Center for Strategic Communication

How Many “Friends” Does the State Department Really Have?

Helle Dale/Heritage Foundation

A new State Department inspector general’s report accuses State of buying friends—or, more precisely, boosting its “likes” on Facebook to up to 2 million—by spending taxpayer dollars on Internet advertising to the tune of $630,000.


America’s Public Diplomacy at a Crossroads

Matthew Wallin/Medium

America’s public diplomacy (PD), the process by which the U.S. builds relationships with foreign publics and uses communications techniques to advance foreign policy objectives, is at yet another crossroads—and it is one we have seen several times before.


Obama’s Africa Trip: Symbolism and Substance

Mwangi S. Kimenyi/Brookings Institute

In many respects, President Obama’s second trip to Sub-Saharan Africa is significant. For the past four years, the president has faced a barrage of criticisms for literally ignoring Africa.

I’m OK, You’re OK: State Department Spends $630,000 on Facebook “Likes”

Rick Cohen/Nonprofit Quarterly


Between 2011 and 2013, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) spent $630,000 to get likes, according to an inspector general’s report.


Defending Foggy Bottom over Digital Diplomacy

Paul Rockower/Levantine


A story broke last week from an OIG report about the State Dept’s Bureau of International Information Programming (IIP) spending $630,000 to promote content on Facebook.


Eradicate American ‘Japan skeptics’ through PR

Hiroshi Fuse/The Mainichi


Distrust toward Japan is apparently on the rise among Americans. A country with such deep ties to Japan is bound to have its share of Japanophiles and Japan experts, as well as those who dislike or resent the country. But according to one observer, quite a number of Americans harbor suspicions and concerns over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s political stance.

On Our Flashpoint Blog…


Independence Day-An Opportunity for Cultural Diplomacy

Christian Mull


Independence Day is a celebration of all aspects of American culture offering a unique opportunity for the U.S. to promote cultural understanding with a variety of “American” themed events abroad.

Upcoming Events…


Real Politics of Iran: Views from Within

Where: U.S. Institute of Peace 2301 Constitution Ave NW Washington, DC

Date: Monday, July 15, 2013

Time: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.


Members of USIP’s Internal Iran Study Group will be discussing a range of dynamics in the universities, opposition, the economy and even the security apparatus that often escape the foreign headlines and highlight what is expected in light of Hassan Rouhani’s election as president.