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U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and the 9/11 Commission Recommendations.

Author: Susan B Epstein; LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.
Publisher: Ft. Belvoir Defense Technical Information Center 04 FEB 2005.
Edition/Format:   eBook : English
Summary:
While the 9/11 terrorist attacks rallied unprecedented support abroad for the United States initially, they also heightened the awareness among government officials and terrorism experts that a significant number of people, especially within Muslim populations, harbor enough hatred for America so as to become a pool for terrorists. Over time it became clear that for the global war on terrorism to succeed, sustained  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Susan B Epstein; LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.
OCLC Number: 227937654
Notes: CRS Report for Congress.
Description: 17 pages

Abstract:

While the 9/11 terrorist attacks rallied unprecedented support abroad for the United States initially, they also heightened the awareness among government officials and terrorism experts that a significant number of people, especially within Muslim populations, harbor enough hatred for America so as to become a pool for terrorists. Over time it became clear that for the global war on terrorism to succeed, sustained cooperation from around the world would be required. In the years prior to September 11th, both Congress and the various administrations downplayed the importance of funding public diplomacy activities, and in 1999 abolished the primary public diplomacy agency -- the U.S. Information Agency (USIA). Public diplomacy often was viewed as less important than political and military functions and, therefore, was seen by some legislators as a pot of money that could be tapped for funding other government activities. Even prior to the 2001 attacks, a number of decisions by the Bush Administration, including refusing to sign onto the Kyoto Treaty, the International Criminal Court, the Chemical Weapons Ban, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, damaged foreign opinion of the United States. After the decision to go to war with Iraq, much foreign opinion of the United States fell sharply, not only in the Arab and Muslim world, but even among some of America's closest allies. Some foreign policy experts believe that using public diplomacy to provide clear and honest explanations of why those decisions were made could have prevented some of the loss of support in the war on terrorism. Others believe that there are limits to what public diplomacy can do when the problem is not foreign misperception of America, but rather disagreements with specific U.S. foreign policies. This report presents the challenges that have focused renewed attention on public diplomacy and actions the U.S. Government has taken since 9/11 to make public diplomacy more effective.

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