Day: November 29, 2010

A bird? A plane? No, it’s the QDDR!

More powerful than a locomotive…it’s this year’s longest awaited government report:  the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.

Human and energy security get elevated.  USAID (and within it the Office of Transition Initiatives) gains.  Conflict prevention and response get more focus and a dedicated bureau within State (which might in future absorb OTI?)  Ambassadors get more authority and responsibility.  Planning gets a push.

AID and State both get promises of more staff (but what about those budget constraints?).  Innovation, partnerships, outcomes, government officials,and regionalization are all in, contractors and outputs are out.

Bottom line:  it’s prettier and easier to read than most government reports, but it is going to be a while before we understand what is really important, if anything, and what isn’t.

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Diploleak devalues Serbian foreign minister

It won’t surprise anyone in the Balkans that Vuk Jeremic is “no longer the modern face of Serbia,” though I confess to some surprise that the evaluation comes from a French diplomat, albeit the best of them.

Vuk has spent years now painting Serbia into a corner on Kosovo:  he knows Serbia can’t get it back, but he continues to insist.  He has been partly successful in blocking diplomatic recognition of the new state, especially among Islamic countries, but what good does that do for Serbs?  Inat is not part of the acquis communitaire (loose translation:  spite is not an EU attribute).

Compliments to Jean-David Levitte for saying it like it is, and regrets that he won’t in the future be sharing any more bons mots with the Americans.

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