oversight

Public Diplomacy in the Years Ahead: An Assessment of Proposals for Reorganization

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-05-05.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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            Department of state
            lhited States infsrmaticn                               Agency

            Proposa*$ ‘,y an independent                 panel for reor-
            ganizing         U.S       “public      diplomac\;“--inter-
            nationa!      mfo’.nation,       education,      and cultural
            I ?lations--are     being considered          b*+ the execu-
            tivz branch and are slated f3r consideratir                 n in
            the Congress.

            One proposal           would    considerably      improve
            operation-,;     two ethers are prs.mising       but need
            further      study.     The other      proposals     which
            would         make      the Voice      of America          an
            indiqendent         agency and rtassi n the United
            States Informativn           Agency’s     9ore@      polic>*
            informaticn         and policy      advisory     responsi-
            b;lities--seem      more likely     to hinder      than to
            advance       the efflcierwy      and eflectiveness         of
            U.S. pubiic diplomat,.




             10-77-21                                                                 MAY 5, 1977



                                                                                                    c
                                                                               -__.   .
                              COMFTHOLLER      GENERAL       OF 3-E          UNITED   Sl-ATES
                                             WASHINGTON.      D.C.    ZC29




    B-118654




    To the     President      of the        Senate and the
    Speaker     of the      Fouse of        Representatives
             The successful          adaptation       of U.S. public             di;?lomacy       t3 a
    r.apidly     changing       international         environment          calls       for serious
    ongoing      analysis       and consensus-building                by all concerned.
    This repcrt         contains      an assessment          of the proposals              made by
    the Panel on International                  Information,           Education,         and Cul-
    turai     Relations        (Stanton       Panel ) .    It also discusses               certain
    non-organizational             changes      that    merit      attention         in the on-
    going effort         to improve        U.S. public         diplomacy.
         3ur review    was made pursuant                         to the Budget  and Accounting
    Act,  1921 (31 rJ.3.c.    53)‘ and the                       Accounting  and Auditing    Act
    of 1950 (31 U.S.C.     67).
             Copies   of this     report      are being    sent to the liirector,
    Office     of Yanagement        and Budget:      Secretary    of State;    and
    Director,       United   Siates      Information     Agency.




                                                           Comptroller   General
                                                           of the United   States

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                                       -_
     CCMPTROLLER GENERAL’ S                                   PUBLfC DI?LOr?~C!! I!J
     REPORT TO TIiZ CO?I’GRESS                                THE YEARS A::SXG--?rl
                                                              ASStaSNS:?T CF ?ROPOS.GLS
                                                              FOR RCORGANIZATIOK
                                                              Deoartaent      of    State
                                                              United    States      Infotsat    ion
                                                                Agency
     DIGEST
     -a----
             United      States   “public      diplomacy”--international               infor-
     mation,      e,iucation,     and cultural        relations--is         being exten-
     sively     reexamined      in and cut        of Government.         Vat ious pro-
     posals     Cal:‘. for redefining          the mission        of public     diplomacy,
     chanqinq      or eliminating         functions,        and reorganizing         the
     administer       inq app&,rntus.
     STAYTON PAXRL REPORT

            The most prominent           and comprehensive         report    suqqest-
     sr~q changes      in organizational          arrangements       to conduct     U.S.
     public     diplomacy     is that     of the Panel on Intecnational
     Information,        Education,      and Cultural      Relations      (Stanton
     Panel ) , a group of private           citizens.
              The report,      published     in Karch 1975, was endorsed
     3 months later         by the Commission        on the Organization         of
     the Government         for the Conduct       of Foreign     Policy    (Ffucphy
     Commission).         A number of other         qualified    persons    have
1    Strongly     opposed      several   of the proposals.          The State
     Department      and the United        States    Information      Agency are
1    on record      against     all but one of them.
              The report    is being reviewed   by the executive                    branch
     and    ;s slated    for consideration    in the Congress.
             GAO’s eeview       is ccnfined      to the Stanton        Panel cecom-
     mendations.        In the final       chapter,     however,     GAO notes
     certain     nonorqdnizational         changes    that   merit     attention  in
     the onqoinq      effort      so improve     U.S. public      diplJ;nacy-
     (See pp. 34 to 36-)
              One of the Panel’s         proposals      would improve        present
     operations;        two others      seem promising        but   require     further
     study;      and the remainder       --which     contemplate       a major      reorqan-
     lzation--seem         mote likely      to hinder      than to advance          the
     efficiency        and effectiveness         of U.S. public        diplomacy.         The
     latter      aroposals      would achieve      a certain      tidiness      on pager
     at the expense         of arrangements        that   essentially        hav? met
     the test       of practic;lity        and performance.

    .m.          Upon removal. the repcrt        i                                  ID-77-21
    Cover date Should be nated hereon.
                Policy     information         function
                       The Panel proposes         to reassign        to the State        Department
                the U.S. Information          Agency’s     role    in articulating          and
                advocating   U.S. foreign         policy     overseas.        This is based
                on the Panel’s     distincticn         between     “pclicy”      information--
                which covers    the Government’s           “stance       on foreigil     policy
                questions   of immediate        concern”--and          “general“      information.
                         Like many other             observers,      GAO believes         the two kinds
                of information            are often        mutuall-,   reinforcing          and difficult
                in practice          to separate.            The primary       responsibility          for
                articulating           and advocating           as well as formulating              U.S.
                foreign       policy      is vested         in the President        and the Secretary
                of State.          A role       of the U.S. Information             Agency is to give
                resonance         abroad     tc authoritative          definitions          and interpre-
                tations        of that      policy       unde r State    Department         guidance.
                For the most part               this     work appears      to be done profession-
                ally     and to t-“.e State             Department’s     general      satisfaction.
                GAO believes           the U.S. Information            Agency should           retain      its
                policy       information          role.       (See pp. 9 to 13# 15, and 16.)
                Policy     advisorv       function

                         The Panel also propose:           ta transfer    to the State
                Department       the U.S. Information          Agency’s   function     of
                advising     U.S. policymakers           on the policy    implications       of
                foreign     public    opinion.        This function     is in fact     performed
                by several       Federal    agencies.        The U.S. Information       Agency’s
                cultural     and media contacts           abroad enable     it to make a dis-
                tinctive     advisory      contribution.
                        There have been comulaints,              echoed bq the Panel,             that
                this    contribution         has not been properly          utilized.         How ade-
                quately      it is utilized,          how much it differs           from that     of
            .
                other    agencies,        and whether     the “neglect”          of U.S. Infor-
                mation     Agency policy        advice    can be corrected            by means ether
                than transferring            the advisory     function      are among the
                unanswered        questions      raised   by this     proposal.          Pending
                further      study    of such questions,         the present          arrangement
                should     be left      intact.       (See pp. 9, 10, 13, 14, and 16.)
                Establ ishmen’l of new Information
                and Cultural    Affairs Agencv

                         The Panel proposes      to consolidate    the cultural      func-
                tions     of the State    Department’s      Bureau of Educational        and
                Cultural     Affairs   and those of the U. S. Information
                Agency.      A single   agency would be responsible         for both the
                domestic     and overseas     aspects   of U.S. general     information,


                                                              ii



       --
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educational,          and cultural      programs.      GAO believes,        as do most
persons      consulted,       that  this    proposal     is constructive.        It
would lead to more efficient                 and consistent      administration
of u,s.      cultural     programs.        (See pp. 17 to 24.)
Relationshiu       of new Information              and Cultural
Affairs      Agency to Department             of   State

       The Panel proposes     that            the new information     agency be
placed    “under--but   not in--the              Department”    as an “autonod
mous ‘1 agency on the model of                the Arms Control     and Disarma-
ment Agency.          ,

       Both independent       status     for the information      agency
and the Panel’s     alternative         have distinct   advantages
and shortcomings    . Either         could work well.       The choice
should    be based on a careful          study   of the pros and cons.

        If the agency were assigned           to State,   however,      some
safeguards     and some vigilance         would be advisable         to protect
the agency’s      professional     integrity     and its    ability     to
cover objectively         not only the State      Department        but other
agencies     nnd branches      of Government     as well    zs the private
sector.      (See pp. 19 to 24.)

Field           reorganization
         The Panel proposes            to reorganize           3-S.     overseas
miss ions so that         articulating           “policy”        inforreation      would
be the exclusive          responsibility            of Sta:e        Department
officers      while    “general”         information         and cultural         pro-
grams would be the province                    cf ;nformation           and ,Cultura!.
Affairs      AgePrcy officers.            This wcr,Jd fragment               what the
Panel itself        describes        as “the       unified       organization        which
has worked so effectively                  in the field          for over twenty
years. (’ The present            trend       toward     closer       integration       of
those activities          in the overseas             missions         sh~‘~ld   be encour-
aged.       (See pp. 25 to 27.)
Voice           of   America
                       --
        The Panel proposes     to make the Voice of America      an
independent       agency under   its own board, assertincr  that
this    “would    enable the Voice of America   to function    as a
credible      medium.”
       The Panel offers       no evidence    that    present               Voice   of
America   broadcasts     lack credibility,        credence,                or Pistener-
ship.    Audience    research    by the t’.S,     Information                 Agency



Tear    Shea!                                iii
and others      in recent      years     suggests     otherwise.       Similarly,
the Panel implies         without      attempting       to demonstrate       that
Voice of America         does not satisfy          the needs of the Depart-
ment of State.         The evidence         again points       in the other
direction.        Implementing       this    proposal      would add consid-
erably     to cysts    of operation.
         How U.S. foreign          policy    is reoorted    and advocated,
especially          by fast    media and especially       in momenCs of
rnternat       ional   crisis,     can greatly     affect   the national
l




interest         for good or ill.         For an agency billed       and per-
ceived       as “the“      Voice   of America,     there  can be circum-
stances       in which diplomdtic          needs ought to prevail        over
journalistic          concerns.
         It should      be emphasized,   however,    that    circumstances
justifying       State    Department   or %hite Eouse intervention            in
Voice of America          broadcasting   are highly      unusual,     and the
prerogative       shou Id be exercised
                  should                    with  restraint       and in full
awareness      of the need to protect        Voice of America’s         pro-
fessional      integrity.

      The present     structural        relationship          between  the Voice
of America,     the U. S. Information             Agency,      and the Department
of State    should  be preserved,          but efforts         should  be made to
improve   the working      relationships.            (See     pp. 28 to 33.)

AGENCY CO!MEEiTS

        This report      was submitted         in draft      to the interested
agencies      and advisory       commissions,         as well    as the Chairman
of the Stanton        Panel,     for their       informal      comments.      All
agreed that       the cultural       functions        of the U. S. Information
Agency and the Bureau 0,f Educational                    and Cultural      Affairs
should     be consol idatt3.         GAO’s conclusions           concerning        the
other     Panel proposals        have elicited          emphatic    agreement
and equally       emphatic     disagreement.           All comments were
carefully      cqnsldered.                                                               .




