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A “So-Mali” Solution?

A “So-Mali” Solution?

    With the French military intervention in Mali shifting to a more sustained action, the reality of the long, hard slog in the Mali region has triggered inevitable questions by diplomats, policy planners and many others as to what defines success – and what comes next?  Most mouthed answer: “Somalia.”  That’s correct.  The place […]

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Architects without Umbrellas

Architects without Umbrellas

For decades there have been conversations, tough questions, “ah-ha” moments, deep insights and common sense shared in one-on-one exchanges with John Kerry and Chuck Hagel. In all those times interacting with them, watching them, analyzing them, not one umbrella has been spotted. These men are not appeasers or pleasers. They are not those who seek […]

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Mr. Assad, meet Mr. Milosevic….

Mr. Assad, meet Mr. Milosevic….

Bashar Assad, let me introduce you to Slobodan Milosevic. Technically, you cannot shake his hand – at least today. Milosevic died in his cell in The Hague, after the nation that he led into war and ruin emerged to form a tentative democracy. The new Yugoslav leadership traded Milosevic for economic and political benefits with […]

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Mayhem from heaven

Mayhem from heaven

  It was only two months since the fighting ignited in Bosnia. Scary, but not yet out of control. But food was already getting tight so the spring air – and rumors of bread available – brought the citizens of Sarajevo out to the market for a hastily formed bread line. That was May 27, […]

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Name changes, killing continues

Name changes, killing continues

It was Zaire then. As I sat along the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Bujumbura, Burundi,   I marveled at the moment. Baby hippos splashed playfully in the water as their adults looked carefully from across the way. The sun set with purples and yellows and pinks, in rays shooting up to the sky in sharp […]

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Same month, same airport, same Benghazi? A prince returns

Same month, same airport, same Benghazi? A prince returns

  Going home. The resonance of that phrase is universal. The happy homecoming. The poignant or sad one. The unsure one. The second chance one. For His Royal Highness Prince Mahdi Al-Senussi that ultimate appellation of his “going home” remains to be determined. Forty-two years to the month that Prince Mahdi was forced to leave […]

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A Re-do almost a century later

A Re-do almost a century later

The possible Balkanization of Syria is an increasingly likely prospect – at least for the short-term – and could provide a historic counterpoint in the Middle East to what the West did to carve up the region almost a century ago. With the Ottoman Empire defeated after World War I, the triumphant Allies sought to ensure their […]

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Border Crossing Euphoria

Border Crossing Euphoria

  That perfect moment of the triumph of the people happened again in Syria.  The rebels captured another border crossing between Syria and Turkey, lowering the Syrian flag and raising their own banner.  It is a symbolic moment of victory – and in a bloody civil war abundant with various factions and no real positive […]

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Welcome to the Kurdish Spring, the sequel

Welcome to the Kurdish Spring, the sequel

  It essentially was an accident. Saddam Hussein had been whipped in the 1991 Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush called on Iraq’s Kurds and Shia to rise up. They did  —  but Bush was all talk; there was no U.S. military help and they were slaughtered. So as Kurdish refugees clung to the freezing […]

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Oslo, So Long

Oslo, So Long

  As a rite of summer in U.S. presidential campaigns, the nominee of the challenging party takes a trip out of the country to buff up his foreign policy credentials. Republican Mitt Romney is no exception, and his trip, not surprisingly, included a stop in Israel. Romney has a long friendship with Israeli Prime Minister […]

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As we thought. Not.

As we thought. Not.

We are now deep into year two of the Arab world convulsions. Not one country across the North African-Middle East arc is settled. Even where it sounds quiet it is not. Two years from the first cry of freedom, very few things are how the outside world predicted. As Egyptians vote for their president in […]

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Did an Arab Winter Yield an Unexpected Spring?

Did an Arab Winter Yield an Unexpected Spring?

It was a simple statement from the State Department, almost lost in the daily flurry of transcripts, very public reactions and carefully nuanced policy papers aimed at high profile flash points in the world. The statement was from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton congratulating the people of Algeria on their elections in mid-May. The […]

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Bad moon rising again, this time over Syria

Bad moon rising again, this time over Syria

There were many dangers faced by reporters during the four-year Bosnia war. Gunfire. Freezing. Food poisoning. Checkpoints manned by drugged out crazies. Yet one fear stood out, and it was usually away from the fighting. That was going to Zenica, a city in the central part of the area controlled by the Bosnian government. The […]

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Ben’s Words of Advice

Ben’s Words of Advice

  The American Revolution and the broad romantic view of U.S. democracy have often provided inspiration and guidance to those seeking democracy in their own nations – and for good reason. The amazing set of circumstances that made the American Revolution spark and then succeed, the lofty words of human rights that fueled the new […]

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Dancing With Wolves

Dancing With Wolves

You hear many words of wisdom traveling through the Mideast, all which offer insightful pondering to events past and present.  Watching the tragic escalation of events in Syria and the failing efforts to bring the fighting to a close bring to mind words often spoken by the Kurds of the region, who are well-versed in […]

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About the Author

Tom Squitieri
Tom Squitieri

Tom Squitieri has spent more than three decades as a journalist, reporting overseas for the Lowell (Mass.) Sun, the Boston Herald and USA TODAY. He won three Overseas Press Club awards and three White House Correspondents' Association awards for his reporting from Haiti, Bosnia, and Burundi. He is a newly-elected board member of the Overseas Press Club.

In academics, Squitieri was invited to create and then teach a unique college course that combines journalism, public affairs, ethics, philosophy, current affairs and war zone survival skills into a practical application to broaden thinking and day-to-day success. The class "Your 15 Minutes: Navigating the Checkpoints in Life" has a waiting list each year.


Born in Pittsburgh and raised in western Pennsylvania, Squitieri has been on all seven continents and in dozens of places he intends to keep secret.

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