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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: Douglas Lute
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: At the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Wales on September 4-5, 2014, NATO leaders were clear about the security challenges on the Alliance's borders. In the East, Russia's actions threaten our vision of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. On the Alliance's southeastern border, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's campaign of terror poses a threat to the stability of the Middle East and beyond. To the south, across the Mediterranean, Libya is becoming increasingly unstable.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Libya
  • Author: Deborah A. McCarthy
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: January 13 is known as “Bloody Sunday” in Lithuania. Shortly after midnight on that date in 1991, Soviet tanks and infantry combat vehicles rolled in the darkness toward the Vilnius TV Tower. Tens of thousands of unarmed Lithuanians awaited them there, singing songs of defiance. After the troops encircled the crowd, loudspeakers falsely announced that the “separatist” Lithuanian government had been overthrown. “Go back to your parents and children,” the recorded voice urged. The crowd was incredulous. At 1:50 a.m., the soldiers opened fire and the tanks lurched forward. 14 civilians died and over 700 were wounded. Lithuanians sitting in front of televisions across the country can still recall with chilling clarity the final broadcasted images—a Soviet soldier knocking down a camera and the last words from the anchor desk. Then the televisions went dark.
  • 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: Daniel V. Speckhard
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After serving for two challenging years in the chaos of a war zone as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, I received word that I would become the next Ambassador to Greece. To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings. I looked forward to the challenge, but I imagined the post would be too sedate compared with the adrenalin-charged days and world-shaping events in Iraq. It was anything but. Within a year of my arrival, the streets were aflame with violent protests over a police shooting of a teenager. A year later, snap elections brought a socialist government to power. And soon thereafter, the onion was further peeled to expose a financial crisis and a crumbling economic foundation built on a corrupt, oligarchic, and debt-addicted system fed by billions of dollars of public and private EU loans and grants.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • 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: Anne Anderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: "Ireland's economic recovery is under way." This is not the pronouncement of an Irish Government Minister or an economic observer in Ireland. It is not even a quote from an Irish Ambassador, although it certainly could have been. Instead this quotation is drawn from a statement made by hard-nosed professionals at the credit rating agency, Standard and Poor's, in July 2013. This is an organization whose job it is to call it as they see it, and to provide dispassionate analysis of financial and economic data.
  • Political Geography: Ireland
  • Author: Eduardo Aguirre
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: "Our relationship with Spain needs to improve...fix it!" That was the main theme of my Oval Office meeting with President George W. Bush before I left for my post in Madrid in 2005. The president had reviewed a draft of my list of priorities in Spain and agreed with its substance. He also underscored the issues that were more important to him, injecting personal observations, and a few choice colorful words, that as a fellow Texan, I had no problems understanding.
  • Political Geography: Spain
  • Author: James B. Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: For over four years, my wife and I had what can only be described as a rich, fulfilling and intense experience in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We were caught in the middle of the so-called Arab Spring. We watched the significant role social media played in protests, as a generation of well-educated young people demanded more from their government. It was remarkable to witness this moment in history, as forces of change and globalization tugged at the soul of this most conservative society. However, unless you experienced it first hand, it can be difficult to track the changes in Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Daniel L. Shields
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When President Obama delivered his address to the Australian Parliament in 2011 affirming his strategic decision that the United States will play a larger role in shaping the Asia Pacific region and its future—what came to be called the rebalance—few observers outside Brunei Darussalam might have anticipated that Brunei would emerge as an essential partner for the United States in the effort to get the rebalance right. But that is what happened. The United States worked closely with Brunei, especially in the context of Brunei's role as the 2013 Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to develop innovative projects to promote comprehensive American regional engagement. Two important examples of initiatives to broaden US regional engagement were the Brunei-US English Language Enrichment Project for ASEAN and the US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership. As these projects were being implemented, Brunei's effective Chairmanship of ASEAN helped lower the temperature in the region on the South China Sea and promote broad regional military-to-military cooperation, particularly through a Brunei-hosted Humanitarian Assistance/ Disaster Relief and Military Medicine exercise that brought together 18 nations, including the United States and China. The rebalance also includes a commercial side, and US companies have enjoyed increased success in Brunei. Looking ahead, the opportunities for trade should multiply once the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, in which Brunei and the United States are among the twelve parties, come to a successful conclusion.
  • Author: Lisa Kubiske
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Much of what you read nowadays about Honduras feeds the perception of a country plagued by violence, corruption, poverty, impunity, and human rights abuses. Honduras is indeed confronting very serious challenges in security, fiscal management, governance, job creation, and justice sector reform. However, this is only one side of the coin and masks a lesser-known reality that provides reason for optimism. Despite the considerable challenges Honduras faces, the US government has dedicated partners both in the Honduran government and in other sectors of society who have contributed to successful, sustainable initiatives, including the Central America Regional Security Initiative, that make a difference in the quality of Honduran citizens' lives and advance mutual interests. There is indeed hope for the future of Honduras.
