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  • Author: Peter Bridges
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In 1981 I was assigned to our Rome embassy as the deputy to the ambassador, Maxwell Rabb. The Red Brigade terrorists had been active in Italy for some years. They had been responsible for perhaps thousands of violent actions and had killed many people, most notably former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978. One day before I left Washington, my colleague Gary Matthews said “You are going to carry a weapon in Rome, I assume.” “Why, no. I don’t have one and I don’t plan to buy one.” “Go down to the Department armory and they’ll fix you up.”
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Weapons , Memoir
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Bob Baker
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In a November 1973 nationally televised press conference, President Richard Nixon denied his involvement in the Watergate cover-up and declared “I am not a crook.” In the U.K., where I was working in the U.S. embassy, British television showed the scene repeatedly as part of its daily coverage of the Watergate break-in scandal. As an assistant cultural affairs officer in the London embassy, part of my job was to improve the U.S. image and British understanding of our policies. I did not agree with all of our policies, but focused my work on the best in U.S. policy and culture. That included keeping British support for NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, our main alliance in the cold war with the Soviet Union. For months, President Nixon twisted on television every day as investigations led toward him. He wanted to avoid blame for his role in the burglary at Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. His almost daily interviews on television had eroded British trust in the United States. How could Brits trust the U.S. as a strategic partner in NATO if the President was a crook?
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Memoir, Richard Nixon
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: When I was a young man in the 1970s two friends and I went on a student tour of Europe. We landed in Luxembourg on New Year’s Eve and checked into a pension that catered to students. It was run by, what to me at the time, was an elderly woman (today I am probably 20 years older than she was at the time). My friends and I went out on the town to celebrate the New Year, and got back to the pension at about 1 am. The owner was up and waiting for us, and I thought we were going to get chewed out for staying up so late and forcing her to keep the doors open. Instead, she smiled at us and waved us into her dining room, where she opened a very nice bottle of white wine and then poured all of us a glass. This was certainly not the level of service I was expecting. I think we were paying $5 a night to stay there.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Europe, 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: 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: 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: 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