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American Diplomacy is published in cooperation with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's College of Arts and Sciences
and its Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense and with the Triangle Institute for Security Studies.
EDITOR: Csaba T. Chikes

Books of Interest
Maggie Pearson, Contributing Editor

Maggie Minds Her Business Cover  Cover Cover
Cover  Cover   Cover

Global Adventures on Less Traveled Roads: A Foreign Service Memoir by James R. Billington
A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order
by Richard Haass
Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power
by Howard W. French
How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything
by Rosa Brooks
The EURO: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe
by Joseph E. Stiglitz
A Year at the Edge of the Jungle, A Congo Memoir: 1963-1964
by Frederic Hunter
A Great Place to Have a War
by Joshua Kurlantzick

 

Spoken Word Reviews
Francis P. Sempa, Contributing Editor

March/April Links
Renewing American Strength Abroad
Reinvigorating Economic Strategy in the Asia-Pacific
U.S.-China Relations in Transition
Humanitarian Responses to the Crisis in Syria
Money and Muscle in Indian Politics
U.S. Defense Strategy and the Rise of China
Iraq Ten Tears After the Surge
The 'Special Relationship' and U.S.-U.K. Free Trade Agreement
Addressing Military Readiness
Order from Chaos: Building Situations of Strength
Russia: Rival, Partner, or Both?
The Turmoil in Europe
Secretary Matis at Munich Security Conference
The Imperatives of Airpower
America's Will to Lead
U.S.-Russia Relations
Conservative Search for a Foreign Policy

Internet Articles FYI
George Clack, Contributing Editor

March/April Links
The Twilight of the Liberal World Order
Out with Globalization, In with Tillerson
How To Build an Autocracy
Former U.S. Ambassador To Russia Talks Trump And Putin
Losing the Information War
The Fate of VOA in the Balance
Ukraine Reckons With Trump
An Interview with Retired General Stanley McChrsytal
Foreign Sources
Why the Elites Always Rule
We Have at Most a Year To Defend American Democracy, Perhaps Less
Alfano: Europe Has Nothing to Teach the U.S.
Zeman: Accepting Refugees Plays into ISIS's Hands

 


 

Tom Countryman's Farewell,
Department of State,
January 31, 2017

Thank You! When I entered the State Department, I never intended to rise high enough to merit a retirement ceremony. And when it occurred to me that I had, I pictured instead an off-campus bacchanalia. But now we’re here, and it is altogether fitting and proper, and I thank you.

Some of you have asked if recent events have left me disgruntled. The answer is No; I am probably the most gruntled person in the room.

When Ambassador Robert Pelletreau retired 20 years ago, he said "The State Department doesn’t owe me anything. It has given me everything". It is the same for me…

The Departent gave me and my family the opportunity to see the world, and not just as tourists. It allowed me to see the reunification of families divided by the Iron Curtain, and to see Israelis and Palestinians negotiate face to face. I saw—and contributed a little to—the restoration of democracy in Serbia. And for the last few years, it’s given me the chance to speak for the United States about a priority shared by eleven successive Presidents: reducing the risk of a nuclear holocaust…

What you do in this building tomorrow can mean another generation will live in a habitable world, can enjoy peace and liberty. If we are firm in our principles, steadfast in our ideals, and tireless in our determination to uphold our oath—to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic"—then for many generations, another American will stand in this spot with the same satisfaction and hope I feel today…

Our work is little understood by our fellow Americans, a fact that is sometimes exploited for political purpose. When I have the opportunity to speak to audiences across this amazing land, I explain "We do not have a Department of State—we do not have a foreign policy—because we love foreigners. We do it because we love Americans".

[more: complete text]

Among the senior officials who were asked to leave their State Department jobs recently was career diplomat Tom Countryman. Above are the farewell remarks he delivered (as prepared) at his retirement ceremony.


Featured Book Reviews

NEW India's Wars by Jon P. Dorschner

Murrow's Cold War by Renee Earle

World War Two Provides the Indo/British Breaking Point by Jon P. Dorschner

Diplomats Who Are Authors
NEW Part 1 John Lothrop Motley: The Witty US Minister to Vienna from Foreign Vistas: Stories from a Life in the Foreign Service by William Sommers

NEW Chapter 1 Duty Calls from Dead Cow Road - Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis by Mark Wentling

Chapter 3 Warrior Diplomat: Vietnam, 1965-70 Chapter 3 from Global Adventures on Less-Traveled Roads: A Foreign Service Memoir by Jim Bulligton, former American Diplmacy Editor

Opinion
Opinions expressed are those of the individual authors, and do not represent the position of American Diplomacy which maintains its founding principles of balance and non-partisanship.

NEW Let's Not Get Distracted by "Shiny Objects," President Trump's "America First" Foreign Policy is Out of Sync with the Problems of the 21st Century by Dr. John R. Murnane

How the Presidential Transition Process Works And Why This One Will Be Like No Other by Michael W. Cotter

The National Security Debate and Classical Geopolitics by Francis P. Sempa


 

Diplomats Who Are Authors
From Dead Cow Road by Mark Wentling

See Chapter 1 here

…On the other side of the world, Ray Read was enjoying his second cup of coffee and another glazed donut in the basement snack bar of the State Department. This middle-aged American was dressed in his favorite pin-striped suit and tie as he tried his best to fit into the glamorous world of U.S. diplomacy. …more


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