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  • Author: Gregory Orr
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In 1987 I joined the United States Information Agency (USIA), a foreign affairs agency whose mission was to engage in public diplomacy with audiences overseas. We liked to say that we wanted “to tell America’s story to the world” via a variety of cultural, educational, and informational programs (e.g. speakers, exchanges, exhibits, and libraries). USIA had a corps of press and cultural officers implementing these programs as well as specialists in areas such as library science and English language programs. As an English language officer, I was expected to promote the learning and teaching of American English as a means of developing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. I therefore looked forward to my first overseas trip to make contact with the English teaching establishments in Hungary and the Soviet Union.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Culture, Soft Power, Public Policy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: To win the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan did something for which he is never credited: he dramatically increased the budget of the United States Information Agency, the public diplomacy arm of our struggle against communism. Senegal, in September of 1999, was about to hold a presidential election. Because of USIA's long history of promoting journalism in Senegal, the embassy decided to work in partnership with the local Print, Radio and Television Journalists Federation to hold a series of workshops on the role of journalists in covering elections. USIA was uniquely organized to promote democratic development through the long term support of human rights organizations, journalism, programs that helped build the rule of law, educational programs that encouraged the acceptance of diversity in society and, perhaps most importantly, through partnering with and supporting local opinion leaders to help them promote democratic values that stand in opposition to ideologies hostile to the West.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Elections, Democracy, Rule of Law, Ideology, Networks, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Soviet Union, West Africa, Syria, Senegal
  • Author: Olga Krasnyak
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Given the ambiguity of the rapidly changing world order, scholars and practitioners are paying more attention to the Cold War period, with its growing relevance for contemporary world politics. Issues such as the NATO alliance, human rights, arms control, and environment impact international relations at large and U.S.-Russia relations in particular. The need to re-emphasize the value of scientists as a channel of communication between governments and their research communities is urgent.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, Canada, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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