor. Critics have characterized the overall performance of Alhurra as deficient, as it attempts to gain market share of audiences in competition from Arab broadcast powerhouses such as Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. Alhurra has been forced to restrict the open discourse on its channel due to criticism from Congress and elsewhere after it allowed terrorist organizations and Holocaust deniers to freely promote their views on air; the result of the restricted discourse, it is argued, has damaged Alhurra’s credibility with the Arab public. The BBG for its part has claimed that Alhurra enjoys the highest audience of any non-Arab broadcaster in the Middle East.124 Radio Sawa’s effectiveness has been questioned given that its ratio of broadcast content is heavily skewed toward popular music instead of substantive news and informational programming. Leveraging Non-public Sectors: Expertise, Best Practices, and Innovation Some studies and reports have recommended increasing the utilization of private and non-profit sector (together, “non-public sector”) expertise, resources, best practices, and innovation as an important strategy for improving the capacity, effectiveness, and timeliness of U.S. public diplomacy. 125 These recommendations highlight the fact that the communications and information technology expertise of the U.S. private sector is highly sophisticated and advanced. Private sector individuals and organizations can provide existing, tested information products and tools to the government, thereby allowing the U.S. government to quickly leverage outside expertise to improve public diplomacy efforts. They also point to the current global communications environment, in which individual actors and NGOs in the United States can act as important communicators, suggesting that the U.S. government should coordinate with such communicators in order to ensure maximum effectiveness and clarity of messages from U.S. sources. At least one study states that partnership between U.S. public diplomacy and the non-public sector should be a core principle guiding government communications with foreign publics.126 Creating an Independent Support Organization Although the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs currently has an Office of Private Sector Outreach (R/PSO) within her organization, there are recommendations for an independent support organization to increase public diplomacy expertise, best practices, and innovation for use by the U.S. government through partnership with the private sector.127 Such an organization would allow the U.S. government to build close working relationships with nonpublic sector communications experts from academia, NGOs, and business.128 The support organization could directly employ such experts, with varying lengths of appointments, instead of merely contracting or providing grants to non-public sector organizations or individuals, ensuring greater impetus toward integrated, coordinated communications research, planning, and other 124 Broadcasting Board of Governors, “Broadcasting Board of Governors Corrects ProPublica’s Report on Alhurra Television,” press release, June 30, 2008, http://www.bbg.gov/pressroom/pressreleases-article.cfm?articleID=244. 125 See, e.g., Defense Science Board; Lord, Voices of America. 126 Lord, Voices of America, p. 40. 127 Blankley and Horn, “Strategizing Strategic Communication,” p. 3; Lord, Voices of America, pp. 1-2; Defense Science Board, p. xiii. 128 Lord, Voices of America, p. 17. Senator Sam Brownback introduced legislation in the 110th Congress that would have established a similar organization. Strategic Communications Act of 2008, S. 3546 (110th Cong.). Congressional Research Service 52 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues activities. In this way, advocates argue, such an organization would expand the scope of public/non-public partnerships currently undertaken by R/PSO, which does not focus on cooperation with individual communications and public diplomacy experts as such. Such an independent public diplomacy support organization, as envisioned by some observers, would take on a number of duties, including the following, among others: • conducting research on innovative techniques and new technologies for U.S. public diplomacy efforts, and leveraging and experimenting with the latest forms of new media for use by U.S. public diplomacy practitioners; • strengthening U.S. government capability to formulate, coordinate, and execute strategic public diplomacy planning within individual government agencies to implement requirement of the upcoming national strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication; • utilizing research data on results of public diplomacy and other communications efforts to synthesize best practices, and serve as a comprehensive clearinghouse for government public diplomacy actors to access such practices; • in addition to its independent functions, contracting with government agencies to provide program-specific public diplomacy services; • partnering with and making grants to private organizations to engage in new public diplomacy efforts, as well as to evaluate effectiveness of such efforts; and • raising funds from outside sources to fund innovative communications initiatives that could serve dual government/business purposes. 