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  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: President Boris Yeltsin’s imperial views on the “near abroad,” and President Vladimir Putin’s regarding Russia’s alleged “sphere of influence” has left Russia considerably weaker than it would have been otherwise, and the world much more endangered.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Diplomacy, Economics, Politics, Armed Forces, Reform, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Soviet Union, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, United States of America, Baltic States
  • Author: Ofer Israeli
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: After a century of an American world order established by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson at the end of the First World War, we are facing a shift in Washington’s global attitude. President Trump’s approach to world affairs is different. Although Obama, and to some extent Bush before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, was starting to withdraw from the U.S. historical position of key global superpower, President Trump’s approach to world affairs is a much more drastic acceleration of this move. Continuing in this direction means we may soon face a collapse of America’s century-long preeminence, and the creation of a new world order in which the U.S. is no longer leading the global power, but only first among sovereigns, if at all.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Government, World War I, World War II, Institutionalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union, United States of America
  • Author: William A. Rugh
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Despite the focus on the results of the Yemeni conflict, its underlying causes have not been very well understood. It is a complicated story but this essay seeks to highlight three important factors behind the current turmoil in Yemen that are often overlooked. First, the country has major domestic divisions that are the primary reasons for the conflict in the first place. Second, Saudi direct intervention in Yemen is nothing new and is motivated by Saudi leadership’s strong views about the country. Third, American policy toward Yemen has more to do with Saudi Arabia and the region than with Yemen itself.
  • Topic: Civil War, Cold War, Diplomacy, Politics, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Soviet Union, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Mikael Barfod
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Controversies have abounded, including Palestine and Israel within the UN's Human Rights Council, lack of US support for the International Law of the Sea (since 1994), and the International Criminal Court (since 2002). Collectively, the European Union and its Member States remain by far the largest financial contributor to the UN, providing 30% of all contributions to the budget and 31% of peace-keeping activities in addition to substantial contributions towards project-based funding. 4. Some may object that the European Union has been hampered by the lack of a common position among EU Member States on the future of the UN Security Council (UNSC), where two member-states, UK and France, currently have permanent seats and one, Germany, is desperate to get one.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Human Rights, European Union, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Israel, Asia, France, Germany, United States of America
  • Author: Benjamin Tua
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Efforts to portray Muslims and their faith as threatening diminish our society by stigmatizing a significant American minority. They also can facilitate costly foreign policy blunders such as the 2017 Executive Order banning entry into the US of visitors from several Middle Eastern majority-Muslim countries, an order purportedly based on terrorist activity, technical hurdles to properly document these countries’ travelers, and poor coordination with US officials. Two recent books, “Mohammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires” and “What the Qur’an Meant: And Why it Matters,” take on the task of broadening Americans’ still unacceptably low understanding of Islam. The authors – Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, and Garry Wills, a Pulitzer Prize winning lay scholar of American Catholicism – approach their subject in distinctly different manners. Yet, their message and conclusions are remarkably similar – namely, that ignorance of and distortions of Islam and what the Quran says both alienate vast numbers of Muslims and have led to foreign policy missteps. The books complement each other nicely.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Judaism, Islamophobia, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Thomas E. McNamara
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: President George H.W. Bush entered the office with more extensive foreign affairs experience than any other president except John Quincy Adams. After serving as ambassador to the United Nations, chief of the Liaison Office in Beijing, and eight years as vice president, Bush had exceptional understanding of foreign policy and diplomatic practice, and personal relationships with the most important world leaders. In his international accomplishments, Bush was, arguably, the most successful and consequential one-term president, and surpassed most two-term presidents.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, National Security, History, Gulf War
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, Germany, El Salvador, United States of America
  • Author: Alon Ben-Meir
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The EU is in a unique position to prevent the outbreak of a war between Israel and Iran that could engulf the Middle East in a war that no one can win.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil War, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, United States of America
  • Author: Louis Sell
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The overwhelming majority of politically active Kosovo Albanians remain committed to a democratic vision of their country’s future, anchored by eventual membership in the EU and NATO. But many are losing faith in the EU’s institutional structure, which they view as having reneged on a promised to provide them visa-free entry and failing to provide a clear path toward membership. Kosovars retain a strong faith in the US, which they correctly see as primarily responsible for their liberation from Serbian oppression and as their only reliable ally in an increasingly dangerous Balkan environment.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Ophir Falk
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Today, after years of modern terrorism and counterterrorism, the international community still does not agree on a single definition of terrorism. Despite the daily threats posed to many states, the definition conundrum prevents an agreed classification that could better facilitate the fight against terrorism and thwart the public legitimacy that most terrorist organizations seek. When a problem is accurately and acceptably defined, it should be easier to solve. Terrorism is an overly used term often heard in different discourses and contexts. It is used by the general public and in the course of academic, political, and legal debates, not to mention constantly referenced in the media. It may not be feasible to verse one universal definition for all discourses, but the term’s key criteria can and should be agreed upon.
