Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Amateur Hour at the State Dept.

Perhaps relevant in light of the other recent diplomatic failures, Ben Smith at Politico reviews the now famous "reset" gaffe:
[In Geneva] Clinton met Sergei Lavrov, the dour Russian Foreign Minister, and cheerily presented him with a large red button in a yellow case, with the words “Reset” and “Peregruzka” written on it.

“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton asked.

“You got it wrong,” said Lavrov.

The error appalled some in the State Department, because the button – which was inscribed in Latin script, not Cyrillic – hadn’t been assembled with the help of State’s cadre of Russian speakers and professional translators, but rather by Clinton’s small political team.
[emph. added]

OTHER recent foreign policy failures are discussed here and here.

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