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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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