  • Topic: International Law, Politics, Terrorism, Military Affairs, Violence, Hezbollah, White Supremacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Robert E. Gribbin
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Twenty-five years ago, in April 1994, the havoc of genocide visited Rwanda. In a three-month-long paroxysm of violence, almost a million souls died. The country was devastated, the remaining population cowed, government non-existent, and the economy in shambles. Twenty-five years ago, in April 1994, the havoc of genocide visited Rwanda. In a three-month-long paroxysm of violence, almost a million souls died. The country was devastated, the remaining population cowed, government non-existent, and the economy in shambles.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Politics, History, Peacekeeping, Refugees, Memory
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Tanzania, North America, Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, United States of America, Zaire
  • Author: Haviland Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: It is clear that there are powerful people both in the United States and in Iran who would like to force a real confrontation between our two countries. What is completely unclear is whether or not those hawks on both sides want a modified Cold War type confrontation, built perhaps on cyber warfare, or an all-out military confrontation. What this situation, with all its incredibly profound dangers and possible disastrous outcomes, has done is once again prompt the question, “what is the United States doing in the Middle East and what precisely are our goals there?”
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, Minorities, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Edward Marks
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The Trump Administration Middle East Plan appears to call for a Palestinian “Bantustan” (maybe two with Gaza) and legally enforced separation of communities based on ethnic grounds. It is difficult to believe that this resurrection from the discredited past could be acceptable to anyone but its authors, who appear to be completely oblivious to the history of South Africa. That includes Netanyahu, who has obviously been fully engaged in the plan’s development. However the plan will be unacceptable to everyone else, including Saudi Arabia and other Arab governments who have been flirting with Israel and the US in an informal anti-Iranian alliance. The plan would certainly exacerbate – if that is possible – the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. The Kushner Plan would be like throwing oil on a fire; it will end badly for everyone concerned.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Apartheid, Development, Diplomacy, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North America, United States of America, West Bank, Golan Heights
  • Author: David Cowhig
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Chinese physician Dr. Wang Shuping predicted the HIV epidemic among Henan peasant blood sellers and eventually raised the alarm all the way to Beijing when local and provincial authorities ignored the rapid spread of HIV among the sellers. This heroic and far-sighted woman became my most important informant on the HIV epidemic when I worked in the Environment, Science and Technology Section of U.S. Embassy Beijing 1996 – 2001.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Health, Public Policy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dick Virden
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Watching the unfolding drama in the streets of Hong Kong, as police and protestors clash daily over the city-state’s future, brings back vivid memories of another, distant era when, for visitors like me, the then-Crown Colony was a tantalizing, intoxicating, mixture of East and West. It was more than half a century ago, in January of 1967, when I first stopped in Hong Kong en route to Bangkok for my initial assignment in the Foreign Service. I’d never ventured outside the United States before and was bowled over by the sights, sounds, and smells of this teeming island group off the tip of mainland China.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, History, Democracy, Protests, Memoir
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, Hong Kong, United States of America
  • Author: Larry Clinton Thompson
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: April 27, 1978 was a pleasant, sunny day in Kabul. It was Thursday. I worked at the American embassy and, in harmony with Islamic custom, our “weekends” were Thursday and Friday. I went horseback riding that morning. It was spring. The valleys were emerald green and dotted with orange-blooming pomegranate trees. Driving home at noon, I noticed nothing amiss.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Peace Studies, Coup, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Soviet Union, North America, Kabul, United States of America
  • Author: Hans Tuch
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Between 1959-1991, the U.S. Information Agency mounted a series of exhibitions in the Soviet Union featuring various aspects of American life and culture. The 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow, best known for the famous “kitchen debate” between Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev, was visited by 2.7 million Soviets. USIA officer Hans Tuch recounts some of the interaction between Nixon and Krushchev.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Culture, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Asia, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Hans Tuch
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: When I was Public Affairs Counselor in Bonn, we received frequent visits from administration officials. Our routine preparations included preparing briefing materials for the officials and press packets for the accompanying traveling journalists. Although we were pretty skilled at these activities, there was always room for error, as we discovered in December 1982 during the first visit to Bonn of the newly appointed Secretary of State George Shultz.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, United States of America
