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  • 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: 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: Nicolai N. Petro
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The six Russian national security documents issued since Putin first became president in 2000 display a remarkable conceptual consistency. A careful reading of these documents, the most authoritative statements of Russia’s worldview publicly available, challenges several common Western assumptions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, National Security, Territorial Disputes, Ideology, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: W. Robert Pearson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Russia and Turkey are dancing a complicated pas de deux—for separate and common reasons. The happy couple has captivated global attention. There are reasons today to anticipate greater collaboration between Turkey and Russia in Syria and against Europe and the United States. However, there are also significant contradictions that could weaken the prospects of cooperation between the two countries. For gains against Syrian Kurds and to fan nationalist flames domestically, Turkey may be ignoring longer term needs. Russia is the major partner in the arrangement and sees little reason to sacrifice its interests to please Turkey. One day this unequal relationship may cause Turkey to question its value.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, History, Bilateral Relations, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • 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: Walter R. Roberts
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: When Benjamin Franklin represented the new American government at the court of Louis XVI, he received his instructions by sailing ship. One story has it that after not hearing from Ambassador Franklin for a year, President George Washington mused: “Perhaps we should send him a letter.” There is no doubt that in his negotiations with the French government, Franklin actually exercised, in that now archaic phrase, “extraordinary and plenipotentiary powers.” As sail gave way to steam and then to internal combustion and jet engines, the time required to carry the written and printed word physically from place to place was progressively shortened. Franklin, as a pioneer scientist, would have appreciated even more the use of electricity to transmit messages via telegraph and telephone. But neither he, nor most of my generation, just a few short decades ago could have foreseen how electronics, satellite television, fax, email, fiber optics, the Internet, and other digital technologies would transform diplomacy. Those in charge of foreign policy, be they the president of the United States or the prime minister of Great Britain, face situations their predecessors never experienced. Literally every important event around the globe is instantaneously reported, most of the time on television, and reporters, whose numbers have increased enormously in recent years, expect immediate reactions from policy makers, who in turn often feel it necessary to comment when silence and quiet consideration would be preferable.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Science and Technology, Media
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dick Virden
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Just a few years ago Brazil was a feel good story. Its economy was soaring at a rate to rival China’s. Its charismatic president, Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, was among the most popular leaders anywhere, a rags-to-riches phenomenon. In 2014, when the Council on Foreign Relations chose its “Great Decisions” topics for the next year, one was “Brazil in Metamorphosis.” Unfortunately, the country has slipped back into its cocoon. The Samba music has stopped. Instead of being on a roll, Brazil is mired in an awful slump. Or as Frank Sinatra put it, riding high in April, shot down in May. What sort of country is this anyway?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Corruption, Government, Economy, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Roger L. Jennings
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Currently the Greek and Turkish Cypriots are negotiating a unification of the two populations on the island of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots are very optimistic an agreement will be reached, but Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades counsels caution. When the world understands the history of Cyprus, the Greeks and the Turks, then people will understand why the negotiations as they are currently being conducted will fail. Ultimately, Turkey and its client the Turkish Cypriots will lose patience with the Greek Cypriot method of negotiation, and north Cyprus will become a province of the Republic of Turkey. The Greek Cypriots will not like a large influx of Turks to this new Turkish province. A successful conclusion to the negotiations is within the control of the Turkish Cypriots, but their leaders do not comprehend their potential and are not interested in advice. The current political administration of north Cyprus is following the same course as the failed prior political administrations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Sovereignty, History, Territorial Disputes, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: John R. Murnane
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In a series of interviews with Jefferey Goldberg in the April 2016 Atlantic, President Barack Obama provided a much-needed and sober reappraisal of the limits of American power and a realistic view of U.S. foreign policy based on a careful assessment of priorities, or what Goldberg calls the “Obama Doctrine.” The heart of the president’s approach is the rejection of the “Washington Playbook.” Obama told Goldberg, “there’s a playbook in Washington that presidents are supposed to follow. It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses.”1 According to the Playbook, military power and the “creditability” it provides is the principle instrument of American foreign policy; it has been accepted wisdom at think tanks and among foreign policy experts since the end of World War II; Obama has challenged this dictum.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United Nations, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jon P. Dorschner
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Expert observers have written reams of material concerning the never-ending confrontation between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. The issue leaves the radar screen during quiet periods, only to return when an incident touches-off another cycle of violence. The two countries are currently in the midst of another confrontation that again threatens to escalate into open military conflict. This latest round started on September 18, when four terrorists from Jaish e Mohammed – JeM (an Islamist group based in Pakistan), attacked an Indian Army base in Uri, just 10 kilometers from the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Indian and Pakistani controlled Kashmir. The terrorists killed 18 Indian soldiers before being killed in a protracted firefight. The Indian government states it has conclusive proof that the terrorists infiltrated into India from Pakistan with assistance provided by the Pakistan Army.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Kashmir
  • Author: Jon P. Dorschner
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In 1989 I wrote an article urging the United States to stop selling weapons in South Asia.1 It took a liberal stance, arguing that such a step would enable the U.S. to occupy the moral high ground. The U.S. should not sell expensive weapons systems to some of the poorest countries on earth. The U.S. sells weapons to both India and Pakistan, which they then use in senseless wars against each other. The U.S. reduces its credibility as an honest broker by selling weapons to both protagonists, and cannot honestly mediate the Indo/Pakistan conflict. In his latest book Indian security analyst Bharat Karnad2 approaches this issue from a very different perspective. Karnad is a hardcore realist. He wants India to assume its rightful place among the world’s “great powers” and become a formidable military power. However, he sees Indian dependence on weapons systems imported from the United States and other developed nations as a drag on Indian potential. He calls for India to eschew imports and embark on a radical indigenization program to replace imported arms with those made by an expanded Indian arms industry that includes both the public and private sectors.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons , Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, United States of America
  • Author: Mark Wentling
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Africa’s hunger problem is a long standing one that has been exacerbated by a rapid population growth rate that has outstripped the continent’s ability to feed itself. A number of countries in Africa are now experiencing structural food deficits. The population of Africa currently stands at nearly 1.2 billion, twice what it was in 1985, and it is projected to double again by 2050, surpassing the populations of both China and India by 2023. At the current population growth rate, Africans will represent half the world’s population by 2035.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Health, Hunger
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States of America