                                           iv
                       Conte.nts

                                                            -Page
DIGEST                                                        i
CHAPTER
   1       INTRODUCTICN                                       1
               The new environment         and new
                  importance      of public diplomacy         1
               Present structure         and arrangements     2
               Recent critiques         and studies  of
                  U.S. public      diplomacy                  4
               Significance       of Stanton Panel
                  tepor t
               Essence of Stanton Panel report
               Official     reactions     to Panel report
               Scope of ceview
   2       TWYSFER OF USIA'S POLICY ARTICUL;rTION
             AND ADVISORY FUNCTIONS TO STATE
             DEPARTMENT
               Panel proposal                                 ;
               Fanel rationale
               Response of critics                           1:
               Our cbsecvations                              15
   3       ESTABLISH!?E??TOF NEX INFORflATION AND
             CULTG'RAL AFFAIRS AGENCY                        17
               Panel proposal                                17
               Panel rationale                               17
               Response of critics                           13
               Our observations                              23

   4       FIELD REORGANIZATION                              25
               Panel proposal                                25
               Panel rationale                               25
               Response of critics                           25
               Our observations                              27     *

   5       VOICE OF AMERIC.                                  23
               Panel proposal                                23
               Panel rationale                               25
               Response cf critics                           29
               Our observations                              31

   6       FI.NE:< CHARTER FOR U.S.     PUBLIC
              DIPLOMACY                                      34

AF?ENDIX
   I       Principal   officials     concerned   with
              the subject     of thic report                 37




                                                                        l
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                                       ABSRSVIATIOXS
            ACDA   Arms Control            and Disarmament         Agency
            cu     Cureau of Educational                and Cultural         Affairs
            FSO    Foreign       Service      Officer
            FSIO   Foreign       Service       Infcrmation       Officer
            GAO    General       Acc0untir.g       office
            ICA    Infqraation         and Cultural          Affairs       Agency
.
            USIA   United     States        Information       Agency
            USIS   United     States        Information       Service
            VOA    Voice     of ATer ice
                                       . . - _ -              - I ^

                                                                                       _---.




                                       CHAPTER 1

I                                    INTRODUCTION


             U-S. conduct          of what has come to be called               “yblic
    diplomacy”--         international        information,       education,       and
    cultural       relations       --is  being extensively          reexamined        in
    and out of Government.                Pronosals        from a variety        of compe-
    tent     sources       call    for redefining        mission    and philosophy,
    modifying        or eliminating         functions,        an3 reorganizing          the
    administering           apparatus.
    THE NEW ENVIRONMENT AND NEW
    IkPORTANCE OF PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
            The underlying      reasons    for the current      reassessments
    of public    diplomacy      are clear.       U.S. public   diplomacy
    primarily    originated       in the late     1940s and early      1950s.
    The past three       decades    have substantially       changaci the
    environment      in which public       diplomacy    must be conducted:

           --Altered      East-West    relations                      have modified      the          .
               assumptions      and rhetoric     of                   the Cold War.
           --North-South          confrontations            have           driven     home a
              heightened         sense of the           economic             interdependence
              of nations.
           --The      bread-and-butter      p not to mention      survival,
               aspects      of in,erdependence       have made international
               relations       a matter   of concern     not just    to a select
               few, but to large         and growing     publics.
           --An explosion      of literacy                and communications       tech-
              ?ology    has given     those            publics    both greater     access
              to pertinent     information                and often    more influence                     .
              over national      policies.
           --The     increased       prominence    of                 human rights      issues
              has    sharpened       the cant inuing                   ideological      conf 1 ict.
           --The     nature    of military    technology                       has made using
              military      power to attain       national                     purposes   more
              auestionable,       thereby   increasing                       the relative
               importance      of the other     tools      of                statecraft.
           --The     growth  in the number               of           independent     states     has
              made the relevant        sphere            of           public   diplomacy
              virtually     worldwide.


                                                   1
          Contemplating          these     altered          conditions,         oractition2r.s
 end students          tend to agree t !at U.S. public                        di~loncc~
 enjoys     enhanced       ogpoztunitics              to serve the nationai
 interest.          The new international                   environment         necessitates
 th2 development           of a more cooperative                     wocld system-            The
 Mired      States       =xpects      to plczy a major role                 in the organi-
 zation     and operation           of suctl a system.                  To do SC, it must,
 among other         things,       see that         its values,          par?oses,         and
 policies       are correctly           nnderstood           by the rest         of the wotld
 and that       its policies          consider           the legitimate           interests         of
 other     naticns.        These two national                  objectives        define        the
mission       of U.S. Fublic            diplomacy.             They also dictate               its
 essential        characteristics:             to be effective              in today’s           world8
 U.S. international              communication              must b2 candid,             credible,
 comprehensive           in coverage,          att :ative          to other       cultures         ar.d
 0oints
.-          cf    view,     and    endowsd       :ri   :i?  adequate      resout      ces.
FRESEYT STRUCTTJRE A??D AFXANSEI’“NTS
                              - -a -
       The two Federal            agenci2.c: nrizarily          involved      in U.S.
public     di31omacy        are th2 Lnit?d          .Statos   Information       Agency
(VSIAj     ana the State          Depar :-rrer:t ’ s bureau       of Educational
and Cultural        Affairs       (CO).       Other auencies,         notably    the
Degartment        of Ffeaith,      Edu::tion,         and Welfare,       t.3e National
Scjonce      ? oundation,       the 3f3nse          a& Cocmerce         D??artments,
ard the Agency for Interna=ioila!.                    3evelo?aent,       also have
important,        more s?ecializrG            information       and exchsnge
Frograms       abroad.

        Under the Mtual               Educ.zLional       zn& Cultural             Z::change        Act
of 1961 (Fulbright-Ha!72                ;c<)     and the U.S. Information                      and
Educational         Excbsnl;?      X(-t of 2943 (Smith-Nunat                    Act),      LLJ seeks
to promote         muti2al uncie8:starlGing          betwe2n        A;r.ericans         ani other
peoples       t5rou;h     var io:l.; pt-cgcms          for the e>,chance of stu-
dents,      teac:n.r?r s , artis’-.s,      4~titers,      political           leazecs,         ant!
other     individuals         of pcesent         cc pcos?ective             influence          in
ttieir    societ -es.         It rccr,lits         Snerican       TacticiTants             for
such ocograms;           assist+       arri er,: ouraqes        private         kiericaz
organizations          here ~rii ?Jroad            in similar        activities;             anti*     .
largely       through     priv;?rz      contractors.           arranqes         hospitality,
contacts,        confecerlc+b,         and ccher       activities          for foreiqn
eychang%es.
        CU, directed       by an Assistant          Secretary       of Stat2,       ez3loyed
252 oefsons        in fiFea       year 14’76.        ‘t is oraanized         into six
regional      cff ices and a number oi f;nci iona.! off ices that
deal with       SUC:I aLtivities        as International         Visitor       ?roqrai?s,
Internaticnai        Arts Affi.irs,         Private    Coo?oration,         and Youth,
Student,      an+3 Special       ?rogca-ns.       CU’s estimated         expnditure
for f’ rscel     year 1976 was $53.6 rr.illion.               Of this,       azout




                                                                                                           .
$43 million      was devoted     to exchange-Jt-parsons            prccrams
invclving     1,38b American       and 3,620 foreign        grantees.        A id
tc. Areric an-spon -ored schools         abroad claimed        $1.7 million.
About $1.2 million       w?s spent on cultural           presentations         anti
some $647,000       went to support      nctivi;ries     of t!;e nnited
Nations     Educational,     Scientific     and Cultural       Organization.

        CU’S cul tcral       and educational       programs    abroad      ar$
administer     ed by US 1-a under a reinlbursezLent           arra1:gemnr.t
with    the S tate Dep astment.         To this      end, USIA provides
a cultural      affairs      officer  in A-rer ica;l embassies.           This
officer     ma kes the necessary        local    Irrangee5nrs        for the
recruitmen     t and or ientation       of foreign       exchangees      ar.d for
the p:ogra .ma invol ving American            specialietSp        academicians,
performing      arts    ‘jr OUFS, and others.

        The United      States    Information      Agency was established
in 1953 as an independent               agency to assume overseas              ir-
formation     functions        of the State      Department      arc? the
PIutual   Security      Agency.       Its Director      rcpor+.s     to the
President     and receives        guidance      on foreign      policy      from
the Secretary        of State.        Under ti:e Smith-Xuncit          Act,    USIA
prepares     arc? disseminates          abroarj
        “inf?rmation           about the United         States,       its
        people,      and     its policies,        through      press,     pub-
        lications,         radio,      motion   pictures,        and other
        infcrmation          media,      and through      information
        centers      and     instructors       abroad.      * * *“
USIA is      also charged     by Presidential    directive     with
advising       the President    and interested     agencies    on foreign
opinion      and implications      of such opinion      for U.S. policy.

         Five area off ices provide                   the direct      link    with     the
Agency’s        185 posts        in 112 countries           for developing           infor-’
mation      policies,       products,          and operations.            Four media
services--Broadcasting                  (the Voice cf America),               I?fo,~a-
tion Cenker          Service,       Motion       Picture    and Television
Service,        and Press and Publications--provide                        materials
for the overseas            posts.         The overseas        mijsinns       of USIA,
known as the Ilnited               States      Information       bervi-2      (USIS),        are
headed by public            Affairs        Officers.        Under thorn. the
Cultural       Affairs      afficer,         Information       Gffice?:,      2nd others
carry      out the overseas             information,        educational,          and ccltx,;a!.
prcgrams        of the United           States.
        In flscai    year 1976,            the ;i,-enc;r ozcloyec7          8,840
i)efsons:      4,206 Am%ericans,             1,079 of whom gsre             ;ver:eas,      ~16
 4,634 foreigners       overseas.             Tctal    appr9sriations             ir. that

                                                3
?
.




                year were sl&ghtly       more than $273 million.         Re:.>urces  devoted
                to the Voice cf America        (VOA) totaled      $63 mill j.on and those
                to information     centers   and related     activities     amounted  to
                $57 mill ion.
                RECENT CRITIQUES AND STWIES
                OF U.S. PUBLIC DIFLONACY
                                  -I      m
                        Though there          may be general    agreement     concerning    the
                increased       opportunities        and importance       of U.S. public
                diplomacy,        there     is less agreement      as to whether       its
                present     style      and structure     assure    efficient     and effec-
    &           tive    operations.          Thus:
                       --The    Senate       Foreign  Relations   Committee       in 1973
                          questioned         whether  all of USIA’s     functions     are
                          worthwhile         and whether    these that    are should
                          be carried         out under different     organizational
            i             arranqements.
                       --A      1973 study    by a senior  US?A officer                suggested
                             for the 1980s a reorganizstion          of the            machinery
                             of public   dialonacy    that  foreshadowed               the principal
                             pro?osals    of the Stanto.   Panel.
                       --In     a 1974 report,          we found a need for the executive
                           branch       and the Congress       to “agree   on the aims and
                           exgected       achievements       of USIA operations”          and
                            concluded      that    in view of changed      tnter,laticnal
                            conditions,        *‘a reform    may be needed to communi;ate
                           America’s       story     to the world    more effectively.”
                       --The      Panel on International              Information,          Education,
                          and Cultural           Relations      (Stanton      Panel)      in March
                          1975 called          for an expanded          information         and cul-
                          tural      program      but noted that          such an endeavor
                          must assume “* * * a new style                     and content.”
                          Specifically,            in view of greater           public      sophis-
                          ticatio,l,        the grogrem        must take account            of the
                           “great      need toZ’a;r for credibility.”                  Further,      in
                          view of the need to find                 cooperative         solutions
        .                 to world        problems,        the progra;n      “must also be
                          genuinely         reciprocal.       w
                       --In       June 1975 tke Commission               on the Organization         of   .
                              the   Government      for the Conduct          of Foreign     Pal icy
                             (Kur?hy      Ccmmission)       stated     that    “The ability     of
                             this     country     to make its views nre-Jail            and its
                             policies       succeed    will    derive     less f ram it:: wealth
                             and ;owe r , and more frcm such respect                   and support
                             as the rest        of the world        accords      to its values      and
              purposes.    ti However,       primarilv       because    of curable
              structural      defects,     “neither       foreign    policy     advo-
              cacy nor the building           of long-range         understanding
              between    the U . S. and other          nations    is now being
              handled    with    full  effectiveness.”
        --A      1975 study      by the Congressional             Research       Service
              of the Library        of Congress        concluded      that,      “presznt
              U.S. Government         information        and cultural        programs
              are less appropriate           to the foreign         policy       environ-
              ment and technological             capabilities       of the 1970s
              than to those       of earlier        decades, ” and it outlined
              several   alternatives          to the “current         structure,
              emphases,     and functional          organization”         of -he
              agencies    concerned.

