Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Tuesday, November 2nd 2010
The U.S. Military spends $1.75 B/day going big because we can. We’re big on guns, battleships, and battalions but not nimble enough with our information and netwars. What’s been our philosophy? James Jones once said, “The bigger the hammer, the better the outcome.” In Iraq our strategy was “Shock and Awe” while General Powell advocated “overwhelming force.”
It’s not hammer time.Read More
Monday, November 1st 2010
The Past is Prologue
A little more than 60 years ago foresighted American leaders devised a national security structure for the post-World War II 20th Century. In the 1980s, another group of foresighted American leaders devised a way to create a more efficient and effective defense structure for our national security. Additional changes to create a Department of Homeland Security and to coordinate the intelligence community came after 9-11. Now the time has come for the current generation of foresighted American leaders to match these efforts in the realm of foreign affairs.Read More
Thursday, October 28th 2010
Older Washingtonians will remember the retail mogul Robert Haft, who cut his own radio commercial saying, "Books cost too much! That's why I started Crown Books."
Kim Andrew Elliott all but repeats slogan referring to United States international broadcasting. In the recent issue of the Foreign Service Journal, devoted to government-funded broadcasting, the IBB research analyst does some cuff calculations and concludes: "The global audience of USIB [U.S. international broadcasting), 171 million listeners weekly, is about the same as that of BBC World Service. However, USIB achieves that audience on a budget of $727 million, while the BBC World Service attracts the slightly larger audience with budget of just $420 million.
The new Broadcasting Board of Governors has launched a wide-ranging review that may affect all five organizations under its umbrella. Elliott points out the savings that could be achieved through sharing of content and administrative costs.
Vested interests will quibble with Elliott's numbers and cite the complexities of mixing grantee organizations with IBB and VOA, which are federal agencies. But the towering U.S. budget deficit forces everyone in public diplomacy to ask the question: does this cost too much?Read More