The CPD Blog is intended to stimulate dialog among scholars and practitioners from around the world in the public diplomacy sphere. The opinions represented here are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect CPD's views. For blogger guidelines, click here.

The war in Iraq has spawned a new industry in Washington that could be called Psy-ops Journalism. The new breed of journalists are following the money trail to the Pentagon.

Joshua Kurlantzick, in "Can Public Diplomacy Counter Resource Nationalism?," paints a rather alarming geo-strategic picture for the United States. The recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization showcased the warming relations between oil-rich Iran and Russia with the budding super-consumer, China.

Earlier this year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in China -- and quickly made himself at home. The occasion was a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional group linking China, Russia, and Central Asia. During the summit, Ahmadinejad seemed to be everywhere. He posed, arms linked, with Russian and Chinese officials, who said nothing as he called for "impartial and independent experts" to investigate whether the Holocaust happened. He delivered a major address broadcast on Chinese state television.

With U.S. elections little more than a month away, America's public diplomacy has been cast into the fray. By an odd coincidence, on the same day President Bush charged that a classified intelligence report on Iraq had been leaked to the New York Times to embarrass the administration leading up to the November elections, another news organization published an exclusive story regarding U.S. public diplomacy.

Here is more from those who played along with our fantasy of receiving a call from the president -- this or any president -- who then asks advice on how to improve America’s public diplomacy.

As President Theodore Roosevelt once observed, those who choose to go "in the arena" experience both "victory and defeat," and we have, each of us, had our share of the latter, but happily some of the former, so why not share our experiences for those now in the arena?

Ed. Note: Discover America Partnership Executive Director Geoff Freeman writes in response to Adam Clayton Powell III's post, "Man Bites Dog: International Visitors to U.S. Up for Second Straight Year."

We've all heard that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Adam Clayton Powell's recent post on international travel patterns to the U.S. is the latest example – albeit no fault of Adam's.

JOHANNESBURG -- Regular readers of this blog no doubt saw the headlines last week expressing concern about the drop in the percentage of international travelers who head for the U.S.

In the Financial Times, for example, the headline on September 4 was "US tourism 'needs a warmer welcome.'" And there was this quote: “The image of the US is at an all-time low in many parts of the world.”

The public scolding took place right after the long Labor Day weekend, perhaps not to spoil anyone's vacation. Setting atop the office desks of those who manage the U.S. government's Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) when they returned to work was a terse report on their failings. It was not that their charges, America’s Arabic-language Radio Sawa and TV Alhurra, were putting out inferior broadcasts. Rather, the folks in charge of those broadcasts were not running things like good bureaucrats. What exactly does that mean?

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