Empowering United States Public Diplomacy for the War of Ideas
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
Former President George W. Bush described the Global War on Terrorism GWOT as more than a battle of arms. The GWOT also is a war of ideas, and the United States Government must implement effective public diplomacy if it is going to win it. Eight years into the GWOT, international polling data demonstrate the United States failure to gain substantive ground in the war of ideas. Years of marginalizing public diplomacy has left the nation with an emaciated and arguably ineffective weapon in this war. Enveloped within the Department of State, devoid of an independent vision, and a shadow of its prior budgetary and personnel strength, current U.S. public diplomacy is ill prepared to confront the crucial and formidable battle of ideas, now, or in the near term. This paper explores how U.S. hubris regarding its global influence in a unipolar world marginalized the once independent and effective public diplomacy effort. The paper illustrates how misguided U.S. impressions of the universality of the democratic peace theory and its fundamental misunderstanding of the roots of international terrorism continue to impede progress in the war of ideas. The paper concludes with recommendations to revitalize U.S. public diplomacy and establish a sustainable and effective vision for the future.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Unconventional Warfare