Late last month I released the first of a two part report on the State Department’s use of ediplomacy. To follow up on some of the questions it raises, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Senior Adviser for Innovation Alec Ross was kind enough to come into the Brookings studio for a chat.
This is the first of three short videos from that discussion. (Watch the second and third videos as well.) In this first clip, Ross looks at defining ediplomacy, explains how far reaching it will be for foreign ministries and responds to whether it’s now time to start better conceptualizing what ediplomacy is all about.
The background to this conversation is the spread of ediplomacy at State. The first report mapping this found there are now over 150 people working on ediplomacy at State Department headquarters and more than 900 are using it to some degree at U.S. missions abroad.
While much of the public focus has been on State’s use of social media for communicating, the report found this was just one way ediplomacy was being used and identified 25 different work areas at State’s headquarters using ediplomacy for everything from disaster response to arms control.
[The exchange of threats and military posturing between the United States and North Korea] raises the stakes. With the United States and others talking far too loosely about the prospects of a pre-emptive strike, that’s what would trigger retaliatory actions by North Korea.
[With the current level of tensions over North Korea,] [w]e could stumble needlessly into what would be the biggest crisis in East Asia since the United States intervened in the Korean War in 1950