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Author: Glyn T. Davies
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Many long-time observers predicted North Korea in early 2012 was headed for positive change. Its new leader-at perhaps 28 years of age, the world's youngest-presented himself as a breath of fresh air. Kim Jong Un appeared on the surface to be quite unlike his stodgy, secretive father, Kim Jong Il. In 17 years as North Korea's dictator, the elder Kim's voice was believed to have been broadcast only once-briefly and likely by accident-to the country's citizens. Kim Jong Un, in contrast, spoke publicly and eagerly. He projected an image as a reformer ready to modernize his desperately poor country. He is energetic and the spitting image of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, the charismatic founder of the North Korean state. Many experts believed the third Kim would work to end his cloistered country's deep isolation.
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • 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. McFaul
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: President Obama has emphasized the importance of communicating directly with societies, and not just governments, as a necessary means for pursuing our Administration's foreign policy objectives around the world. The same is true in Russia. Given how much time Russians spend online, social media offers an especially exciting new tool for this kind of communication.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Communications
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • 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: Abelardo L. Valdez
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, the Council of American Ambassadors established its International Affairs Fellowship Program. I was honored to have been asked by Ambassador Keith L. Brown, then Council President, to establish this program, prior to the Council's 20th Anniversary Gala in 2003, and subsequently to raise funds and recruit a cadre of Ambassador-mentors to carry out this initiative. The commitment and dedication of our mentors, which have included Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, Co-chair of the Program, Ambassadors Keith L. Brown, Timothy A. Chorba, Stuart W. Holliday, G. Philip Hughes, Thomas P. Melady, Paul A. Russo, M. Osman Siddique, Robert D. Stuart, Jr., Timothy L. Towell, Aldona Z. Wos, M.D. and the late Patricia Lynch Ewell, with the support of our other Council colleagues, has made it possible for this initiative to flourish and accomplish impressive goals. Our Executive Director, Carolyn Gretzinger, and International Program Associate, Angela Norcross, have provided excellent staff support in conducting the Program every year. I am grateful to all of these individuals for their contributions to this noble endeavor.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: 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: Johnnie Carson
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the DRC as it is commonly known, is one of those countries that deserves greater research and attention, as well as a higher place on our foreign policy list.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 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: Henry S. Ensher
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When asked about the effects of the Arab Spring on their country, Algerians tend to say that they knew the nearby revolutions would be dangerous to them, and point to extremist takeover and foreign intervention in northern Mali and the terrorist attack at In Amenas. Looking further back, they will say that Algeria had its own political spring in the late 1980s, but it led straight to the terrorist violence of the 1990s that resulted in the deaths, they say, of 200,000 Algerians, a decade of development and progress lost and psychological damage and divisions in their society. Algerians point to three troubling developments from recent events in their region: the rise of extremist forces to political power in their region, the trafficking of large numbers of weapons from Libya and the chaos of northern Mali, leading to foreign military intervention, which Algerians find deeply troubling, given their own history as a colonized people.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia, Algeria, Northern 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: João Vale de Almeida
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The doomsday voices that for years predicted the imminent collapse of the Euro and the European Union itself have gone silent with the EU economy gradually improving: the European Union is set to emerge from recession in the fourth quarter of this year with GDP growth expected at 1.4 percent in 2014; business activity in the eurozone rose at the fastest pace in August for more than two years; and the eurozone purchasing managers' index hit a 16-month high in June. We are by no means out of the woods yet, but we believe that we are starting to see signs of economic recovery in Europe. And this means that much-needed jobs should follow.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mark A. Pekala
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In 2008, as the world battled the global financial crisis, a small country on the Baltic Sea emerged at the center of the world's attention: Latvia. One of the most severely affected economies in the world and dubbed by Paul Krugman "the new Argentina," Latvia stood in the global spotlight. During the crisis, Latvia's GDP dropped by a quarter and unemployment ballooned to 23 percent.
  • Political Geography: Argentina
  • Author: Abelardo L. Valdez
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: We meet this evening to honor five of our members, including one of our founders, with the Benjamin Franklin Award for their distinguished diplomatic service on behalf the United States of America and their outstanding leadership of the Council of American Ambassadors during the first three decades of its existence.
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • 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: Antonio O. Garza, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As a candidate for office, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke often and forcefully about his plan to address the structural challenges that have impeded Mexico's economic and social progress. Not yet a year into his six-year term, he has laid out his intention to address the most contentious and arguably the most significant of those roadblocks: Mexico's energy sector.