  • Author: May Johnston
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Chinese universities first reopened after the Cultural Revolution in 1977. Since 1949, no academic degrees had been awarded in China. The professors agreed with us that the time had come to invite specialists in American history and American literature to teach about our cultural patrimony rather than just teach English. Were we interested to learn about traditional Chinese opera, recently resurrected from the dead after the Gang of Four's departure? How did he, alone of all the officials I met in my two and a half years in Beijing, remain warm, curious, cheerful, open, enthusiastic, ever flashing a thousand watt smile and above all, so alive? I have photos of Ma grinning as he tried out my colleague's American motorcycle, Ma helping my two-year-old daughter with her chopsticks, Ma joking with the newly arrived Fulbright professors, who ended up relying on Ma as their interlocutor for every request or misunderstanding with the BeiDa authorities.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, History, Culture, Memoir
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Africa, Hong Kong, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Gilbert
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Moving vans pulling away from the sprawling former embassy of the United States in Bonn, Germany, in the summer of 1999 carried more heavy freight than just office furniture and the paraphernalia of a large embassy in transition. The trucks were laden as much with symbolism as with the residue of files, desks and chairs. As the vans crossed the John F. Kennedy Bridge over the Rhine and pointed north and east toward Berlin, a half century of American diplomacy in Bonn was coming to an end.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, European Union, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Mark L. Asquino
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Almost fifty years have passed since the terrible day in 1971 when one State Department officer brutally killed another in the tiny, African country of Equatorial Guinea. What took place there is a lurid story of sex, madness and murder that almost every foreign service officer has heard about at one time or another. In many ways it’s the State Department’s version of the 1984 classic film, “Nightmare on Elm Street.” However, the murder in Equatorial Guinea is a real-life tale of horror that continues to intrigue foreign service officers. Here are the basic facts of what happened.
  • Topic: Cold War, Crime, Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, North America, United States of America, Equatorial Guinea
  • Author: David A. Langbart
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In October 1921, responding to complaints about the attention American citizens received from their diplomatic and consular representatives overseas, the Department of State sent a circular to American diplomatic and consular officers. The Department noted that the “value of the foreign service to the country as a whole is unquestionably affected by impressions resulting from the experiences of Members of Congress, officials, American business men and tourists.” The circular further noted that nothing should be done to cause anybody to form a negative impression of the “value and importance of the service or of the courtesy and capacity of its personnel.” The Department, therefore, directed that staff be instructed “in the most explicit terms, that no proper effort should be spared to satisfy every American citizen, regardless of rank or position, who applies to the mission for assistance or information.” In response to the directive, Ulysses Grant-Smith, then serving as U.S. Commissioner in Budapest, Hungary, sent the following letter to Under Secretary of State Henry P. Fletcher in which he challenged the underlying assumptions of the Department’s circular.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, History, Memoir, Archive
  • Political Geography: Hungary, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anthony C. E. Quainton
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: These days Generals are thick on the ground in Washington. Not only is the Secretary of Defense a general, but so too are the current and former National Security Advisors to the President and so is the White House Chief of Staff. Military discipline would seem to be the order of the day. Their culture of discipline may seem particularly ironic in one of the most disorganized administrations that we Americans have ever seen. It is nonetheless real.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, National Security, Military Affairs, Trump
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Mike Anderson
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: American foreign policy is complex, and its application by diplomats and military practitioners is challenging in the diverse nature of the current environment. Military and diplomatic advisors during the post-9/11 period have concentrated on non-state threats, conditioning them to resort quickly to military options. In the face of emerging state competitors such as the Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China, a broader range of options beyond only military force is required. This generation of policy advisors must unlearn some of what they have learned over the course of the last fifteen years of conflict, as they shift from dealing with non-state actors to addressing the resurgence of near-peer statecraft based on national security threats. These threats have been long ignored during the war on terror. The diplomatic craft represented during the Cold War must be embraced by both the military and diplomatic personnel in practice, and emphasized by the uniformed armed forces and professional diplomatic advisors to policy and decision makers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Thomas E. McNamara
