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

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Gorbachev by William Taubman
Asia's Reckoning by Richard McGregor
Democracy in Iran by Misagh Parsa
How Statesmen Think by Robert Jervis
Foreign Service by James Dobbins
A Half Century of Occupation by Gershon Shafir
Winning the Third World by Gregg A Brazinsky
An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen


Spoken Word Reviews
Francis P. Sempa, Contributing Editor

October Links
"US-ROK Strategic Forum 2017"
Geography Still Matters
The End of the Asian Century
The Nuclear Ban Treaty
The Iran Nuclear Deal
Is US-China Confrontation Inevitable?
NAFTA Renegotiation
The US-Tunisia Strategic Partnership
MacArthur at War
Israel Facing a New Middle East
The Crucial Connection Between China's Economy and its Foreign Policy
Dealing with Dictators
The Fate of the West



Washington Post Worldviews Analysis
Turkey's complicated relationship with the Middle East, explained by one word
By Soner Cagaptay and Nick Danforth September 2, 2017

Reprinted by Permission: click here for article.

President's Note
Today, issues facing the Department of State and the Foreign Service have reached a level of concern not seen in the United States since the 1950's campaign by Senator Joseph McCarthy to destroy the Foreign Service and America's faith in its diplomats. In recent days, Secretary of State Tillerson has proposed to the White House an extensive reorganization plan for the Department of State and its cadre of career diplomats. He has not made that plan available to the public or to the Foreign Service Officers affected. Recently, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has announced that it will hold hearings on that reorganization plan.

The American Academy of Diplomacy, an organization of retired American ambassadors, has written the Committee outlining a wide variety of issues and concerns affecting the Foreign Service. A summary of the letter, linked here, highlights some of those key points:

  1. A strong diplomacy is essential to American security and rests on a strong State Department and a strong Foreign Service.
  2. The overseas presence of American diplomats should be maintained to promote American interests and values and position the U.S. to respond to crises.
  3. The normal recruitment and intake of Foreign Service Officers should continue without pause.
  4. Key positions in the Department—the Undersecretary for Political Affairs, the Director General and Dean of the Foreign Service Institute—should be career Foreign Service Officers.
  5. The Department must create and maintain a surge capacity to respond to unexpected crises.
  6. Professional education for Foreign Service officers must be a priority for the Department.
  7. The Congress must clarify the objectives of the reorganization process—is the goal to increase effectiveness or to rationalize budget decisions?

Because of the critical nature of these concerns, American Diplomacy will provide in each issue informed reports and commentary on questions  affecting the Department of State and the Foreign Service.

Ambassador (ret) W. Robert Pearson
President, American Diplomacy Publishers

Commentary & Analysis

Building Enduring Support for the Foreign Service by Barbara Stephenson

Reimagining the International Environment: Part 3 Reimagining the Middle East by Amb. Chas W. Freeman, Jr.

Water as a basic human right within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
by Erika Weinthal

Democracy and Values of the Enlightenment Under Siege by Marc Grossman

Authoritarian Backlash: An Interregional Comparison of Turkey & Venezuela by Amb. Robert Pearson

Who Holds the Trump Cards? Tragi-comedies of Error Across the Pond by Robert Cox

A Retrospective in Humility: Lessons for Young Development Professionals
by Elizabeth Knight

Why Keep Special Envoys by Krishnadev Calamur

India Policy Implications for the United States by Jon P. Dorschner

An Atlantic Council Roadmap for State Department Reform by Rachel Ansley

Congressional Research Service Report: The Peace Corps: Current Issues

Pew Research Report: U.S. Image Suffers

From the National Archives
LINK Intraoffice Humor at the National Security Council, September 1973 by David Langbart

LINK Poland Celebrates the Sesquicentennial of U.S. Independence, 1926 by David Langbart

LINK John Foster Dulles Enters Duty As Secretary of State by David Langbart

LINK Theodore Roosevelt Schools the Department of State, 1908 by David Langbart

Foreign Service Life
Angola—O dia-a-dia de um embaixador [Angola—an ambassador's daily diary]
by Ambassador Antonio Pinto da France
Translation by Ed Marks

Commitment to the Diversity of the Future State Department Workforce by Josh Glazeroff

Peace Corps' early days: The day the FBI came knocking by John Long

LINK to NYT Live Former ambassador recounts tense clash she had with Fidel Castro in 1991 by Vicki Huddleston

LINK to Eclectica Back to the Baltics by Peter Bridges

LINK to Peace Corps Worldwide Paul Theroux's Peace Corps Prose (Malawi)


Foreign Service Accounts from the Oral History Archives (ADST.ORG)

Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead

Ambassador Marc Grossman

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.

Winning in Afghanistan by Haviland Smith

Afghanistan is not Our Longest War by David T. Jones

Relocating the US Embassy in Israel: A cost benefit analysis for the Trump administration
by Alison Hodgkins

Confusing Signals: The Impact on U.S. Diplomats' Mission to Effectively Implement U.S. Foreign Policy by William A. Rugh

Why Diplomacy by Ronald E. Neumann

LINK to Army Times Future wars will be long, they'll be fought on the ground, and spec ops won't save us

LINK to Peace Corps Worldwide The forgotten role of the Peace Corps in U.S. foreign policy

Featured Book Reviews

Nuggets of Wisdom Review by Brenda Brown Schoonover

Jihad as Grand Strategy Review by Jon Dorschner



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From the Editor
We regret to announce the departure from our editorial team of our good friend and colleague George Clack, who has been editing our Internet Articles FYI column with the diligence and professional acuity I recall fondly from our earlier collaboration on the US Government’s official overseas publications during the final decade of the Cold War. A prolific author and editor, George served as director of the Office of Publications in the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs. Each year, his staff of editors, graphic designers, Web editor/designers, and copyright experts produces 80 to 100 print and Internet publications for distribution through U.S. embassies to foreign audiences. This content focuses on explaining U.S. policies and on presenting fundamental American values. Among the publications he has edited are: Abraham Lincoln: A Legacy of Freedom; Being Muslim in America; Focus on Intellectual Property Rights; Handbook of Independent Journalism; Writers on America; and Outline of the U.S. Economy. He also serves as creative director for the monthly Internet magazine eJournal USA. During his final years with State, this inherently “old media” mission  morphed into an array of Web 2.0 ventures – the Democracy Video Challenge contest on YouTube; the eJournal USA Facebook site; and, of course, a half-dozen Twitter feeds. Clack received the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association 2009 Award for Achievement for “imaginative use of new media technologies” in the Democracy Video Challenge.

While we did succeed, all too briefly,  in luring him away from his post retirement career as university teacher, freelance author and editor, and active participant in an ever expanding number of county wide community activities, it was inevitable that his ever expanding responsibilities would eventually claim him back from our pages. But we take comfort that our sad loss is the major gain of his fortunate readers, students and the many lives throughout his county enriched by his involvement with their communities.  Godspeed them, one and all. (CTC)

Letters from Readers
Reader defends George Washington against allegations of military incompetence

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