Thursday, April 1, 2010

'Old' diplomacy needed now more than ever

The Japan Times published an article written by Kenneth Weisbrode, an official at the European University Institute, on April 1, 2010.

“There is much talk in the air — especially in Britain and the United States — about reinventing diplomacy for the 21st century,” said Weisbrode.

I believe my government made me participate in this “New Diplomacy.”

According to Weisbrode, under this new initiative, America would improve “communication across borders and at all levels of society” and in doing so create a “global network of people, institutions and relationships” with America at its center. Weisbrode believed Hillary Clinton and her chief policy planner, Anne-Marie Slaughter, were behind this effort. Weisbrode argued that this initiative was running into trouble.

“Clinton’s global network is already meeting roadblocks, particularly with China,” said Weisbrode. “She is finding out that the old ways of doing business — treaties, ambassadors, demarches, alliances and the rest — may be useful after all.”

Weisbrode said that the world needed diplomats now more than ever.

Later on in the year, someone – I believe it was the Japan Times – published an article about the failure of the New Diplomacy. Interestingly, I can’t find that article now. Furthermore, I remember that a European wrote an article about how – with the New Diplomacy gone – the world would go back to its old alliances. I can’t find that article either. The only article I could find was an article that argued that the world should not go back to its old alliances. That isn’t the article I’m thinking of. It does seem to me that Europe, more than America, is very interested in either changing or removing some articles and videos that are very damaging to its image.

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