ASP Consensus member Brian Cullin co-authored an op-ed with Matthew Leatherman discussing the issues surrounding how the State Department and Pentagon communicate with foreign publics in reference to the anniversary of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death.
Amid the partisan uproar over his tragic murder, it’s easy to forget why he went in the first place: to communicate America’s message, and to fight back against extremism with the power of words.
Stevens was there to establish an “American Corner,” which he said would be “a living example of the kind of partnership between our two countries which we hope to inspire.” Stevens knew the risk and that the diplomatic reward would be worth it, if only he could nudge in some small way the trajectory of Libya’s nascent democracy. In essence, it was a communications mission — the unglamorous daily work of American officials all over the world.
Today, the State Department and Pentagon are among the organizations communicating with foreign publics to counter violent extremism. It’s often chaotic. They lack the synergy needed to make a sustained impact, and their misaligned and uncoordinated efforts are costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
The full op-ed is available at Politico.