Perhaps proving Clinton right, China today deployed thousands more troops to Tibet to stave off unrest.
In Poland today Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told NATO allies that the Obama administration was expecting significant contributions towards troop levels in Afghanistan, however some are calling Gates' appeal for a contribution towards non-combatant, civilian roles a tacit admission that troops are unlikely to be forthcoming.
Back in Washington the White House has announced that it will today "refine" its legal position on detainees held at Bagram air base. Over 600 people are detained at the base outside Kabul, and under the Bush administration they were deemed not to be entitled to US legal rights. At present it is not known whether Obama's break with Bush on the rights of 'enemy combatants' at Guantánamo Bay will extend to Bagram.
Afternoon Update (2.30 p.m. GMT / 7.30 a.m. Washington): Clinton has arrived in China on the final leg of her Far East tour. The economy, human rights, the environment and North Korea could all be on the agenda.
Speaking to CNN Clinton said that North Korea was "miscalculating" if it thought it could "drive a wedge" between the US and South Korea. Clinton suggested that North Korea deploys two different approaches to its neighbours, alternating between sabre-rattling and appeasement in order to gain diplomatic leverage.
Clinton has also appointed former ambassador to South Korea Stephen W Bosworth as a special envoy to Pyongyang, with the aim of getting the North back to the negotiating table.
Elsewhere, the Kyrgyzstan Government has signed the bill closing the US Manas airbase.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said that the US will consider Russian concerns over missile defence.
Morning Update (5:30 a.m. GMT; 12:30 a.m. Washington): A relatively quiet start to the foreign-policy day, but we're keeping a close eye on the reaction to the International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iranian nuclear production, released on Thursday. We've got the text of the report and an immediate analysis.
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (pictured) visits South Korea, the headlines are on North Korea's latest belligerent posturing, threatening an "all-out confrontation" with the South, and the possibility that Pyongyang will test a long-range missile.
This is more sound than fury. North Korea is now pulling back a bit, saying it will be testing a satellite, and it is unlikely that Clinton will go beyond general references to the need for regional security and alliance with South Korea. Seoul doesn't want a showdown with the North, China --- where Clinton heads next --- will emphasise the need for engagement, and Washington is still signalling that it prefers diplomacy to the image of confrontation.
On his first visit as President to a foreign country, Barack Obama has denied asking Canada for any additional troops in Afghanistan: ""I certainly did not press the prime minister on any additional commitments beyond the ones that have already been made."
It is a shrewd political move, as any proposed increase would prompt a Canadian political crisis and possibly doom the government, but it raises the question of whether the US can get any significant military backing for its "surge" this year. Canada has 2700 troops in Afghanistan and is committed to withdrawing them by 2011.
Meanwhile, another sign of the US escalation in Afghanistan: plans are underway to double the size of the detention facility at Camp Bagram. The facility currents hold more than 600 detainees in conditions which have been criticised as a deprivation of basic human rights.
Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, has criticised the Pakistan Government's allowance of local autonomy, including sharia law, in the northwest of the country: "I am concerned, and I know Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton is, and the president is, that this deal, which is portrayed in the press as a truce, does not turn into a surrender." Holbrooke added that Pakistani President Asif Zardari had assured him the arrangement was temporary.
In northwest Pakistan, at least 18 people have been killed and many others wounded after a sucide bomber exploded at a funeral procession for a Shia Muslim.
The Obama Administration continues its slowdown of the Bush Administration's Missile Defence scheme. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Thursday that "the U.S. would consider whether the system was affordable and technologically feasible" and would try to reopen talks with Russia over the project.