In This Review

Losing Hearts and Minds? Public Diplomacy and Strategic Influence in the Age of Terror
Losing Hearts and Minds? Public Diplomacy and Strategic Influence in the Age of Terror
By Carnes Lord
Praeger Security, 2006, 152 pp.

Lord, national security adviser to the vice president during the George H. W. Bush administration, weighs in on the vital debate over public diplomacy, offering both analysis of and prescriptions for some of the most complex issues facing U.S. foreign policy today. Lord believes that public diplomacy is a matter of strategic importance and that bureaucratic disarray, intellectual confusion, and political squeamishness are preventing the United States from performing this task successfully. Whereas many writers on the subject focus exclusively on the State Department, Lord never forgets that both the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies have a history of engagement in the field as well. The Bush administration has not, argues Lord, handled public diplomacy particularly well, and neither did the Clinton administration. He makes a strong case that a broad review of public diplomacy is urgently needed, and his holistic approach and unblinking focus on the relationship of public diplomacy to U.S. grand strategy will greatly benefit such a review. Much of what Lord says will be controversial, but a healthy dose of controversy may help stimulate the wide-ranging debate this important subject urgently needs.