        --In     a report      of May 1976,          the EZouse International
            Relations      Committee        declared,        “It    is timely,
            almost    imperative,         that     attention        be given    to
            determine      what,     if any, changes             should     he made in
             [USIA’s]     organization         and its mission.           )( The report
            urged that       the administration              in 1977 s .udy the
            Stanton    Panel’s       proposals         and “present         Lts detailed
             recommendations         before      the Congress          groceeds    to
            make its own study            and recommenci?tio~s.”

        --A      recent   public     statement       endorsed     by nearly      500
              of USIA’s     professional       staff     calls    for a new USIA
              “charter”      that   would emphasize          the principles       of
              candor,    accuracy,       and “dialogue”         in international
              communication.
SIGNIFICASCE           OF S?A;INTON PANFL. REPORT

         Some of the concerns             and ideas reflected                 in such
assesments       led the U.S. Advisory                   Com,zission        on Information
and the U.S. Advisory             Comnission            on International             Educa-        ,
tional      and Culkural       Affairs        to propose         a fresh        review      of
U.S. public      diplomacy        by an ad hoc nongovernmental                         stcdy
group.       The resuit     of that         initiative         was the estabiishment
in March 1974 of the Panel on International                               Information,
Education,      and Cultural           Relaticns,          chaired      by Dr. Frank
Stantor.     and sponsored        by the Georgetown                University          Center
for Strategic        and International                Studies.         The Parlel corn-
prised      all members of both advisory                    commissions           together
with     seven other     distinguished              private      citizens.           Its
report      was pub1 lsheci a year later.
       Several    considerations               give the        Pap.el’s     report      unusGa1
importar,ce    and provide       the          rationale        for the      present      review.
The report
            --is        the product    pf a prominent    and unusually   well
                   qualified     group cf individuals     and has gained
                   support    from other   such persons;

                --has   been        (except     for one minor proposal)                   fully
                   endorsed         by the     Murphy Commission;
            --has     been, except     for one major                      proposal       (consol-
                idation    of cultural     functions),                      opposed      by the
               State     Department    and USIA;
                --has    elicited    serious    dissent    from a number of
                   prominent      and qua1 if ied individuals,      including
                   some Members of Congress,            a number of top officials
                   past and present,         and at least     two members of the
                   Panel itself;                                                                               i
                --advances           proposals     which would have              major      opera-
                    tional        consequences      for good or ill;
                --has   been discussed             in at least   five            congressional
                    committee   hearings           and is scheduled              to be taken
                    up in others;

                --contains       some proposals               (e.g.,      independent   status
                    for the Voice     of America)                that     would require
                    legislation;     and
                --is      still     under     consideration             by the   executive           branch.
     ESSEX2            OF STAXTON PANEL REPORT
             In        essence    the Panel finds           that     the present       organiza-
     tion    of        U.S. public      diplomacy        LS “at variance          with    logic”
     because           it assigns      certain      foreign       oolicy   functions        to the
     information             agency,    gives     responsibility         for cultural          pro-
     grams to            the diplomatic        agency,      and divides       the adminis-                         ,
     tration           of those programs          between       the two.
             The Panel would remedy these          “anomalies”        by assigning
     all educational,       cultural,    and general       information      f uric t ions
     to a nev Information          and Cultural    Affairs      Agency (ICA),        and
     creating      a new off ice in State       to assume responsibility             for
     policy     information     and for advising      on the policy       imp1 ica-
     tions    of foreign    opinion.     VOA would kecoae an independent
     entity     unde: a board of overseers.
                The Panel does not analyze    the U.S.    infornational-
     cultural       pr05uct,   nor does it claim   to have identified
     serious       defects   in it.   Indeed,  the report    has high                               praise

                                                        6

_-
for the work of both agencies.                       It finds        that    t.he present
system       “has worked        surprisingly         wellpI’     but that        it “will
work much better”             if the Panel’s           recommendations             are adopted.
The proposed          changes      involve      only structure.              The Panel
ant.icip;;tes,        however,       that    the proposed          alterations
will      “permit     the deeper         changes     of content         and purpose
all desire.        )t The deeper          changes      anticipated          were not
specified         beyo;ld the reference            to the need for credible
and reciprocal           programs.
OFFICIAL       REAC’TICNS TO PANEL REPORT

         In January     1376 the State         Department         and USIA sub-
mitrti;i    separate    position       papers    to the National          Security
Council      commenting       on the Panel recommendat ions,                  Both
opposed all Panel proposals                except    the one concerning             the
consolidation         of CU and USIA cultural              functions.         State
cited      a “fundamental        need * * * to establish              pal icy
coherence       in our international           communications          efforts.”
It opi7osed the Panel’s             .:ecommendations         on the ground
that     they would not “contribute              to this      needed coherence.          ”
USIA argued        that   the proposals        are unworkable          and based
on a fallacious         distinction        between     information         anti culture.

SCOPE OF REVfEW

        For several            reasons,    then,    the Panel’s    recommendations
call    for careful            a?ziysis.      In this    review,   we explorecI
the pros,    cons,           and alternatives         and assessed    the practical
implications      of         the Panel’s      prcposals.
         We reviewed         literature         and documentaticn              of public
d ipl omacy , including              memorandums         of the State          Department,
USIA, and the Stanton                 Panel and applicable               legislative
history.         We interviewed            more th.qn 100 individuals,
including        the Panel’s          Chairman        and Project        Director,       the
Assistant        Secretary         of State       for Educational           and Cultural         .
Affairs,       the Director           of USIA, and officials                 of U.S. embas-
sies     in four countries            --West      Germany,.      Poland,       Portugal,     an3
Thailand.          In December          1976, we convened            a symposium         of
Government         officials         and outside         specialistc         to discuss
international            exchange       programs.         One item on the agenda
dealt      with the reorganization                  of U.S. educational              and
cultural       relations.
        In our effor:     to determine     the practical       implications
of the Panel’s      proposals,     the insights       of t-he working       pro-
fessionals    have been indispensable,           aithcugh    they cannot,
of course,    be regarded      as determinative.          we have also con-




             ---.-    .. _                                                                        c   .
    sidered    the views of qualified      individuals  whose personal
    cr prczessional      interests  would not be affected    by imple-
    mentation     of the Panel’s   report.

          The Panel        made one recommendation               which    we did     not
    examine.   This        was that

          “USIA’s     FSIO [Foreign         Service     Information     Officer]
           career     service     should      be absorbed       into State’s     FSO
             [Foreign    Servics     Officer]       corps.    * * * Those offi-
           cers presently          in USIA and CU who are not involved
            in the diplomatic         aspect      of the new agencies          would
           be clas’sified        as GS * * *‘I
    The complexities  and importance                  of this     proposal      suggest
    the need for a detailed   separate                  study.
            In the next four           chapters,       we examine      the Panel’s
    other     recommendations.            Each chapter         summarizes      the proposal
    under consideration,             states      the P,rlel’s     rationale,          provides
    a critique       synthesizing         the views of others            we consulted,
    briefly      analyzes     alternative          organizational        possibilit.ies,
    and presents        our obse:vations.

            Our review     is confined      to the Stanton          Panel recom-
    mendations.         We do, however,       note in the final          chapter
    certsin     nonorganizational        changes    that we believe          will
    merit    consideration        in the ongoing      effort      to improve      U.S.
    public    diplomacy.        One such step would be the development
    of a new “charter“          defining   mission,       objectives,       and oper-
    ating    guidelines.
            A draft     of this     report    was submitted        to the interested
    agencies     and advisory         commissions,       as well     as the Chairman
.   and the Project        Director      .of the Stanton         Panel,     for their
    informal     comments.       All agreed        that    the cultural        functions
    of the State       Department’s         Wreau     of Educational          and %ltural
    Affairs     and the United         States    Information       Agency should                 ’
    be consolidated.           Our conclusions          concerning      the other
    Panel proposals        have elicited         emphatic      agreement       and
    equally     emphatic     disagreement.           All comments were c&.-e-
    fully    considered      in the ccmpletion           of this     report.
             The successful       adaptation      of U.S. public       diplomacy      to
    a rapidly     changing      internationa-       environment       calls   for a
    serious,     ongoing    effort      of analysis      and consensus-bu       ild ing
    by those concerned.            The present       report   is intended       a5 r
    constructive       if preliminary         step in that      process.
                                           CHAPTER 2
           TRANSFER OF USIA’S                  POLICY        ART~~X?!~ION     AND

               ADVISORY       FUNCTICNS           J-0 STATE ~~EPARTMI;NT


PANET 3ROPOSAL
 ,
        Under its present            mandate,        USIA disseminates               infor-
mation     abroad      about the United           States,        its people,           and i;s
policies.         It also advises          the makers of U.S. policy                      on
the implications            of foreign       pub1i.c      opinion.          One of the
Panel’s     principal         proposals      would have USIA’s                 present      role
in articulating           “policy”      informat       ion abio2d          reassigned
to the State         Department.          “General”         information           would be
assigned       to a new agency.            The Panel’s           distinction           between
general      information          and policy       lnformation          is fundamental
to its analysis           and to ali of its major proposals.                            General
information         concerns       “American      society        and American           percep-
tic;r,s   of world      affairs.”         Policy       information           is “specific
information         about U.S. foreign            policy.”           It deals with
“the presentation             of the U.S. Government                 stance       on foreign
policy     questions        of immediate         concern.”

        The Panel would also reassign                  USIA’s      policy       advisory
function       to the Department.              To absorb      those     functions,         the
State     Department       would,      under this      proposal,        establish        a
new Office         of Policy      Information,       headed by a Deputy               Under
Secretary        of State.        Reporting       to him would be 2 new
Assistant        Secretary     of State        for International           Press
Relations,         heading   a new Bureau of International                     Press
Relations:         the Assistant        Secretary      for Public         Affairs,
heading      the Present       Bureau of Public           Affairs;        and the
Office     of the Department’s              Spokesman.
PANEL RATIONAL2                          ..-17. ” a.4:.+.>
        “Placing      the articulation.          of our foreign       policy      in
the hands of the Department                most responsible        for fornu-
lating     and executing;       that    policy,”     the Panel argues,
would eliminate           a major    organizational        “anomaly.”          By
so doing,      riloreover , “articulation           and explanation          of
foreign     policy      for overseas       audiences     should    not only
become more direct           but,    above all,      more authoritative.”
        Reass igr ing       USIA’s         foreign       public     opinion     advisory
function     to State        would         elkninat,        another      organizational
anomrly:


                                                  9


                                           .

                                    ..
         ..

                                                                              _-




              “The render i,Tg of advice          to decision     makers on
              foreign     public    opinion    as an input     to the policy
              making process        can,    in the Panel’s     view,   be
              accomplished       only by people      who have regular
              access    to those decision         makers    in the Department
              of State.”
    The Panel notes   that   “USIA               has had diff iccllty   carrying
    out the task. ’ One reason                   for this  “has clearly      been
    the lack of regular    access                to the makers o? fcreign
    policy.”
    RESPONSE OF CRITICS
     .       Critics      of the Panel report             object     0 the proposed
    transfer         of USIALs policy          information       and advisory           functions
    to the State          Department       for various        reasons.        First,       the
    transfer         would relieve       the kgency        of essentlJlly           journal-
    istic     functions,        *which it has performed             well     and which
    are best done by an independent                      agency.     Further,         it is
    based on an unworkable               distinction         between     policy       infor-
    mation       and general       information        and on a misunderstanding
    of the work of certain               agency elements.

