To the average American, the term intelligence agency refers to a group of secret military types, locked in a windowless room in Virginia, furtively collecting data on bad guys, good guys, citizens, everybody. That data is delivered up the chain in manila envelops marked “Top Secret.” There’s still some truth to that stereotype (apparently, they get to have windows now) but Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, or NGA, is hoping to secure an unconventional legacy as a spy chief.
Some of these emerging diplomatic trends seem to have the potential to solve real problems, but can they really guarantee results or are they diplomatic fads that will go out of style as soon as the diplomatic community is faced with more complex challenges?
A letter to over 100 international aid agencies from South Sudan's NGO Forum detailed the "increasing trend of harassment and interference targeting NGOs" that is "marked by increased hostility and threats from officials".
While the Chinese government perceives Americanideological influence as a potential strategic threat, the increase of US "soft power" leverage is merely an effect, and not an intentional policy, Robert Daly, Director of the Wilson Center Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, has told RIA Novosti.
The ongoing conflict in South Sudan is straining relations between the government and international organizations trying to assist millions in need. There are attempts to rein in the NGOs and agencies that are pushing the boundaries and testing a government trying to take control of a country in crisis.
International Relations Professor, Alan Henrikson once wrote that public diplomacy should be thought of as a form of engagement. Although Professor Henrikson’s article focused on governments, nongovernmental organizations have also proved their ability to develop sophisticated public diplomacy campaigns that engage both governments and the private sector.
It is just after 8am and Sheikh Abu Abdullahi is busy inspecting what he refers to as his latest "anti-NGO" project: workers digging new canals in Bulo Mareer, a town in Somalia's Lower Shabelle province. The diggers have been at work since 6am, as part of a province-wide canal-building project that was launched about two and a half years ago.