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Hurd then takes that all the way through to the post-millennium age — you have to choose whether you think principle comes first, or circumstance comes first.


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One of the Amazon reviews said it was a real page-turner. Is it a very engaging read?


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He tells plenty of lovely stories in the diplomatic arena. The clarity of what he is saying comes through particularly strongly at the end. Yes, there were a large number of people who were very angry about the principle of going to war in Iraq at all — but, actually, if Iraq had been well handled after the invasion, and it was clear that the state of Iraq and the life of its people was improving as a result of what we had done, a lot would have been forgiven around the decision to go to war with or without the necessary legitimacy.

It is mainly composed of interviews with soldiers and civilians working on the ground in Iraq, members of the US Armed Forces and Iraqis, people in the Coalition Provisional Authority. As these interviews and anecdotes accumulate, the book shows how difficult it was for people on the ground to try to make sense of the Iraq mission they had been set when their principals back home did not seem to understand the mission or devote the right resources to it, or correct early mistakes soon enough for them not to become existential mistakes for the mission in Iraq.

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You get a better and more accurate sense of that from Fiasco than from any other book written within five years of the invasion in The mission was wrongly set and the resources were wrongly allocated. And the magnificent work that was done was largely wasted, and lives with it — both the lives of Iraqis and of outsiders. I think the legal grounds were thin, but just about bearable, but the political legitimacy —the degree of support we had internationally — was not broad enough to get the feeling we were doing something on behalf of a wider community, and therefore the legitimacy was lost, which was a mistake that mattered more to the UK than to the US.

But the planning and execution of the post-invasion stage could have been much more effectively done. We could have had a chance of being successful in Iraq at a much earlier stage than now. What has happened is that the political process has held good in Iraq, but the security and the economic and social development of Iraq has been much, much too slow. It does take that long to turn a country around — the same is true for Afghanistan and any other country we try and mend.

This is a book about the UN, which is the only diplomatic mission on which I still do a good deal of talking and retirement diplomacy. I chose this to give the general reader an idea of what the UN is like after the Cold War.

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Hannay tries to explain what the UN does well and what it does less well. The UN and the governments are the same agency, in the political and inter-governmental sphere. Lots of international things happen without you or me knowing about them, or understanding the way states work together in all their machinery. David Hannay brings this out and reminds us that we have reached a higher level of collectivism in this era of mankind, the post-Cold War era, than ever before, but there are still huge flaws in the capacity of our international institutions to deal with all our problems without reform.

You can see that over climate change now, after Copenhagen, that is a follow-on subject from what David Hannay is saying. Nation states and the governments themselves are not putting enough investment into the multilateral machinery to ensure that there is lubrication for global peace and security and global relationships, and economic exchange into the future. You alluded to it earlier, but do you want to add anything about the relevance of diplomacy in the modern age?

Yes, I do, because I think the UK is under-investing in diplomacy and as a result is much more likely to need its armed forces, which are also reducing in number as we speak. Because power always has to be brokered between centres of power — to avoid wars and to come to arrangements and compromises, preferably in a constructive rather than a zero-sum way. And it is the judgments, the negotiation skills, the understanding, the analysis which you get from your diplomatic service as a government, which make that possible. You cannot get that degree of quality from the internet or from the media, from the private citizen or from the corporate sector.


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In addition to requiring courses in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of History, the interdisciplinary program will provide students with the opportunity to take applicable classes from politics and other social sciences, as well as those exploring particular regions of the world, such as Near Eastern studies and East Asian studies.

Students of any major may pursue the certificate. The program will offer a summer internship with an appropriate government agency or NGO. Birkelund is a co-founder of and senior advisor to Saratoga Partners, an independent, New York-based merchant banking firm that pursues investments in United States-headquartered companies that it believes have opportunities for enhanced growth and productivity.

His gift was inspired by his interests in the complex interplay among history, diplomacy, policy, and culture. These pamphlets were notably unpolemical—their propaganda value lay in the fact that they provided mostly good news from the perspective of the French monarch. Shaaber, Some Forerunners of the Newspaper , —5. View all notes For the Protestant opposition—whether it were the Huguenots in France, the Calvinists in the Dutch Revolt, or the Puritans in the English Revolution—such official channels were unavailable, and print was even more important to disseminate their view.

In the Dutch Revolt, when the rebels initially could not dispose of a diplomatic network certainly not one that matched the status of their adversary print might even be said to have replaced diplomacy, since in the absence of a network of representatives, the rebels sought to gain foreign support by way of their publications. For opposition groups such as the Dutch rebels, non-governmental agents were vital to getting their message across.

Diplomats maintained close ties to migrant communities, who were both subjects of their propaganda, and instruments of spreading it.

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Confessional networks also did much to enhance the impact of public diplomacy. Thus, when William III employed the Huguenot Pierre du Moulin to argue against the inter-Protestant Third Anglo-Dutch War, he built on a long history of transnational Protestant political publication reinforcing confessionalized forms of diplomacy. Haley, William of Orange. For other examples, see e. View all notes These transnational networks enabled diplomats both to extend their reach and to engage in ad hoc propaganda activities. The Dutch were among the first to develop what we might call an institutionalized public diplomacy.

