State Department report undermines value of diplomacy

WASHINGTON: The US government must practice effective cultural diplomacy if it is to reverse the global erosion of trust that has occurred since the 2003 US-led Iraq invasion, according to a new report from the State Department's Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy.

WASHINGTON: The US government must practice effective cultural diplomacy if it is to reverse the global erosion of trust that has occurred since the 2003 US-led Iraq invasion, according to a new report from the State Department's Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy.

"[W]e have lost the goodwill of the world, without which it becomes ever more difficult to execute foreign policy," said the report, Cultural Diplomacy: the Linchpin of Public Diplomacy.

The advisory committee, formed in spring 2004 by Congress, was tasked with preparing recommendations on how to increase the presentation of US creative, visual, and performing arts overseas.

Karen Hughes, the State Department's undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, was in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey late last month, discussing the image of the US with government leaders and citizen groups.

"Like Hughes, I am mindful that, before we seek to be understood, we must first work to understand, listen, and engage," said Curtis Chin, MD with Burson-Marsteller in New York and the only communications professional on the committee.

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