Hughes' New Public Diplomacy Plan More of the Same

Karen Hughes in IndonesiaA new public diplomacy plan, authored by Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, says the United States must "offer a positive vision of hope and opportunity that is rooted in our most basic values." The "U.S. National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication" promotes a Hughes favorite, the "diplomacy of deeds," which is defined as "providing health care, education, economic opportunity, food and shelter, training for political participation, help after disasters." Also put forward is a "Counterterrorism Communications Center," to develop "messages and strategies to discredit terrorists and their ideology." The Center is "now being formed at the State Department and [is] staffed heavily with military and intelligence officers," reports Warren Strobel. The new plan stresses that "all communication and public diplomacy activities" should "support those who struggle for freedom and democracy." Former State Department official Price Floyd countered, "When people hear that, they stop and say, 'What about Abu Ghraib? What about Guantanamo?'"