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: D. Brent Hardt
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: On July 4, 2013, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) marked the fortieth anniversary of its founding under the Treaty of Chaguaramas. Established to promote economic integration, coordinate foreign policies, and facilitate functional cooperation in human and social development among its fifteen member states, CARICOM has dismantled trade barriers, created a regional Supreme Court, and coordinated regional approaches to education, public health, disaster response, climate change and development financing.
  • Political Geography: Caribbean
  • 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
  • Author: David Bruce Wharton
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As dawn broke across Zimbabwe on Election Day, July 31, 2013, all appeared to be in order. Poll workers were setting up voting booths and arranging ballots and other election material. Local and regional observers and political party agents were on hand. Voters were queuing up in the crisp southern African winter air.
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Princeton N. Lyman, Ph.D.
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: On September 4, 2013, President Obama appointed Ambassador Donald Booth as the US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. Booth is the sixth such envoy, over the Bush and Obama Administrations, reflecting the enormous interest the United States has had in the peace process between these two countries. Not only diplomacy but resources have been invested in this process. Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, the United States has spent more than $10 billion on peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and development aid in these two countries. The fundamental reason is that a return to war would not only create even more humanitarian chaos than in the past, but send ripples of instability through North Africa and the Horn. Over this long engagement the United States developed deep ties with South Sudan and played a major role in enabling it to achieve its right of self-determination and ultimately independence. But that friendship is now under strain and Americans both in and out of government are concerned over the direction of this, the world's newest state.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Sudan
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore
  • Author: Thomas R. Nides
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: From the Arab Awakening to the rise of China and India, the world is transforming before our eyes. But whether the challenge is halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or driving global economic recovery, American leadership is more essential than ever. Only the United States has the strength and the will to anchor a more peaceful and prosperous world.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Marc Grossman
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After a decade of effort and tremendous sacrifice by Americans, Afghans, allies and partners, we have made progress toward the goal of disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden is dead. Al-Qaeda is weaker. As a result of this effort and sacrifice, we can now enter a new phase of our en¬gagement in Afghanistan defined by the plan set out at the NATO Lisbon Summit in November 2010. The Afghan government is systematically taking responsibility for Afghanistan's security; half of the Afghan population today lives in areas where the Afghan government has the lead responsibility for security. By the end of 2014, all of Afghanistan will have transitioned to Afghan security lead.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Lisbon
  • Author: Jonathan Addleton
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the United States. Over a quarter century, interactions between our two countries have increased significantly, and our ties are now wide and deep. As Mongolia's mineral wealth transforms the country into one of the world's fastest-growing economies, our bilateral relationship is poised to become still stronger in the years ahead.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Mongolia
  • Author: David Adelman
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Singapore is often described as a country punching above its weight. That is certainly true with regard to US-Singapore relations. Going from strength to strength, recent developments have moved our bilateral relationship up a weight class. In February 2012 in Washington, DC, we launched the US-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue (SPD) during a week when bilateral relations between our two countries received more attention than at any other time in recent history.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Singapore
  • Author: Ron Kirk
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As America's economic recovery continues, President Obama is doing everything possible to build a strong foundation for future growth. The President's blueprint for an America built to last calls for Americans to make, grow and provide products the rest of the world will buy. To support this goal, US trade policy focuses on opening markets and securing a level playing field for US exporters.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Haleh Esfandiari
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Iran held parliamentary elections on March 2 and will hold presidential elections in 2013. The parliamentary elections were basically a competition between conservative factions, with the reformers and the opposition Green Movement excluded from the competition. The presidential election is certain to confirm the ascendancy of the hardliners among Iran's ruling elite; and the results of both these elections will have far-reaching implications for Iranian domestic and foreign policy.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Thomas A. Shannon
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Brazil's emergence on the world stage is one of the most interesting and important events of this new century. It is also one of the most consequential for the interests and well-being of the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil
  • Author: Arturo Sarukhan
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Every Ambassador to Washington is compelled to highlight the importance of his or her country's relationship with the United States. And as is self-evident, every Ambassador will state that the relationship of her or his country with the United States is of paramount importance. However, if we measure the impact two countries have on each other's well-being, security and prosperity, it is safe to unequivocally say that there are no two as important to on e another as Mexico and the United States. This is more than a premise; it is a reality.
