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  • Author: Roberta S. Jacobson
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The Western Hemisphere is a top priority for the United States because important national interests are at stake. Available metrics—including public opinion polls, levels of trade and investment, cultural and family ties, security cooperation, and shared democratic values—support the view that the United States remains an influential actor and vital partner in the region. The Obama administration's policy for the hemisphere seeks to forge equal partnerships with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. These partnerships build upon the promising destiny of this hemisphere, based first and foremost on shared values, as well as on geographic proximity, demographic connections, and common interests. These shared values and common interests, along with the region's increasing capabilities, also mean we can work collectively to address global challenges that require more than just national or regional action.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Michael A. Hammer
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The United States and Chile have been working together on scientific endeavors since the visit of US Navy Lieutenant James Gillis in 1849, when he established an astronomical observatory on the Santa Lucia hill in the center of Santiago. Fast forward to today, Chile houses 40 percent of the world's astronomy infrastructure and, by 2020, it will increase to 70 percent. In fact, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has invested over a billion dollars in equipment, infrastructure, and operations in Northern Chile's Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth. And, over the next decade, the NSF plans to add yet another billion dollars in support of its telescopes in Chile—projects that will help to unlock the mysteries of the universe.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard N. Holwil
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Some say that President Obama's opening to Cuba is designed to bolster his legacy. Indeed, the current debate centers on his actions and on US policy. This focus, however, misses the more interesting dynamic: the debate within Cuba over the next steps in the pas de deux with the United States and the question of Cuban President Raúl Castro's legacy.
  • Political Geography: United States, Cuba
  • Author: Thomas Hart Armbruster
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Micronesia is a good start word. Particularly the “micro” part. Micronesia is the geographical area of the Pacific, stretching from Kiribati to Palau. On the map, if you see it at all, it is a series of 2,000 micro dots of land totaling just 1,000 square miles. The ocean area meanwhile is nearly three million square miles. Politically, there are five sovereign states and three US territories. At times, one gets the feeling that the countries are too small to get Washington's attention. It is almost as if you need a microscope to magnify the issues to understand what's going on. I'll turn the microscope on just one area, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Just like life under the microscope, once you zoom in, the activity and diversity is incredible.
  • Political Geography: United States, Island
  • Author: Ted Osius
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam is an opportunity to further deepen our two countries' Comprehensive Partnership. In January, Vice Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc opened a conference in Hanoi marking this milestone anniversary by exhorting us to move beyond bilateral cooperation to regional and global collaboration, especially in the fields of nonproliferation and climate, as well as water, food, and energy security. He is right. The stated goal of our Comprehensive Partnership is to contribute to peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperity in each country, in the region, and in the world. The recent history of US partnerships with India and Indonesia teaches us that moving beyond bilateral engagement to broader cooperation is necessary and healthy for maturing relationships.
  • Political Geography: United States, India
  • Author: Dana Shell Smith
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Six months into my tenure as the United States Ambassador to the State of Qatar, I have learned a great deal about the complex identity of this small, proud nation. Qatar's leaders believe the best way to promote stability and stop the spread of violent extremism in the region is for governments to be responsive to the needs of their people. Although he commands one of the smallest militaries in the region, the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is overseeing one of the most ambitious and comprehensive military modernization programs in the world. Though culturally conserva­tive, Doha has welcomed branch campuses of six American universities with an eye toward blending its traditional heritage with the cutting edge practices of Western liberal arts and sciences. In only a few decades, Qatar has transformed from a developing nation to a financial powerhouse with the highest per capita income in the world.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Deborah R. Malac
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Liberia and the United States have a long history, but since the end of Liberia's bloody civil war in 2003, the relationship has been closer and warmer than ever. Over the past nearly dozen years, the United States has been the largest bilateral partner assisting Liberia in its efforts to rebuild and recover from conflict. We have invested heavily in Liberia's future, working principally through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Peace Corps to reestablish health care delivery, strengthen governance and institutions, educate thousands of children and train teachers, rebuild the armed forces and train police, and spur private sector-led economic growth. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been a strong partner in our mutual commitment to advance democratic values, stressing private sector-led growth and ensuring regional security. Indeed, as we entered the beginning of 2014, the future looked bright for Liberia as the fruits of our and others' investments were poised to show dividends; little did we know the shock that awaited us.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Rosa Whitaker
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Fifteen years ago, when President Bill Clinton signed the landmark African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) into law, the United States opened the door to a new way of engaging with Africa. The new trade initiative, which gave duty- and quota-free access to the $11 trillion US market for over 6,000 African products, represented an important paradigm shift in the relationship between the United States and Africa, from one based on charity and paternalism to one of respect and partnership. For the first time African leaders were at the table, working with members of the United States Congress on both sides of the aisle to craft a US policy initiative that gave African nations a powerful tool to seek sustainable, market-based solutions to the continent's seemingly intractable poverty.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Susan M. Elliott
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When the Soviet Union collapsed over two decades ago, the United States was one of the first nations to recognize Tajikistan as an independent country. Shortly thereafter, a civil war began that lasted for five years and caused considerable death and destruction. Even as fighting diminished in the late 1990s, the suffering of the Tajik people continued. Hunger stalked the land. Damage to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure in some parts of the country was extensive. Economic prospects were bleak because the war had interfered with market development. The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other agencies, began humanitarian relief efforts to help provide basic nutrition to those hardest hit by the devastation of war. In the years since, US assistance programs have evolved from providing only humanitarian assistance to building human capacity and creating long-term, sustainable economic development.
