Malone: Are diplomats needed in the digital age?

By: /
October 17, 2011
Rector, United Nations University

Actually, Wikileaks made clear how thoughtful many US diplomats are and also how hard they work in the service of their country.  Information overload threatens us all.  Distilling the important from the ambient white noise is both increasingly important and increasingly difficult.  Effective advocacy and successful communication on strategic economic and political goals are skills generally not picked up overnight.  Thus, while the form diplomacy takes will continue to change, with the political level of government ever more engaged and very usefully so, as a student of international relations, I believe the role of diplomats remains a useful, and in many cases an indispensable one, at relatively low cost to tax-payers, particularly relative to some of the alternatives.