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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