[The author of the following gives a diplomat's viewpoint of the unfolding political contest that is the major component of the terror war and the pipeline war (which may or may not be the same war, even though both are run by the same people). The war upon the people of the earth, called "Globalism," is a brutal campaign to create a capitalist utopia, where only the strong are deemed worthy to survive while the weak and helpless are left on their own. A perfect example of a globalist solution to a local catastrophe, look at Haiti. The "diplomat" is left to deal with the social unrest and the balancing act to maintain America's image afterward. The intensive splitting of the populations into the haves and the have-nots that is caused by globalization, coupled by the cannabalizing of local production, especially food production, to make local facilities part of the global market, intensifies human suffering and anger, thus necessitating "gated communities" to protect those who prosper from the suffering masses who have nothing except the weapons in their hands.
This is all part of Clinton's "intellectual" solution, which tends to leave most of us behind.]
“As the erstwhile global village goes heteropolar, it is coming to resemble something akin to a patchwork of gated communities surrounded by seething seas of shantytowns. As competing sources of power and influence collide, tensions will be generated and sparks will fly. To address the vexing issues arising from the polarizing downside of globalization, knowledge-based problem-solving and complex balancing skills will be foremost.”
By Daryl Copeland
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Asymmetric conflicts are fundamentally political in nature, and require the application of all elements of national power. Success will be less a matter of imposing one’s will and more a function of shaping behaviour—of friends, adversaries, and most importantly, the people in between.
—US Secretary of Defense William Gates, Landon Lecture, 2007
The prevalence of so-called “Three-Block,” “Fourth-Dimension” or “expeditionary” wars of the 21st century, many taking the form of counter-insurgency or “stabilization” campaigns, is refocussing the attention of policy-makers on the role of public affairs and information programs.
These programs are directed typically at both opposing forces and civilian populations. Some take the form of coercive communications such as threats, bribes and blandishments conveyed through strategic communications and psychological operations conducted by the military and intelligence agencies. Others are based on efforts to increase attraction through the use of influence and persuasion involving dialogue, collaboration and exchange, which are the province of public diplomacy.
Among the many voices advocating a re-investment in foreign ministries and the diplomatic function, Mr. Gates has been perhaps foremost amongst them. He has also famously observed that there are more musicians in military marching bands, and lawyers in the Pentagon, than there are diplomats in the State Department.
Gates worries aloud that the simple existence within the military of delivery capacity risks attracting a variety of taskings better undertaken by others. He has even proposed to transfer funds in support of specialized skills—such as diplomacy—available elsewhere in government.
The defense secretary understands that military superiority alone is insufficient to prevail in contemporary unconventional warfare. Other instruments—most related to soft power, economic recovery and the promotion of internal reconciliation, good governance, and the rule of law—can be crucial. In counterinsurgency, as in complex emergencies, such elements are essential in addressing issues which are not amenable to the application of armed force.
When it comes to civil relations, much turns on the ability to communicate cross-culturally, and the conduct of international political communications is central to the mandate of foreign ministries.
Over the past several months, I have had occasion to visit many capitals; most diplomatic practitioners with whom I spoke have also concluded that public diplomacy, whereby practitioners connect directly with populations, is the new diplomacy. Many have also come to terms with Gates’s observation that in conflict zones, “diplomatic space,” “information space” and “battle space” are, for all intents and purposes, one and the same.
The use of communication to support both military and political objectives in conflict zones is not new. What is new, however, is the transformation of the environment in which such communication takes place:
n Contemporary conflicts are highly transparent as a result of 24/7 media coverage, often in real time, and the profusion of non-professional citizen reporters with digital devices and broadband uplinks.
n In counterinsurgency, military and developmental objectives frequently overlap, with the goals of nation-building in a fragile state pursued at the same time as fighting.
The difficulties inherent in adapting to these rapidly evolving circumstances, often in combination with pressing budgetary problems, have diverted discussion in foreign ministries away from a central issue: What does all of this mean for political officers?
This question has become acute because, in an increasing number of locations worldwide, political officers are—or should be—finding themselves on the frontline in conflict zones and at the centre of the security/development nexus.
Two implications in particular stand out.
Under the authority of the Mead of Mission, political officers should function as whole-of-government international policy integrators. That is not anyone else’s job, and desperately needs doing. But that role will be challenging—and likely challenged—in places where diplomats are vastly outnumbered by the military and by representatives of other government departments.
It may also be the easy part.
If they are to be effective, diplomats will, in many countries, have to become much more involved in the process of long-term, equitable and human-centred development, which underpins security. They will require a detailed knowledge of history, advanced language skills and extreme cultural competence. Perhaps most importantly, they will have to spend much more of their time operating not only “outside the bubble,” but outside the wire.
Political officers must be capable of swimming, with comfort and ease, in the sea of the people, and never be seen flopping around like a fish out of water when venturing beyond the chancery.
Absent this quality—more easily learned through ground-level world travel or NGO experience than over years spent in Ivy League colleges—there is no way that foreign ministries will be able to generate vital, granular intelligence about place. This often overlooked aspect is the basis the foreign ministry’s comparative advantage and should be its ace in the hole vis-à-vis competition with other international policy actors.
To be sure, the scale and scope of the re-orientation required represents a tall order for chronically under-valued and desperately under-resourced diplomatic institutions. But there is more, even, than that.
In my book Guerrilla Diplomacy, I have argued that diplomacy, at a time of limited demand for policy initiatives or strategic international advice, has ossified. It has become mainly transactional. Process has become the new substance and, at a time when there is little else to do, endless internal reviews and career advancement tend to become the overarching priorities.
And here is the rub. It is one thing to put more people into the field—that is clearly needed. Yet any new corporate design intended to shift headquarters functions out into the field will almost certainly have the unintended but pernicious effect of forcing those posted abroad to spend even more time in their offices and at their desks. In other words, exactly where they shouldn’t be.
If called upon to write briefing notes, organize visits and provide services not only to travelling Canadians, but also to the increasing numbers of mission staff—over 50 per cent in some embassies—who come from elsewhere in government, there will be precious little time for diplomacy, guerrilla or public.
The world, needs more diplomacy, not more bureaucracy.
The conclusion? As the erstwhile global village goes heteropolar, it is coming to resemble something akin to a patchwork of gated communities surrounded by seething seas of shantytowns. As competing sources of power and influence collide, tensions will be generated and sparks will fly. To address the vexing issues arising from the polarizing downside of globalization, knowledge-based problem-solving and complex balancing skills will be foremost.
From that it follows that diplomats—not soldiers, talented amateurs or well-intentioned volunteers—must lead.
But none of this will matter much if the political officers are chained to their desktops, servicing clients and talking with the like-minded about what might be going on, while outside, hearts and minds are being won—by others.
The views expressed above are purely personal and responsibility for their expression is the author’s alone. Daryl Copeland is the author of Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. He has served as a Canadian diplomat with postings in Thailand, Ethiopia, New Zealand and Malaysia. He is now adjunct professor and senior fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of International Studies and research fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy. For more commentary and information, see http://www.guerrilladiplomacy.com.