129 Supporters of such an organization anticipate that it will encourage early government adoption of new communications techniques and proven best practices, and encourage interagency cooperation in a “turf-free” environment.130 Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Public Diplomacy Activities It has been repeated often in recent years that global opinion of the United States has declined drastically, and that there have been huge shifts in that opinion, from overwhelming support after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to general dissatisfaction with U.S. actions regarding the war in Iraq and counterterrorism efforts, among other issues. The worsening polling data have been linked to the challenges currently facing U.S. public diplomacy and of the failure of that public diplomacy to improve the U.S. standing in the conception of foreign publics.131 Recently, however, some worldwide polls have show favorable increases in the image of the United States among foreign publics, with connections being made between that rise and the high initial favorability of President Obama around the world.132 Yet some have warned that polling data, which can provide 129 See Lord, Voices of America; Defense Science Board. Ibid., see also Blankley and Horn, p. 3. 131 Time to Get Back in the Game, p. 6. 132 See, e.g., The Pew Global Attitudes Project, Confidence in Obama Lifts U.S. Image Around the World, July 23, 2009, http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/264.pdf; GfK Custom Research North America, “America Is Now the Most (continued...) 130 Congressional Research Service 53 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues fleeting information on opinion based on a snapshot in time, is not sufficient to explain the success or failure of U.S. outreach to foreign publics. Polling numbers, they argue, cannot substitute for sophisticated evaluation of the U.S. relationship with respective foreign publics and the effectiveness of U.S. public diplomacy efforts. In addition to polling, it is asserted that the United States must build a comprehensive system of evaluating the performance of public diplomacy efforts, determining effectiveness by matching results to stated strategic objectives and goals enumerated in a national strategy. Only once such goals are set out, some argue, will useful performance measurements be produced.133 Even with a national strategy in place, however, challenges remain for gathering data regarding U.S. public diplomacy activities and analyzing such data to determine their successful performance. Some observers have commented that U.S. missions abroad do a poor job of recording data for use in evaluating outreach efforts, lacking the resources, guidance, and processes necessary to compile useful feedback information. One report states that the reliability of data gathering and evaluation at foreign posts is harmed by public diplomacy officers’ fear that reporting any outreach efforts to be ineffective may have detrimental effects on their careers and opportunities for promotion.134 In recent years the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has rated public diplomacy efforts as “not performing,” based on the fact that the results of those efforts were not demonstrated. OMB has, however, rated the evaluation efforts of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange (ECA) as “fully performing,” finding a clear system of indicators for measuring success. ECA’s system for evaluation includes reliance on data gathered from exchange participants and a well developed and sustained network of exchange alumni, measuring both the outcome and impact of different exchanges on participants and their respective home communities and countries. ECA’s methods of evaluation might not be expected to translate to other public diplomacy activities for which audiences are large and disparate, messages are often much more diffuse, and impact on target audiences is more difficult to assess. Nevertheless, it seems that ECA’s evaluation system has been drawn on as an example for creating the Evaluation and Measurement Unit (EMU) in R’s Office of Policy, Planning, and Resources. EMU’s approach to research and evaluation seems to be promising. Both the Public Diplomacy Impact (PDI) project, evaluating performance, and the Mission Activity Tracker (MAT), gathering data on all public diplomacy activities, are intended to comprehensively document public diplomacy activities and measure their impact on a global scale. Many observers want the State Department to ensure that such research and analysis is translated into user-friendly guidance, tools, and techniques for improving public diplomacy at the country level. Some also suggest creating techniques to test the effect of public diplomacy programs prior to full implementation with foreign publics, to avoid unforeseen problems and pitfalls.135 Research and evaluation of both U.S. public diplomacy activities conducted on the Internet, and the vast number of communications undertaken by other actors on the Internet, from governments (...continued) Admired Country Globally,” October 5, 2009, http://www.gfkamerica.com/newsroom/press_releases/ single_sites/004729/ index.en.html. 133 Amr and Singer, p. 216. See generally Government Accountability Office, U.S. Public Diplomacy: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight, GAO-09-679SP, May 2009, p. 13 (arguing for “campaign-style approach to PD that includes robust assessment capabilities). 134 Lord, Voices of America, p. 41. 135 Johnson, “How Does Public Diplomacy Measure Up?”, pp. 45-46; Lord, Voices of America, p. 40. Congressional Research Service 54 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues to individuals, is seen as a critical issue for U.S. public diplomacy. This is due to the daunting nature of assessing the impact of individual messages within an ever expanding universe of communication, and the perception that effective Internet messaging is becoming increasingly central to any effective communications strategy. It has been recommended that the U.S. government should invest in developing and improving the science and application of social network analysis and automated sentiment analysis in order to provide U.S. public diplomacy new tools for understanding and harnessing the instant, global, networked communications environment of the Internet. Although such analytical tools may not ensure the dominance of U.S. government messaging, they may provide public diplomacy practitioners with the advantage of superior information as they attempt to gain influence online. 