             Some who disagree         with    the proposal         point       out that
    the Panel does not make a case that                     USIA’s       performance
    of either       the policy      information        function        cr the advisory
    function      is inaccurate        or otherwise         unsatisfactory.                The
    implicit      question     is, why disturb           the existing           arrangement?
    Neither     the State      Department,         which stands          to gain important
    functions       and additional        personnel      I &>or USIA found merit                 in
    the proposal        to transfer        those    functions:,          T!;ere     is no
    apparent      record   of chronic         or serious        dissatisfaction               in the
    State     Department     with     USIA’r     performance         of tnose         functions.
.   Indeed p a number of present-               and former        Department          officials
    we consulted        had high praise          for the Agency.
    ?ol icy      information        function
           A frequent        objection         to the Panel’s             proposal         is that
    the distinction          between       policy        information          and general
    information        is unworkable.             The Panel itself                 took testi-
    mony showing         that much U.S.            infcrmation           activity        in t!le
    field     involves      both,     that     they are complementary,                     and
    that    they are oftpn          incorporated             in U.S.       .nfornation
    products       in ways that         could not readily                or usefully         be
    disentangled.           Some public          affairs        officers         sky that
    their     acceptance       and credibility              as policy         spokesmen
    have been enhanced            by their         identification             with     the


                                                   10
                                                                                            --




    post’s  cultural           programs.   In his official                   comment       on
    the Panel report,             then USIA Director    Keogh                asked:

            “HOW much would mutual               understanding           be worth
            if the current          problems       and day-to-day            issues
            which form much of the substance                      of relations
            between countries             are intentionaliy             avoided?
            Is there       not real danger          that     the programs           of
.           ICA would lack substance                and realism          anr! would
            not be taken         seriously?         As the American
            Foreign     Service       Association,         representing           the
            career    officers        in the State        Department,           AID
             [Agency     for International            Development],            and
            USIA, has stated,             a result      of such reorganiza-
            tion    would be ‘a t:ultural             program        whose insula-
            tion from the central              concerns        of the Embassy
            would almost         certainly       undermine         its relevance.            ’
            The public         would be justified            in questioning
            whether      they should         be paying       for programs           that
            are so insulated            from American          policy.”

            The    present     Director        of USIA, John E. Reinhardt,
    has taken        a similar      position,       asserting   that   “the main
    enemy of       an information          program     * * * would be fragmen-
    tation,       setting     up separate        bureaucracies     for the oper-
    ation    of    different      parts      of the program.”
            Transferring         USIA’s        policy      information          function        would,
    as the Panel notes,              entail       the transfer            of the Wireless
    File    and its staff.             It has been suggested                  that     this     pro-
    posal     represents        a misreading            of what the Wireless                 File
    is and what is required                  to make it work.               This     is a high
    frequency       radio     teletype         network       by which USIA Headquarters
    on weekdays        transmits         five      regional       files     to 130 posts.
    The contents         are primarily            official        texts,      policy       state-
    ments,      and backgrounders.                In addition,            news roundups
    are provided         to posts        in countries           not adequatelv             served        .
    by commercial          media,      and essential            program       materials          are
    carried      for other        agency elements--VOA                  broadcast        schedules,
    current      booklists        for the information                 centers,       foreign
    media reaction           summaries,         profiles        nn American          specialists
    recruited       to go abroad,            and advance          transcripts          of films
    and videotape          recordings.
           Questions     have been raised       as to whether       the Wireless
    File,     if moved to State,      would continue      to carry      such pro-
    gram materials       and would continue       to provide      adequate      coverage
    of the White House,        the Conqress,      other   agencies      (notably
    Treasury,     Defense,    Labor,    Commerce,     and Agriculture)        as well
    as independent      American     conm?ntary     that  also co;lzribute         to

                                                    11
                                                        --                    .-- -




the policymaking     process.      If not,    it is argued,   the
network    output would lose much of its interest           and credi-
bility   to the foreign     audiences     for whom key eleaents      of
the Pile are intended.
       Moreover,    some critics      suggest,       the judgments     that
go into making up the daily           Wireless      File    are necessarily
in large    part  those of professional           journalists      concerning
what the press      attaches     and their     local     media an5 govern-
mental   cl ic- ts are likely       to find    useful.
       A possible      variant’of         this     aspect  of the Panel’s
proposal    would be to transfer               to State    only those positions
or persons      who would be concerned                with preparing     the Depart-
ment’s    own contribution           to the Wireless         File.   Final     editorial
judgment    as to the content             of the File      ( and the right      to
ask State     for clarification             or further     details)   would be
retained    by USIA.        This might         alleviate     what appear     to
be largely      marginal     difficulties           of USIA access     to policy-
makers.

         Another      alternative,         which has elicited             interest
among some State            Department        officials,         would be to
transfer       the Wireless           File  stacf       not to the proposed             new
bureau but to the existing                  Office        of the Department
Spokesman.          This,      it has been suggested,               would unify
and enhance         the status         and policy         relevance     of the world-
wide press        function         and increase         the Secretary’s         ability
to fine-tune          it.

        Finally,        with      respect        to the policy             information
function        in general,           some critics            of the Panel proposal
argue that         the present           system        is best calculated                to assure
conformance          to foreign          policy        objectives          without       sacrificing
speed of communication.                     The key to this                is the sys tern for
delivering         State     Department            policy       gu’dance        to USIA.
Such guidance            is conveyed           throug?        several        cha:lnels       and
at several         levels       to USIA'S media services                      as follows.
A member of USIA’s                Policy      Guidance          Staff      (a unit       of five     ’
professionals            in the Office             of Policy          and Plans)         attends
the State         Department          Spokesman’s          pre-pressbriefing
session        every weekday morning;                    he and other           USIA people,
e.g.,      a VOA correspondent,                  attend       the noon briefing.
The Agency’s           geographic         desk perscnnel               maintain        liaison
with     their      counterparts           in State’s           political         bureaus        (as
do the regional             officers         of CU).          VOA , in turn,           receives
its policy         ouidance         from the Agency’s                 policy      group through
the VOA Policy             Application           Staff      (four      persons).           7,s the
need arises r there               may be direct            contact         between       the USIA
Director         (who regularly            attends        meetings         chaired       by the Sec-
retary      or Under Secretary)                  and senior           Department         officials.


                                               12


                                                                                                         4
                                         -_




           This arrangement             puts the Agency’s             Office      of Policy
    and Plans        in a posit ion to evaluate                 the commentaries           by
    the Agency’s         media services            in relation        to State       Department
    guidance.         Where necessary,             Policy     and Plans will           make
    suggestions         regarding       these commentaries.                Agency partisans
    of the present           arrangement         claim     that    Policy      and Plans
    is able to clear             9 out of 10 commentaries                 within     15
    minutes      and that       State,     with      its tradition         of caution
.   and its professional               bent for diplcmacy             rather      than
    f ast-med ia communication,               would be unlikely              to work
    that    quickly.        To that       extent,       it would be unable             to _
    meet the standards             of an effective            and credible          policy
    information         service,
    Policy      advisory      function

           USIA’s    function     of advising  policymakers    on foreign
    public   opinion      is based on President      Kennedy’s  statement
    of the USIA mission         in a 1963 memorandum to then Director
    Edward R. Murrow:
             “The mission      of the U.S. Informaticn            Agency is
             to help achieve       U.S. foreign      polic]’     objectives
             by * * * advising        the President,         his represen-
             tatives   abroad,     and the various        Departments         and
             Agencies    on the implications         of foreign         opinion
             for present    and contemplated         U.S. policies,
             programs    and official     statements.        ”

            Critics       of the proposal      to transfer      USIA’s     advisory
    function        to State    argue,  in part,      that    USIA and its f!.eld
    staff    can make a unique         contribution        to the analysis         of
    foreign       opinion     and its  implications        for U.S. policy.           Some
    add that        what is needed is not the proposed              transfer       but
    better      use of the USIA product.            As the U.S. Advisory
    Commission         on Information     put it:
             “USIS officers,          in the course             of their     duties,
             develop      an extraordinary              variety    and large         number
             of personal       contacts        in foreign         societies.          They
             develop      a highly      useful        fund of knowledge           and
             insight      which can be fed back to Washington.                           But
             this    resource      has been unappreciated                  and neglected.
             There has been little               utilization         of this      feedback.
             * * * Because of such ‘neglect                     we are at times
             unnecessarily         surprised          to suddenly        discover      the
       .
             depth     c;f opposition        to our proposals.”




                                                  13
        The Panel,    as noted,    attributes      such neglect      to
USIA’s     “lack   of regular   access      to the makers     of foreign
policy.    fi In his testimony       before    the Panel,     George
Ball,    former   Under Secretary        of State,    offered   a different
expl ana t ion :

        “There     were so many different        channels    of
        information     coming in all the time * * *
        from a dozen different         places,    to say nothing
        of the telegrams        from the embassies,       which
        very often     would incorporate        whatever   the
        information     officer     in that    embassy was
        saying.     ”

        It is ceasondble         to believe        that     if USIA’s      “feedback”
were the sole source           of such information             for policymakers,
the problem      of “access”        for that       purpose     would never have
emerged.       In one U.S. Embassy we surveyed                   there    were five
mission    elements     reporting         to Washington        agencies       on
foreign    opinion--    USIS, Foreign           Broadcast      Information
Service      the Embassy’s         ?ol itical      Section,      the Defense
Attache:     and the Central          Intelligence        Agency.        Al though
this    may all be necessary            because      of the different            users
and uses involved,         there      no doubt       is some overlap           in such
reporting      on foreign      opinion.

          Former USIA Director                Keogh told           us that       in fact      USIA’s
foreign       public     opinion         function        does receive            attention        in
the policymaking             process         at all      levels         below the Secretary.
This was confirmed               to some extent              by State         Department
officials.           USIA’s      advisory        material           includes       a daily      sum-
mary of press           comment,         which is prepared                 by the Agency’s
Media Reaction           Staff       (eight      persons1          for distribution             by 8
a . m . each weekday.              These are based on reports                        written      by ’
USIS personnel            in the field            under the guidance                 of a weekly
“watch       1 is t” issued        by headguar ter s.                 This same staff           pro-
duces approximately                20 other         reports        per week on foreign                 .
media reaction           to major          internetional              issues.        The staff
is also charged             dith     sending       to the Fresident                iand to the
Secretary         of State       a separate           series       of daily        **eaction
cables       when thev travel              outside       the United           States.        Other
reports        ori foreign       opinion,         orovided         by the Agency’s            Office
of Research,          cover media research,                    attituda        and audience
researcn,         acd foreign          information           research.
        One argument    sometimes      cited against    transferring
 t?is   service   is that   the professional       independence                        of the
.t -ancy and its field      staff    tends to Essure      greater                      objec-
 tivity    in the reporting       of foreign  opinion.