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico
  • Author: Francisco Altschul
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This is a crucial time for El Salvador. This year, the country commemorates the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords, which ended a painful 12-year civil war that took mo re than 75,000 lives and changed the country forever. Twenty years later, the arduous process of democratic consolidation and the implementation of critical development initiatives continues.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ravic Huso, Alexandre Escorcia
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As the United States prepares to host the first NATO Summit on American soil since 1999, the transatlantic Alliance faces an unfamiliar strategic challenge: how to retain and acquire the capabilities it needs for the future during an unprecedented period of fiscal austerity. NATO's original purpose has remained constant through the decades, and the 2010 Strategic Concept formulates it in language that could have come from the 1949 Treaty: “to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means.” What has evolved is the range of security challenges that threaten NATO nations, but also, crucially, the public's perception of these threats and the resources needed to confront them.
  • Political Geography: United States, Chicago
  • Author: François Delattre
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In many ways, 2011 was an exceptional year for French-American relations. As the world underwent deep transformations, particularly with the Arab Spring, the United States and France demonstrated the strength of their partnership and the importance of what they can accomplish together
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France, Libya
  • Author: Thomas P. Melady, J. Cushman Laurent
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The late Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I (1892- 1975), may be known for his emotionally charged appeal to the League of Nations in June 1936, but his legacy goes far beyond this one speech. Among his many quotes and discourses, perhaps his most influential and compelling address occurred on May 5, 1941, after he led British, South African, Ethiopian and other African forces into the capital of Addis Ababa and declared victory over the brutal Italian Fascist occupation.
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Ethiopia
55. Statement
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The Council of American Ambassadors is a nonpartisan, professional organization established in 1983 that endeavors to educate the public about policy issues affecting the national interest. It also supports the role of the ambassador and the embassy team in carrying out US foreign policy in countries around the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Author: Roberta S. Jacobson
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Over the past several years, the United States has entered a period of sustained progress in our relations with the Americas. The new assertiveness of regional players like Brazil and Mexico, the deepening pace of integration in the Caribbean and Central and South America, and the increasing ties between Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region are all contributing to a dynamic environment that is filled with opportunities for our country. Notwithstanding the institutional and governance challenges that persist in some parts of the region, today many Latin American and Caribbean countries are more confident, capable, and open to partnership with the United States than at any other point in recent memory. This is a positive development for our broader national interests and for the Western Hemisphere as a whole. Our task is to engage our neighbors as equal partners, meeting the common challenge of creating a future in which our societies can thrive together, against the backdrop of the Americas' expanding strategic importance for the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Caribbean, Mexico, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Constâncio Pinto
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Timor-Leste has stumbled. Today, it is standing again. The recent elections demonstrate that a post-conflict state such as ours can emerge from fragility to achieve peace and stability and serve as a model to other countries.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Fragile/Failed State
  • Author: Judith R. Fergin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When I first visited Timor-Leste twenty-two years ago, I witnessed the courage of students demonstrating for independence. Throughout the following years, I joined other Americans in observing with intense interest Timor-Leste's travel along the road to independence, from the exhilarating popular consultation and its tragic aftermath in 1999 to the joyous assumption of sovereignty in 2002. Since then, the government and people of Timor-Leste have met the manifold and complex challenges of establishing an entirely new country from the ground up with courage and dedication. Even as a young nation, Timor-Leste has exhibited a tremendous commitment to the principles of democracy and human rights. The result is a country that counts, in the Asia-Pacific and around the globe.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: David L. Carden
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Nearly three years ago, President Obama met with his ten counterparts at the first US-ASEAN Leaders Meeting, ushering in a renewed US focus on Southeast Asia. Since that important milestone, the United States has moved rapidly to demonstrate the breadth of our commitment to playing an active and supportive role in the region. We have nourished longstanding alliances and strategic partnerships, opened new pathways for cooperation with emerging regional powers, and advanced a respectful and calibrated approach to improving previously problematic relationships.
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Suzan Johnson Cook
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: One's freedom to believe as he or she chooses and to manifest those beliefs is a constitutional right in the United States that is often taken for granted. Not only do we enjoy these freedoms as we adhere to or reject worldviews and religions as we choose; we also enjoy the robust civil society, peaceful political transitions, and economic prosperity that would not be possible were this fundamental freedom not soundly protected in the United States.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James Franklin Jeffrey
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The 2011 transition from a US military-centric American presence in Iraq to a diplomatic lead, requiring the build out of already the largest US embassy since Vietnam, was an extraordinary political and logistic al effort, all but unparalleled in State Department history. The transition's success and its many challenges provide lessons for both the upcoming Afghanistan transition and 'expeditionary diplomacy' generally. It provides a model for diploma tic primacy in a conflict environment, but also cautionary lessons on the limits of diplomatic engagement in a war zone.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Vietnam
  • Author: Gillian A. Milovanovic
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The United States assumed the year-long Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process—for the first time—on January 1, 2012. Midway through our year as chair, we are committed to building on the successes of an almost decade- old Process, and keeping the Kimberley Process relevant for decades to come for the benefit of all.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jonathan Shrier
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Nearly a billion people in the world go hungry on a daily basis. The global population is expected to increase to exceed nine billion by 2050, requiring a 60 percent increase in food production. The consequences are undeniable. Already, undernutrition contributes to the deaths of 2.6 million children every year, and is responsible for a third of all deaths of children under the age of five. An inadequate diet during critical windows of development can cost survivors up to ten percent of their lifetime earnings due to decreased cognitive and physical capacity, and the problem can cost countries up to two to three percent of their GDP annually.
