Nobel’s Odd Choice: Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA


Mohamed ElBaradei has just won the Nobel Peace Prize for his and his agency’s efforts trying to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
John Bolton must have a headache over this as ElBaradei was one of his targets when Bolton was Under Secretary of State. Bolton apparently screened intelligence intercepts of ElBaradei’s conversations to find material to help block his efforts to serve a third term as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
But as much as I find ElBaradei an interesting person, a celebrity-bureaucrat given his high profile, I haven’t found him overwhelmingly successful in his job. We clearly have a collapse in the global proliferation regime. The IAEA may be doing all it can to reverse or stall trends, but still. . .success has not been very evident.
Perhaps this is a pat-on-the-back Nobel, a keep working hard carrot, a congrats-on-your-third-term “shot in the arm” as ElBaradei called it.
But still. . .this should have gone to someone who was making real sacrifices on behalf of global peace. Despite his being a reasonably good global civil servant, I don’t think that ElBaradei cuts that profile.
— Steve Clemons