Sorry, No Hablo Diplomacia

"Mixed messages, poor coordination and inadequately trained officials" are hampering America's overseas diplomacy, concludes the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Many ambassadors - "the primary messengers for policy goals in their host country" - "are uncomfortable serving as advocates in the media and in front of mass audiences." More than one-fifth of U.S. foreign service officers overseas "did not meet the foreign-language speaking requirements of their positions." One commission member said post-9/11 visa delays were damaging international scholarship programs, "a key historical component of public diplomacy. ... Are we so incompetent that in order to keep [terrorists] out we must keep everybody out?"