  • Topic: Food
  • Author: Michael A. Battle, Sr.
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In June 14, 2012 President Obama signed a new Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) for Sub-Saharan Africa which sets forth the US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa. This new PPD is a logical follow up to the historic speech President Obama presented to the Ghanaian Parliament three years ago in which the President stated that Africa is a fundamental part of our interconnected world and called for a partnership with Africa that is “grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect.” President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Carson and the entire US diplomatic team have taken a whole of government approach in being intentional about the fact that our role is to support the African continent in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, trade and investment, advancing peace and security, and promoting opportunity and development.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Daniel Lewis
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: If ideologies that inspire violence are not overcome by force of persuasion, they will only be overcome by force of arms. Al-Qaeda's ideas continue to take root in new and diverse soil. Where they do, violence, destabilization, and devastation are the predictable results. During the last eleven years, America and her allies have waged war on al-Qaeda the organization. War has not been waged on al-Qaeda the idea. The result has crippled al -Qaeda's tactical cap abilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but has allowed for its transnational presence to flourish. To engage al-Qaeda the idea, the foremost warriors needed are state and public diplomats whose weapons are far more subtle than bombs and bullets.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America
  • Author: Nicholas J.C. Snyder
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: What is Public Diplomacy? What does it mean to be a “Public Diplomacy officer?” Who should be doing Public Diplomacy in the US government and how is it best done? Why does Public Diplomacy (known far and wide as “PD”) still have a mixed record, despite years of effort and attention? How is the State Department addressing the many changes that new media have brought?
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mary Burce Warlick
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Today's Serbia is a country that has made significant progress since the wars that led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia at the end of the last century. Though more than a decade of isolation left it markedly behind many of its regional neighbors, Serbia has now returned to a position of regional leadership. Though many challenges remain, the country's European aspirations are now supported by more than 90 percent of the newly-elected Parliamentarians who will set the course for the coming years. The outgoing government deserves accolades for helping Serbia move closer to European Union membership but also left significant tasks for the new government to address. The road ahead will not be easy and our multi-faceted engagement is designed to help Serbia reach its European aspirations while steadfastly representing our interests in foreign policy and the economic arena.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Author: Luis Arreaga
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Olafur Ragnar Grimsson comfortably won Iceland's June 30 Presidential election and is now beginning a record fifth four-year term. Grimsson is a political dynamo who had a career in the parliament, as an academic and newspaper editor prior to winning the presidency in 1996. As president, Grimsson has been an indefatigable advocate for Iceland on the international stage and has helped his country promote its expertise in renewable energy and ensure Iceland's voice is heard on issues affecting the Arctic.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iceland
  • Author: William J. vanden Heuvel
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: One hundred and ten years ago, on the eve of his coronation, Edward VII had appendicitis. The coronation was postponed for six weeks. In those days, ocean travel was the only transportation link between Great Britain and its former colony. Many Americans were in London for the coronation—an event that they had never seen since Queen Victoria's reign had lasted 64 years—so during this unplanned interval, they had lunches, and dinners, and dinners and lunches—and at one of them, on the very eve of the Royal event, a hundred Englishmen and Americans who saw in the greater alliance of their two countries the possibilities of a better world, forged the structure of the Pilgrims Society, an organization to exist separately in London and New York with the mutual purpose of “promoting the brotherhood among nations especially the United States and the British Empire.” In its illustrious history, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Reigning Sovereigns have praised the Pilgrims Society's role as an advocate of the Special Relationship between Britain and America.
  • Political Geography: Britain, New York, America, London
  • Author: Anne Slaughter Andrew
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Fifty years ago, Costa Rica, like most of its Latin neighbors, was a developing country struggling for political stability and economic development. Today, we find Latin America as a whole, more stable, prosperous and democratic, with Costa Rica recognized as one of the most stable democracies in the Americas.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Philip T. Reeker
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA), which ended the conflict between the ethnic-Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) and Macedonian security forces. After NLA fighters attacked a police station in the village of Tearce in January 2001, killing a police officer, clashes quickly flared up in other areas across Macedonia. The potential of another Balkan war was averted when US negotiator James Pardew and his EU colleague François Léotard mediated an agreement between the ethnic-Albanian and ethnic-Macedonian sides. The OFA was signed on August 13, 2001.
