The Diplomacy Cable 11/9/15

Above: Proposed Keystone Pipeline Route

With the invention of the telegraph cables in the 19th century, international consulates and embassies began sending shorter encrypted telegrams using Morse Code. While the messages are now sent electronically, the moniker “cable” stuck and the term is still in use today for shorter, encrypted diplomatic messages.

The investigation into the crash of Russian in the Sinai region of Egypt is still ongoing, but the fallout has been swift. Both the UK and Russia have canceled flights to the region and Russia said Sunday that it has flown 11,000 tourists home from Egypt in the past 24 hours, according to the BBC. This could be devastating for Egyptian tourism, as Russians make up about a third of all foreign visitors to Egypt. The UK has also flown 3,500 travelers out of Sharm el-Sheikh. There has been concerns that ISIS planted a bomb that brought down the plane.

In the most recent scandal to hit the Vatican, stolen documents describing financial mismanagement were recently been published in two separate books last week. Pope Francis described the theft as, “a deplorable act that doesn’t help,” according to The Guardian. The books are being seen as part of a bitter internal struggle between reformers and the old guard of the Vatican community. An example of the information that was stolen is that the cost of sainthood can run up to half a million dollars.

While we do not seek to cover US domestic politics, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crosses the Canadian border, allowing the US State Department to make recommendations on its completion and us to write on the decision made by the Obama administration not to accept the proposal for the pipeline. Secretary of State John Kerry concluded the controversial project is not in the country’s national security interest, and Obama announced from the White House that he agreed, according to CNN. Secretary of State John Kerry cited environmental concerns are the main reason for the rejection, and President Obama mentioned in his speech explaining the decision that gas prices are down and jobs are up even without the pipeline being built.

In breaking news on Monday, a Jordanian police captain shot dead two U.S. government security contractors, a South African trainer, and two Jordanians at a U.S.-funded police training facility near Amman on Monday before being killed in a shootout, reports Reuters. The two Americans were working for the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau training Palestinian security forces. There has been no motive established as of the time of this posting, and we will not speculate on one, but President Obama did state that an investigation is ongoing.

International elections have become a theme of the Diplomacy Cable, and we are not stopping now! Millions of citizens voted Sunday in Myanmar’s historic general election that will test whether the military’s long-standing grip on power can be loosened, with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party expected to secure an easy victory, according to Al- Jazeera. Myanmar, or Burma in the US, has been under military rule for almost 50 years. As with any first, historical election, there have been claims of discrimination as 500,000 eligible voters from the country’s 1.3 million-strong Rohingya Muslim minority were barred from casting ballots.

Finally, in a continued theme for European countries, Croatia’s conservative HDZ party has narrowly won their most recent election. Negotiating a government will be difficult, as will be their emergence from a recession and immanent migrant crisis. The conservatives won 59 seats, while the center-left bloc won 55, of the 151 seat parliament according to Yahoo News.

 Dylan Ashdown is a second year graduate student at Seton Hall, where he is a part of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations and College of Communication and the Arts. He is pursuing dual master’s degrees in Diplomacy and International Relations and Strategic Communications. He received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Central Missouri.

Follow Dylan Ashdown on Twitter at @AshdownDylan, and send any requests for stories there.

Follow the Journal of Diplomacy on Twitter at @JournalofDiplo

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