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U.S. National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication

Published June 2007


National Strategy

U.S. National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication

This strategy resulted from a year-long effort led by Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Karen Hughes. It provides a plan for diplomats and other government officials to communicate directly to citizens of a country, not just its officials. It is the first national strategy for public diplomacy and was released in June 2007.


The strength, success and security of the United States of America rest on our commitment to certain fundamental values and principles. These values gave birth to our nation, and govern our actions in the world. We believe all individuals, men and women, are equal and entitled to basic human rights, including freedom of speech, worship and political participation. While the forms of government will vary, we believe all people deserve to live in just societies that protect individual and common rights, fight corruption and are governed by the rule of law. Across the world, America seeks to work with other governments and nations in a spirit of partnership that supports human dignity and fosters peace and progress.

The National Security Strategy of the United States establishes eight national security objectives:

  • To champion human dignity;
  • To strengthen alliances against terrorism;
  • To defuse regional conflicts;
  • To prevent threats from weapons of mass destruction;
  • To encourage global economic growth;
  • To expand the circle of development;
  • To cooperate with other centers of global power; and
  • To transform America’s national security institutions to meet the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century.

Public diplomacy and strategic communication should always strive to support our nation’s fundamental values and national security objectives. All communication and public diplomacy activities should:

  • Underscore our commitment to freedom, human rights and the dignity and equality of every human being;
  • Reach out to those who share our ideals;
  • Support those who struggle for freedom and democracy; and
  • Counter those who espouse ideologies of hate and oppression.

The United States Government seeks to partner with nations and peoples across the world in ways that result in a better life for all of the world's citizens. As a multicultural nation founded by immigrants, America respects people of different cultures, backgrounds and faiths. We seek to be a partner for progress, prosperity and peace around the world.
We have established three strategic objectives to govern America’s public diplomacy and strategic communication with foreign audiences:

I. America must offer a positive vision of hope and opportunity that is rooted in our most basic values.

These values include our deep belief in freedom, and the dignity and equality of every person. We believe all people deserve to live in just societies that are governed by the rule of law and free from corruption or intimidation. We believe people should be able to speak their minds, protest peacefully, worship freely and participate in choosing their government. We want all people, boys and girls, to be educated, because we know education expands opportunity and we believe those who are educated are more likely to be responsible citizens, tolerant and respectful of each other’s differences. We want to expand the circle of prosperity so that people throughout the world can earn a living and provide for their families. America has long been a beacon of hope and opportunity for people across the world and we must continue to be that beacon of hope for a better life.

II. With our partners, we seek to isolate and marginalize violent extremists who threaten the freedom and peace sought by civilized people of every nation, culture and faith.

We can achieve this goal by:

  • Promoting democratization and good governance as a path to a positive future, in secure and pluralistic societies;
  • Actively engaging Muslim communities and amplifying mainstream Muslim voices;
  • Isolating and discrediting terrorist leaders, facilitators, and organizations;
  • De-legitimizing terror as an acceptable tactic to achieve political ends; and
  • Demonstrating that the West is open to all religions and is not in conflict with any faith.


III. America must work to nurture common interests and values between Americans and peoples of different countries, cultures and faiths across the world.

Far more unites us as human beings than divides us. Especially at a time of war and common threats, America must actively nurture common interests and values. We have shared interests in expanding economic opportunity, promoting peaceful resolution of conflicts, enhancing scientific collaboration, fighting diseases that respect no border, and protecting our common environment. A cornerstone of American policy and public diplomacy must be to identify, highlight and nurture common interests and values.

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