Folded newspaper section "China Watch"

A New Challenge for Public Diplomacy

Did public diplomacy just get a new job? Sharp power is the latest buzzword in international affairs.  Last week The Economist magazine featured a study by the National Endowment for Democracy by that name.  The new National Security Strategy dwells on how China and Russia are using traditional “soft power” instruments in new ways to advance their…

Portrait of General Marshall

The Marshall Plan at 70: Lessons for Today

Imagine spending 12 percent of the entire U.S. budget to help displaced and mostly impoverished Middle East, African and Afghan refugees to rebuild their lives?  The Marshall Plan of 1947 did just that for war-torn postwar Europe.  It was an indispensable helping hand for an entire generation recovering from devastation and dislocation after World War II. The…

US International Broadcasting Then and Now

By Alan Heil A SHORTWAVE CHRYSALIS TO A MULTIMEDIA BUTTERFLY: U.S. INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING THEN AND NOW Last Monday was indeed a memorable day for historians of our nation’s publicly-funded international broadcasters.  In the 20th century, these scholars were challenged to understand hot and Cold Wars, and convey what they learned, largely on shortwave radio.   Now they…

Bannon Ally Reported as Leading Candidate to Run U.S. International Broadcasting

Michael Pack, President and CEO of the Claremont Institute, was reported today to be the leading candidate to run U.S. international broadcasting, succeeding John Lansing, the current CEO. The report, in Politico, comes after weeks of rumors that Pack was favored for the post by the White House.  See today’s Politico report at http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/01/michael-pack-candidate-broadcasting-board-of-governors-239022 Pack has…

Don’t Kick VOA When It’s Down

VOA’s alleged mishandling of a Chinese insider’s interview shouldn’t overshadow the important work done by it and the other U.S. government-sponsored broadcasters. See my latest commentary in The American Interest: The Voice of America (VOA) celebrated its 75th anniversary in March, but it didn’t have much time to savor its diamond jubilee. Just a month later,…