136 Prohibiting Domestic Dissemination of Public Diplomacy Information: Smith-Mundt Act As explained earlier in this report, current law restricts the State Department’s domestic dissemination of public diplomacy information and its authority to communicate with the American public in general. These legislative provisions are intended to protect the American people from the State Department’s attempts to influence foreign populations, ostensibly preventing to some extent the U.S. government’s propagandizing of its own people. Some have argued that the domestic dissemination provision in Section 501 of the Smith-Mundt Act was also intended to protect the business interests of the U.S. media by ensuring the State Department would not fill its news-reporting role, and to guard against the growth of influence of the employees of the State Department, believed in the post-World War II years to be filled with communist sympathizers.137 The Smith-Mundt provisions have come under increasing criticism in recent years, and are seen as anachronisms in the current global communications environment. There have been calls to remove the Smith-Mundt Act’s prohibition of domestic dissemination and related restrictions in order to bring U.S. government communications legislation in line with the realities of the current global communications environment. A number of perceived problems with these restrictions have been identified. The State Department provides information to and conducts outreach with foreign publics using the Internet, which, given the Internet’s global availability, can be accessed domestically by U.S. citizens. U.S. international broadcasting, also covered by the restrictions, uses satellite and Internet broadcast technologies that can be accessed in the United States. Even when interpreting the domestic dissemination restrictions to prohibit only intended dissemination of public diplomacy information domestically in order to find no violation of the law by the State Department, the effectiveness of the restrictions, it is argued, has been fundamentally undermined by these pervasive global communications technologies. At the same time, however, the State Department is required to take measures to comport with these legislative restrictions, which may also reduce the overall effectiveness of its public diplomacy activities. Use of certain new communications technologies and techniques may be curtailed to avoid the risk of inadvertently propagandizing the American public. The State Department must also keep its public diplomacy and public affairs operations separate, even though both functions are headed by the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and communicate on the same issues 136 Defense Science Board, pp. 55, 59. Matt Armstrong, “Rethinking Smith-Mundt,” Small Wars Journal, July 28, 2008, http://smallwarsjournal.com/ blog/2008/07/rethinking-smithmundt/. 137 Congressional Research Service 55 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues for “separate” audiences.138 In addition to the possible detrimental effects of the State Department’s public diplomacy efforts, the Department of Defense has interpreted the SmithMundt Act’s restrictions on domestic dissemination of information to apply to its communications efforts as well. Congress has recently asked DOD to review this interpretation to determine whether it is justified, given the possibility that such interpretation has limited DOD’s capability to communicate with foreign publics.139 There are some possible advantages to maintaining the Smith-Mundt restrictions, however. They might, for instance, promote a differentiation of foreign versus domestic messages that serves to maintain a tailored approach to public diplomacy. By banning the production of public diplomacy information for domestic use, these provisions encourage information products and outreach programs that focus exclusively on foreign publics. Without such domestic prohibitions, U.S. public diplomacy efforts may become dominated by a preoccupation with communicating to the American people for political effect, to the detriment of creating effective, targeted communications to specific foreign populations. 140 This may exacerbate a perceived weakness in U.S. outreach to foreign publics overall, namely, the lack of country-level and regional public diplomacy strategies based on deep understanding of cultures and effective local communication approaches. On the other hand, those calling for amending the Smith-Mundt Act’s domestic dissemination restriction argue that the American people would benefit from a more transparent understanding of their government’s communications efforts in foreign countries. Some have suggested that direct dissemination of public diplomacy information to Americans may help build a domestic constituency for foreign affairs, international development, and diplomatic efforts in general, the lack of which has long been lamented as a primary reason for the relative inattention to providing resources for more robust conduct of U.S. foreign policy.141 Recent Legislative Action Congress has recently proposed and enacted legislation that would make changes to U.S. public diplomacy. Enacted during the 110th Congress, Section 1055 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (P.L. 110-417) is a key provision that requires the President to submit by the end of 2009 a report on a federal government strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication to specified congressional committees. 