bbc

Predictably, there has been much debate about cuts in the defence budget, with spending on aircraft carriers and the renewal of the nuclear deterrent - instruments of 'hard power' - coming under particular scrutiny. Less has been said about the implications for the country's 'soft power': the BBC World Service, British Council and intellectual capital.

Beyond the harsh rhetoric on who is to blame for 9/11, this appearance on BBC Persian has a few notable implications for U.S. public diplomacy apparatus in general and its policy towards Iran in particular.

In his exclusive interview with the BBC Persian Television, President Obama responded not only to the Iranian president's remarks at the UN General Assembly, but also to some of the concerns of Iranians and Afghans with regards to his administration's foreign policy. Beyond the harsh rhetoric on who is to blame for 9/11, this appearance on BBC Persian has a few notable implications for U.S. public diplomacy apparatus in general and its policy towards Iran in particular.

The BBC chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, has said that the government should spend more rather than less on the World Service after it emerged that it is facing huge budget cuts. He told MPs today the corporation is engaged in "robust" discussions with the government about a reduction in the service's £272m Foreign Office grant.

In 2002 and 2007, The New York Times published my pieces about the need for autonomy in U.S. international broadcasting. On July 13, they published me again. The op-ed, "Radio Free of Bureaucracy" is about my other recurring theme: the need for consolidation in U.S. international broadcasting.

June 19, 2010

Yesterday– 18 June 2010 – marked the seventieth anniversary of one of the great broadcasts in the history of international broadcasting: the broadcast from London of General Charles de Gaulle to the people of German-occupied France. Speaking at 10 PM from the fourth floor of Broadcasting House in London the general called for free Frenchmen to join him in the UK and fight on against the Nazis.

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