China is starting an English-speaking television network around the world, Russia is, Al Jazeera. And the BBC is cutting back on its many language services around the world. We’re not competing. I just feel like we’re missing an opportunity. And I’m well aware of our budget constraints and all of the difficulties we face, but now is the time — not in an arrogant way, but in a matter-of-fact experiential way.

–Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: via The Atlantic

Clinton proposed outlining three themes in her interview that guide her thinking. Though she says they are “separate from dealing with nations, dealing with regions, dealing with ideologies,” on reflection, they seem central to the business of diplomacy, government and societies. She was able to share two of them in her interview with Jeffrey Goldberg before being taken irrevocably off track. The two that survived the interview show promise, even though her characterization of her doctrine may not: “my doctrine is the Goldilocks Doctrine — not too hot, not too cold, just right.”

First, “power is diffuse. It’s no longer the province of just governments.”

Second, “the dispersal of power through information that was unimagined a decade ago, let alone 50 years ago,” means that there are many more stakeholders: “if you thought you could just deal with one guy in one country and you could check it off your list of concerns, that’s impossible now.”

Third, if only Jeffrey Goldberg had shared this one with us. It seems a shame that it was lost in the editing of the interview.

Advertisements