Monday, December 6, 2010

Mind the gap

The great foreign policy analyst, Coral Bell, has often described in public how there is always a gap between a countries' declared foreign policy and its actual policy. That is what one half of diplomacy is all about: Maintaining the gap. Hence the 17th century adage attributed to Sir Henry Wotton that ‘an ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for their country".

In reference to the new Wikileaks material on Kevin Rudd's China views, Dan Flitton of The Age describes today how:
Kevin Rudd warned Hillary Clinton to be prepared to use force against China ''if everything goes wrong'', an explosive WikiLeaks cable has revealed.

Even the Bush administration, which has to go down as one the most naive diplomatic players for many years, and maintained one of the narrowest gaps between speech and policy, never forgot it altogether. Think about its charade at the UN in the build-up to what was a clearly premeditated Iraq war.

This blogger will note that Australia's strategic position vis-a-vis China has been obvious since the 2009 Defence White Paper.

The leak changes things only in-so-far-as the now public position of Kevin Rudd can be used by China as a bargaining chip in the brinkmanship of declaratory foreign policy.

In short, the gap between our lies and our true policy has closed somewhat. This blogger has no fear that it will be reopened in short order.

1 comment: said...

It is somewhat disconcerting to note a few other minor details about that Wikileaks cable. To wit, that under "Participants" at the Clinton/Rudd meeting, still-in-nappies Rudd confidant, 31yo Alister Jordan, somehow earned himself the title "National Security Adviser".

Gets worse though. Still-in-nappies economist (dear Lord!) Andrew Charlton earned himself the title "Senior Foreign Policy Adviser":

I guess it all adds up when you think about it. Our govt's "foreign policy" has been and remains to bankrupt the country. Thus officially handing our natural resources over to foreign creditors.

Where do I go to collect my prize?