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: We persistently promote each major development assistance plan or nation-building project as “a Marshall Plan for _(fill_in_name)_.” Once a plan is underway supporters and opponents play out their different agendas. Supporters of foreign assistance downplay “Marshall Plan” comparisons because expectations cannot be met. Opponents stress the comparison to highlight shortfalls. This happens because none of the nation-building plans ever measures up to the original, successful, real, Marshall Plan. And they never will. Not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in Ukraine, not in Latin America, not in Africa. They won’t because the original Marshall Plan, contrary to popular myth, had nothing to do with development or nation building. It had everything to do with accelerating the reconstruction of already developed nations in Europe after two massively destructive wars.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, History, Foreign Aid, World War II
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Nicolai N. Petro
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The six Russian national security documents issued since Putin first became president in 2000 display a remarkable conceptual consistency. A careful reading of these documents, the most authoritative statements of Russia’s worldview publicly available, challenges several common Western assumptions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, National Security, Territorial Disputes, Ideology, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Robert Cox
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The Europe-US relationship is based on two pillars: a belief in and a promotion of a rules-based international order; a shared set of common values. Both of these pieces of mortar are crumbling. But the partners are not yet in the divorce court. Meanwhile Europeans increasingly sense that their familiar and otherwise comfortable world has gone.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Eric V. Guichard
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: For several decades now, global remittances – money that immigrants and citizens send to their families in countries from where they originate – have steadily grown in significance. The World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Unit recently pegged these global flows at $350 billion per year. Some estimates peg them as high as $500 billion annually – particularly when you include unofficial flow estimates and intra-continental transfers.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Migration, Foreign Aid, GDP, Economy
  • Political Geography: India, Philippines, North America, Mexico, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: W. Robert Pearson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Russia and Turkey are dancing a complicated pas de deux—for separate and common reasons. The happy couple has captivated global attention. There are reasons today to anticipate greater collaboration between Turkey and Russia in Syria and against Europe and the United States. However, there are also significant contradictions that could weaken the prospects of cooperation between the two countries. For gains against Syrian Kurds and to fan nationalist flames domestically, Turkey may be ignoring longer term needs. Russia is the major partner in the arrangement and sees little reason to sacrifice its interests to please Turkey. One day this unequal relationship may cause Turkey to question its value.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, History, Bilateral Relations, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Alicia Campi
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The U.S. and Mongolia established diplomatic relations in 1987, after earlier failed attempts and many years of Cold War frostiness. In this account, Dr. Campi describes the negotiations leading up to relations with the Mongolian People’s Republic, at the time a communist country closely allied to the Soviet Union, and her own role in the process.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, History, Bilateral Relations, Negotiation, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Japan, Mongolia, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Bob Baker
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: While many films made by the US Information Agency (USIA) were very useful in Africa to tell about American society and policies, two were not. These two, one about President Kennedy and the other about American agriculture, had the opposite result from that intended. Local African culture distorted the films’ messages.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Film, Soft Power, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Elizabeth Krijgsman
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Full disclosure: the Foreign Service was not my first choice of career. I was in college back in the Dark Ages when unmarried women’s business cards said “Miss,” women were called “girls,” and pantyhose hadn’t yet been invented. When it dawned on me that I might not be getting married right after graduation, I began to think seriously about what kind of career I wanted. I decided that it would ideally involve a lot of free time. It would of course pay well. And I thought it would be very nice if it involved travel to exotic places. Being fond of indoor plumbing and not fond of physical labor, I immediately eliminated the Peace Corps as a possibility. During the summer after my junior year in college, I realized—I should become a Diplomatic Courier! Lots of down time on airplanes. Constant travel to those exotic locales. Staying in luxury hotels. Decent pay. And almost no actual work!
