Will McCants/Foreign Policy
Since 2011, the State Department has sponsored a Digital Outreach Team tasked with countering al Qaeda propaganda on the Internet. In its brief existence, it’s difficult to quantify the team’s progress (and easy to laugh at its failures), but there’s one thing it is doing successfully: Making the right enemies.
Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Michael Doran/Council on Foreign Relations
The United States is in a long-term struggle for influence in the Middle East with competitors such as Iran, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various Salafist organizations. All have their own differences, but they are united in promoting visions of society that are at odds with American interests and ideals.
U.S. Department of State
Sixty disability and civil society organizations from 20 countries and the United States have been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows EMPOWER Program. This two-way exchange program will expand the capacity of organizations in the United States and overseas to promote inclusive communities and advance disability rights around the world, a key theme of U.S. public diplomacy efforts globally.
Nick Leiber/Bloomberg Businessweek
In November 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. was pledging $100 million to support Latino entrepreneurs through a public-private partnership dubbed La Idea. The effort, Clinton said, “brings together diaspora communities, the private sector, and public institutions to work on some of the toughest issues we face.”
Lisa Heyn/Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange
In a Senate confirmation hearing this afternoon (July 30), Evan Ryan, President Obama’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), said that exchanges “capitalize on American strengths and appeals,” and that ECA is “the lifeblood of public diplomacy”.
Larry Rohter/The New York Times
It’s a long way from Timbuktu to Lincoln Center, and not just geographically. For the musicians performing on Wednesday in the Festival au Désert as part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series at the Damrosch Park Bandshell, the path from there to here has included an Islamist takeover of their Saharan homeland, followed by a religious war on music and then a French-led military intervention.
Ramin Asgard, Barbara Slavin/The National Interest
Many in the foreign policy community have suggested that the election of Hassan Rowhani, the least hard-line candidate running in Iran’s presidential elections, has opened a new window of opportunity for resolving Iran’s complex disputes with the United States and its negotiating partners. The most pressing issue, Iran’s nuclear program, will require deliberate multilateral diplomacy and concrete, reciprocal actions to achieve any breakthrough.
On Our Flashpoint Blog…
Marc Lynch of Foreign Policy recently published an article titled, “They Hate Us, They Really Hate Us.” This article discusses the various reasons why so much anti-Americanism exists in Egypt. In short, Lynch argues that the Egyptian population has a considerably anti-American opinion and Egyptian politicians seeking election base their political campaigns on this public opinion.