Diplomacy Articles

From George Santayana to Wendy Sherman

3:36 PM, Nov 11, 2013

Over a century ago George Santayana wrote that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

He might have had John Kerry and Wendy Sherman in mind.

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'Core' Al Qaeda Closes U.S. Diplomatic Facilities

7:20 AM, Aug 03, 2013

On Friday, the State Department announced that 21 diplomatic facilities (now updated to 22), from North Africa through the Middle East and into South Asia, are to be closed this weekend in response to an al Qaeda threat.

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John Kerry 'Hosts an Iftar Dinner for Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni'

9:01 AM, Jul 29, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry will host "an Iftar dinner for Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni," according to a copy of his schedule released by the State Department. The dinner will also be attended by "Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat."

The event will be closed to the press.

Kerry's schedule for today reads:

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U.S. 'Dedicates' New $133 Million Embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi

2:25 PM, May 21, 2013

The State Department today announced the dedication of a new "environmentally-sustainable" embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi. The cost of the building project is $133 million.

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Lives of the Eccentrics

Joseph Bottum, diplomatic player
Apr 29, 2013


In 1859, John Stuart Mill published On Liberty, a book that included, among its other peculiarities, a complaint that Victorian society was destroying eccentricity, and thereby individuality, and thereby freedom. 

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The American Story

How does it get told outside America?
Apr 01, 2013

In academia, scholars trying to get ahead look for the Next Big Thing. In the field of American foreign relations, that just may be something called “public diplomacy,” a term that conjures a vision of diplomatic efforts aimed not simply at other diplomats but at large populations. Justin Hart, associate professor of history at Texas Tech, does not give us a sharp definition of the term, but believes he knows it when he sees it.  

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Obama Calls Burma 'Myanmar' as 'Diplomatic Courtesy'

8:03 AM, Nov 19, 2012

President Barack Obama called Burma 'Myanmar' after a bilateral meeting with Thein Sein, the president of that country. From the pool report:

Obama used the word "Myanmar," the preferred terminology of the former military government and currently nominally civilian government, in a spray following the bilat, rather than use "Burma," the former name of the country, and the one preferred by Aung San Suu Kyi as well as the name the U.S. uses.

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Special Report Panel on Dealing with Iran

9:08 AM, Jul 13, 2012

Steve Hayes, with A.B. Stoddard and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:

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A Glimpse of the Judgment of Obama's Likely Second Term Secretary of State

2:45 PM, Jul 02, 2012

At the end of an interesting op-ed, Israeli writer Yossi Klein Halevy relates an interesting and revealing anecdote about Senator John Kerry, who is believed to be in the running for the secretary of state position should Barack Obama be reelected.

"Western naiveté about the Middle East is hardly confined to Egypt," Klein Halevy writes. 

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Israeli Big: Time to Act

8:02 AM, Jun 21, 2012

Israeli vice prime minister Shaul Mofaz, of the centrist party Kadima, told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., that talks with the Iranians have failed and that the U.S. should escalate its activity to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

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Senators: Abandon Iran Talks If No Progress Is Made

11:12 AM, Jun 16, 2012

As Josh Rogin reports, almost half the members of the United States Senate joined together to write a letter to Barack Obama, urging the president to give up on Iranian talks if they fail yet again. The letter comes as American diplomats are getting set to meet with the Iranians in Moscow.

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards Cracks Down on Christians

8:50 AM, Jun 13, 2012

As the U.S. and its allies prepare to return to the negotiating table with Iranian representatives, hoping to reach a deal on their nuclear ambitions, the Islamic Republic has significantly ratcheted up its efforts to repress religious minorities in the country.

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Negotiating With Iran, 1979 and 2012

10:40 AM, Apr 20, 2012

As the United States and other members of the P5+1 commence negotiations with Iran, it is worth recalling the classic analysis of Iran’s negotiating style sent in from the U.S. embassy in Tehran on August 13, 1979. The author of the cable, political counselor Victor Tomseth, and the man who authorized it, charge d’affaires Bruce Laingen, became hostages when the embassy was seized on November 4, 1979.

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Iran Says No

2:20 PM, Apr 16, 2012

The Obama administration set forth its demands of Iran in advance of this past weekend’s negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program.

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Negotiating with Terror Sponsors

3:14 PM, Apr 13, 2012

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Steve Hayes notes what will be missing in this weekend’s attempted negotiations with Iran: a serious discussion of Iran’s broad sponsorship of terrorism, particularly against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Previewing Talks with Iran

9:28 AM, Apr 13, 2012

Steve Hayes, writing in the Wall Street Journal


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From Defending the Weathermen to Muslim Anti-Semitism . . .

. . . Obama's controversial ambassador to Belgium.
1:28 PM, Dec 04, 2011

The U.S. ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, has been under fire for saying that Israel is responsible for Muslim anti-Semitism, comments he made last week at a European conference on anti-Semitism.

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Not the Kind of Leadership We’re Looking For

Why is the State Department defending Malaysia in the wake of democratic crackdowns?
3:00 PM, Jul 08, 2011

Secretary Clinton had nothing but glowing remarks for Malaysia’s leadership when she stopped there in November of last year.  “We already have a strong partnership based on common values like respect for cultural diversity, pluralism, religious tolerance… We know that Malaysia is a leader in this region…. [and is] increasingly being looked to as both a thought leader and a model globally,” Clinton said at the time.

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The Pressure Over Palestine

Elliott Abrams addresses the Israeli diplomatic quandary discussed in today's New York Times.
1:34 PM, Apr 03, 2011

In today's New York Times, there's an article, "In Israel, Time for Peace Offer May Run Out," that discusses the mounting pressure to recognize Palestine as a state:

With revolutionary fervor sweeping the Middle East, Israel is under mounting pressure to make a far-reaching offer to the Palestinians or face a United Nations vote welcoming the State of Palestine as a member whose territory includes all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

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