From very early in the revolt, Dutch public diplomacy was coordinated by the Nassau dynasty, which had a keen sense of public relations, especially in France and the Empire. Schmidt, Vaterlandsliebe und Religionskonflikt , — Printed engravings published during this period of the Revolt were mostly meant for foreign audiences as well, as is evidenced by their frequent captions in German, French, and Latin. View all notes The German translation of the rebel song and later national anthem of the Netherlands, the Wilhelmus , is even the oldest extant version, and generally assumed to be part of the same effort to win over the German princes for the Revolt.

A French version, by the Flemish translator Gabriel Fourmennois, appeared in As suggested above, other revolts produced similar campaigns. At the onset of the Bohemian Revolt in , the Directors in Prague organized a multilingual European campaign to gain support for their revolution against the emperor. Their pamphlets written in Prague were distributed in translation, and sent through an ad hoc network not only to the courts of the German Princes, but also to Paris, Amsterdam, and London. Helmers, The Royalist Republic , 27— View all notes In all these examples, a local crisis necessitated reaching out to foreign leaders and public opinion by using existing non-governmental networks.

What made the Dutch Revolt exceptional is the longevity of the structures developed by William of Orange in the sixteenth century.

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The protracted nature of the war against Spain allowed the ad hoc mechanisms to become ingrained. Swart, Willem van Oranje , View all notes The Nassau plans would never be fully realized, but their ambition speaks volumes. All evidence suggests that the Nassaus, and the Dutch state after them, succeeded not only in getting their own message across to an international audience, but also that of their Protestant allies such as the Elector Palatine.

Amsterdam and The Hague became the nexus of Protestant diplomatic publication. Not all public diplomacy was related to violent conflict, however. The first recorded instance of this use of print I have been able to find occurred during the Polish—Lithuanian royal election of Monluc was evidently aware of the workings of opinion-formation, and the vital importance of rendering his patron agreeable and his arguments easily accessible to the assembly. Confronted with stiff Swedish, imperial, and papal opposition at the diet, Monluc resorted to printed publications in order to maintain the reputation of his master, and to argue in his favour.

When libels against Anjou were published by his adversaries, Monluc published both a response and panegyrics on the Duke. Moreover, he circulated his portrait, in order to show to the Poles that Anjou was far from the cruel creature which his detractors claimed him to be. Petitot, Memoires de Jean Choisnin , View all notes In the final stages of the election, Monluc was initially at a disadvantage, because the other ambassadors delivered their orations in the vernacular, while he addressed his Polish audience in Latin.

Again he used print to turn the situation in his favour.

View all notes Anjou, of course, was eventually elected king of Poland. Oliver St John and Walter Strickland similarly sought to smoothen their mission to procure an Anglo-Dutch alliance through public diplomacy, with rather more disappointing results. See Helmers, Royalist Republic , —1. The early modern concern with the honour and reputation of the state was a force behind public diplomacy which was less dependent upon circumstances. Gestrich, Absolutismus , It was extremely important for diplomatic agents to spread news of victories, and they did so in many different genres, from broadside engravings to instant history books.

The Dutch Republic, as a nascent state in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, was just as deeply concerned with its own reputation and that of the House of Orange as the established monarchies in Europe. Both the States and the House of Orange spent considerable money and energy to spread news of its successes in print for international audiences. Throughout the century, poets, engravers, medal-makers, and cartographers were patronized to produce high-quality representations that ambassadors and the extended network of agents and consuls could disseminate internationally.

Portraits of monarchs represented a category of images that was frequently used by diplomats to further their cause. Tracey Sowerby has recently discussed the ways in which diplomats made use of portraiture to further bilateral relationships and negotiations in courtly contexts that remained largely shielded from the public eye. Thus, diplomats disseminated printed portraits of their monarch in print in foreign countries to improve his or her image.

Royal marriages, successions, or deaths occasioned numerous engravings abroad, at least some of which were actively disseminated by agents of the portrayed. Sharpe, Image Wars , 58— View all notes Regal portraits were also used to help persuade foreign audiences of the rightfulness of a dynasty. A poignant example is the circulation of the portrait of Charles I, in , by the English court in exile.

Seeking continental support for their war against Parliament, the Stuarts commissioned the portrait with Wenceslaus Hollar in Antwerp. From here the copperplate of the martyr-king was distributed throughout Europe to settle his image as a pensive, sympathetic figure.

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Used in numerous books and pamphlets, the image was extremely successful in giving a sympathetic and recognizable face to the international Stuart campaign. Helmers, Royalist Republic , Diplomatic news publication was evidently far from trustworthy. In the late sixteenth century, William Cecil made use of an extensive network of agents and translators in order to spread false news on the continent, with false imprints, so as to mislead the Spanish. Parmelee, Good Newes from Fraunce , 32—3.

Aenmerckinge op seeckere Schots antwoort , A4v. View all notes Another response would be to keep news of defeats out of the news, or to downplay successes claimed by the opponent. But the competition between states and parties ensured that competing information continued to circulate, and made deception or obstruction at best temporarily effective. If all else failed, there was always slander.