142 The report must include the following elements: • A comprehensive interagency strategy that • integrates specific foreign policy objectives with overall communications with foreign publics; 138 Report on the Smith-Mundt Symposium of January 13, 2009, Armstrong Strategic Insights Group, LLC and the Center on Communication Leadership, Mar. 12, 2009, p. 11. 139 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Armed Services, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, report to accompany H.R. 2647, 111th Cong., 1st sess., H.Rept. 111-166, part 1 (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 377. 140 Smith-Mundt Symposium Report, p. 7. 141 Ibid., pp. 8-10. 142 House Foreign Affairs Committee; Senate Foreign Relations Committee; House and Senate Armed Services Committees; and House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Congressional Research Service 56 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues • considers consolidating and elevating government leadership for public diplomacy and strategic communication, and the possibility of creating a single office to direct government-wide efforts; and • improves interagency coordination on public diplomacy and strategic communications. • A study of whether an independent support organization for public diplomacy and strategic communication should be created to provide guidance and assessment to the federal government. • A description of the roles and responsibilities of the National Security Council, Department of Defense, and Department of State regarding public diplomacy and strategic communication, as well as how these organizations currently coordinate efforts. Section 1055 requires an another report from the President to be submitted two years after the first report providing the status of implementation of the strategy, progress toward achieving strategic benchmarks, and any changes made to the strategy. In addition, the section directs the Secretary of Defense to submit by the end of 2009 to the Armed Services Committees a report on the current organizational structure within DOD for advising the Secretary of strategic communication, and the possibility of creating an advisory board within DOD (with representation from other relevant agencies) responsible for strategic communication and public diplomacy strategic direction and communication priorities. Several pieces of legislation proposed thus far in the 111th Congress concern changes to, improvements in, and funding for public diplomacy. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, H.R. 2410 (111th Congress), which contains a subtitle on “Public Diplomacy at the Department of State,” as well as other several other pertinent provisions, is a central bill related to public diplomacy. 143 Several other bills are devoted to or include provisions directly related to U.S. public diplomacy efforts, covering a broad array of concerns, many of which are directly parallel to the important issues discussed in the previous section of this report.144 These bills include provisions regarding strategy for communications with foreign publics; agency roles and interagency coordination; personnel and human resources issues; increased outreach activities and exchanges; reforming the organization of U.S. international broadcasting; research, monitoring, and evaluation; leveraging the best practices knowledge and public diplomacy expertise both within government, and from private sector/nongovernmental actors, possibly through an independent support organization; and creating exception to the restrictions on domestic dissemination of information prepared for public diplomacy purposes by the Department of State. In addition, certain committee reports on Defense authorizations and appropriations for FY2010 include reporting requirements concerning DOD’s communications with foreign publics. Provided below are descriptions of legislative provisions related to public diplomacy and strategic communication, organized by issue. 143 H.R. 2410 includes the provisions of several other bills related to public diplomacy. Bills incorporated as part of H.R. 2410 include H.R. 473, H.R. 909, H.R. 1886, H.R. 1976, H.R. 2131, and H.R. 2475. 144 Enacted bills are co-designated by their Public Law numbers. Congressional Research Service 57 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication S. 1707 (P.L. 111-73): Section 101(c)(6)(C) of the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 provides the sense of Congress that the United States should have a coordinated strategic communication strategy for engagement with the people of Pakistan to meet the bilateral cooperation goals of the act. H.R. 2647 (P.L. 111-84): Section 1242(b) of the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 requires the President to submit an annual counterterrorism strategy report. Paragraph (1)(G) requires the report to include a description of strategic communication and public diplomacy activities undertaken to counter terrorist recruitment and radicalization. H.R. 490: Section 2(b) requires the Secretary of State to submit a “quadrennial review” to the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees by October 1, 2012, and every four years thereafter. Such review would consist of a comprehensive examination of U.S. government foreign affairs activities, including public diplomacy efforts. Section 2(d)(4) provides that the quadrennial review’s contents would include recommendations for improvements in public diplomacy initiatives. H.R. 2387: Section 4(a)(2) of