Foreign Policy Blogs

U.S. Diplomacy

Secretary Kerry and Global Public Opinion

Secretary Kerry and Global Public Opinion

With Secretary Kerry currently traveling on his inaugural trip overseas as secretary of state, the Pew Center has compiled data on public opinion of the U.S. in the countries that he is visiting. Public opinion in the various countries on his agenda (though Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi were not in the Pew report) […]

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Secretary Kerry Needs to Bring His “A” Game

Secretary Kerry Needs to Bring His “A” Game

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible” — Vince Lombardi Will Secretary of State Kerry prove to be a master of the foreign relations game by overcoming the seemingly impossible? Or will he have a hard time finding his footing on the slippery geopolitical pitch and achieve […]

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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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How Secretary Clinton Got It All Wrong

How Secretary Clinton Got It All Wrong

  “To work with all our heart and all of our might to make sure that America is secure, that our interests are promoted and our values are respected.” –  Former Secretary of State Clinton If only former Secretary of State Clinton had remained true to the words she uttered so many times during her […]

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McDonough’s Elevation and the Obamians’ Ascent

McDonough’s Elevation and the Obamians’ Ascent

The pending appointment of Denis R. McDonough, currently President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, as White House chief of staff will have major ramifications for how the administration formulates foreign policy.  First, it underscores the argument in my last post about the subtle but significant policy disconnects between cabinet-level nominees Chuck Hagel and John F. […]

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Hagel, Kerry and the Ghost in Their Heads

Hagel, Kerry and the Ghost in Their Heads

President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as his Defense Secretary has sparked a raging debate over whether the views held by the former Senator from Nebraska are sufficiently in the U.S. foreign policy mainstream.  Lost in the tumult, however, is how his appointment (along with John F. Kerry’s as Secretary of State) is in an […]

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America vs. China: A Counter-Narrative Arises

America vs. China: A Counter-Narrative Arises

Given all the fanciful prognostications about how China is poised to eat America’s lunch, it might sound odd that the country’s new leader, Xi Jinping, is sloganeering about the need for national “rejuvenation” and “revival.”  He is, of course, attempting to harness patriotic sentiments in order to boost the Communist Party’s eroding legitimacy.  But his […]

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Obama is still bluffing on Iran

Obama is still bluffing on Iran

An unexpected shadow was cast over President Obama’s swing through Southeast Asia last week by the fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.  The diversion is interpreted by some as a sign of how the combustibility of the Middle East will undercut Washington’s much-ballyhooed “pivot” toward Asia.  As one commentator artfully puts it, “Having [Secretary […]

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The Problem With “42 Allies”

The Problem With “42 Allies”

You might think most foreign policy wonks were looking forward to last night’s presidential debate but most I know were actually dreading it. It was well known that the difficult and pressing questions on foreign policy would not be asked, and to be honest, foreign policy requires far more nuance and complexity than can fit […]

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In Case You Missed It: Gourmet Cooking as Diplomacy

In Case You Missed It: Gourmet Cooking as Diplomacy

If you would like to work for the State Department, you can now consider going to cooking school and then joining the American Chef Corps, launched on Friday. According to the Washington Post, …more than 80 chefs are being inducted into the first American Chef Corps. These food experts could help the State Department prepare […]

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A new ‘rough patch’ in US-South Africa relations?

A new ‘rough patch’ in US-South Africa relations?

The US-South Africa bilateral relationship over the past eighteen months has been a diplomatic minefield. Issues include everything from military equipment and nuclear energy/weapons to oil, communication companies and the global north versus the global south. The most recent, and the most serious issue regarding US-SA relations is Iran. According to a press release sent […]

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Boko Haram Attacks Spark Regional Concerns

Boko Haram Attacks Spark Regional Concerns

Whether it is lack of political will or capacity, the Nigerian government has failed to address the threat that the Islamist insurgency Boko Haram poses to its country’s security. The past week has been a particularly bloody one for Nigeria. Simultaneous attacks against This Day newspaper offices in Abuja and Kaduna killed nearly a dozen […]

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US-India: Take a Breath

US-India: Take a Breath

Like after a good first date, expectations can get a little out of hand when it comes burgeoning alliances between states. In the late 90’s relations between the US and India began to thaw (agreed to date), through the 2000s, as the two sides’ interests began to mold so did their relationship (going steady), and […]

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The Signs Were Clear, They Had No Idea: The Future of U.S.-China-DPRK Relations

The Signs Were Clear, They Had No Idea: The Future of U.S.-China-DPRK Relations

  Postage stamps commemorating the “successful” delivery into orbit of North Korea’s two satellites, Kwangmyongsong-1 (1998) and Kwangmyongsong-2 (2009) Nearly five months have passed since I last evaluated the situation in North Korea, making predictions and recommendations on how the United States should proceed with the nascent “Kim 3.0.” All those months ago, I argued […]

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Tougher than the Rest?

Tougher than the Rest?

If history is any guide, Obama is bluffing on Iran With President Obama describing them as Tehran’s “last chance” for a peaceful resolution, international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program started up again this past weekend.  Washington has been talking tough with Iran of late, insisting that it is prepared, if necessary, to use military force […]

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