                                                14
  CUR OBSERVATIO11S                                                                     .
         The proposals      to reassign        USIA’s               policy       information
  and policy    advisory      roles    to the State                  Department          are
  both based on the Panel Is distinction                            between        pal icy
  information    and general        information.                    We agree with            those
  who have pointed       out that      the two kinds                   of information
  are often    complementary        and in practice                    difficult         to
  separate.
  Policy      information          function

          The primary      responsibility        for articulating         and
  advocating       as well    as formulating        U.S. foreign       policy
  is vested      in the President          and the Secretary        of State.
  These officials        and U.S. ambassadors           explain     our foreign
+ policy     not only through         direct   communication        with
  foreign     government      representatives        but also     through     press
  conferences       and other      forms of public       statement-

           The role of USIA has been and should                     remain      that
  of giving       wider       resonance      abroad to authoritative              defini-
  tions      and interpretations             of U.S. policy       under proper
  State      Department         guidance.        This is a function          requiring
  profession21          skills       in journalism       and fast-medid         management.
  For the most part,               neither     the professional        skills       and
  interests        nor the organization              and procedures       of the State
  Department        lend themselves            to that    role.    There is a distinct
  possibility         that      assigning      that   job to State      would lead
  to diminished          emphasis        on, 2nd less effective           coverage
  of, U.S. policy             information        abroad.

            This is by no means to suggest,                          however,        that    improve-
  ments should            not be sought            in the present             arrangements           for
  policy       articulation           2nd policy         guidance.            For example,           a
  frequent         comment at USIA is that                   State      Department         official.3
  often      do not appreciate               the need to give USIA full                      infor-
  mation --that           the Department             could     afford       to be more focth-
  comincr in furnishing                 positive        policy       guidsnce.          This point       .
  is mahe particularly                  with     reference         to USIA'S         need to get
  advance        notice       of major policy            announcements             in order        to
  better       prepare        the timely         reporting         2nd analysis           on which
  the Agency’s            effectiveness           depends.           On the other          hand, 1s
  a State        Department         official         noted,      there     may well        be ins’;&n-
  ces in which time does not permit                            such notice           or in which
  security         considerations            would properly             lead Department
  officials         to err on the side of caution                         in sharina         i;?for-
  aation       even within          the U.S. Government.




                                                 15
           These difference5        of perception      between      the two
    agencies    concerning      acL,ss  suggest    that      something   closer
    to an interagency        consensus    might   uss!fr!lly    be sought.
    Policy         advisory       function                                                   .
             It is widely        acknowledged           that     the Agency’s           advice
    to State       on the policy          implications           of foreign         opinion
    seldom reaches           top Department           echelons        directly.           The
    Panel attributes            USIA’s     difficulty          in this        regard      to
    its "lack of regular               access to the makers of foreign
    policy.”         Another     explanation          is that        State      receives
    policy      information         and advice        on foreign          opinion       from
    many other         sources.       Nevertheless,            as George Ball             pointed
    out in his testimony               before      the Panel,         a USIA contribution
    may well        rcych    senior     Department         officials          through       U.S.
    ambassadors        .
              It  seems to us that        the Panel’s      proposal                       to transfer
    USIA's       advisory     role    to State   raises    a number                       of questions
    that      should     be clarified     before     a decision     is                    made:

              --To      what extent  do State      and other   U.S. agencies
                   in fact    make use of USIA policy        advice    on foreign
                   public    opinion  at pertinent     lower   levels?

              --Are   there   other ways               to   cure     any     ‘*neglect”          of
                 USlR ’ s pol icy advice?

              --Is          the USIA advisory          product     distinctive               in ways
                     that      would justify     its      continuation?
              --To what extent       is         USIA’s    research    and reporting
                 on foreign    opinion           necessary      to its own informa-
.                tion  and cultural             operations?
              PeEding   concrete examination                       of such      questions,            it
    would      seem adv isaD ? CO leave the                        present      arrangement
    intact.           -




                                                  16
                                        CHAPTER 3

                  ESTABLISWEKT
                  w.                    OF
                                         A- NEW INFORMATION
                                                         ---          AND

                             CULTURAL-- AFFAIRS        AGENCY
                                                       --


  --PANEL PROPOSAL,
           Under present         arrangements,     U.S. edccaticnzl         and
  cultural       exchange      programs     are managed by the State
  Department’s           Bureau of Educatiocal         and Cultural     Affairs.
  Abroad,      its programs         are implemented      by USIA personnel.
* The Panel gxoposes             that   the educational      and cultural
  functions       of State       and USIA be consolidated           in a new
  headquarters           agency to be called        the Information       anc
  Cultural       Affairs      Agency.
          ICA would both manage U.S. educational                   and cultural
   programs       in Washington      and execute        them in the field.
   under    the Panel’s       proposal,     ICA would also assume USIA's
   responsibility         for disseminating          abroad general       informa-
   tion,    as distinct       from policy       information.       The pr aposed
   reassignment        of USIA’s     role   in communicating         foreign
   policy      abroad    and in advising       policymaker:       on fcreign
   public      opinion    is discussed      in chapter       2.   With    this   pro-
   posed redistribution           of functions,         USIA disappears.

         The Panel proposes        that   the new ICA operate      “under--
   but not in--the     Department       of State.”    It would be “an
   autoncmous    agency with     its own Bridget and administration,”
   on the model of the Agency for InternatiOnai              Development
   or the Arms Control       and Disarmament       Agency (ACCAJ.
   PAE7EL RATICKALE
   ---
           When USIA was established                in 1953, the Panel notes,
    the Bureau        of Educational        and Cultural       Affairs       was left.
    in State       “to avoid givir.g        the educational          exchange        of per-
    sons a propaganda           flavor.”       The overseas        end of the work
    has been done by USIA from the outset.                       In an era seekinq
    a relaxation        of tensions,        rhc Pan21 a:gues,           an3 consideri;,g
    that    the Agency’s       work has evolved            to a goint      i?he:e almost
    all of it is directed              at "the same longer           range objectit:es"
  . pursued      by CU, the earlier           reservations       about     trsilsferring
    W’s     functions      (whi.ch ‘,never maje much sense")                 no lol;ger
    should     govern.




                                               17
         According        to the Panel,           combining        qsneral       information
and exchange           of persons        in the new ISA would have several
advantages:            “The Washington            offices       serving      overseas        posts
would be brought              into    correspondence            with    the unified
organizaticn           which has worked             so effectively           in the field,”
and thereby          would “simplify            enormously          the task of those
stationed         abroad       in their     efforts       to get from headquarters
the support          they need to do their                jobs.”        It would mean,
for ICA, “one instead                 of two channels            of communication              with
the field         * * * and one supervisor                  instearf      of two for the
officers         who now try to satisfy                 CU and USIA.”            It would
y! eld “some budgetary                savings       from the ending            of duolica-
tian     of off ices. ” It would restore                      to the information
agency “control             in Xashington           over an important              tool    for
its     efforts      to depict        U.S. life         and thought         overseas       (namely,
real     ! ive American           exchangees).”           Finally,        it would fat il i-
tate     Frograming         “based      on the coordination               of people        with     a
variety         of media products.”

        The Panel preferred                putting        the   ICA under but not              in
the Department     of State,               rather       than    giving  it USIA’s
status.as    an independent                agency,        for   several   reasons:

        --“Organizational              iogic”        points     in      that   direction.
        --The    agency would gain                prestige        and greater      acc?p-
           tance    in the Congress               and the       private    sector.
        --Relevance          of   ICA program           to    pal icy      would    be assured.
        --The    relationship      to State              would familiarize                Foreign
           Service      Officers   with  the             work and impress               them
           with    its importance.

RESPONSE OF CSITICS
        In general,       those rre consulted          agree with         the Panel                     .
that    the educational          and cultural       functions        of CU and
USIA should       be assigned        to a single       headquarters          agency.
For most,      the principal         reason   is that        this    would eliminate
an awkward,       troublesome,         and time-consuming            burden 01:
interagency       coordination.           Some note it would also tend
to assure      execution       of the programs         in conformance           wiuh
2 single,      consistent        operating    philosophy.            There is, as
the Panel noted,          the possibility        of some budgetary              saving
through     eliminating       duplication       of offices.            USIA’s    budget
office     has made a ro;Jgh estimate             thst     the saving        might
be about $2 million            and 50 jobs.        A rough and possibly
0ptimistLc       estimat e by the Congressional                  Zesearch     Service
put the potential           saving     at $10 million          to $15 million.

                                                18
Relationship
--r -             of        new information-
cult=        agency         to Department
of state

       Oainions    as expressed         by the interested          agencies       in
1376 differed      tegarding       the relationship         of thk revamped
agency to the state          Department.         USIA preferred         retaining
its present     status     as an independent          agency     reporting
to the President.          The State       Depzrtment     preferred        the
ACDA model proposed          by the Panel.         The Department          departed
from the Panel proposal,             however,     in suggesting         that    the
agency head be an Under Secretary                 of State     and that        he
assme    a role of “leadership              in planning    and coordinating
coherent     communications        strategies.”

         Some USIA officials,              while      acknowledging           the need for
policy      guidance        from State,        fear    the proposed           closer       rela-
tionship       would seriously            erode the Agency’s              professional
and budgetary           independence--that             the !,nformation            agency
would be smothered              in a Department            having      quite     different
profess     ional     concerns        and capabilities.               Others     have
suggested        that     any closer       relaticnship            to State      would be
desirable        only if the Department                were reorganized,               a; a
1559 Brookings            study     proposed,       along Defense           Department
lines,      with    cabinet-rank          secretaries          for political,
economic,        and information-cultural                  affairs.         Some of
those      opposing       the closer       relationshis            concede,      however,
that     it might      yield      the advantage          of greater          access      to
and acceptance            by the Department.
        The Panel has suggested                       that      this     issue--the         formal
relationship           of the information-cultural                           agency      to State--
is perhaps          more cosmetic             then real.             However,        some, includ-
ing the Panel’s             Project        Director,            feel     that     the “cosmetics”
may be important              because         the Government’s                cultural        constit-
uents--      scholars,        artists,          journalists,             and others--would
presumably          be unwilling            to accept           exchange        grents      from or
other      relationships            with what some perceive                       as a “propaganda”
agency.         On this       point,       opinions          differ        and available          evi-
dence is inconclusive.                     It is a plausible                  inference        that    the
Panel would not favor                   relocating           CU’s cultural             functions       in
an agency         that    retained         the function              of explaining            and
advocating          U.S. foreign           policy.           Among those we consulted,
however,        there     was strong            support         for the proposed              CU
“merger”        but not for the move to divest                             the information
ageqcy       of a policy          information             role.       At the same time,
some point          out that        in such consolidation,                      precautions
should       be taken       to prevent            either        dcvnsrading          or politiciz        ing
the    cultural        programs         ant to preserve                present       CU working
relationship?,          with      State”;         political          bureaus.


                                                  19
             Finally,        soxe critics          note,     the prooosed          consolida-
     tion     of CU and USIA functions                   might     entail      a conflict         with
     the congressional               ban 09 the domestic              distribution          of the
     information          agency product.              As Henry Loomis,            President
     of the Corporation                for Public        Broadcasting          and former
     Ceputy      Director         of USIA, points           out,    the exchange           program
     “by definition             is a two-way         street      and therefore           involves
     foreign      cultural          activities       within      the Unitsd        States.”
     He suggests          that,      “The Congress          should      determine       that      this
     would not be construed                    as attempting        to propagandize             the
     American       pecple,        an activity         from which USIA is wisely
     prohibited.”
     Possible       alternatives

              Possible      alternatives          to the Panel’s    proposed  new
     Information         and Cultural         Affairs   Agency range from termi-
    mnating     the programs           to maintaining      the status    quo.  with
     some variations,            as noted,        State  and USIA have advocated
     a modified        version       of the latter.        A summary of the other
     principle       alternatives         follows.
             Terminating           programs

             The case for ternin ating                the programs        relies     on one
     or both of two judgznents.                 One is that        the Nation’s         needs
     for    international         communication          are adequately          met by
     intergovernmental            diplomacy       complemented        by the ccmmercial
     media and the vast             network     of private        contacts       and exchanges
     of persons        and information.            The other        is that      governmental
     infcrmation          and cultural       programs       amount to a form of
     ideological          or cultural       imoerialisn       which offends          against
     American       values    and which is,            in today’s     world,      self-
     defeating,
            The couzterarguaent          relies    essentially         on the propo-
     sition    that     the commercial       media either      distort       or ignore                   .
     much information          which  it is in the national             interest    to
     communicate        to foreign    peoples     and that     Government-sponsored
     programs      Eill    imp0 rtant   gaps in the private            network.
            An alternative         short    of terfl’%$Fing         the programs          would
     be to subject        then to t5e test         of zero-base         budgeting,         a
     procedure     adopted       by the Carter       administration          requiring
     the total     rejustification          of programs       annually.         The 1975
     Congressional        Piesearch     Service    study    suggests       that      “the
-    nature    and extent        of U.S. oneratiors         should      be assessed
     on a country-by-country             Sash    before     continuing         officially
     supported     programs.”


