With more revelations coming out every day, the latest WikiLeaks stunt will stay in the news for some time to come. But what really came out of these leaks? Any surprises, any shocks or just glorified diplomatic gossip? And what effect will it have on world affairs in the months and years to come?
ISN’s editorial staff reacts:
WikiLeaks reminded us of how ugly war is with the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs. Now they shed light on diplomatic practice, which turns out to be less diplomatic than we thought. After having dishonored warriors and undressed diplomats, who will WikiLeaks target next? Business executives, says Julian Assange, and it is only fair that corporate wrongdoers will have to pay their share. And then, whose turn will it be after? The NGOs, I assume, because it would surprise me if they didn’t have anything to hide.
– Ralph Stamm
The latest collection of documents released by WikiLeaks makes for exciting reading. The cache of diplomatic cables contains a bunch of juicy exploits of the sort usually found in gossip columns. Yet that’s exactly the reason why their publication should not be supported. To a disturbing degree, their release is like stealing the diary of the most popular girl in school and posting it on the Internet. It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the public’s curiosity, while embarrassing the officials in Washington and across the world. However, it is part of the nature of human communication that one doesn’t always say the same thing to every audience. Therefore, if we are interested in the existence of a diplomatic corps, it must be allowed to operate without fear of humiliation. By turning into the world’s new diplomatic gossip channel, Wikileaks has lost both its credibility and its integrity.
– Joav Ben-Shmuel » More
A view of South America / Photo: Peter Ito, flickr
The ISN looks south to start the new year: South America that is. Our theme this week, South America’s Power Puzzle, examines the geopolitical, ideological and security issues the continent is tackling. We start with Markus Schultze-Kraft’s Tackling the Andean Security Dilemma, in which he focuses on the challenges the Andean states face and explains why they shouldn’t bear the task alone.
Senior ISN Security Watch correspondent for Latin America Samuel Logan shifts the focus to Brazil in the latest edition of ISN Podcasts, shining a light on the geopolitical struggle of Latin America’s largest country.
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A highway in Kuwait City / Photo: Fawaz Al-Arbash, flickr
This week we’re highlighting the shifting diplomatic ties between the US and the Gulf states and the linkages between these monied monarchies and East Asia, starting with our Special Report, Gulf States Go Global, where Phillip McCrum argues that the US’ declining influence in the area has allowed regional players to stretch their diplomatic muscles. Because of this shift, according to Christopher M Davidson, not only are regional actors asserting themselves, East Asia is also becoming a major player.
In keeping with our theme, also check out The Consolidation of Gulf-Asia Relations: Washington Tuned In or Out of Touch? from the Middle East Institute in our Policy Briefs.
By the way, the Gulf Cooperation Council Charter in our Primary Resources section makes for good reading too.
We’re featuring the Gulf states throughout the ISN website this week, so be sure to check your RSS feeds, subscribe to our Twitter feed and join our Facebook fan page.
Peres Center for Peace soccer game, Israeli and Palestinian coaches / photo: WrenB, flickr
It’s one of the oldest and most controversial conflicts in history: The Israeli-Palestine Conflict. We’re dedicating this week to examining the issue, presenting views from all sides.