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Women, Memoir
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Bridges
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Putin’s recent expulsion of hundreds of our colleagues serving at our embassy and consulates in Russia reminded me of my own service in Moscow in the 1960s. You may call this ancient history, though it doesn’t seem so ancient to me. Stalin had been in his grave for a decade, and dear Nikita Khrushchev was now in charge. Under Stalin, two and a half million people had been prisoners in the deadly Gulag camps. Thousands of poor haggard people had been released, and some of the system’s more notable deceased victims were even “posthumously rehabilitated.” The Gulag had officially been closed down in 1960—but an estimated three-quarters of a million inhabitants of the USSR were still in the horrid camps. And nothing had been done to lessen the role of the KGB, at least so far as we could see.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Economy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ralph Bresler
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: My wife Barbara and I, and our children, were fortunate to work closely with Dr. Jane Goodall during our 1987-1991 tour in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In 1989 Goodall called on Secretary of State James Baker in order to enlist him in her new cause of trying to save chimpanzees in the wild. After discussing her many years of groundbreaking chimpanzee research in Gombe, Tanzania, Goodall explained that, in addition to destruction of habitat, a major problem was the bushmeat trade. She noted that ten adult chimps were killed in the wild protecting every infant captured, and only one out of ten infant chimps survived the journey to the marketplace after being taken from their mothers. Secretary Baker offered the Department’s assistance to her effort. As the largest chimpanzee population was in the DRC, Kinshasa was her first stop in this new endeavor.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Environment, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, United States of America, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: David A. Langbart
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: As a result of the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the U.S. consulate general in Warsaw and its staff faced extraordinary circumstances. The Department of State included a brief overview of those experiences in a background report on wartime hazards faced by the Foreign Service during the period before the United States entered World War II. The extreme nature of what the consulate general’s staff faced are such, however, that it is worth presenting the full report of Consul General John K. Davis. Written from Oslo, Norway, after evacuation to that city, Davis’s despatch provides a detailed and evocative description of the events and occurrences that befell the staff in Warsaw. The ordeal was great. As the Consul General noted, “for all practical purposes we found ourselves living in the midst of a battlefield.”
  • Topic: Diplomacy, History, World War II, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Beatrice Camp
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Celebrating the bicentennial birthday of our 16th president seemed like a fairly safe event for our Shanghai consulate to undertake, considering that Abraham Lincoln was popular in China and former President Jiang Zemin was well known for quoting from the Gettysburg Address. And, of course, Lincoln provided us an opening to talk about “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Sometime after we decided on the program, the State Department announced that Hillary Clinton would travel to Beijing on her first trip as Secretary of State to highlight the importance of the U.S.-China relationship for the new administration. Shanghai wasn’t on her itinerary and yet, somehow, our consulate preparations to hold a 200th birthday party for Abraham Lincoln in February 2009 almost threw a wrench into this important SecState visit.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Government, Memoir
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Erika Weinthal
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In the Middle East, water often crosses political borders; because water is a shared resource, its effective management demands cooperation among different users. In the absence of cooperation, conflict is likely. Indeed, conflict and cooperation over shared water has defined Israeli-Palestinian relations since 1967 when Israel gained full control over the Eastern and recharge zone of the western Mountain aquifer, as well as the southern Coastal aquifer. These resources, combined with water from the Sea of Galilee have provided about 60% of Israel’s water consumption. With the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, Israel placed restrictions on the drilling of new wells for the Palestinian population in the West Bank, and instead chose to supply water to Palestinian households through its national water company, Mekorot. The signing of the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (Oslo I) and the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Oslo II) between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization offered an historic opportunity to move from conflict to cooperation over shared water resources. Unlike many other peace agreements, water was codified in the Oslo Accords, as it was understood that water sharing was of critical importance for human security, economic development, and regional cooperation. Specifically, the Oslo Accords called for the creation of a Joint Water Committee (JWC) during an interim period before the final status negotiations, comprised of equal number of members from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, whose functions would include the coordinated management of water resources and water and sewage systems in the West Bank. Oslo II, Article 40 on water and sewage recognized Palestinian water rights in the West Bank and the need to develop additional water supply. Oslo II also detailed specific water quantities to be allocated to the Palestinian population, mostly from the eastern Mountain aquifer in the West Bank.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Water, Conflict, Negotiation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, West Bank
