Saturday, February 14, 2009

Public Diplomacy is the U.S.'s most powerful tool in its arsenal vis-a-vis the Middle East

The U.S. has lost much influence and reputation in the Middle East today. The military-heavy strategy of the Bush administration in dealing with the broader Middle Eastern region - under the aegis of the U.S. military's Central Command (CentComm) - is increasingly counterproductive for safeguarding long-term U.S. interests.

Many have long ago argued for a shift away from the hammer and closer to dialogue and diplomacy. This essay written in 2003 by Marc Lynch calls for more listening and less dictating to the Arab world. It is also fittingly poignant for the Obama Administration; especially as it begins to get it's feet wet with the region.

The U.S. can better put to use its massive technological and information superiority via public and official diplomacy, track-two diplomatic initiatives and most importantly, simply listening more and talking less.

The years of the Bush and Cheney Administration dictating about democracy, freedom, good and evil have cleary not produce the intented results. Could it be that it's because Mr. Bush and Cheney forgot the simple yet time-tested adage that "we have two ears and one mouth, which means we should listen twice as much as we talk"?


John Brown said...

Dear Friend,

Perhaps the below might be of interest. Best wishes, John Brown

Iyad Dakka said...

Thanks for this Mr. Brown,

I wholeheartedly agree with your analysis. Let's hope the Obama administration does a better job than its predecessor at maximizing the returns on America's PD capacities.