The End of Diplomacy As We Know It

Helle Dale /

There is no such thing as secret diplomacy anymore, maybe not even plain old diplomacy. This week’s mammoth WikiLeaks dump of State Department Internet traffic has ensured that henceforth all diplomacy may end up in the public domain at the push of a button.

WikiLeaks is nothing less than an assault on the rights of free, sovereign nations to manage their foreign policy and conduct diplomacy in the interest of a safer world. U.S. national security and ability to be a global leader has suffered as a consequence.

What American diplomats report back to the State Department from U.S. embassies—whether their thoughts are profound and insightful or silly and superficial—may in the future end up in the public domain. Like the cache of e-mail traffic from the field in Afghanistan and Iraq that made up the previous WikiLeaks dump, the most recent dump of over half a million U.S. diplomatic cables represents the raw materials of human relations and observations. (more…)