On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, IWP Founder and President John Lenczowski gave a book lecture for his new book entitled Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy: Reforming the Structure and Culture of US Foreign Policy.
He explained that he was motivated to write this book because he believes that there are many tools of statecraft which have been systematically unused or underused by US national security policymakers. The failure to use these tools is also why he founded the Institute, which has courses on public diplomacy, political warfare, and the other instruments of power.
The use of force prior to an attempt to use all the non-military instruments of power to accomplish one's goals can lead to uncontrollable negative consequences, including feelings of vengeance in places where people have longer memories than we do in America.
Dr. Lenczowski lamented the fact that, since the Reagan administration, the U.S. has been dismantling its public diplomacy capabilities. Their decline continues, he said; right now, the Broadcasting Board of Governors has recommended that the China service of the Voice of America be shut down. Dr. Lenczowski then spoke about the need for public diplomacy and strategic communication. He cited the work of an IWP student who was present at the event, and who had previously set up a highly-effective radio station in Afghanistan because the Taliban had a virtual monopoly over the tribes in the region.
After being asked whether VOA was important in the Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa asked whether there can be life on earth without the sun. Under communism, said Dr. Lenczowski, the worst thing was not necessarily the daily privation, but being starved for truth and fed a diet of lies.
Dr. Lenczowski also explained that a large part of his book deals with the question of how to fix this problem of not using public diplomacy sufficiently. Specifically, in his book, he calls for a public diplomacy agency which encompasses all aspects of USpublic diplomacy and allows for coordination between aid programs and information programs. He also recommended that many ambassadors come from this agency, thus raising the level of professionalism within the agency.
He concluded his lecture with an observation that the U.S. is in a war of ideas with Islamist terrorist ideology - but raised the question of whether or not we have any warriors of ideas.