Saturday, July 8, 2017

United States: Forging US Response To Russian Soft Power And Gangster Capitalism In Africa

uncaptioned image from article
The values that make the United States a beacon of hope for people around the world must be upheld and advertised through enhanced international public diplomacy and sustained humanitarian assistance. ...
In response to the challenges of Russian soft power aggressiveness and the rise of gangster capitalism in Africa, the United States should:
Redouble health, education and good governance assistance carried out by United States Agency for International Improvment [sic] (USAID), and publicize the difference this assistance is making in the lives of real people across the African continent. In other words, an effort should be made to go beyond USAID’s impact in terms of money spent to illustrating the human impact of this assistance. Improvements in health and education are as well critical to the emergence and sustaining of open societies.
Strengthen the public diplomacy outreach of the U.S. government to counter the anti-American, anti-democratic narratives promoted by Russian propaganda. During the Cold War, the presently defunct United States Data Agency [sic; on the United States Information Agency, see] used to play this role, and a similar organization should be created to present an alternative narrative of the United States to the world. In this sense, we are in full agreement with former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who has called for establishment of “USIA on steroids.”
 Revitalize the Fulbright Hays program to increase research and teaching opportunities for American and African professors and students; provide generous scholarship to African students with a stress on providing opportunities based on merit rather than focusing on the children of the elites.
Create a Voice of Africa dedicated to the promotion of open societies; this new media outlets should have a strong social media and television presence
Strengthen the National Endowment for Democracy in its efforts to promote good governance and expose corruption
Through strengthened international agreements and investigative authorities, increase accountability for Russian national-owned corporations, businesses of oligarchs and their second-country subsidiaries that engage in illegal activities and violate international norms of ethical business behavior
Fund research to understand the extent and nuance of Russian soft power initiatives with the objective of countering its anti-American and anti-democratic narratives. ...

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