the Strategy and Effectiveness of Foreign Policy and Assistance Act of 2009 requires the President to report to Congress on long-term strategies for U.S. national security and foreign affairs, including a description of how public diplomacy efforts are “related to a long-term strategy that advances national security objectives and needs of the United States.” H.R. 2410: Division B of this bill is entitled the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement (PEACE) Act of 2009. It authorizes implementation of a public diplomacy strategy for Pakistan that would highlight the weaknesses of extremists operating in Pakistan, degrade the ability of extremist groups to get their messages to the Pakistani people, and increase person-toperson and technical and cultural exchange between U.S. citizens and business and their Pakistani counterparts. S. 894: Section 4(a)(6) of the Success in Countering Al Qaeda Reporting Requirements Act of 2009 requires the President to report on all U.S. government strategic communication and public diplomacy efforts to counter terrorist recruitment and radicalization as part of reporting on overall counterterrorism strategy. Interagency Coordination H.R. 489: Section 3 of the Strategic Communication Act of 2009 requires a report from the Secretary of State that would include information on current efforts to coordinate U.S. government strategic communication and public diplomacy, international broadcasting, and military information operations. The Section also requires reporting that would discuss the possibility of creating an strategic communication organization within the National Security Council to lead interagency coordination. Congressional Research Service 58 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues H.R. 2410: Section 211 would amend Section 60 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. § 2732) to give the primary responsibility for coordinating unified public diplomacy activities to the Secretary of State.145 The Section provides for creation of an interagency coordination working group, to meet at least once every three months, to be chaired by the Secretary of State and to include representatives of other relevant agencies. These relevant federal agencies would be required to designate a representative to conduct ongoing consultations and coordination concerning public diplomacy. The Section does not provide a seniority requirement for such representatives. Agency Roles and Responsibilities H.R. 2410: Section 211 would amend Section 60 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. § 2732) to require federal agencies involved in public diplomacy to report to the President annually on the public activities undertaken by each respective agency, and directs the President to provide such reports to the Secretary of State. Such reports would be expected to provide a clearer explanation of the current public diplomacy roles of different agencies, and provide opportunities to better define or to alter such roles. State Department Public Diplomacy Organization H.R. 489: Section 3 of the Strategic Communication Act of 2009 directs the Secretary of State to submit a report assessing the possibility of elevating public diplomacy personnel within the hierarchy of the State Department, including designating certain public diplomacy officials (presumably within the regional and functional bureaus) as Deputy Assistant Secretaries or Senior Advisors to the Assistant Secretary, and elevating the Coordinator of International Information Programs to the Assistant Secretary level. DOD Communications Activities H.Rept. 111-166 on H.R. 2647 (P.L. 111-84): The report of the House Armed Services Committee on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 requires detailed information on the strategic communication workforce within DOD, including analysis of the skills and competencies of strategic communication personnel, strategic communications gaps being filled by contractors, and assessment of top-level guidance on strategic communication recruiting, policy, organization, and management. The Committee’s report also directs DOD to provide information on its military public diplomacy, including a list of all activities that may be considered to fall within the category of public diplomacy. It further requires description of the performance metrics for such activities; current management of military public diplomacy (given the recent disestablishment of the Deputy Assistance Secretary of Defense—Support to Public Diplomacy); coordination of military public diplomacy with regional theater plans; and assessment of the feasibility of a DOD-State Department exchange for informational and public diplomacy programs. 145 Section 60 of the 1956 act already requires the Secretary of State to make “every effort” to coordinate the public diplomacy activities of other federal agencies. Congressional Research Service 59 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues H.Rept. 111-230 on H.R. 3326: The House Appropriations Committee included a section on DOD’s Information Operations in its report on the FY2010 DOD appropriations bill. The Committee states that DOD’s budget justification for its Information Operations request of $1 billion is “woefully inadequate,” especially given the massive increase in requested funding that totaled only $9 million for FY2005. The Committee also explains its concerns over DOD’s moves into non-military communications with foreign publics, and the questionable effectiveness of the programs. In a classified annex, the Committee lists a number of Information Operations programs that DOD should terminate immediately, and reduces funding accordingly, by $500 million. The Committee also states that the remaining