A billion-dollar-plus spending spree has failed to influence opinions about the United States in the Arab and Muslim world. In fact, the image of America has precipitously declined despite a concerted government effort to create radio pals, teen zines, "Shared Values," and a yet-unseen TV network. What should we do? Spend more money, of course:
The committee found that the State Department spent about $600 million last year on its programs to advocate American policies, and $540 million more for the Voice of America and other broadcast networks.
If the $100 million to expand economic aid in the Middle East is included, the report notes, the total is about three-tenths of a percent of the Defense Department budget.
Senior State Department officials said that they were very pleased with the report and that they hoped it would pave the way for increased financing for these activities.