  • Author: Patrick D. Duddy
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Venezuela remains in crisis. Popular support for the so-called Bolivarian revolution and its socio-economic model known as twenty-first century socialism has eroded dramatically. Polling suggests there is a near consensus among Venezuelans that conditions are bad and that the country is headed in the wrong direction but support for the opposition has also declined in recent months. International criticism of the Maduro regime is widespread. Countries representing over 90% of the region’s population have publicly called on the Venezuelan government to restore democracy. The economy is near collapse and both the country and the national oil company have been declared by various rating agencies and financial institutions to be in selective default. In response the Venezuelan government has looked ever more earnestly to China and Russia to bail them out. Recent assistance from Russia in particular has helped prevent a complete default but not improved circumstances inside the country,
  • Topic: Oil, Politics, Natural Resources, Sanctions, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: South America, Venezuela
  • Author: Edward Marks, Michael B. Kraft
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The issues that faced the Obama administration and will face the Trump administration—as well as the basic policies and programs—had roots in previous generations, some of them going back to the 1970’s and President Richard Nixon’s administration. Many programs conceived and developed during previous administrations continued, evolved, and were expanded during subsequent administrations. These programs include antiterrorism training for American and foreign law enforcement officials, the interagency Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs, and the ever pressing need for improved international cooperation and intelligence sharing. They are likely to continue, in one form or another, as ongoing efforts. This article is adapted from a draft of a forthcoming book: U.S Counterterrorism efforts, from Nixon to Bush. (CPC Press/Taylor&Francis Group).
  • Topic: Science and Technology, History, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State, 9/11
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Abdallah Al Dardari
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Aleppo is a landmark in the Syrian conflict and has become the strongest signal of the failure of the western approach to diplomacy and other means of influence to end the conflict. This failure calls for a dramatic change in the approach if we want to preserve Syria as one country, safeguard its diversity, and ensure the rebuilding of the nation. The moment fighting in Aleppo ends and the current government, along with the Russians and the Iranians, feel they have the upper hand in this conflict, the immediate goal and challenge is to rebuild. Yet, how do we deliver services and create jobs? How do we support reconstruction? How do we ensure stability after “military achievement”?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economy, Political stability, Conflict, Syrian War, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Jon P. Dorschner
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: India has long been obsessed with its rivalry with Pakistan, and for many years India viewed Pakistan as its principal security threat. Pakistan continues to support terrorist attacks directed against India and India-controlled Kashmir, and is continually increasing its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems for nuclear warheads. Despite this, Indians have come to feel more self-assured and no longer see Pakistan as the country’s principal security threat.China now occupies this position. India no longer views itself simply as the predominant regional power in South Asia, but as an aspiring world power and is gearing up for what many in India believe is an inevitable conflict with its neighbor the Peoples Republic of China. India has embarked on an outreach program to solidify friendly ties to other Asian nations that feel threatened by China, and is devoting a lot of attention to the ASEAN states (particularly Viet Nam), Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. There is increasing speculation that this relationship could develop into a formal alliance, especially if the United States becomes less active in Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Territorial Disputes, Economy, Trump, Borders
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, South Asia, India, North Korea, Kashmir, United States of America
  • Author: Robert Pearson
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This famous opening line from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is important also for democracies. While Turkey and Venezuela are each unhappy in their own way, they also may share some common elements in their struggles for democracy that provide lessons.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Authoritarianism, Elections, Democracy, Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, South America, Venezuela, United States of America
  • Author: Steven G. Greenbaum, David P. Hajjar