                                                    20
       Fully   integrating     oroarams
       in State     Department

        Another    broad alternative       would fully        integrate         infor-
mation     and cultural    operations      in the State         Department.
This might       be done in one of at least          two ways.          One, as
noted above,       was suggested      in a 1959 Brookings           Institution
study.      It would create       a reorganized      Department         of Foreign
Affairs     modeled on the Defense         Department,       within       which
there    would be three      component     departments--State,             Foreign
Economic      Operations,    and a new Department           of Information
and Cultural       Affairs   to carry     out the functions           now
performed       by CU and USIA.

        A variant      of the Brookings         proposal,        suggested       by a
senior     USIA officer,       would establish          an tinder Secretary
of State      for Public      Affairs      on the same levei            as the Under
Secretaries       for Political        and Economic        Affairs.         Reporting
to that     person     would be Assistant          Secretaries          of State
for Cultural        and Academic       Exchanges,       Cultural        Cperations,
Media Services,          and Public      InformGcion       (domestic)        and the
Director      of the Voice of America.               All administrative             and
support     elements       of USIA--such       as personnel,          research,
congressional        liaison,      general     counsel,      security,       budget,
and inspector        general --would         be integrated         into the
corresponding        offices      of the Depzrtment.

       The British         Council     model

       Still     another      broad organizational           alternati‘re        to
the Panel proposal            would be to give the proposed                 general
information        and culturai       affairs     agency,      duly divested
of the policy         information       and advisory       functions,         the
status     of a quasi-governmental             institution        on the model
of the British          Council.      The Panel reportedly              considered
this   alternative         seriously      and was dissuaded           from it only
by the judgment          that     it might    not be approved           by the
Congress.
         The    British    Council      was established          in 1934 to promote
a wider        knowledge      of Britain        and the English       language.      It
received        a Royal Charter          in 1.940.     It sponsors       language
training,         runs libraries,          publishes     periodicals,       conducts
exchange        progra.ms,     mounts exhibitions,            and organizes
artistic        performances.         Its 1975-75        budget     was about $10C
mill ion.
      According    to a Member of Parliament          who served     sec’eral
years  as Deputy Chairman       of the Council,       the organization
acts indepenoentlv      of the British      Government.       Although
there   is much hch!ind-c ,he-scenes    consultation,       the Govern-
ment does not att.ecpt      to exert   control.
                                           21



                                                                                          c
       The Council      is supported       m?Lnly by a lump sum annual
grant    f ram Parliament.       It is governed      by a chairman
appointed       by the Foreign     Secretary     for a 5-year      term and
a 20-member       board drawn from literature,         publishing,
science,      the arts,    trade   unions,    an4 the Ususe of Commons.
        Those supporting      this     alternative           believe       that   a
relatively    independent       general       information          and cultural
organization     would enjoy        greater      credibility           and acceptance
among the artists,        scholars,        journalists,           and others        who
form the constituency         of official           cultural       affairs      programs.

       The Inter-Amor         ican    Foundat    ion   model
        An interesting           variant       of the British           Council    model
within     the U.S. Federal             structure         is represented         by the
Inter-American           Foundation.           The Foundation            is a nonprofit,
tax-exempt         U.S. Government            corporation         established      by the
Congress       in 1969 “to support               Latin      American       and Caribbean
efforts      to solve      their      own ‘grass          roots’     economic     and social
development         problems.“          It is funded            oy the Government        and
is authorized          to receive         contributions           from nongovernmental
sources.         It has a staff           of 60 Federal           employees      and is
limited      by law to a staff              of 100.         Its   budget     for fiscal
year 1977 was $23 million.

         Th? unique    and experimental       nature  of the organization
 is reflected      in a House report        at the time of the initial
legislation.        The report,    as summarized      in a statement      b;r
the Foundation’s        President    before    a House subcommittee,
calied       for:

       rr* * * innovation,          sensitivity         to and support          for
       indigenous      efforts,       independence         from shor :-term
       political     factors      which affect          the day-to-day
       course     of U.S. Government            policy,      experimentation
       to overcome       bottlenecks         to progress,          responsible
       recognition       and assumption          of risks       to help solve
       specific     development         problems,       replicability,          and
       operations      pr inarily       through      and with        the private
       sector.”
        Management     of the Foundation              is vested       in a seven-
member Eoard of Directors                appointed       by the President        with
the advice        and consent       of the Senate.          Four of its directors,
including       the Chairman,         represent       the private       sector,    and
three     are chosen from among Government                  officials       concerned
with    inter-American        affairs.         Directors      serve     b-year
renewable       terms without         coapensat     ion.


                                           22
                 .



CUR OBSERVATlONS
         Successful       implementation         of the proposal        to consoli-
date CU and USIA cultural                functions      in WashingtoT       would,
ve be1 ieve ,. achieve         a m-ye efficient           and consistent       admin-
istration       of U.S. cultural           programs.       This step,      as the
Panel points         out,   wol*ld also permit          the elimination        of
one advisory         commission      by consolidating           the functions
of the U.S. Advisory             Commission        on Information       and U.S.
Advisory      Commission       on International           Educational      and
Cultural      Affairs.

          If it were decided            that    the proposed            agency,       shorn of
 the policy        information         and advisory          functions,         could serve
‘the national         purpose       more effecLively             if it had independence
 ccmparable        to that       of the British          Council,        we believe          the
 Inter-Aiierican            Foundation      might     provide        a more appropriate
 model.        The Foundation’s           President         has testified           that     its
 status       has enabled        it to relate         effectively          to indigenous
 private       groups       in the region       ‘!without        always      taking      into
 account       what a foreign          policy     or government-to-government
  relationship         is.“      He added that          while      there     is much consul-
 tation       with   U.S. Government           authorities,           “there      has been no
 attempt       to manipulate          us politically           by any country,             including
 our own. ‘1

        For reasons      indicated       in chapter        2, we do not share
the Panel’s        view that      the consol idated          agency should         be
shorn of the policy           information       role.       Xowever,       if CU’s
functions      are assigned         to the information           agency without
divesting      the latter       of the policy         information        function,
it would seem advisable               to survey     the CU-USIA constituency--
scholars,      artists,     journalists,        etc.--to        determine       how
they might       respond    to the consolidation              and what sugges-
tions     they themselves        might     have about        implementation.

        As to the relationship             which the consolidated              agency                  .
should    have to the State           Department,        there      are two main
options.      One is that       the agency retain             a status    of inde-
pendence I reporting          to the President           and taking        its policy
guidance      from the Department            of State       in accordance       with
present     arrangements.          Another      is that       the agency be
placed,     in the Panel’s         phrase,      “under--but         no: in--the
Department       of State,    ” On t?&e Arms Control               and Disarmament
Agency model.          A variant      of the latter,            urged by State
in its position         paper     on the ?anel        report       and by John
Richardson,       Jr.,    former    Assistant       Secretary         of State    for
Educational        and Cultural       Affairs,      would put the information




                                              23

                                        .
                                                                                          -




         agency not only “under”            the State       Department,     as proposed
         by the Panel,        but partly       “in”   as well.      That is, the agency
         director      would be an Under Secretary-              cf State   and, with        cer-
         tain     agency elements,       would have offices           in the Department..
         Advocates      believe    this    variant     would give the agency better
         access      to the Secretary       for purposes         of both policy       infor-
         mation      and policy    advice.        Some suggest      this   might    also put
         the agency head in a posit ion to provide                    Government-wide
         coordination        and leadership         in information       and cultural
         progt ams.

     .          Fe be1 iev? each option            has distinct        advantages       aJd
         shortcomings;       either     could work.        The choice         should    be
         made only after         proper    study.       If the agency were put
         under but not in the State               Department,       provision       s?.ould
         be made to safeguard           the agency’s       present       professional       and
         administrative        independence        while    reclaining      under State
         Department     policy      guidance.




                                                  24


-.
                                                                                                         *c
                                                                                                    ,’
                                                CHAPTER 4
                                     FIELD      REORGA3IZATION


 PA!qFL PROPOSAL
            The Panel proooses         to reorganize    information      and
 cultural         activities      in the U.S. overseas       missions     to
 ceflect        the distinction         it draws between     policy   infor-
 mation        and general      information.
          Thus,     “The official        abroad    principally          concerned       with
  carrying      out the policy         information        and advisory          functions
  should    be t5e Press Counselor/Attache,”                    a Stake       Depxtment
. enployee.        tie would receive         the Hireless         File,     oolicy
  guidance      information,       and background          telegrams        from the
  Department       and would reoort          to the Department             on media
  react ion and foreign           opinion.        3e head of the local                 USIS
  establishment         of the Information           and Cultural          Affaics
  Agency would be the Information-cultural                        Counselor/Attache,
  an ICA employee.           He would handle          general       information
  products      and the exchange           of persons      program.
         This “eliminates           the present      echelon    and position      of
 Public     Affairs      Officer      (?SO) a 3 an intermediate         level    between
 the operating         pres s and information-cultural             elements      and
 the embassy’s         top management.          The DC!4 [Deputy      Chief    of
 Hission]      himself       will   henceforth      be exercising     this    coordina-
 ting     and supervisory         role    on behalf     of the amoassacor        * * *.”
  PAXEL RATIOXALE

          The rationale        for the proposed     field      reoraanization
  parallels        that stated     for the proposed       reorganization                of
  tile ilashinaton      headauzr LL?CS.     (See pp. 23 and 10.)
  RZSPONSE OF CRITICS
         The proposal       encounters    the argument   noted a%ove,
 that    tSe infotmat:on        product   pactekes  of both policy    and
 general    characteristics          in ways often  impossible   to disen-
 tangle.
            Other       objections           cited    are   that:
            --It        dis:urbs     an arrangement     abroad      aainst     which
                   there     appear   to be few major complaints             and which
                   the Tanel itself        describes    as “tt:e    unified     organi-
                   zation      which hea worked      so effectively        in the field
                   for over twenty       years.”

                                                     25
                   --It          raises      possibilities            of “jurisdictional”               con-
                          fusion        and controversy.                The Panel concedes              that
                          assigning          press      functions         to a State          Department
                          officer         and general          information            and cLltLra1
                          functions          to an ICA officer                will     entail     “some
                          ovarlcp         in the cultivation                of ccntacts”          and will
                          f squire        rra high degree           of tact         and managerial
                          skill”        in dovetailing            the work of the two.                 To
                          the extent           that     problems        of jurisdiction             emerge
                          in the field,             critics       argue,       they will         impose a
                          considerable            new coordination                 burden     on the
               .          Deputy        Chief     of Mission.

                   --While     Foreign      Service   Officers    often   do well   in
                      dealing      with   the press,      that work emphasizes
                      professional        skills,    experience,      and interests
                      more likely       to be found       in USIA than in State.
                   --USIA    advised       the National                Security        Council       that
                      a divided      field     operation                                                    ,

                               “would    reduce   miss ion effectiveness                in
                               utilizing     and coordinating            .lll   the infor-
                               mation    and culLural        tools      available       in
                               support     of mission       objectives.           The effect
                               of the proposed        reorganization            would be
                               to export     the artificial          division        that  now
                               exists    in Washington.”

