On the web: Hillary at State, Afghan elections and Burma’s plight…

Foreign Policy magazine has news that Hillary Clinton is planning to raise her foreign policy profile with a speech next week at CFR.  It suggests “smart power” will be the central theme – something which formed the core of her Senate confirmation hearing (pdf) and which her British counterpart, David Miliband, has opined on (pdf). The article also highlights how:

Clinton and Obama aides alike say the administration has one of the most effective secretary of state-White House relationships and balanced national-security teams of the past several terms. They note that Clinton has excellent relationships with the other national-security principals, a strategic investment that could pay dividends down the road.

-Sticking with the Clinton theme, Bloomberg reports that James “It’s the economy, stupid” Carville, former strategist to President Bill Clinton, is to advise Ashraf Ghani in his campaign for Afghanistan’s presidential elections this August. PR Week, meanwhile, has news that social media will form a central element of Ghani’s campaign. A former Afghan finance minister and UN and World Bank official, he is also well known for his work on failed states.

-Speaking of which, Le Monde diplomatique has a report on Burma and the “Orwellian methods” the regime is using in “tightening its stranglehold over its people”. Pressure from Beijing and New Dehli is central, it suggests, and achieving this requires a renewed push from the international community.