re: "What the SecDef Didn’t Call For, But Should Have"
"Today, American public diplomacy wears combat boots. In the global media and the blogosphere, the military and its uniformed leaders shape the image of the United States. But that is not how it has always been. On the contrary, American public diplomacy was born out of the need to directly engage the global psyche and avoid direct martial engagement."
"(S)ixty years ago the United States dramatically restructured itself in the face of a global threat and passed the National Security Act of 1947, created the United States Information Agency and the United States Agency for International Development, among other agencies and institutions. Key to the success of all of these was the timely creation and transmission of quality information, or truthful propaganda."
"What became known as public diplomacy was an alternative to hard power for manipulating the psyche of people in contested spaces, inside enemy countries, allied countries, and even within America’s borders. Overseas, it exposed the lies of the enemy and highlighted our strengths, and even weaknesses as honest portrayals. Within our own borders, the psychological struggle inoculated the American public against enemy propaganda. Over the years, public diplomacy evolved and was manipulated as the threat to America transformed so that the public diplomacy of today is a shadow of what it was meant to be and the “five dollar” word “psychology” was relegated to the “dirty” practice of military psychological operations, or PSYOP. Today, public diplomacy is little understood, often denigrated, and artificially bifurcated in ways that would not be appropriate in the communications revolution of the 1940’s, let alone today."
"For the USIA to be effective, the Smith-Mundt committee enumerated five key requirements of the Act:
Tell the truth.
Explain the motives of the United States.
Bolster morale and extend hope.
Give a true and convincing picture of American life, methods and ideals.
Combat misrepresentation and distortion.
Aggressively interpret and support American foreign policy. (9)
A few years later after the Act was passed, presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower, and subsequently president, made the “psychological struggle over minds and wills” an important element of his foreign policy. The USIA, as well as other propaganda efforts, was to concentrate on “objective, factual news reporting.” (10)"
Read it all.