                   --Tile    propcsal      runs counter     to what some critics     regard
                       as a promising         new trend   in the management      of U.S.
                       overseas     posts.      According     to a USIA member of the
                      Governing       Bsard of the American        Foreign Service
                      Association,         many U.S. missions
           .
                               “have been doing                away with        the old cate-
                               gorization          of personnel            and function       which
                               often      inhibited          effective        operations.        -Dress
                               and information               offices       have b en merged,
                               programm’ng            divisions         have been created
                               which eiiminate               the old and misleading
                               distinctions             between       information         and cul-
                               tural      activities.             As a resul’,        a more co-
                               herent       and fully          orchestrats2d        program    has
                               begun to take shape at many of our key
                               overseas        posts.”
                          Thus, what         the        Panel called  the unified  USIS field
                          organization             is    now being ever more closely   inte-
                          grated.

                                                             26




__ __-..
           --It        overlooks         an aspect       of the country-team             concept,
                  under which the ambassador,                     as principal       policy
                  spokesman         abroad , norma1J.y establishes                 a close
                  working       and supervisory            relationship        with    the
                  Public      Affairc        Officer,      Political      Officer,       Press
                  Attache,        or whomever          he may designate          to help him
                  perform       that     function.        This tends to reinforce
                  State’s       position         as foreign       policy    advocate      and
                  to that       extent       obviates      the Panel’s        concern      that
                  policy      articulation            by USIA officers         might     be less
                  authoritative            than it should            be.
    OUR OBSERVATIONS
\   -        We agree with       those who believe           that   the proposed
t   realignment        of functions       in U.S. overseas          missions   would
    fragment     field     operations,        open the way to confusion           and
    coctroversy        over the assignment            of responsibilities,        and
    to that     extent     reduce     the effectiveness           of present   arrange-
    ments.      We believe       closer     integration        of information     and
    cultural     programs      in the overseas          missions       should be
    encouraged.




                                                  27                                                .


                                            0
                                       CHAPTER 5
                                VOICE OF AMERICA

PANEL PROPOSAL

        The Panel recommends              that    the      Voice of America       be
made a separate           agency outside          of      both State    and the
information-cultural              agency,      though        “closely   linked”     to
both.      VOA would be supervised                by      a “board    of overseers”
consisting        of the proposed           Deputy        Under Secretary       of State
for Policy        Information,        the Director             of ICA, and three
private     citizens        appointed       by the        President.

         State’s       interest        in effective           policy      articulation          and
advocacy        would be protected                 under this        arrangement         by
making the Department                  itself        and its proposed            new Office        of
Policy       Information          “directly          responsible        for explaining           and
articulating           U.S. foreign            policy     over the Voice”              and giving
the Department’s              spokesmen          “direct      and unqualified            access
to broadcast           time."         The material          for the Department’s
contribution           to VOA prsgraming                would be prepared              by those of
VOA’s worldwide              English       writers       who would be transferred                  to
State      for that        purpose.         The Department’            s interest         in VOA
operations         would be further               protected         by csntinuing           the
“assigniient         to key Voice positions                   of foreign         service
officers        who have served              extensively          in the areas to which
their      sectors       of VOA are reg.ularly                broadcasting.”              (ICA’s
interest         in “the portrayal              of American          society”        would be
served       by providing           for ICA guidance              to VOA’s writers.)
PANEL BATIOEUALE
        As the purveyor          of poliqr      information,          the Panel notes,
VOA would logically            be locatec       in State.         As a general
information         medium,    the Voice       qould logically            belong     to the             .
prOpOSed      Information        and Cclltcral       Affairs      Agency.        B;lt VOA
is also a broadcaster              of straight       news, and “the           necessity
of freedom        from Government         control     dictates        an indeDendent
status.     ” Placing       VOA in the State          Department          o- keeping
it in ICA would “severely               compromise         its  independence           as
a source      of news” and "make            it extremely        difficult        to carry
out the function          entrusted       to the other         body.”
        The Panel argues          that  these arrangements          would Dut
policy      articulation       back in State       where they feel       it
exclusively          belongs,   would protect       the objectivity         of WA’s
news broadcasting           , and “would    permit     the VOA to function         as
a credible         medium. ”


                                              28
_RGS?ONSEOF CXTTTCS
      Critics     appear generally      agreed that the Panel's case
for the importance       of reliable,      objective     news reporting
bv the Voice is in itself         unexceptionable,        for suc!~ empha-
s'ls does reflect     America's     “ideological      anpeal" as a
defender     of the free flow of information           ;nd is essential
to the maintenance       of credibility       and listenership,
        The implied elevation           af news to top nriority               in the
Government's       scale of values for SroadcPsting                   raises two
questions:        whether it can be justified               on policy       grounds
and whether it accurately             reflects       the Government's           intent.
So far as intent         is concerned,        there does not appear to be
a clear    basis     for assigning       priority       to any of VOA's three
functions.        The Foreign      Relations       kuthoritaticn         Act, fiscal
year 1977, lists         those functions          without     specifying        their
priority:       to provide     reliable       news, project         significant
American thought and institutions,                   and present U.S. policies.
       All     three functions     appear widely recognized    as comple-
mentary       and as indispensable     to effective  Government broad-
casting.        They can also be, the Panel rightly       notes,
 inherently      conflicting.       As former       USIA Director      Iieogh has
acknowledged,         "comprehensive      news coverage is sometimes not
the best diplomacy.           ” Questions     critics     raise are: Khen a
conflict     arises,       how is it to be resolved          and by when?       In
most instances          noted, diplomatic      imperatives        se= to have
prevailed      over th? principle         of journalistic         independence.
TO what extent          have such episodes undermined the credibilty
of VOA's news reporting?              khat circumstances,           if any, might
justify     State Department        interference        in VOA's selection        or
treatnent      of broadcast      material?
        Critics     of this proposal      argue that the voice of
America and the independent            commercial press are notably
different.         VOA is sponsored by the U.S. Government,                               .
financed       by the taxpayer,     and billed     as "the" Voice CL
America.        Its personnel    overseas travel      on official  or dip-
lomatic      passports,    are privy to embassy br ieffngs,       have
access to classif ied information,             and enjoy the orotection
and advantages of official           status.     Its niss ion is not only
to report       and analyze   the daily neiss but to “present       a bal-
anced and com?rehinsiqe          projection     of signif icant Anlerican
thought       and institutions”        and to     “present     the   policies
of the       United  States
                        clearly   and effectively.”         Undoubtedly
most of its listeners    perceive   it as an instrumentality
of the U.S. Government.       (It has been noted in this con-
nection   that changes in programing     content     or en?hasis
may be interpreted    by foreign   governments      as diplomatic
“signals.   “)
                                         29
           ‘.
    :


                                                                           --_




           The Panel's     proposal,    some critics     argue, would put
    VOA in a position        t3 retain   all its present speciai         ad-
    vantages and to act more independently              of--that    is, less
    responsively      to-- the overseas interests        of the United States
    as perceived      ty th( Department      of State.       The question     here
    is not one of loyalty         but of judgment--whether,         in the
    event of disagreement,         it is to be the judgment of an
    independent     Government board numerically           dominated by private
.   citizens     or that of the Policymakers         that prevails.       In
    its official      cotnment last year, the State Department concluded
    that the present       arrangement    for VOA "is highly        advisable
    Ehatever decisions         are reached on the Panel‘s        other proposals."
           There are a number of addition.31 considerations                      cited
    by critics   of the proposal to make VOA independent:
          --It    leaves large uncertainties     as to how policy      infor-
              mation (the State Department "cor,nercial"         as some
              have dubbed it) uould be integrated        into broadcasting
               schedules,    who would control  programing,     what "direct
               and unqualified    access to broadcast    time" would
               mean in practice,    and how responsive     'she new management
               would be to the needs of the DepartTent         and other
               agencies.
           -It      is questionable      whether the State Department
              would prove able KO produce t5e necessary stream of
              policy       news and analysis    in timely    fashion.     In the
              words of Edmund A. Gullion,          Dean of the Fletcher
              School of Law end Diplomacy,           retired    Foreign Service
              Officer,        and a di ssenting  member of the Panel, "the
              difficulties        that might arise in trying        to reconcile
              fast moving news coverage with Department clearances
              boggle       the mind. p
          --Assigning       supervision   of VOA to a part-time    Government
                board can be cuestioned,     as at least one experienced
                observer   has suggested,   on the ground    that “an inde-   .
                pendent Board would be a weak reed in time of tro~lble”
                and that the "history     of Government 3oards is not an
                encourag ing one. w
          --A.pooin.taent       of tfte Board‘s    full-tize       Executive      Director
             anh staff,       assigned to carry out its policy                control      and
             evaluation       tasks,    could readily        lead EC serious
             jurisdictional         conf 1 icts between t:?e aoard and the
             VOA management.           The experience        02 2cciia    Free EUrCDe/
             Radio Liberty        and the Board for International                Broah-
             casting      in this regard is instructive.                 As a GAO
              report     noted 2 years after        the establishment           of the
             Board for International            Broadcasting,          "A basic
                                          30

                                                                                                 t


                                                                   ,
                  difference       exists between    the 5oard and the
                  Radios     over the interpretation        of the Board’s
                  author ity , functions,       and restonsibilities       as
                  set forth      in the Act of 1973.’
           --Independent         status     for VOA could aggravate            a
               tendency      to compete with       other    media at the cost
               of increased        sensat ionalism      and reduced       attent    j on
               to that     part   of VOA’s mandate         calling     Zor “a
               balanced      and comprehensive        projection       of signif-
               icant    American      thought    and institutions.”            r”ormer
.
               USIA Director        Keogh,     in commenting        cn the proposal,
               stated    thi..t this     could lead VOA to
                       “projjr?ct     too little        of the basic,     long-range
                       side of American          life     and too much of the
                       transitory.        The result         could well     be a situ-
                       ation      in which American          taxpayers’     money
                       would be spent          on a broadcasting         service
                       which would devote             too much of its time
                       telling      the rest     of the world         the worst
                       about America.”

           --It        is possible          that    implementing          this     proposal
                  would require          a substantial            increase        in funding
                  and personnel         . The Panel be1 ieves that                     “VOA
                  will     remain    virtually          intact      under its new Board,
                  inheriting       only a few USIA administrative                         officers
                  already      accustomed         to handling          Voice affairs.”
                  USIA officials            have concluded,            however,        that     to
                  set -3 the support              elements        now provided           by USIA--
                  for example,          R budget       and finance          unit,      administrative
                  services,       sectlrity       office,       training,         audience        researcn,
                  inspection       and audits,            leg;,1 services,           the new
                  Executive       Diret:tor      , and *a secretariat--would                    require
.                 a net increase            of 100 peo;?le and add some $4 mi!.lron
                  to the present            operating        costs.