  • Author: Larry M. Dinger
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Burma (also known as Myanmar) is a land of contrasts. It is geographically the largest country in Southeast Asia, stretching from tropical beaches to Himalayan peaks. It is rich in resources, including natural gas, timber, and gems. Eighty years ago its people were generally acknowledged to be the best educated in the region, and their prospects for development were expected to be high. Yet today, Burma is the poorest country in Southeast Asia with a per capita GDP of about $625; governmental health and educational expenditures are pitifully small; and Burmese rank near the bottom in most human-development indexes. The ethnic Burman, mostly Buddhist majority lives mostly in the central plains; but more than one hundred other distinct ethnic groups exist, as do notable Christian, Muslim, and Hindu minorities. Visitors universally praise the hospitality of Burmese peoples; yet ethnic-based armed conflicts simmer and sometimes flare in border areas, and Burma receives constant international criticism for major human rights abuses.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Burma, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Francis Rooney
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: While many Americans only see him as a spiritual leader of Roman Catholics, the Pope exerts an often subtle but undeniable influence in international affairs. The Pope is the final authority of the Holy See, which derives its name from “seat” in Latin and signifies the repository of authority and direction over the organization and affairs of the Church. As an institution and sovereign, the Holy See is the “oldest diplomatic entity in the world.”
  • Topic: Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Donald P. Gregg
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The good news out of the Koreas is that President Barack Obama, as no other president before him, has recognized that South Korea is America's most reliable and active ally in Asia. The President mentioned South Korea in his January 25 State of the Union speech far more than any other country, praising its teachers, its technical prowess, its growing economic status, and urging quick ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. If any further proof of Seoul's current status was needed, David Sanger in The New York Times of February 20, 2011, said flatly, “South Korea…is now Washington's favorite ally in Asia.”
  • Topic: Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Washington, Asia, South Korea, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Thomas P. Melady, J. Cushman Laurent
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Religious freedom is one indicator that can be used to gauge fundamental human rights bestowed upon citizens by government. Republika Srpska has seen ethnical, cultural, and political strife over the last two decades. Sixteen years after the Dayton Peace Accords ended the Bosnian War, does Republika Srpska guarantee freedom of religion?
  • Topic: Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: Republika Srpska
  • Author: Ellen Margrethe Løj
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As Liberia reaches almost eight years of unbroken peace since the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) deployed in 2003, I had the opportunity in March 2011 to brief the Security Council on the remarkable progress the country is making, and highlighted Liberia's need for continued support from the international community. Amid its numerous challenges, and as the country strives to consolidate peace, the support of the international community is paramount to consolidate the outstanding achievements of the Liberian people.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations, Liberia
  • Author: Adam E. Namm
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Abraham Lincoln appropriately described the role of official buildings in the national consciousness when, challenged about the cost of constructing the Capitol dome during the Civil War, he observed, “When the people see the dome rising, it will be a sign that we intend the union to go on.” While the facilities constructed by the Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) are on foreign land, their role in announcing to the world that the United States is a presence of stability, reliability, and permanence is as valuable a symbol of our democracy as the many official buildings that fly the flag in the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ryan C. Crocker
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After concluding a 37 year Foreign Service career as Ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009, I accepted an appointment as Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A University. In a December 2010 convocation address, I tried to describe what brought me here. In an important way, my past with the State Department and my present and future here at A come down to a single word: Service.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Scott Gration
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Fewer than six months ago, many feared that Sudan stood at the brink of disaster. The January 2011 Southern Sudan referendum appeared unlikely to be held on time and had the potential to plummet Sudan back into the cycle of violence and human suffering that characterized much of its past. But no such crisis emerged. Instead, with the support of the international community, the referendum took place on-time in a peaceful and orderly manner. Millions of southern Sudanese cast their ballots without violence or intimidation. International observers judged that the vote was credible and took place in a manner broadly consistent with international standards, and most significantly, the Government of Sudan agreed to respect the results. Instead of facing the worst case scenario that many had projected, the referendum proved a marked success.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Sudan
  • Author: Christian Prosl
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: One can still remember the inauguration of US President Barack Obama in January 2009. So many hopes, dreams and wishes were placed in the new leader in Washington. People were wondering what would change and, more importantly, what had to change.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Jinnie Lee
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the State Department's flagship citizen exchange program. The IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the United States and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the United States. These visits to the United States reflect the International Visitors' professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. The participants are current and emerging foreign leaders in government, politics, journalism, education, arts, business, and other key fields identified as such by officers serving in US embassies. Almost 200,000 individuals have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program, including more than 300 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government, and thousands of leaders from the public and private sectors.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kenneth H. Merten
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Progress in the reconstruction of Haiti in the aftermath of the January 12, 2010, earthquake has been slow, but it is tangible. Impassable roads have been cleared, Haitians work to demolish buildings, often with hand tools, then pile the rubble and clear the site, and the famous Marché Hyppolite, the enormous 19th century market destroyed in the quake, was recently rebuilt. These physical signs of progress are heartening as they are a reminder that the work of renewal and reconstruction continues in spite of Haiti's political instability. To echo Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her recent visit, this progress is a testament to the incredible resilience and determination of the Haitian people.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Haiti
  • Author: Michael C. Polt
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Estonia is remarkable. On January 1 of this year, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip fulfilled one of his government's most fervent policy goals by changing his nation's currency to the euro. At the stroke of midnight he withdrew 20 euros from an ATM in the heart of Tallinn's Freedom Square. It marked the latest (and one of the most important) milestones on Estonia's two-decade journey from occupied Soviet republic to a prosperous, stable and democratic example for others to follow. The mechanics of the switch-over were handled flawlessly. Not only the Prime Minister's ATM worked—all of the machines worked all over Estonia. Why was I not surprised?