  • Political Geography: United States, Tajikistan
  • Author: Paul A. Goble
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In 1991, with the end of the Cold War, the disappearance of the Soviet bloc, and the disintegration of the USSR, many Americans—policymakers among them—believed that we had reached the end of history. They believed that we had entered a new period in which cooperation among countries on the basis of shared commitment to democratic values and free market economics would not only be possible but would become the central feature of the international system.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William E. Todd
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: United States-Cambodia relations began when US Envoy Donald Heath presented his credentials to King Norodom Sihanouk on July 11, 1950. Yet more than 60 years later, the relationship is still very young, and in its current form began only in 1991 after the signing of the Paris Peace Agreements that helped put an end to more than two decades of bloodshed due to civil war and genocide. Since that time, Cambodia has achieved a number of significant successes. Halving the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate; reducing the number of casualties from mines and unexploded ordnance from 4,320 in 1996 to 185 in 2012; and cutting the poverty rate from roughly 47 percent in 1993 to about 28 percent in 2011 are accomplishments in which Cambodia takes great pride, and the United States was a valued partner in each of these efforts. Given where Cambodia was 20 years ago, it has come a long way. Given where Cambodia needs to be, however, it still has much to do. The United States remains committed to supporting Cambodia as it continues to integrate into the region and the world community and meet the challenges that still lie before it.
  • Political Geography: United States, Cambodia
  • Author: Michael A. Hammer
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The mission of the Bureau of Public Affairs (PA) is to advance America's interests through effective, accurate, and timely communication of our foreign policy. As we explain our policies to audiences abroad, we must also inform our fellow citizens here at home.
  • Topic: Communications
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: James R. Clapper
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This year's threat assessment illustrates how dramatically the world and our threat environment are changing. Threats are growing more interconnected and viral. Events that at first seem local and irrelevant can quickly set off transnational disruptions that affect US national interests. It's a world in which our definition of "war" now includes a "soft" version. We can add cyber and financial to the list of weapons being used against us. And such attacks can be deniable and non-attributable.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Terence P. McCulley
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In April 2011, the Nigerian people did something truly historic, conducting arguably the most credible and transparent elections in the country's 50-year history as an independent nation. Those elections were by no means perfect, as illustrated by the significant post-election violence; however, they provided crucial lessons learned that are already helping to shape plans for the next general election cycle in 2015. In preparation for 2015, the United States is ready to work with the Nigerian government, with civil society, and with Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to build upon the successes of April 2011.
  • Topic: Civil Society
  • Political Geography: United States, Nigeria
  • Author: John Price
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As the United States drove Islamist insurgents from Afghanistan, many migrated to Yemen, eventually reaching the Horn of Africa, which became the “epicenter” for al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden was indoctrinated by Wahhabist imams in Saudi Arabia, a sect that espouses armed jihad. In 1987, bin Laden formed al-Qaeda (the base) in Afghanistan, with his mujahedeen fighters. In 1991, he moved to Sudan with his al-Qaeda lieutenants and spent the next five years plotting attacks against Western interests.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Sudan, Yemen, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Mali
  • Author: Arnold A. Chacon
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: From the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Organization of American States (OAS) to regional law enforcement and counternarcotics cooperation, Guatemala is emerging as a key actor. It is a willing partner with the United States in six US presidential priority initiatives: improving food security, preventing HIV/AIDS, mitigating the impact of climate change, and promoting health, citizen security, and educational exchanges.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Health
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Patrick Melady
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In the last several decades much has been written about the Holy See's diplomatic recognition of the State of Israel. However, there is a story yet to be told—the key role that the United States, and in particular the office of the President, played in making those events happen. As an inside witness to those events, I believe the time is right to share what I saw from my perspective as the US Ambassador to the Holy See to help us all understand how the Vatican recognition came to be.
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Author: Rose Gottemoeller
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: General Mattis might have raised a few eyebrows on Capitol Hill when he delivered the quote above, but he was simply stating what those of us at the Department of State see every day: diplomacy and development are integral parts of US national defense. And applying those tools effectively lessens the need to put at risk American men and women in uniform. The dividends for US national security are enormous.
  • Topic: National Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Thomas Patrick Melady, Ph.D.
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: I arrived in Rome in October 1945. I was drafted shortly after graduating from high school the previous June. It was a whirlwind experience that included four months of basic infantry training at Camp Blanding, Florida, a few weeks in Virginia, and then I was on the boat for Italy. The second time I arrived was almost half a century later. It was August 1989. I was nominated by then-President George H.W. Bush to be the United States Ambassador to the Vatican. As I walked amongst the historic relics from Roman antiquity, my curiosity reemerged about the peaceful liberation of this city that took place so long ago. I was still perplexed by the narrative of how Rome managed to elude the nightmare of being a battleground while so many of Europe's other historic sites fell victim to the horrors of the world's second greatest war. It is a question that has intrigued me to this day.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Timothy J. Roemer
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was once asked what would be the most important factor in determining the success of his government. He replied, "Events, dear boy, events." As we see, events in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan demand the government's capital. We cannot simply allow "events" to define and set the course for the strategic relationship between the United States and India. We must constantly build the relationship; proactively work to deepen and improve it; and commit substantial time to overcome problems and obstacles. Our shared values of democracy and diversity and our mutual interests of nonproliferation and counterterrorism cooperation run too deep for any single event to derail the bonds of unity and affection among our people. As the Obama Administration focuses on a "rebalance to Asia," and emphasizing the National Export Initiative (NEI) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), now is the time to deliver tangible results that will boost economic benefits for the middle classes of both countries. Most importantly, a strong strategic relationship between the United States and India can significantly promote democracy in the region and increase world prosperity over the next century.
  • Political Geography: United States, India