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.