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Chris Niccolls

The Outsourcing of Diplomacy

By September 16, 2013

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The strange developments in the political landscape around Syria often frightening, but sometimes hopeful. At first, we had the US, Syria's government and Syria's armed rebels all "not talking" to to each other, with other countries (such as Russia) also not talking. Then, the US announces that we will begin bombing Syria, and suddenly everyone is talking. But not to each other!

Diplomacy is supposed to be conducted by governments talking to govnments. That's why we build those governmnet buildings, the U.N. in New York, so they can have one on one and group meetings. But with some much "not-talking" and so little time, governements decided to oursource their discussions to commercial services. Russia's head of state, Vladmir Putin, expressed his opinions via the New York Times, and now US Senator John McCain wants to respond via an op-ed piece in Pravda, one of Russia's largest circulation newspapers. McCain accepted an offer to do a blog for Pravda, but this "Pravda" is another unrelated company, rather than Russia's largest newspaper. Consider this a new diplomatic problem for cloud service users.

The Unite Nations has always served a purpose as an intermediary between waring parties. By moving outside of normal diplomatic circles and outsourcing diplomacy to the media, we may have a new "buffer" that allows international diplomacy directly to the people within each country. The next step may be the exchange of tweets between nations, rather than bombs!

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