Curtis: Are diplomats needed in the digital age?
- Curtis: Will the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations progress in the coming months?
- Curtis: What regional and/or international challenges are most pressing for the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, respectively?
- Curtis: Are criticisms of the preliminary nuclear accord with Iran prescient or paranoid?
No, diplomats are not needed in this digital age; a much smaller group of diplomatic experts is needed to carry out operational matters such as consular services and specific tasks such as the Afghanistan mission in the Canadian context.
The digital age means that governments have lost their power over information…the central function of what diplomats did in the past….seeking/assessing information about any manner of things in both the host and home country; others can do this now, often with more skills and more impact. In essence, the digital age has supplanted the diplomat; the golden age of diplomacy of the 19th and 20th century is well behind us. The diplomatic function, while still a niche and important activity, needs re-tooling in this new, digital age.