According to a piece in the foreign Policy Association's Public Diplomacy blog, Senator McCain has stated that if elected president, he would reconstitute USIA, the old U.S. Information Agency that was folded into the State Department during the Clinton administration.
In a 2007 op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel, McCain said:
"Dismantling an agency dedicated to promoting America and Americans amounted to unilateral disarmament in the struggle of ideas. Communicating our government’s views on day-to-day issues is what the State Department does. But communicating the idea of America, our purpose, our past and our future is a different task. We need an independent agency with the sole purpose of getting America’s message out in a factual and persuasive manner: managing radio and TV broadcasts to those in need of objective news; establishing American libraries with Internet access throughout the world; sending Americans overseas and sponsoring foreigners’ visits to America for educational and cultural exchanges; and creating a professional corps of public-diplomacy experts who speak the local language and whose careers are spent promoting American values, ideas, culture and education. And it should recruit the best and brightest not just from the ranks of the Foreign Service but from business, academia and the media.”
I wonder what this would mean for those of us who are public diplomacy coned. Would be be forced to leave State and join the new (old) agency? And what of those who are not only public diplomacy coned, but also part of tandem couples? Would we still be able to be assigned overseas with our spouses?
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