Foreign Policy Blogs

U.S. Diplomacy

Let there be light?

An article in today’s New York Times describes the electricity woes of Pakistanis, who are becoming increasingly frustrated with frequent power outages and restrictive new energy-saving measures. Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has assured Pakistan that the United States “will continue to [put more emphasis on energy issues] up to absolute limits […]

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Aaron David Miller on the Peace Process: "Why I'm No Longer a Believer"

Veteran advisor on Arab-Israeli negotiations, Aaron David Miller, details in a Foreign Policy article why he has lost his once-steadfast faith in America’s ability to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Comparing the peace process to a “false religion,” Miller reflects on the fact that each U.S. president since the October 1973 war – most recently President […]

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Taking on the Nuclear Math

The Washington Post recently noted some of the challenges that stand in the way of the Obama Administration’s goals for the upcoming Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review.  The Post’s analysis highlights a number of cases that illustrate the deeper, underlying strategic threat to President Obama’s vision for a Nuclear-Free World: the unchanged calculus that membership […]

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Update on Syria

In the midst of Israeli accusations that Syria has been sending long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, testified last week in front of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, pushing for U.S. diplomatic efforts in Syria. In a hearing entitled “Neither Appeasement nor Improvement? […]

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…it's how you say it.

Politico recaps recent controversies surrounding changes in mission terminology by the Obama Administration here.  Such changes are contentious because they affect the scope and legal boundaries of U.S. endeavors, and they also affect the way outsiders understand U.S. objectives in deciding how or whether to provide support for them.

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The Nuclear Security Summit in Context

In order to better understand what the recent Nuclear Security Summit was all about and what will come next, it makes sense to begin by examining the Obama Administration’s strategy for dealing with the global challenges posed by nuclear weapons.  This is clearly an issue upon which President Obama plans to build his legacy as […]

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The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point

Nuclear war is unthinkable, so conventional wisdom holds, but nuclear terror and blackmail are all too easy to imagine.  As we drift farther into the nuclear age, it is increasingly clear that the proliferation of the capacity to cause mass destruction is but one part of the danger the world faces.  The other is the […]

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Striped Pants Backpacker

Striped Pants Backpacker

Veteran Canadian diplomat Daryl Copeland has been on the ramparts of diplomatic studies for several years now, advocating a kind of diplomacy he calls Guerrilla Diplomacy.  Last week, at the International Studies Association convention in New Orleans, a panel of expert academics reviewed Copeland’s thesis and generally applauded his ideas. I also had a chance […]

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65 and Counting: An Interview with Kosovo's President

65 and Counting:  An Interview with Kosovo's President

SAN FRANCISCO — The President of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, likes to say that he is the head of the world’s youngest state, but after nearly two years of nominal independence for his country, this is a statement with an asterisk. Independence was declared by Kosovo on February 17, 2008, but recognition is still a […]

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U.S. Contingency Plans – Viable Solution to Iran's Nuclear Program?

On CNN yesterday, General David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, told Christine Amanpour that in addition to diplomacy and sanctions, the US has developed contingency plans in order to deal with Iran’s refusal to curb its nuclear program. However, Petraeus was vague in his description and chose not to elaborate on the specifics of […]

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North Korea agrees to nuclear cooperation

As a follow up to my previous post, the BBC is BBC article.

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Today in Diplomacy: U.S. Tries Direct Talks with North Korea

Time Magazine is reporting that today U.S. special envoy Stephen Bosworth is headed to Pyongyang, North Korea to begin a day and a half of talks regarding a return to the “six-party talks” format that prevailed under the Bush Administration. According to the article, “North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Il has previously declared the six-party […]

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In the news…

New U.S. Middle East Envoy Wins Approval but Little Confidence for His Mission America's new Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, is back from his first trip to the region and will likely return there later this month. He met with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and visited Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. […]

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Burns Gets Political

Adobe Fireworks CS3 + Wave Arts Power Suite + Adobe Creative Suite 3 Nicholas Burns, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (effectively the #3 position in the Department), penned an opinion piece for Newsweek this week titled “We Should Talk to Our Enemies.” In it, he defends Senator Barack Obama's stance on talking with […]

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I-VOTE 2008

Today the State Department welcomes about 100 fellows of the “I-VOTE” program to a reception in the diplomatic reception rooms. I-VOTE, which stands for International Visitors Observe the Elections, is a program of State's ECA Bureau. Here's their description: “I-VOTE is an exchange initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' International Visitor Leadership […]

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