A Diplomacy of neighborhoods

Austin Bay
The Washington Times
November 2, 2007

Diplomats, pack your duffel bags.

And I mean duffel bags, not garment bags. While you’re at it, get a pair of boots. I also recommend several pairs of work gloves and work pants with lots of pockets for cameras, extra batteries, sunglasses and your global cell phone.

Twenty-first century diplomacy isn’t an office job. It is a demanding and, at times, a dangerous trade, one that requires accepting deprivation, running physical risks and hanging out in bad neighborhoods. If this echoes a field soldier’s job description, it’s not a coincidence.

Like it or not, the United States is engaged in a long war over the terms of modernity — will modernity be defined by tyrants, terrorists and religious extremists, or will democratic liberalism defeat them? In this war for wealth creation (economic development) and political maturation, diplomats and skilled civilian agency specialists are soldiers of a type, and to win it means “being out there” in the difficulties.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071102/COMMENTARY/111020112/1012

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