11/29/2004

Pentagon uncovers propaganda failures

Pentagon uncovers propaganda failures

WASHINGTON - Al-Qaeda and radical Islamists are winning the propaganda war against the United States, says a high-level Pentagon panel, which concluded that President George W Bush's administration's policies in the Middle East, its fundamental failure to understand the Muslim world and a lack of imagination in using new communications technologies are responsible.

In a report concluded in September but only released last week, the Defense Science Board (DSB) called for a major overhaul of Washington's 'public diplomacy' and 'strategic communication' apparatus that would include much more money and the creation of a new independent agency to enlist the support of the private sector, researchers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to promote US messages to an increasingly hostile Islamic world.

'Strategic communication is a vital component of US national security,' stresses the 111-page report. 'It is in crisis, and it must be transformed with a strength of purpose that matches our commitment to diplomacy, defense, intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security ... Collaboration between government and the private sector on an unprecedented scale is imperative.

Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source

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