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  • Author: Robert M. Orr
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In the past two years, the creation of the Chinese-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has caused considerable attention in many capitals, particularly in Washington and Tokyo. Some view the establishment of the AIIB as a challenge to the supremacy of the post-World War II Bretton Woods order. Others see it as another symbol of shifting regional power in Asia. Some have deep concerns about the AIIB’s willingness to adhere to international safeguards and open procurement.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Megan Metrick
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Public Diplomacy (PD) at the State Department shows signs of going through a serious rethink. The push to be more strategic in our programming has taken off. Public Diplomacy officers can rattle off the Integrated Country Strategy goals with the best of them. More rigorous program planning and evaluation may be coming to a cloud platform near you soon (see the excellent article by my colleague Carissa Gonzalez in the previous issue of The Ambassadors Review). Social media regulations are in the Foreign Affairs Manual. EducationUSA and American Spaces have slick branding, unified looks, and centralized websites. These new strategies and tools are great, and in many cases, long overdue. However, as we redesign Public Diplomacy for the 21st century (albeit we are already well into that century), we should go back to the basics for a moment, and remember why we’re here.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Mark W. Lippert
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The relationship between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) is often framed against the backdrop of our shared goals to deter and defend against the North Korean threat, something I saw first-hand in my previous positions at the White House and the Pentagon. Our shared commitment to a robust North Korea (DPRK) policy that aims, among other things, to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula through authentic and credible negotiations and ensure that the universal human rights of the people of North Korea are protected and promoted is a critical part of our relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Peacekeeping, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: America, North Korea, North Korea
  • Author: W. Robert Pearson
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Director General of the Foreign Service, 2003-2006 United States Ambassador to Turkey, 2000-2003 July 15, 2016 will live in the minds of Turks the way 9/11 is fixed in the minds of Americans. That evening a small group of mostly military officers attempted to forcibly overthrow the government and possibly assassinate Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Air Force planes bombed Turkey’s parliament while it was in session. A FaceTime call from President Erdogan mobilized thousands of citizens, who poured into the streets, directly confronting troops participating in the coup attempt, and within a short period of time, the coup collapsed. President Erdogan described the crushing of the coup as a “gift from God.”
  • Topic: Power Politics, Military Affairs, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: David O’Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This may sound like a gloomy time to ponder Europe’s future, particularly in print, but as a veteran of many ups and downs in the EU’s history, I believe it’s important to go beyond the headlines and take stock of what is being done to relaunch the European Union in a way that is both sustainable and better understood by everyday people. It is this gap between the perception and reality of what the European Union is and does that poses perhaps the biggest internal challenge to European integration.
  • Topic: Political stability, Europe Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel H. Rubinstein
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Though I came to Tunisia as Ambassador in the Fall of 2015, my relationship with the country and its people actually began in the late 1990s. In some ways, the Tunisia I returned to in 2015 is the one I knew years before—the Arabic and French linguistic mélange, the stambeli and malouf music, the local soccer and handball rivalries, the pine nuts floating atop mint tea. Yet alongside those resilient traditions, the Tunisia I returned to is now in its fifth year of the post-Ben Ali era, and is a country in the midst of an exciting but difficult transition. That transition is replete with a challenging self-realization, as the country and its citizenry redefine themselves and learn what it means to be a democracy in the wake of the 2011 revolution. Tunisians are still deciding how they want to incorporate democratic principles into day-to-day life, and through their decisions are defining what it means to be Tunisian for future generations. As a longtime friend—our diplomatic relations with Tunisia date to 1795—and strategic partner, the United States will continue to support the new Tunisia as it looks to the future.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regime Change, Popular Revolt, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Tunisia
  • Author: Donald T. Bliss
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As the United Nations welcomes a new Secretary-General, and the United States elects a new Administration and Congress, we have a unique opportunity to reset relationships, building on the United Nations’ successes and addressing its failings as we adapt to the changing demographics and global challenges of this century.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles A. Ford
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The United States is the world’s leading exporter, the world’s leading importer, and the world’s primary source and destination of funds for foreign investment. Our position as the best place in the world to do business—the most reliable in which to buy, the most lucrative in which to sell, and the safest and surest in which to invest or to raise capital—is the cause, not an effect of American global leadership. Protecting and expanding the US role as the world’s supplier and customer of choice for goods, services, ideas, capital, and entrepreneurial energy should be a foreign policy objective second only to securing the homeland.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Political Economy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: Jr. James D. Melville
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In August, Estonia marked 25 years since the end of Soviet occupation and the restoration of its national institutions. Estonia’s rapid reintegration with the West as a sovereign, stable, and prosperous democracy is nothing short of remarkable, and it serves as an inspiration to other nations. Theirs is a journey made possible through disciplined leadership, solid regulatory frameworks, strategic decisions, and a steadfast commitment to being a contributing member of European, transatlantic, and international alliances. Our partnership is one of allies with synchronized goals and values, a rare combination that gives both countries leverage to do even more.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Estonia
  • Author: Rufus Gifford
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Denmark is one of America’s closest partners. Near the pinnacle of global indices of wealth, well-being, and democracy, Denmark is uniquely positioned to work alongside the United States in support of our shared approaches to addressing 21st century global challenges. It is the only Nordic country that is a member of all three vital multinational organizations: NATO, EU, and Arctic Council. Denmark very much reinforces President Obama’s now-famous foreign policy quote in the April 2016 edition of The Atlantic: “If only everyone could be like the Scandinavians, this would all be easy.”
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Denmark
  • Author: Bruce A. Heyman
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Canada is arguably our most important bilateral relationship. Our exceptional and unique ties are rooted in a common border that stretches for 5,525 miles, over 200 years of closely interwoven history and culture, our largest economic relationship worldwide, our similar values. We have amazingly intertwined supply chains; we work closely as NATO allies; and partner extensively to address global challenges. As President Obama put it during Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Washington in March 2016, “Of course, no two nations agree on everything...But in terms of our interests, our values, how we approach the world, few countries match up the way the United States and Canada do.”
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Canada
  • Author: John Berry
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Over 200 years ago, one of our founding fathers Benjamin Franklin urged us to innovate, with the warning: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” One of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was not only a talented statesman, he was an inventor and tinkerer extraordinaire. Innovation lies at the very heart of what it means to be an American. From the beginning, our country was a grand experiment. We believed then—and now—that freedom plus hard work equals progress. Innovation, invention, and creativity help turn progress into success.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: William J. vanden Heuvel
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: On January 6, 1941, President Roosevelt came before the Congress and gave us a vision of the world that would be worthy of our civilization. He spoke—simply, eloquently—of a nation dedicated to the Four Freedom everywhere in the world
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • 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