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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: 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
  • Author: Norma Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: It was early-1980s Leningrad, as St. Petersburg was known under communism, practically on the doorstep of the collapse of the Soviet Union, but so deep in the slough of communism that nobody would have considered it possible that a monumental change was in the offing. Bustling Moscow, where my then-future husband was serving at the same time, had a reasonable KGB to foreigner ratio. In the backwater of the one-time capital of the Russian Empire, the ratio was out of sight, more than 10-1. Still, it didn’t matter if you had five KGB thugs in black leather jackets dogging your footsteps or fifty. They always got what they wanted in the Soviet Union.
  • Topic: Communism, Diplomacy, Courts, Surveillance, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • 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
  • Author: Robert Baker
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Vienna was snowed in when I first visited there in 1972. Twenty years later I was back in Vienna to relax and to direct the Regional Program Office’ excellent staff. Then Moscow melted and the Office had huge amounts of new work to help set up new embassies in former communist countries and to produce translations in languages for the Baltics, the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, Austria, Vienna