funding will not be available until DOD reports on all Information Operations programs, including information on strategies, goals, target audiences, and measuring effectiveness, as well as detailed budget and spend information. S.Rept. 111-35 on S. 1390: The Senate Armed Services Committee, in its report on the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, focused on the wide array of strategic communication activities that DOD undertakes, and the estimated $10 billion DOD has spent on strategic communication since 9/11. It states that DOD does not break out budget figures for strategic communication, and that the Committee cannot determine what parts of DOD are carrying out the programs, and cannot conduct proper oversight for the programs. It requires the Under Secretary of Defense—Policy and the Under Secretary of Defense— Comptroller to develop detailed strategic communication budgets for 2011, clearly explaining the objectives and funding levels for its strategic communication and public diplomacy activities. Personnel/Human Resources H.R. 2311: Section 2 of the United States-China Diplomatic Expansion Act of 2009 provides funding for hiring new local public diplomacy staff for the U.S. foreign mission in China. H.R. 2410: Section 212 provides for the establishment of a Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps, made up of mid- and senior-level former foreign service officers to fill the current shortage of mid-level public diplomacy officers within the Foreign Service. Reserve officers would serve for six-month to two-year appointments. Section 301 requires the Secretary of State to expand the Foreign Service in general by 1,500 officers over the next two fiscal years. This number would likely include new public diplomacy officers. America Centers, Libraries, and Increased Outreach S. 1707 (P.L. 111-73): Section 101(a)(5) of the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 authorizes the President to provide assistance to Pakistan to strengthen U.S. public diplomacy. Section 101(b) lists activities that would be supported by such assistance, including, in paragraph (5)(A), strengthening public diplomacy to combat militant extremism and increase understanding of the United States through encouraging civil society leaders to speak out against extremist violence. H.R. 2311: Section 2 of the United States-China Diplomatic Expansion Act of 2009 provides new funding for public diplomacy programs and related information technology infrastructure in China. H.R. 2410: Section 213 provides for the reestablishment of America Centers, recognizing the current shortfalls of the International Resource Centers (IRCs) and the decreased U.S. presence in Congressional Research Service 60 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues important foreign city centers.146 Such Centers would be run as free-standing facilities through partnerships with qualified local or regional organizations. The Secretary of State is required under the section to consider waiving the security co-location requirements of Section 606(a)(2)(B) of the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999 (22 U.S.C. § 4865(a)(2)(B)). Section 214 would amend Section 1(b)(3) of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. § 2651a(b)(3)) to require the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs to establish libraries and resource centers in connection with U.S. foreign missions. Section 214 states that such libraries and centers should be open to the public, and should include among their cultural outreach screenings of appropriate U.S. films. The information in such facilities and such U.S. films should be available online to the extent practicable. Section 215 provides for grants to encourage distribution of American independent documentary films in foreign countries, and distribution of foreign documentaries in the United States. H.R. 3701: Section 2 of the More Books for Africa Act of 2009 finds the need for books to be more readily available in Africa, and Section 3 states the sense of Congress that providing books to Africa is a powerful tool of public diplomacy. Section 4 provides for establishment of the More Books for Africa Program in USAID to provide not fewer than 3,000,000 books from the United States per year. H.R. 3714: Section 2(b) of the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009 requires the Secretary of State to create the Freedom of the Press Grant Program, which would provide grant funding to nonprofit and international organizations to promote press freedom worldwide through training and professionalization of skills for foreign journalists. The Under Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor would administer the Program in conjunction with the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.147 S. 587: Section 12 of the Western Hemisphere Energy Compact provides $5 million in funding for public diplomacy activities concerning renewable energy in the Western Hemisphere, with at least 50% of funding to be provided for educational programs through local civil society organizations. Increased Exchanges S. 1707 (P.L. 111-73): Section 101(b)(5)(B) of the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 authorizes the President to provide assistance to Pakistan for increasing exchange activities under the Fulbright Program, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and the Youth Exchange and Study Program. H.R. 2647 (P.L. 111-84): Section 1263 of the of the Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act (Subtitle D of Title XII of Division A) provides for the creation of the Iranian Electronic Education, Exchange, and Media Fund. This Fund, to be administered by the Secretary of State, would support the development of technologies and programs to increase the Iranian people’s access to media, especially through the Internet. Paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (d) include 146 S.Res. 49 (111th Cong.), agreed to in the Senate by unanimous consent on May 19, 2009, expresses the sense of Congress expressing the importance of public diplomacy to U.S. foreign policy, especially the reestablishment of America Centers outside U.S. embassy compounds. 