history

...the Israeli government takes the role of public diplomacy very seriously... The Israeli government has its own word that has been used since the 1970s in relation to their own public diplomacy work. Hasbara is roughly translated as ‘explanation’ and is used under the context of Israeli policy and actions.

That manual has become the guide for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It emphasizes that military power alone can’t succeed against an insurgency, and the importance of public diplomacy as part of a “comprehensive strategy employing all instruments of national power.”

Last March I wrote an essay for the Center's "Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review" identifying what I believe to be a key problem with our nation's public diplomacy -- a lack of emphasis on informing people overseas about our nation's history. One thing that makes this an attractive approach is that it can be done for the most part with infrastructure that we already have in place. We don't need to reinvent the wheel.

Since the events of September 11, 2001 the foreign policy establishment of Washington has exhausted much energy debating America's public diplomacy efforts. I've watched this debate with interest because I work on a contract basis for State Department public diplomacy programs. I have also tried to create private sector public diplomacy projects. I've traveled with foreign journalists, politicians, and other notable figures all over the United States. You might say that I'm a "foot soldier" in the public diplomacy battle.

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