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Moira Whelan @moira
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I know the world is on fire, but I need to draw your attention to a fast one being pulled at @statedept.
I have ranted before about the proposed merger of PA and IIP and. Going to do it again, because it is happening at a time when the global information playing field is only getting more dangerous.
To those who need a refresher, Public Affairs (PA) is America's global microphone on news. International Information Programs (IIP) educates the world about American values like civil liberties and human rights. Sounds pretty similar, doesn't it?
The missions are complimentary, and as the global news environment has changed, the organizations have not kept up. They even use some of the same tools: social media, video cameras...but they aren't the same.
PA--when it is allowed to work--moves pretty fast sharing information. IIP tells stories. We need both of these tools. Right now, Pompeo is notifying Congress he is shrinking them into one unit.
This is a debate that has raged for years. My position? No merger unless you can demonstrate that outcomes will improve. The reason? You will still need separate teams. But that's just logistics...
We live in a time when democracy is under fire. Attitudes toward the US are getting worse every day. This move will further silence our voice to the world: less money, fewer spokespeople, less focus on the big picture thematic issues.
Maybe all the rumors are wrong and this isn't being forced down everyone's throat with zero intellectual or policy backing, but I struggle to find what that is. Just like the other proposed mergers and reductions in the foreign policy space, it means less diplomacy, not more.
A few things can happen: resist this and other mergers until there is a hearing, a QDDR, or something. Wait until leadership is in place to sensibly implement these ideas. Congress can do all of this and more.
And sorry for the delay. I went into a Twitter vortex...
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