Bob Woodward came across a memo from U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld while researching State of Denial. The May 1 memo, Illustrative New 21st Century Institutions and Approaches, contained this thought:
Strategic communications . . . A new U.S. agency for global communication could serve as a channel to inform, educate and compete in the battle for ideas. . . .
Today the centers of gravity of the conflict in Iraq and the global war on terror are not on battlefields overseas. Rather, the center of gravity of this war are on the centers of public opinion in the U.S. and in the capitals of free nations. The gateways to those centers are the international media hubs and the capitals of the world. [Ayman al-] Zawahiri has said that 50 percent of the current struggle is taking place in the arena of public information. That may be an understatement. Osama bin Laden, Zawahiri, [Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi had media committees that consistently outpace our ability to respond. When the U.S. government tries to compete in the communications arena it runs up against lack of national consensus and understanding about what means are acceptable to the media and to the Congress and disagreements as to what is legal. …
Hmmm. A “new U.S. agency for global communication could serve as a channel to inform, educate and compete in the battle for ideas. …” I’ve got it: Privatize and go with Fox News World!