    --OUR OBSZRVATIONS
            Advocates        of independence          for VOA often     cite      the British
    Broadcasting          Corporation’s       External     Services,      which has its
    own governing          board,      as the model to be emulated.                 On the
    other     hand,     it has been noted that            while     the BRC has a
    deserved      reputation         for journalistic        integrity,       that    dces
    not mean that          its overseas       broadcasting        is insensitive         to
    foreign      policy      considerations        or unresponsive        to Foreign
    Off ice guidance.            As USIA Director         Reinhardt     testified
    recently8


                                                    31
                                “The BBC has operated                for many years       under general
                                British      traditions.           In structure,      it is quite
                                different,        obviously,         from our own. In actual
                                operation,         the BBC is also cognizant              of British
                                foreign     policy.           * * * The tradition         of the Foreign
                                Office     having       lunch    with members of the British
                                Broadcasting          Corporation,         of exchanging      telephone
                                calls,     of discussing           foreign    policy    issues     is the
                                manner in which             they have chosen to do it,             and they
                                do it well :’
                              The principle        of State    Degsrtment     guidance       for VOA
                         ccmmentaries      on U.S. policy      is not in dispute.            During
                         our review,     however,     we noted numerous        complaints       by
                         VOA professionals        against   State    Department     interference
                         in VOA newscasting.
        :                     Some of the State     Department     interventions                    we noted
                     I   did seem open to question.        We believe,       however,                that  there
                         have been and can be situations       in which State’s                      view ought
                         to control.
--              ._

            r
                                 A well-pub1     icize d episode           illustra’ec         the point.         in
                         the days preceding           the evacuation             of Saigon,       VOA was under
                         instructions        to report       only official            statements      of the U.S.
                         Government       and congressional             actions       even though       responsible
                         unofficial       American      comments        about the possibility               of evacu-
                         ation      were being carried           by the commercial            media,      including
;
        I
                         the wire services.             State’s       reasoning         was that     such reports,
    .
                         coming from the U.S. Government                      radio,     would gain greater
                         credence       and in the circumstances                 increase      the danger of
                         panic      among the South Vietnamese,                  with    consequent       risk     to
                         American       and Vietnamese         lives.
                                 Whether    that   would have occurred         or not,      the uncertainty
                          itself   progided      some reason       to err on the side of caution
                         and to give State’s           politi   cal judgment      precedence      over VOA’s.
                         orofessional       concerns.         (we were told    that WA correspondents
                         in Saigon,      azzong the last         to be evacuated,       agglanded     the
                         State    Department      decision.)

                                 The incident       illustrates         an infreauent        but potentially
                         important      situation       that    argues    for maintaining            the present
                         relationshi?        between      VOAt State,       and USIA.        It should,         how-
                         ever p be ernphas izea that            circumstances       justifying          such inter-
                         vent ion are highly           unusual      and the Department’s             prerogative
                         should      be exercised       with    restraint      and in full         atiareness
                         of the need to protect              VOA’s professional           inregrlty.



                                                                   32
        The Panel claims that making VOA independent              "uJould
permit VOA to function        as a credible     medium.”     This appears
to imply that under present arrangements             the Voice lacks
credibility,       although the Panel does not make that asser-
tion.       One test for credibility     is listenership.         kud ience
research conducted by professional          polling     organizations
for USIA and others indicates         that VOA has a substantial
listenership       and in genera 1 competes effectively         with BBC.
        Similarly,     the Panel implies   but does not establish   a
failure     by VOA, operating     from its base in USIA, to satisfy
the needs of the Department of State.           We found no evidence
of serious       or chronic  State Department dissatisfaction
with VOA's performance.
       The reporting        and advocacy of U.S. foreign        policy,
especially       by fast media ar.3 especially         in moments of
international       crisis,    can significantly       affect  the national
interest      for good or ill.        The considerations      outlined
above t in our judgment,         weigh strongly      against disturbing
the present structural          relationship     between VOA, USIA, and
the Department of State.
       New apprcaches to improving VOA's working relationship
with State and USIA should be studied.          Local 1812 of the
American Federation   of Government Employees, for example,
has suggested that VOA should be granted full           authority
over its own Personnel    system, theta a special       oversight
committee should be established      to resolve policy       disputes,
and that the VOA Director     should   be elevated    to USIA Associate
Director   status and to membership on the Agency's Executive
Committee.
       For an institution        charged with duties          that put a
premium on profesLiona1          integrity       but that may prove inher-
ently contradictory        0.1 occasion,       the solution      may well lie
less in organizational          alterations        than in other approaches..
We believe    the answer to the VOA dilemma must depend above
all on a consensus on objectives               and operating      principles
within   the agency and beyond, strong leadership,                   end a
growing tradition       of reasonable         policy   guidance by State
with responsiole       professional        independence     for USIA,
duly supported     by tne President           and the Congress.




                                     33

                             .   I
                                                CHAPTER 6
                          A NE% CHARTER FOR U.S.               PUBLIC     3IPLOtGKV


                      The evidence          reviewed         in the preceding          chapters       led us to
             conclude       that     one of she Panel’s               proposals       (consolidating         the
             cultural       functions         of CU and USIA) would substantially                        &prove
             present      operations;           two others         (merging      the FSO and FSIO
             personnel        classification             categories        and reassigning           USIA’s
             policy      advisory       role)      may have constructive               possibilities
             but require         further        study:       and the remainder,           which contem-
             plate     a major reorganization,                   seem more likely          to hinder
             than to advance ongoing                   efforts      to improve       the efficiency
             -and effectiveness             of U.S. public            diplomacy.
         .           It is the Panel’s              position      not that    the present        sys-
             tem is workina           badly but that            under the proposed        structural
             changes      it “will      work much better            .“  %e are concerned          that,
             on the contrary,            if the recommendations              es a whole were
              implemented,         the system would work less well.                    The “anoma-
             lies”     the Panel would correct                  appear,  with    one exception
              (dual    adxinisttation           of the cultural         programs),      to be innoc-
             uous and n-o& anomalies                at all.       The Panel’s      approach     would
             achieve      a certain        tidiness        on paper at the expense            of arrange-
             ments that        have essentially              met the test     of practicality           and
             performance.
                    To guestion       a particular      set of proposals          for reorgan-
              izing   an institution       is of course       not to imply        a blanket
             endorsement       cf the institution        or to deny the need for
             constant     adaptation     to change.        We believe       that    in the
             case of U.S. public         diplomacy,      certain     nonorganizational
             approaches     to improvement         would prove more promising.              A
             Presidential        Study Commission       on International          Radio
             Broadcasting        under Dr. Milton       Eisenhower       observed     not
             long ago:

                     “Able men of coed will          can make almost         any
                     organizational       arrangement      work:      and con-
                     verselyI      even the finest      organizational
                     arrangements      do not guarantee         efficient
                     and effective      operations.”

                   In the style,       guality,     and impact      of any program,      factors
             other   than organization          may well  play more important        roles.
             Aronq such factors        are caliber,      preparation,      and morale
             of personnel;    clarity       of purpose;     and cesources.




                                                        34




     -
2,
    .




         We believe          that while         some improvement             of U.S. public
diplomacy         can be achieved             through      orgsn..zational         reform,
most of the more promising                      prospects      lie     in other      directions.
These include            efforts       to:      establish      Government-wide            leader-
ship and coordination                  of information          and cultural          programs:
improve        the orienta          ion and training           of partlcipznts            and
practitioners:             refii,->    and more fully          apply present           techniques
for rrogra;n         development           and evaluation;           cisrify     mission,
objectives,          .hilosophy,           and operationa%          guidelines;          and pro-
mote wider         public         understanding,          support,       and involvement.
        Of   those issues,       one that   needs early        consideration
conce:Tns,      as a 1994 GAO report        suggested,       the mission,
goals,     and operating       guidelines     for the conduct          of U.S.
pub1 ic diplomacy.          Development     of a consensus          on this
among those concerned,             both in and out of Golrernment,
would provide       a sounder basis than now exists                 for further
consideration       of organizational         problems      and solutions.
A new “charter”         tgould also facilitate         t.:le proposed      mer,-er
of the information           agency and the Bureau of Educational
and Cultural       Affairs,      since the two agencies           tend to view
matters     of mission       and method differently.

         There is, moreover,               recent      evidence         that     information-
cultural       cbjectives         and methods          are perceived             differently
even within         USIA.       0n Novernier         3, 1976, a public                 statement
endorsed       by nearly        500 USIA employees                called       for “Govern-
ment-wide        agreement        that     the mission          of USIA is not to
manipulate        foreign       attitudes,          but to seek understanding
of American         policy      as well       as the society              and values         from
which     it flows. ’         It acknowledges             that,       “the     basic      task
of USIA has always              been to support             American         foreign        policy,”
and argues        that     the most effective               and appropriate               way to
do this      is bcth “to present               persuasively             the Administra-
tion ‘s policies”            and to communicate               “resDonsible             nonqov-
errxental        opinion,       even though          such opinion            may at ti.mes be ’
critical       of those policies.             ” It adds that,                “To represent
our society         and its values            with     candor       and to enunciate
the policies          of the Government              with precision,               we believe
the proper        mode of discourse               is the dialogue.”
        The staff    groq     calls   for a new USIA charter          based
cn those principles.           It is aqarent       from a 1974 mission
statement     by then Director        Keogh that     these    unexceptionable
principles      are not alien       to the Agency’s      top management.
Much of the Agency’s          and CU’s output      today    reflects     those
principles.        The differences       appear  to be those of degree
and eaphas i s . They say also be in part               semantic.       Nerely
to inject     facts    into a dialogue       is, in one sense,        to

                                             35
                                                                                                           .

                                        .

                                                                                                       c
   ,




“manipulate”        attitudes.       Similarly,      whether    or not
“propaganda”        is reprehensible         depends   entirely     on whether
the term is       taken to Dean the distortion               or merely  the
propagation       of information.

        It is clear,        however,    that    this    divergence     of pcrcep-
tions     among USIA and CU professionals                 is real    and has
implications        for morale       and effectiveness.            The fact   would
suggest      the desirability         of an attempt         by management     and
staff,     of CU as well        as USIA, to develop           a comprehensive
statemert       of mission      and methods       to which      they and the
Congress       could subscribe.
        The Office      of ?lanagement       and 3udget        has taken a
ste? in that       direction.-         In April      1376 it drafted           a
paFer and initiated            discussion       with    the State      Department
and USIA on U.S. public              diplomacy.        The paper,         “Federal
Government      abjectives        for Information          dnd   Cultural        Pro-
grams, w was in part           a response       to the Yanel report,              which
OK3 staff    criticize         for having       failed     to relate        its pro-
posed structural          changes      to a clear       conception        of U.S.
objectives.
        Further      efforts     in that    d!rection      wouici   be ap,gro-
priate.       There will       always     be discrepancies         between      theory
and practice;         however P a comprehensive            charter     defining
misszon,      objectives,        and procedures       would provide         a
useful     frame of reference           for those     concerned       with    the
organization,         conduct.     and evaluaticn        of U.S. public
diplomacy.




                                          36
L
        *




      RF?ENDIX I                                                        APPEX'LIX I

                     PRIXCIFAL     OFFICIALS      CONCERNED KIT'5
                     THE SUBJXT
                           --           IfATTER OF TFIIS REPgRiT


                                                        Tenure     of   office
                                                        From                     To
                                                                                 -
                              DEPART!lENT OF STATE
        SECRZTARY OF STATE
            Cyrus R. Vance                            Jan.    1977         Present
            Henry A. Kissinger                        Sept.   1973         Jan.       1977
* .
        ASSIST.AY2 SECRETARY F3R
          EDUCATIO??AL AXD CULTURAL
          AFFAIRS
            Joseoh D. Duffey                Apr.  1977                     Present
            William  K. Hitckock           (acting)
                                            Jan.  1977                     Apr.    1977
            John Richartison,   Jr.         July  1969                     Jen.    1977
                                               .
                      WITED STATES INF3RWATION AGENCY
        DIRECTOR
            John    E. Reinhacdt                      Mar.    1977         Present
            Eugene P. Xopg (actir.9)                  Nov.    1975         I*!a1:. 1977
            James    Kcogh                            Feb.    1973         Nov.    1376




                                            37




                                    .