November 30, 2007

Public Diplomacy and the SecDef

Hey, everybody, please direct your attention over to the Small Wars Journal blog where Matt Armstrong, a friend of Abu Muqawama who runs the excellent MountainRunner blog, has a piece on public diplomacy. Matt is really one of the bright young minds on public diplomacy, having studied and thought about it perhaps more than anyone else. (He's about to be the second person in history to have a master's degree in public diplomacy.) Abu Muqawama didn't even know what the Smith-Mundt Act was before reading Matt's post, and now he's ready to take up pitch forks and torches and lead a march on Washington, demanding it be amended. Matt writes:

Smith-Mundt has shaped the content and methods of communications from State and Defense through institutionalized firewalls created along artificial lines, fostering a bureaucratic culture of discrimination that hampers America’s ability to participate in the modern struggle over ideas and managing perceptions.

Read it all here.

Update: And while we're at it, we should mention MountainRunner has taken a page out of the Abu Muqawama Playbook and come up with the first in a series of educational readings on public diplomacy. Good on him.