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Redefining the Relationship: Reclaiming American Public Diplomacy from the US Military in Iraq

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This article traces the US military's foray into public diplomacy (PD) in Iraq since 2003. The military initially assumed PD responsibilities, traditionally a civilian activity, in order to inform the Iraqi people about its wide-ranging reconstruction and development activities. But as the American occupation continued, the military's overwhelming presence throughout the country, its human and financial resources, and its organic transportation and security capabilities assured that it continued to dominate PD activities over the next eight years. As the military completes its withdrawal from Iraq, this article will outline the strengths and weakness of public diplomacy as practiced by the US military, the State Department, and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2012

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