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20

MAY 2015

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

prerequisite for the PD Implementa-

tion Plan, was due last January for those

regions. Public affairs officers will need

incentives and training to adopt the new

mindset. Regional bureaus will need to

enforce compliance and use the system’s

capabilities. And R will need to continue

providing both thought leadership and

money. It will take several years for the

new system to become the norm.

The payoff will be a more muscu-

lar public diplomacy. It’s a campaign

approach—setting a strategy to solve

a problem and evaluating progress at

regular intervals.

Instances of this new approach have

been evident over the past few years.

For example, the under secretary’s office

has allocated extra funds to posts on the

basis of competitive proposals specifying

desired outcomes. That rewarded strate-

gic thinking. This past year, the Washing-

ton PD bureaus have been conducting

campaigns to advance global policy

issues and cultural exchange initiatives.

Public diplomacy is about more than

getting people to like America. It is an

instrument to promote change and sway

audiences in ways that benefit the United

States: an investment treaty, perhaps, or

military cooperation, or action to combat

disease or limit damage to the environ-

ment.

The entire country team has a stake in

making PD more strategic. The pub-

lic affairs section is meant to be a full

partner with the political, economic and

other mission elements. The new tools

and approach of the PD strategic cycle

enhance the capabilities of the embassy

at large.

Leaders in Washington, and especially

those posted abroad, should give public

diplomacy’s strategic cycle the support

that it needs.

n

It’s a campaign approach—setting a

strategy to solve a problem and evaluating

progress at regular intervals.