Briefing Skipper: Wikileaks, Israel, China, Pakistan, Africa
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Tuesday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Monday and Barak met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates Tuesday. Crowley made the pitch for ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. These are the highlights of Tuesday's briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Tuesday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Monday and Barak met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates Tuesday. Crowley made the pitch for moving to direct talks quickly. "We understand there’s a temptation here to try to put conditions on the decision to move into direct negotiations. As we’ve always said, there should be no preconditions, because the issues that are at the heart of the process are well known, and they can only be resolved within direct negotiations," he said.
- Clinton also met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang before she left DC. They talked North Korea. "We continue to encourage China in its conversations with North Korea, to encourage North Korea to be, you know, more constructive and to cease the kind of provocative actions that have created the tensions in the region," Crowley said.
- Despite the massive leak of classified info on the Wikileaks website, "I think if you look, on balance, we are the most trusted country in the world, and with good reason," Crowley said. "We’re in these countries to help Afghanistan, Pakistan, other countries, develop, prosper and remain peaceful and stable. And this is — this is part of a responsibility that we bear, that quite honestly, you know, no other country in the world bears the same responsibility as the United States."
- The leaks were damaging to national security because they reveal sources and methods, if not actual new information, Crowley explained. He said State is hoping Wikileaks doesn’t release the other 15,000 documents. "We would not like to see any further, release of documents. Again, these releases, jeopardize the national security interests of the United States."
- As it turns out, the U.S. And Iran are talking, at least about Afghanistan. "In fact in the past we have actually had constructive conversations in cooperation with Iran, within the context of Afghanistan, going back, say, to the Bonn conference that established, you know, the new government within Afghanistan," Crowley said.
- The military aid to Pakistan is part of the solution, not the problem, Crowley said. "In giving military assistance to Pakistan, we have systems of accountability to be sure that it is being employed in accordance with the agreements that we have with Pakistan. Where we have questions about the nature of Pakistani employment of U.S. assistance, we raise those questions, you know, directly with the Pakistani government. We have in the past and we will continue to do that."
- The U.S. Pledged $48.6 million for Kyrgyzstan at the international conference in Bishkek Tuesday. "Or contribution will go towards funding community-defined projects, small infrastructure projects, addressing food shortages, strengthening democratic processes and institutions, assistance for internally displaced people, help with supplies such as fertilizers, fuel and other things that contribute to the fall harvest in the Kyrgyz Republic, additional shelter and resettlement assistance, and other such support," Crowley said,
- Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson and the U.S. ambassador to the African Union Michael Battle are in Kampala for the semi-annual AU conference. For the U.S., the number one agenda item is the deteriorating situation in Somalia. "Somalia needs action on the part of the international community to help strengthen the Djibouti Peace Process and AMISOM," Crowley said.
- Dawn L. McCall has been named the coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs. "IIP, as we call it, is a core element of our communication strategy to be able to communicate effectively with foreign populations around the world," said Crowley.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America
The peace plan is a big deal—and it’s no accident that China brokered it.
The U.S.-Israel Relationship No Longer Makes Sense
If Israel and its supporters want the country to continue receiving U.S. largesse, they will need to come up with a new narrative.
Putin Is Trapped in the Sunk-Cost Fallacy of War
Moscow is grasping for meaning in a meaningless invasion.
How China’s Saudi-Iran Deal Can Serve U.S. Interests
And why there’s less to Beijing’s diplomatic breakthrough than meets the eye.
Scoop: Turkey and Hungary Not Invited to Biden’s Big Democracy Summit
Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World
Skilled Migrants Aren’t Interested in Germany
Netanyahu’s Legal Crusade Is Sparking a Military Backlash in Israel
Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing