Diplomacy is an important institution to all the governments in the world. International relations among nations are maintained by various diplomats stationed in respective embassies of various countries (Siracusa 5). These diplomats are responsible for brokering international trade deals between states, discussing economic matters, war and peace making.
Diplomats also negotiate international treaties before they can be accepted by politicians of respective countries. It is also the work of diplomats to inform their countries of representation, about the events taking place in various allocated countries. Diplomatic speeches and statements are supposed to be polite, moderate and non provocative. For diplomacy to thrive, good relations among nations must be maintained at all times (Berridge 70).
The Cablegate scandal, which is the unprecedented leaking of United States confidential diplomatic information, began in November 2010. The scandal started when Wikileaks made public trough publications, details of the secret communications between various US diplomatic missions around the world and the US Department in charge of state affairs.
Wikileaks would then in many instances forward the cables to main and recognized newspapers around the globe, which were five. The newspapers in conjunction with Wikileaks have been publishing the numerous articles since then.
Wikileaks is a global, non profitable media corporation whose main activity is to find crucial news and information and then avail them to the public. The organization provides a convenient and secure way for anybody or independent sources to provide information to its established journalists.
It does so by maintaining anonymity for its sources. The organization has been at the center of controversy for publishing sensitive topics on ethics, history, and politics. It has no major power base and mainly relies on the power of its worldwide supporters, urging members to pressurize those who try to impose censorship measures (Domscheit-Berg 50).
The Wikileaks’ revelation of the contents in the classified diplomatic documents of the US has affected the institution of diplomacy massively. This has made the US relation with the rest of the world to become strained (Star 10). This is mainly in anti reformist countries whose policies contradict those of the US.
Information by the cable has depicted many African leaders in a negative way. They have been portrayed as anti-reformist, corrupt, and greedy for power causing an outrageous uproar from the leaders. Other nations like Iran have been portrayed as a threat to international peace, citing that measures should be taken to curb Iran’s nuclear projects. Socialist like Chavez of Venezuela has been depicted as a dictator whose ideologies should not be allowed to spread.
The Cablegate scandal has negatively impacted the institution of diplomacy. The leaks have made many nations to treat the US, which is a major influence in world affairs, with contempt and suspicion. Relations like those with the Arab nations have taken years to build but the leaks have spoilt the diplomatic gains made. Suspicion has now become the order of the day.
This has made US diplomats in various countries to be shunned and be viewed as spies with bad faith. The language contained in the leaks has been viewed as demeaning and undiplomatic prompting some governments to demand for apology from the US.
Issues of high sensitivity like war in Iraq and Afghanistan have been made public making reforms and nation building in the affected areas even more difficult. Diplomatic reports should never be disclosed as they represent the actual findings and thoughts of individual diplomats which might not be well received by the authority of the country in context.
Berridge, Geoff. Diplomacy: Theory and Practice. Leicester: McMillan, 2002.
Domscheit-Berg, Daniel. Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2011.
Siracusa, Joseph. Diplomacy: A Very Short Introduction London: Oxford University Press.
Star, Alexander. Open Secrets: Wikileaks, War and American Diplomacy. New York: New York Times Company, 2011.