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  • Originally published 10/20/2013

    Why Things are Looking Good for Israel

    The Arab Spring, Iranian sanctions, the Syrian civil war, and the fall of the Brotherhood in Egypt have all strengthened the Israeli strategic position.

  • Originally published 08/22/2013

    State Department releases new volume on foreign relations

    The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XXXIII, SALT II, 1972–1980.This volume is part of a Foreign Relations subseries that documents the most important foreign policy issues of the Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford presidential administrations. Because of the long-term nature of the SALT II negotiations, however, this volume also includes the period of the Jimmy Carter administration, as Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter worked to resolve the complex, evolving, and interrelated issues necessary to reach an agreement. All three presidents sought to go beyond the Interim Agreement signed at the Moscow Summit in May 1972 through the achievement of a formal treaty on strategic arms. The negotiations were a central component of foreign policy for all three administrations, demanding sustained attention at the highest level of government. This volume offers a rare direct comparison of bureaucratic processes and leadership styles as well as the personal and institutional interplay across these administrations.

  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    Michael Fullilove: Obama Needs an FDR-Like Foreign Policy Pivot

    Michael Fullilove is executive director of the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and author of "Rendezvous With Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America Into the War and Into the World."President Obama's most important foreign policy initiative is his attempt to "pivot" away from the Middle East and toward Asia.Yet in Asia, some are starting to wonder whether the pivot was last year's story. The new secretary of State, John F. Kerry, is rarely sighted in the region. The military elements of the rebalance are underwhelming. Some of the main proponents of the pivot have left government. And U.S. policymakers are still drawn to the Middle East like iron filings to a magnet.One reason for the sluggishness of the shift is that it is remarkably difficult to pivot a country as large and diverse as the United States. Arguably, the last successful pivot took place from 1939 to 1941, between the outbreak of the European fighting and the U.S. entry into the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. During this period, America transformed itself from a nervous, isolationist, middle power into an outward-looking global leader.

  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    FDR’s Alter Ego: Interview with Historian David L. Roll on Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins as secretary of commerce. Credit: Wiki Commons.During the war years Hopkins would become the only person in the U.S. government other than the president to thoroughly understand the interrelationships of war, diplomacy, politics, economics, and logistics.--David L. Roll, The Hopkins Touch

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Victor Davis Hanson: An Irrelevant Middle East

    Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His new book, The Savior Generals, will appear this month from Bloomsbury Press. You can reach him by e-mailing author@victorhanson.com.Since antiquity, the Middle East has been the trading nexus of three continents — Asia, Europe, and Africa — and the vibrant birthplace of three of the world’s great religions.Middle Eastern influence rose again in the 19th century when the Suez Canal turned the once-dead-end eastern Mediterranean Sea into a sea highway from Europe to Asia.With the 20th-century development of large gas and oil supplies in the Persian Gulf and North Africa, an Arab-led OPEC more or less dictated the foreign policy of thirsty oil importers like the United States and Europe. No wonder U.S. Central Command has remained America’s military-command hot spot.