Global Communications, United States Office
President George W. Bush created the Office of Global Communication (OGC) through executive order in January, 2003. The OGC, a White House office, is headed by the deputy assistant to the president for Global Communications. The OGC's mission is to shape and disseminate news and information about the United States in areas of the world with high anti-American sentiments.
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, American observers noted that anti-American sentiment was widespread in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and other parts of the world. The Bush administration established the OGC to decrease the fervor and prevalence of these sentiments by thoroughly and clearly explaining the foreign policy and values of the United States. The OGC not only endeavors to explain the positions of the United States, it will also seek to actively encourage open dialogue between the United States and its detractors. The Bush White House established the OGC to provide a united voice for spreading America's message.
The OGC replaced and expanded the operations of the Coalition Information Center (CIC), which distributed information to the press in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Unlike the CIC, the OGC focuses on more than military operations. In many respects, the OGC is an office to market all facets of American policies and life to the world. The OGC's does not focus solely on countries that have a negative image of the United States. The Bush administration also uses the OGC to coordinate the formulation and dissemination of positive information on U.S foreign policy to American allies in Europe.
The OGC accomplishes its objectives through several means, including sending out daily talking points to reporters around the world. The OGC also arranges interviews for American representatives on foreign language television networks. In 2003, before and during the war in Iraq, the OGC placed American officials including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on Al-Jazeera and other Arabic language networks to advocate America's stance against Iraq.
Critics argue that the OGC's spin is not well received in parts of the world already hostile to the United States. The Bush administration, however, argues that the OGC will continue to play an important role in the administration's efforts to reduce anti-American sentiment, even though such a project may take years to produce substantial results.
█ FURTHER READING:
United States Office of Global Communications. < http://www.whitehouse.gov/ogs > (May 9, 2003).