Improving the U.S. Public Diplomacy Campaign In the War Against Terrorism

Task Force Report
Analysis and policy prescriptions of major foreign policy issues facing the United States, developed through private deliberations among a diverse and distinguished group of experts.

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United States

Diplomacy and International Institutions

Terrorism and Counterterrorism


America’s ongoing struggle against the perpetrators of the September 11, 2001, attacks has many critical elements. The military campaign in Afghanistan is one; however, another campaign of potentially decisive significance is winning the battle for public support among Muslims around the world. Indeed, if the United States is unable to win the battle for hearts and minds, it may prove impossible to carry its military operations through to completion. America must create an understanding in the Muslim world of its cause and its actions that will give their leaders more flexibility to support the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks.

This 2001 Independent Task Force Report sees the goal of the public diplomacy campaign as the ability of the United States to demonstrate it has a just cause for its actions—a cause outlined as “taking action against those who murdered [Americans] and preventing them from threatening [America] again.” Despite the fact that the United States is the preeminent communications society, it has proven to have great difficulty bringing its resources to bear in this field. Thus, the report, cochaired by Carla A. Hills and Richard C. Holbrooke, strongly urges that the United States further broaden and sharpen the message and the messengers it uses to persuade the peoples of the world of the justness of its cause. 

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United States

Diplomacy and International Institutions

Terrorism and Counterterrorism


Task Force Members

Task Force Members

Stanley S. Arkin, Senior Partner, Arkin Kaplan & Cohen LLP, and Chairman, The Arkin Group, LLC

C. Fred Bergsten, Director, Institute for International Economics

Harold Brown, Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Edward P. Djerejian, Director, The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy

Thomas E. Donilon, Executive Vice President, Law and Policy, Fannie Mae

Kenneth M. Duberstein, Chairman and CEO, The Duberstein Group

Stuart E. Eizenstat, Director of International Trade and Finance, Covington & Burling

Martin S. Feldstein, George C. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University and President and CEO, the National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Richard N. Foster, Partner and Senior Director, McKinsey & Company, Inc.

Orit B. Gadiesh, Chairman of the Board, Bain & Co.

Newton L. Gingrich, Chief Executive Officer, The Gingrich Group

Jamie S. Gorelick, Vice Chair, Fannie Mae

Morton H. Halperin, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Jerome Hauer, Managing Director, Kroll Associates

James A. Johnson, Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC

Elaine C. Kamarck, Lecturer, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Andrew Kohut, Director, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

Marie-Josée Kravis, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc.

Jessica T. Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

M. Ishaq Nadiri, Jay Gould Professor of Economics, New York University

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Philip A. Odeen, Executive Vice President, Washington Operations of TRW, Inc.

Peter G. Peterson, Chairman of the Blackstone Group and Chairman of the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations

Arthur Ross, Vice Chairman, United Nations Association of the U.S.A.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Brent Scowcroft, President, Forum for International Policy

John M. Shalikashvili, Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Security Cooperation, Stanford University and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management

Jessica E. Stern, Lecturer, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Dick Thornburgh, Counsel, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP

Laura D'Andrea Tyson, BankAmerica Dean, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Harold E. Varmus, President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

William F. Wechsler, Vice President, Greenwich Associates

Frank G. Wisner II, Vice Chair, External Affairs, American International Group

R. James Woolsey, Partner, Shea & Gardner

Mona Yacoubian, Independent Consultant

James J. Zogby, President, Arab American Institute

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