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In a world of diverse transnational priorities across the globe, the advancement of science is seen by many countries as a solution to promote a knowledge-based economy, yet few resources are actually committed to this policy. For example, countries in the Middle East face a range of social, political, economic and security challenges that are unparalleled in the world. Many of these countries are trying to manage their economies during declining oil and gas prices which have now had a negative impact on their ability to make local investments in science and technology. Unemployment is high, political upheaval is often at the core of civil war, and the last priority of government officials is the development of science and technology expertise. Except for Israel, most Middle East nations are underperforming in science in this region of the world where only 1% of their expenditures include research and development (R&D). Science diplomats and/or health attaches have tried to assist countries in the Middle East to address the short-falls in scientific and technological program development. These efforts have been welcomed, but the results have been marginal. One way to remedy the situation is for these countries to grow their scientific communities, and this includes the encouragement of a highly under-developed workforce, viz., women and ethnic minorities. Enabling this largely neglected and under-utilized intellectual resource to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is the focus of this article.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, Gender Issues, Science and Technology, Women
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Margo Berends
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Although Aleppo is now under the control of forces supporting the Syrian government and the city has been evacuated, it is but one city and the Syrian crisis is far from over. Millions have been displaced by the violence, either within Syria or across its borders, and the refugee crisis reverberates across the Middle East, Europe and beyond. While there has been much discussion of the refugee crisis, there has been limited coverage in mainstream American media of the needs of refugees and displaced people beyond the basics.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Humanitarian Aid, Non-Governmental Organization, Refugee Issues, Women, Displacement, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria, Jordan, United States of America
  • Author: Lóránd Ujházi
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Because of the current migration crisis the central organizations of the Catholic Church were forced to reflect upon more directly about the humanitarian, pastoral and policy aspects of the refugee issue. However, neither the annual speeches delivered by the pope at the annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees, nor other “ad hoc” communications by the representatives of the Holy See at multiple liturgical and diplomatic events led to any systematic legal and structural changes. These exhortations are not laws in the strict sense, instead they provide guidance to church organizations and pieces of advice for international and national authorities which must, by law, manage the whole migration crisis. The situation has changed with the emanation of a motu proprio titled Humanam progressionem on 31 August 2016, which led to the foundation of the new “Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development” inside the Vatican. This new document has amended the governance structure of the Holy See and other relevant regulations. In this paper we focus on the historical and political background which motivated the legislator to modify the existing legal framework. We analyze the new law and the new administrative system in the context of current Canon Law and its influence upon the operations of other Holy See offices.
  • Topic: Religion, Refugee Crisis, Catholic Church, Religious Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Vatican city
  • Author: Ben East
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: I pictured myself in a Peace Corps-issue hammock on an island somewhere, or crossing high glaciers in the glaring Himalayan sun. Then the recruiter called and offered Malawi. Pointless to remind her what I’d written where the application asked my preference: ‘Anywhere but Africa.’ Before that call, a recruiter—maybe the same recruiter—offered another would-be Volunteer a choice. Would she prefer Nepal, or Malawi? A logical thinker with a Math degree and an Indian heritage, she chose Malawi. ‘I can travel to Nepal on my own any time. When will I travel to Africa outside the Peace Corps?’ So when the recruiter called me, fate was already decided.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Memoir, Peace Corps
  • Political Geography: Africa, Malawi
  • Author: Peter Bridges
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: After five good years in our Rome embassy, my family and I were transferred in late 1971 to the American embassy in Prague. This was three years after the Soviet army had crushed Alexander Dubček’s “socialism with a human face.” It had not crushed the Czechs and Slovaks. We made a number of friends; we had never known a people with such a liking for Americans; but the StB, the Státní bezpečnost or state security police, were an oppressive presence. People understandably had their heads under their wings. It was only later, in 1976, that future President Václav Havel and others organized the Charter 77 dissident movement.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Sports, Surveillance, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, Czech Republic, United States of America
  • Author: Norma Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: It was early-1980s Leningrad, as St. Petersburg was known under communism, practically on the doorstep of the collapse of the Soviet Union, but so deep in the slough of communism that nobody would have considered it possible that a monumental change was in the offing. Bustling Moscow, where my then-future husband was serving at the same time, had a reasonable KGB to foreigner ratio. In the backwater of the one-time capital of the Russian Empire, the ratio was out of sight, more than 10-1. Still, it didn’t matter if you had five KGB thugs in black leather jackets dogging your footsteps or fifty. They always got what they wanted in the Soviet Union.