147 See also S. 1739; H.R. 2410, Section 1109(c). Congressional Research Service 61 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues in the authorized uses of funding the creation of Internet-based distance-learning programs and U.S.-Iranian exchange programs. H.R. 1969: Section 402 of the Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2009 states that it is the policy of the United States that U.S. exchange programs with Vietnam should promote the advancement of freedom and democracy in that country. H.R. 2311: Section 5 of the United States-China Diplomatic Expansion Act of 2009 authorizes funding for Chinese language exchanges. H.R. 2410: The bill contains provisions for new exchange programs in Title II, Subtitle B. These include exchanges and related educational programs for students from Central Asia, Mexico and South and Central America, and Sri Lanka; professional development exchanges for Liberian women legislators and Liberian women congressional staff, as well as Afghan women legislators; and establishment of a U.S.-Caribbean educational exchange program. Title VII of H.R. 2410 provides for the establishment of the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation, a government corporation that would provide grants to increase the number of American students studying abroad, especially in nontraditional countries, to increase U.S. citizens’ knowledge of other countries and foreign language skills. 148 Division B of H.R. 2410, the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement (PEACE) Act of 2009, authorizes increased educational exchanges between the United States and Pakistan. H.R. 2985: This legislation requires the Secretary of State to establish the Ambassador’s Fund for Strategic Exchanges to bring foreign “political, economic, civil society, and other leaders to the United States for short-term exchange visits to advance key United States strategic goals.” Exchanges would take place in groups of 8-10 visitors, over five to eight days, and focus on certain broad strategic goals. Funding would come from ECA and U.S. embassies in a costsharing arrangement. H.R. 3328: The Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act of 2009 provides for the establishment of an exchange program between India and the United States. The Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative would provide multiple opportunities for exchange according to Section 3(a) of the act, including a public diplomacy forum focusing on the work of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., a professional training initiative for conflict resolution, and student exchanges. S. 230: Section 503 of the International Women’s Freedom Act of 2009 would amend Section 102(b) of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2452(b)) to include a provision to support international exchanges that promote the respect for and protection of women’s rights abroad. S. 384: Section 301 of the Global Food Security Act of 2009 would amend Part I, Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA; P.L. 87-195) to include provisions for assistance to university partners for improvement of agriculture abroad. It would add a new Section 298 to the FAA, which would give authority to the President to provide assistance for agriculture programs through universities. Section 298(b) lists types of support, including paragraph (5) of the subsection, which includes agricultural education opportunities through international exchanges. 148 The companion bill in the Senate establishing this Foundation is S. 473 (111th Cong.). Congressional Research Service 62 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues S. 589: This bill provides for the establishment of an Office of Volunteers for Prosperity in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which would administer a newly created Global Service Fellowship Program. The Program would be designed to “promote international volunteering opportunities as a means of building bridges across cultures, addressing critical human needs, and promoting mutual understanding.” International Broadcasting H.R. 2647 (P.L. 111-84): Section 1262 of the Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act (Subtitle D of Title XII of Division A) authorizes $15 million for the BBG’s International Broadcasting Operations Fund, and $15 million to its Capital Improvements Fund, for expenditures to increase U.S. international programming in Farsi to Iran. Uses authorized include efforts to stop the Iranian government’s blocking of U.S. international broadcasting to Iran, and creation and expansion of Farsi programming. H.R. 363: This bill, the United States Broadcasting Reorganization Act of 2009, would abolish the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the International Broadcasting Bureau, and transfer international broadcasting authorities to a new United States International Broadcasting Agency. A bipartisan Board of Governors, appointed by the President, would oversee U.S. international broadcasting within the agency. Among its functions would be to review broadcasting activities and their effectiveness within the context of U.S. foreign policy objectives and American guiding principles, such as freedom and democracy. The act requires the new Agency to submit