The way you institutionalize these capabilities is probably not to recreate or repopulate instutions of the past such as USAID or USIA. On the other hand just adding more people to existing government departments such as Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce, Justice and so on is not a sufficient answer either. Even if they were to be more deplyable overseas. New institutions are needed for the 21st Century. New organizations with a 21st Century mindset.
For example, Public Relations was invented in the United States, yet we are miserable at communicating to the rest of the world what we are about as a society and a culture, about freedom and democracy, about our policies and our goals. It is just plain embarrassing that al Qaeda is better at communicating its message on the internet than America. As one foreign diplomat asked a couple of years ago, how has one man in a cave managed to out-communicate the world’s greatest communications society?
Speed, agility and cultural relevance are not terms that come readily to mind when discussing U.S. Strategic Communications.
That part starts at 36:26 on your RealPlayer feed. The War Lord of Argghhh! was in the audience and thinking about me while SECDEF said that.
I’ve lived through some history myself, but my memory holds no recollection of a Secretary of Defense seeking funding for OGA’s. He has seen how low-speed, high-drag, lackadaisical route-step InterAgency non-hackers are gumming up the wheels of progress and it sounds like he seriously wants to do something about it. But I’m afraid he’s out of his lane, and the same heroes who think a tour in the IZ is a death sentence will fight the program, unless echelons above SECDEF burn a few pour encourager les autres, which I don’t see happening.