  • Topic: Communism, Diplomacy, Courts, Surveillance, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Allen Keiswetter
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: I knew Vietnam would be my first tour when I joined the US Foreign Service fifty years ago this coming June at age 23. I served there for 18 months (April 1968 to October 1969) as part of Civilian Operations for Revolutionary Development Support. Known as CORDS, it was a US civilian military organization assisting South Vietnamese pacification programs.I had an uneasy beginning; things both at home and in Vietnam seemed to be unravelling. The Tet offensive in early 1968 delayed my departure from Washington for two months. En route, I transited Honolulu where I saw LBJ on TV in the airport lounge announcing that he was not going to run for reelection. On arrival in Saigon, I learned that Martin Luther King had been assassinated and that rioting was rocking Washington D.C.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, War, Memoir
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Vietnam, United States of America
  • Author: Vance Hall, Julia Hall
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In 1967, after a four year assignment in Seoul, we returned to Washington for a home tour. I was assigned to the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands desk of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. There were three officers in the office, and my main interests were Pacific Islands. The only Foreign Service post in the islands was a consulate in Suva, Fiji. The consular district itself included 3 million square miles of Pacific Ocean, from New Caledonia, near Australia, to French Polynesia—other groups were Tonga, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the New Hebrides (an Anglo-French Condominium), and the Solomon Islands. In 1970, the British Crown Colony of Fiji gained its independence, and the Consulate became an Embassy and the Consul in Suva became Chargé d’Affaires (the Ambassador to New Zealand was made Ambassador). About the same time, Tonga, which had the status of a British-protected state, chose to take over what responsibilities the British had and become an independent state, or as the King of Tonga, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, preferred, “made its reentry into the Comity of Nations”. With that, the United States decided to add Tonga to the hat of the Ambassador in Wellington. However, the Ambassador at the time left his post before presenting credentials in Tonga.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Asia-Pacific, Tonga
  • Author: Robert Baker
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The 1962 Cuban missile crisis and 1964’s Belgian paratroop drop from U.S. C-130s in the Congo were the most interesting events in my five year intelligence career. Lowly intelligence analysts like me working for the U.S. Information Agency had to sit in the Director’s chair about three weekends every year as part of the job. Our building near the White House was almost empty on weekends. Nobody else was on duty except the front door guards and the cable/code room guys. If some critical action telegram came in during Saturday or Sunday, my job was to phone the Director on his red, secure phone immediately, wherever he might be.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, Cuba, Caribbean, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Antonio Pinto da France
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Angola – O dia-a-dia de um embaixador Angola – an ambassador’s daily diary by Ambassador Antonio Pinto da France Edicao de Livros e Revistas, Lisbon 2004 (Translation by Ed Marks). I was the third Portuguese ambassador to Angola and therefore still able to bear witness to some aspects of the early days of independence. I was destined to live a period of Angolan history that will not reoccur. It seemed to me, therefore, that as in Guinea-Bissau, I had an obligation to bear testimony to this unique period.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Portugal, Angola
  • Author: John Gunther Dean, Charles Stuart Kennedy
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project Information Series. Ambassador John Gunther Dean Interviewed by: Charles Stuart Kennedy Initial Interview date: September 6, 2000
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Memoir, Oral History
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Cambodia, Southeast Asia, Laos, United States of America
  • Author: June Kunsman
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Consular officers at posts abroad face a range of difficult duties including informing relatives of a death abroad, counseling and helping victims of crime (do NOT go into Moscow’s underground street crossings late at night), visiting citizens arrested and jailed, refusing visas and dealing with the angry losing parent in a child custody fight. Still, we get a generous share of delightful duties like issuing passports and certificates of birth abroad, issuing adoption visas that give a child a route out of an orphanage to a family in the United States and informing an individual of an unknown claim to American citizenship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Immigration, Citizenship, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States of America