US re-boots public diplomacy

The State Department has lately been promoting a new, comprehensive effort to boost the image of the US around the world, including the use of...

The State Department has lately been promoting a new, comprehensive effort to boost the image of the US around the world, including the use of a “rapid response unit” that tracks breaking news in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The program’s overall annual funding is less than $800 million, compared with more than $480 billion spent by the US on defense, and critics say that just isn’t enough resources to devote to such an important task, as the Chicago Tribune reports. Others quoted in this article give the public diplomacy effort, led by Karen Hughes, credit for taking a more grassroots approach focused on ordinary folks as opposed to diplomats.

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