Karen Hughes Focuses on the Diplomacy Dozen

Hughes greets Indonesian students (State Dept. photo)With the help of U.S. Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes, "the Bush administration has drawn up a classified list of about a dozen high-priority countries on which to focus public diplomacy." Hughes "said strategic plans were being developed for those 'pilot' countries," which include Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt. Hughes "said her department would seek out clerics from Muslim nations where some Friday prayers encouraged hatred and bring those clerics to America on exchange programs." "People who have been to America or know someone who has been to America are far more likely to have a positive view of our country," she explained. Another goal is to identify "strategic influencers." Hughes gave the example of a dinner she attended at the U.S. ambassador's home in Morocco, "where the person on her right was a famous cooking show host, while on her left was a track star."