Madeleine Bunting

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How Wikileaks may alter U.S. development strategy | 

Flickr, by Roger H. Goun

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

As you may have heard, Wikileaks has made life uncomfortable for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Part of this is due to leaked diplomatic documents in which it appears Clinton ordered U.S. diplomats to spy on their colleagues and United Nations officials.

Clinton has denied the charges, but Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange has specifically focused on these documents saying if they are borne out Clinton should resign. A number of media outlets have gone to great pains to examine the allegations, sometimes doing hair-splitting semantic defenses of Clinton and others noting the diplomats ignored Clinton anyway.

But what’s more important here is the question Madeleine Bunting of the Guardian asks: “Will Wikileaks mean Hillary Clinton turns her back on development?” The Obama Administration has been engaged in serious efforts aimed at improving and beefing up U.S. efforts in foreign development — an initiative largely welcomed by many humanitarian and development organizations. Bunting says:

“Not only is (Clinton’s) political career on the line, but the State Department faces an uncertain future in the turf battles over budget and influence in Washington. The collateral damage is the grand centrepiece of Clinton’s recasting of how the US asserts its influence in the world…. Clinton’s bold new strategy for what she called “civilian power, in which diplomacy and development were closely co-ordinated to achieve US interests and global security.

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