WikiLeaks’s avalanche of diplomatic revelations has been widely portrayed as evidence of waning American power, retreating U.S. influence, and a no-we-can’t foreign policywrites John Vinocur.
A former C.I.A. case officer, getting in his licks, spoke of “damage to American credibility that is incalculable.”
But after a few weeks of getting accustomed to the torrent, there’s a case to be made that the disclosures’ most significant effect is removing a part of the discrepancy between what the United States really sees, hears and thinks of the world — now increasingly apparent via WikiLeaks — and the soft-edged presentation often made of the country’s ongoing confrontations by President Barack Obama’s White House.
… leaked cables report an Élysée Palace official telling an American diplomat — in contrast to President Nicolas Sarkozy’s public embrace of the Russians — that Russia seeks to “remodel” the post-Cold War map, let the West sink into the “Afghanistan swamp,” and do nothing to change the status quo in Iran.
… On balance, does all of this suggest a greater degree of tough-mindedness in the Obama administration than some of its critics give it credit for?