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NYT: Some leaks show good handling by State Dept.

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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-10 10:47 AM
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NYT: Some leaks show good handling by State Dept.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/weekinreview/05wikile...

Interesting take.


Cables Depict Range of Obama Diplomacy
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: December 4, 2010


BEIJING Barack Obama came to office vowing to restore engagement talking and listening to Americas most troubling adversaries and reluctant partners as a central feature of American foreign policy. But engagement can take many forms, from friendly to wary, nave to cunning, and it was never quite clear how the term would translate from a campaign sound-bite to a practical approach to the world.

Now we know, from the granular picture of engagement-in-action that emerges from that trove of 250,000 WikiLeaks cables, many from the first 13 months of the Obama presidency. Mr. Obamas style seems to be: Engage, yes, but wield a club as well and try to counter the global doubts that he is willing to use it.

The cables suggest that Mr. Obamas form of engagement is a complicated mixture of openness to negotiation, constantly escalating pressure and a series of deadlines, some explicit, some vague. In the cables, the administration uses all of these tools to try to prevent the mullahs in Iran from dragging out an endless series of feints and talks until they have a bomb. The July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan is a whip to get President Hamid Karzai to train his troops so that the United States can start to leave. This policy is tailored to the needs of a new president trying to demonstrate that he is neither too inexperienced nor too soft to face the menaces of the world. In a handful of cases, the approach shows some early signs of success. But in dealing with some of the worlds most intractable governments from the Middle Kingdom to the Middle East Mr. Obama inevitably hits some real-world limitations.

In Russia, the policy of engagement yielded results. The cables tell a fascinating tale of intelligence-sharing on missile threats, with reasoned debates about what the Iranians and the North Koreans are capable of building. The cable traffic hints at horse trading: The Obama administration killed a missile defense site in Poland, seemingly to win Moscows support for sanctions on Iran.

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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-10 05:29 PM
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1. The leaks of Wiki are actually portraying this administration in a GOOD light??
Please GOD don't tell GD, FDL and the rest of the whining prigressives. :rofl: :applause: :applause:

"The cables suggest that Mr. Obamas form of engagement is a complicated mixture of openness to negotiation, constantly escalating pressure and a series of deadlines, some explicit, some vague. In the cables, the administration uses all of these tools to try to prevent the mullahs in Iran from dragging out an endless series of feints and talks until they have a bomb. The July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan is a whip to get President Hamid Karzai to train his troops so that the United States can start to leave. This policy is tailored to the needs of a new president trying to demonstrate that he is neither too inexperienced nor too soft to face the menaces of the world. In a handful of cases, the approach shows some early signs of success. But in dealing with some of the worlds most intractable governments from the Middle Kingdom to the Middle East Mr. Obama inevitably hits some real-world limitations."


So in other words, the leaks show that the Obama admin is doing its damn job and doing a pretty good job of it too. Here in Australia, there has been a ton of uproar over new leaks that show US embassy officials calling former PM Kevin Rudd a "control freak" and "micromanager." Wow, talk about heavy hitting stuff. :eyes: Rudd was usurped by current PM Gillard earlier this year who turned around and almost lost the election because of voter anger at the way that she and the Labor party tossed Rudd out so unceremoniously.

I'm as distressed as anyone about the information that Clinton "requested" diplomats to spy on the UN and foreign diplomats. But other than that, the stuff being leaked seems to unintentionally show a US diplomatic corps that is professional and competent. That's not a bad thing from where I sit. :)
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-08-10 03:24 PM
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-08-10 11:52 PM
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3. thank you for posting this, treestar. nt
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