“This Saturday, Colombia will start a new chapter in their history as they peacefully transition from the outgoing Uribe Administration to the new Santos Administration. With a new president they will be addressing new issues. For the first time in decades, the country’s leaders will have the opportunity to focus on issues other than just safety and security. Santos will face questions about how his team will build a lasting economy and a stable workforce.
I recently visited Colombia with a technology delegation assembled by Alec Ross of the State Department. Ross’ team’s mission is simple: Use new technologies to come up with effective and efficient ways to assist with our diplomacy efforts. His thought process follows the lines of, ‘America is loved for our entrepreneurial spirit and we should engage these tools as a new form of digital diplomacy.’
Nonetheless, when I was first invited, I was skeptical. Our government has wasted lots of resources in failed drug wars and military engagement in the past. But this effort seemed very different. The Obama administration recognizes that a nation’s security isn’t possible without the support of its citizens and a decent economy.”