Military chief: U.S. public diplomacy in Afghanistan flawed 2009-08-29 06:16:40   Print

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. military chief warned in an article published Friday that U.S. public diplomacy efforts in Afghanistan is generally flawed.

    In the latest issue of Joint Forces Quarterly, Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote: "For all the time we spend thinking about how we communicate our actions, we are failing to actually build relationships and convince the majority Afghans not to hate us. The Taliban, on the other hand, are doing pretty well. "

    Mullen also said that U.S. efforts to win over Muslims fall short, too.

    "We hurt ourselves and the message we are trying to send when it appears we are doing something merely for the credit. We hurt ourselves more when our words don't align with our actions," he wrote.

    The admiral pointed out that the biggest problem in U.S. public diplomacy is lack of credibility.

    "Our messages lack credibility because we haven't invested enough in building trust and relationships, and we haven't always delivered on promises," he wrote.

    To solve the problem, Mullen suggested that the U.S. military need to pursue more concrete actions to win trust rather than sending out empty messages.

    The article was published at a time when Pentagon leaders are increasingly aware of communication problems with local people in war zones.

Editor: Yan
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