The Trump administration has proposed cuts in FY18 of 28 percent to the State Department, with much deeper cuts likely to the Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and a significant narrowing of the types of exchange programs our country supports. If enacted into law, these combined changes would greatly harm our nation’s public diplomacy efforts and, ultimately, our national security and economy.
The brief exchange between the president and his national security adviser highlights one of the early conundrums of Trump’s presidency and his foreign policy. In his first budget blueprint, released Thursday, and in speeches, Trump has preached “America First,” an approach that involves bolstering U.S. military might, strengthening the country’s borders and slashing foreign aid.
Social media is a great campaign tool. And it is a great way for government to connect with constituents. But without some serious discipline, the use of social media by government officials can be a threat to the nation. What we are seeing now is a learning curve at the White House that could yield disaster before it reaches maturity. That is a result none of us should aspire to.
Watch footage from our recent event with CSIS.
Advice for the new administration on public diplomacy and national security, drawing on past lessons.
This new report shares public diplomacy lessons learned over the past eight years and recommendations for the incoming administration.
There are three possible Cuba scenarios in a Trump administration. The first is the uninterrupted continuation of Obama’s policy that has increased the scope of U.S.-Cuban commerce, allowed for expanded travel of U.S. citizens to the island, and normalized diplomatic relations. The second is rolling back all of the Obama changes, returning policy to the time of President George W. Bush, which would not only halt all U.S.
It’s important not only that policy and media leaders understand the reality of Russian aggression, and the diffuse and often innovative ways the Kremlin has found to exert influence and intimidate opponents, but that American and European constituencies do as well. Our leaders must marshal their resolve and ingenuity to highlight and oppose these tactics in all their forms, and integrate our public affairs, diplomacy, and intelligence efforts accordingly.