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, Estonia
  • Author: Joe Mellott
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Diplomacy is traditionally the business of governments talking to governments. It's about delivering a message, clarifying a position, or making a stand. That model worked well in a world of one-way communications where people watched the dialogue and were told what had been said. Today, that world is history. In today's world the traditional model for diplomacy isn't gone, but it's only one part of what matters. Sure, governments still do and still must talk directly, both in public and behind closed doors, about their messages, their positions, and where they stand. But in today's communications world, the public isn't just a passive observer—the public is often a very active participant, with a stake, and a viewpoint, and a voice. Public diplomacy today has a direct and crucial role side-by-side with traditional diplomacy. So now we have to get public diplomacy right if we want to succeed.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Author: Gordon Gray
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali's abrupt departure on January 14 set Tunisians upon a new and hopeful path to representative government and greater personal freedom, while setting off a wave of democratic protest across the region. Yet the tumultuous period from mid-December to mid-February—a time of popular uprising, political violence, Ben Ali's departure, and the early instability of a new government—has been followed by months of deliberately paced and publicly debated transition to a new government enjoying popular legitimacy. In fact, what is most remarkable about the process since Ben Ali's overthrow is how the people of Tunisia have, in a largely peaceful and orderly manner, set themselves to the immensely complex task of consolidating their democratic transition.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: William Sweeney
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Once the first protests erupted in Tunisia in December 2010, a wave of unrest quickly spread across the Middle East and North Africa as citizens expressed their discontent with the region's regimes. The Arab Spring was the result of mounting dissatisfaction with the status quo but also the result of blatant government corruption, brutal human rights violations, the economic downturn, low wages and rising unemployment rates. The socio-economic problems were truly the boiling point that pushed protesters, particularly youth, over the edge.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Edward M. Gabriel, Robert M. Holley
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Having both served in Morocco as representatives of the United States under President Clinton, and for the past ten years as advisers to the Kingdom of Morocco, we have witnessed firsthand the remarkable record of political and social transformation that Morocco has undergone over the past twenty years, and particularly since King Mohammed VI assumed the throne twelve years ago.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Morocco
  • Author: Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Africa's multicultural tradition and its influence on the Arab Spring are challenging and singularly complex subjects, certain to frustrate those who seek neat, linear, cause-and-effect relationships. In many respects, Africa's multicultural tradition, when juxtaposed against the complex and largely externally imposed circumstances of Africa's turbulent history, and the realpolitik of today, is but a small—albeit critical—component in the dynamic, driving the people and institutions of modern Africa, and its regional neighbors, towards change. Washington's US policy establishment, for instance, contains more fractious 'tribes' than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, each with its own political agenda and pandering media-congressional constituency. How, one wonders, can objective truth divining the complexly-nuanced affairs of ancient nations half a world away possibly emerge from such a riot of contending institutional interests and agendas?
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Washington
  • Author: Robert O. Blake, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This year marks the 20th anniversary of independence for the five republics of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This anniversary is a good opportunity to reflect on America's growing stake in Central Asia. Since 1991, our desire for a stable, independent, and prosperous Central Asia has guided US policy priorities in the region, with each of the five nations working towards building strong, market-oriented democracies. In recent years, the United States has sought to increase engagement with this region on a broad range of issues, particularly as we work to bring stability, security, and prosperity to Afghanistan, which borders three of the Central Asian republics. Located at the critical geostrategic crossroads of Eurasia, the region is rich not only in natural resources, economic opportunity, and human capacity, but also in its diversity of people, culture, and ideas. Just as the region was at the center of the Silk Road of centuries past, Central Asia has the potential once again to serve as a hub of trade, transport, and ideas in Eurasia, linking the people and markets of East and West, and North and South. We look forward to working with the Central Asian republics, their neighbors, and international partners to create a new Silk Road that integrates this strategically vital region and offers new opportunities for its people.