annual reports to the President and Congress on broadcasting activities with emphasis on this review function for meeting foreign policy objectives. H.R. 1969: Section 401 of the Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2009 provides funding to stop the government of Vietnam from jamming the signal of Radio Free Asia. S. 230: Section 502 of the International Women’s Freedom Act of 2009 would amend Section 303(a)(8) of the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-236) to add respect for women’s rights to the broadcasting standards of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation H.R. 489: Section 3 of the Strategic Communication Act of 2009 provides for establishment of a Center of Strategic Communication that would be tasked with, among other things, developing monitoring and evaluation tools and techniques, and performing analysis on foreign public opinion, cultural influence, and media influence. H.R. 2410: Section 214(c) requires the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy to report to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, one year after enactment of H.R. 2410, on the effectiveness of libraries, resource centers, and online outreach authorized by the section. Section 216 requires the Commission to review and assess the effectiveness of U.S. public diplomacy policies, activities, and programs every two years, and report to the Secretary of State and the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees on its findings. As part of its the review, the Commission would be entitled to receive any information it requests from federal agencies involved in public diplomacy or strategic communication activities and from the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Congressional Research Service 63 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Increasing Public Diplomacy Best Practices and Expertise H.R. 489: Entitled the Strategic Communication Act of 2009, this bill authorizes the Secretary of State to solicit offers from organizations specializing in research and analysis to create a Center for Strategic Communication. The Secretary would choose one organization to establish the Center as a tax-exempt corporation. The Center would be tasked with providing information and analysis to government decision makers on communications with foreign publics; developing communications plans and programs, leveraging private sector and academic institution expertise and resources; and providing public diplomacy services to the government utilizing nongovernmental organizations and private sector knowledge. The Secretary of State would designate a liaison to coordinate between the Center and the State Department, as well as DOD, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence. The act provides the Center $250 million from the State Department budget each fiscal year. H.R. 2410: Although it does not call for a new independent support organization for public diplomacy, Section 216 would amend Section 604(a)(2) of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. § 1469(a)(2)) to improve the public diplomacy expertise of Commission members by requiring that at least four members possess “substantial experience in the conduct of public diplomacy.... ” Section 303 authorizes the Secretary of State to establish a Lessons Learned Center within the State Department to serve as a “central organization for collection, analysis, archiving, and dissemination of observations, best practices, and lessons learned by, from, and to Foreign Service officers.... ” The Center would be tasked with creating a system for evaluating performance of State Department and Foreign Service activities, which would likely include public diplomacy activities. Provisions Related to Restrictions on Domestic Dissemination of Public Diplomacy Information H.Rept. 111-166 on H.R. 2647 (P.L. 111-84): The report of the House Armed Services Committee on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 encourages DOD to conduct a legal review of the Smith-Mundt Act’s restriction on domestic dissemination of public diplomacy information as it applies to DOD. The Committee states its opinion that the restriction does not apply to DOD, and should not be allowed to hamper DOD’s Internet-based strategic communication, which the Committee currently finds to be inadequate and unable to properly respond to enemies’ online communications in real time. H.R. 363: Section 4 of the United States International Broadcasting Act of 2009 would restate Section 305 of the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 to set out authorities and functions of a new United States International Broadcasting Agency. Subsection (b) provides for an exception to the general prohibition on domestic dissemination of information materials intended for distribution abroad, making broadcasting to the Middle East available to U.S. satellite and cable operators. It also makes an U.S. international broadcasting in any language available to U.S. satellite and cable operators if a foreign broadcaster in a corresponding country has access to U.S. operator transmissions. Also, Section 8 of the act would amend Section 501 of the Smith-Mundt Act, the provision that contains the restriction on domestic dissemination, to allow the Secretary of State to make information available to foreign publics on the Internet “without regard to whether such material can be accessed domestically.” Congressional Research Service 64 U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues Author Contact Information Kennon H. Nakamura Analyst in Foreign Affairs knakamura@crs.loc.gov, 7-9514 Congressional Research Service Matthew C. Weed Analyst in Foreign Policy Legislation mweed@crs.loc.gov, 7-4589 65