March 9's CDP blog contains a thoughtful critique of Judith McHale's new framework for U.S. public diplomacy, calling it unimaginative, narrow and inadequate. Quoting President Obama's famous Cairo speech, in which he said, “It is easier to blame others than to look inward. It is easier to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path,” Philip Seib concludes: "In those words is more common sense about public diplomacy than can be found in the entire 'strategic framework' the State Department has produced. The Secretary of State should tell her department to start over and do better."
It's worth noting that the new framework isn't bad--it's just not very inspiring. Despite a few small cosmetic changes, this new vision isn't particularly visionary. It seems a lot like a spit-polished version of existing practices. But I'd like to reserve judgment until I see what it looks like in practice. It's hard to judge a house by its blueprints, and I'm hoping the realization of U.S. public diplomacy will carry it above and beyond its current foundation.