  • Topic: Culture
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: David M. Abshire
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: On June 22, 2011, President Obama outlined his plans for the withdrawal of 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012 with the removal of all combat troops by 2014. The announcement has reenergized an ongoing debate sparked by the recent death of Osama bin Laden over the United States’ role in Afghanistan. Pundits and politicians from both the political Right and Left are calling for a speedier withdrawal and reduction in aid in the wake of bin Laden’s death.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Ichiro Fujisaki
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: What a horrific scene it was. Places where houses and buildings had been, and where people had been walking and working, were washed away. Driving through the area with my wife and daughter four months after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsumani struck Japan, I met school teachers and others who had lost family members. Despite their tragic experiences, I was encouraged that many of them were trying to recover from the shock and were working hard on behalf of their families and their communities.
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Hugo Llorens
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This should be a time of triumph and opportunity for Honduras. Two years after a coup d'état toppled President José Manuel Zelaya, Honduras has successfully restored its dynamic and democratic political system. The freely elected government of President Porfirio Lobo has secured deserved international recognition. In May, former President Zelaya returned to Honduras, ending a lengthy exile in the Dominican Republic that had prolonged the country's political polarization. The following month, the Organization of American States (OAS) lifted its suspension on Honduras's participation, a moment of profound symbolic and practical significance and a diplomatic objective that the United States and other countries in the region had worked long and hard to achieve.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Dominican Republic
  • Author: Donald Blinken
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As Greece works out of financial crisis, it should look to Hungary fifteen years ago for part of the answer. Far too large a segment of the Greek economy remains locked up in public hands. Their sale to the private sector, as Hungarians discovered, while not a panacea, will help reduce catastrophic public debts, and salaries and pensions will become the responsibility of private owners rather than the government. The Greek Parliament's austerity plan would raise 70 billion euros from privatization by 2015. The government will sell stakes in banking, airports, water utilities, motorway concessions, port operations, state land, and mining rights. Selling assets to the private sector will also improve managerial know-how, increase transparency, and encourage confidence in a Greek recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Gustaf Lind
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Sweden assumed the chairmanship of the Arctic Council at its ministerial meeting in Nuuk, Greenland in May 2011 and will lead, over the next two years, its work on many important and challenging tasks. The Arctic Council is the primary forum for cooperation between the Arctic states. Sweden intends to make use of its chairmanship to undertake substantial projects for the benefit of the people of the Arctic, to introduce more policymaking in the Council and to strengthen further the role of the Council and the relevance of its work. The Arctic Council should reflect the common vision of the Arctic states in order to promote effective cooperation in the region.
  • Political Geography: Sweden
  • Author: Johan Berggren
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Europe is beset by economic and financial risks: uneven and in many cases slow growth, high unemployment, weak public finances, jittery financial markets, and popular dissatisfaction with consolidation schemes. The sovereign debt crisis afflicting several southern and peripheral Euro-economies exemplifies Europe's current travails.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Author: Thomas P. Melady, J. Cushman Laurent
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The area formerly known as Yugoslavia, positioned at the crossroads of East and West, is a melting pot of ethnicities and religions. As one country, Yugoslavia's rich multiculturalism was a source of contention, culminating in a series of bloody conflicts in the early 1990s. The Dayton Accords of 1995 brought peace to the region and created separate nations organized along ethnic and religious lines. Sixteen years after the signing of the Dayton Accords, we examine the geopolitical situation in each of the seven independent states of the former Yugoslavia.
  • Political Geography: Yugoslavia
  • Author: Michelle A. Lee, Ph.D.
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” Many educators would bristle at least a little bit at this statement, originally penned by George Bernard Shaw in his work, Maxims for Revolutionists. While the divide between practitioners and theorists in various subjects is long-standing, it has never been more apparent in the field of public diplomacy than today. This is partly attributable to the fact that the formal academic study of public diplomacy is a relatively new undertaking. Increasingly in the past decade, academics, independent analysts, councils, and commissions dedicated to US public diplomacy have produced numerous articles, blogs, publications, and reports, often focusing on the weakness of American public diplomacy. Many include recommendations on ways to improve the US government's efforts to engage foreign publics around the world. The extent to which these analyses are read by actual practitioners of public diplomacy is unknown; anecdotally, I venture the guess that few active field practitioners have the time to read much of the published academic literature on the subject of public diplomacy.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.