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10 Parting Thoughts for America’s Diplomats

Ambassador William J. Burns

(original source Foreign Policy)

“Diplomacy is not quite the world’s oldest profession, but it remains one of the most misunderstood. It’s a predictable and recurring habit to question its relevance and dismiss its practitioners, especially at moments like this, when international affairs are rocked by powerful and tumultuous transitions.

It is true that the world today is far different from the one that I encountered as a new foreign service officer in 1982. Today’s international landscape is far more crowded. New global powers are rising, hundreds of millions of people around the world are climbing into the middle class, hyper-empowered individuals with the capacity to do great good and huge harm are multiplying, and more information is flowing more rapidly than ever before.”

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