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Diplomacy

The Takeaway

US Ambassador Visits Flashpoint City in Syrian Uprising

Friday, July 08, 2011

U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford made an unannounced visit to the city of Hama yesterday. Ford apparently traveled to Hama on his own to show solidarity with the four month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Anthony Shadid of The New York Times reports on Ford's trip from Beirut, Lebanon.

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The Takeaway

Libya: How to Intervene?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The debate continues over how the international community should respond to events in Libya, where Col. Moammar Gadhafi has been killing rebel forces and Libyan civilians. There are, of course, many risks to imposing a no-fly zone, which would a significant military commitment in the region and, already, some high-level military officials have warned against that. But more and more people in Washington and in the Middle East are seeing a distressing scenario in Libya that calls for intervention. Is a no-fly zone the best way to intervene?

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The Takeaway

Using Information to Beat Gadhafi

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The United States is considering a range of options to deal with Libya, including military action and sanctions. However, there's another possibility for Libya: an information campaign and the Pentagon has reportedly explored at the option of jamming Libya's communications so that Gadhafi has a harder time talking to his forces. Matt Armstrong, lecturer on public diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and publisher of  the blog MountainRunner.us, takes a closer look at how an information campaign might work in Libya.

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The Takeaway

How Will Raymond Davis Incident Affect US-Pakistan Relations?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The State Department remains tight-lipped on the role of the American man recently arrested in Pakistan for murder. The man in question, Raymond Davis, was suspected of being a spy. The Obama administration claimed that Davis had diplomatic immunity and should be set free from Pakistani custody. Last Friday, P.J. Crowley, State Department Spokesman would only say to The Takeaway that Davis is a U.S. Diplomat entitled to diplomatic immunity. You can hear that interview here. But reports out yesterday confirm that Davis was working in a part of a C.I.A. team, as an independent contractor. Either way, what does the case of Raymond Davis mean for the U.S. Pakistan relationship? 

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The Takeaway

'Conflict Kitchen' Promotes Diplomacy at the Dining Table

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

With the United States engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and facing diplomatic standoffs with nations like Cuba and Venezuela, Americans can tend to feel culturally isolated from some countries. A new business in Pittsburgh is trying to change that - through food. The Conflict Kitchen serves meals from countries that America finds diplomatically tricky, and by doing so, hopes to bring further awareness about cultures that might otherwise seem foreign. The BBC shares the story.

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It's A Free Blog

It's Time for America to Get Tough with Egyptian Government

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I don’t think it at all inappropriate to rescind any further military aid until a list of basic democratic reforms are in place, including freedom of the press. I don’t believe it grandstanding for the President of the United States of America to come out unequivocally for their right to democratic self-determination. Whether it has any chance of passing or not, it would not be an empty gesture to bring a motion to the United Nations to call for open elections, monitored by international observers.

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It's A Free Blog

When Quiet Diplomacy May Beat Grandstanding

Monday, January 31, 2011

WNYC

On Friday, Americans discovered they didn’t need a television to catch the most gripping program around – and that, in most parts of the country, TV wouldn’t help them.

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The Takeaway

Can President Hu Jintao and President Obama Repair the US/China Relationship?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

China's President Hu Jintao arrived at Andrews Air Force Base Tuesday, for the start of his three day visit to our nation's capital. He is set to meet with President Obama and other top officials, before a black tie dinner in the Chinese President's honor. The meeting comes at a time when the relationship between countries is strained and both presidents are suffering from a lack of faith in their leadership.

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The Takeaway

After Holbrooke: Diplomatic Changing of the Guard in Afghanistan

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today in Washington, the diplomatic world remembers Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke died on December 13th after suffering a torn aorta. He was 69. Since his death, Arnold Fields, the top auditor of reconstruction funds in Afghanistan, has resigned. Before doing so, he fired two of his top deputies. Are we facing a leadership vacuum in Afghanistan?

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The Brian Lehrer Show

U.S. Diplomats and Boeing

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Eric Lipton, Washington correspondent for The New York Times, discusses the WikiLeaks cables that reveal the U.S. diplomatic role in selling Boeing to the rest of the world.

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It's A Free Country ®

Afghanistan After Holbrooke

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You could feel in his commentary skepticism about America's Afghanistan project, and I found this really revealing given the final words he's alleged to have said before he was sedated for surgery, telling his doctor and family that we've got to end the Afghanistan war...I talked to a very senior member of his staff yesterday and I said, "What do you think about those words?" and he said, "Steve, those are my instructions from the boss. We are all going to work as hard as we can to take these last words and make them mean something."

- Steve Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, speaking about US Diplomat Richard Holbrooke on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Takeaway

Remembering Richard Holbrooke

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Richard Holbrooke, the United States Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, passed away yesterday after undergoing a marathon surgery that failed to save his life. He was 69. Across a long career in foreign policy, Holbrooke dedicated his life to brokering peace and stability throughout the world on behalf of the United States.

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The Takeaway

Richard Holbrooke: The Man Who Knew How to End a War

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan and famed diplomat, died of heart failure yesterday. He was 69. Holbrooke was the man that many presidents had turned to when they wanted to find a way to end a war. In the mid-1990s, Holbrooke helped broker the peace accords that ended the war in Bosnia. And right up until his death he was working on bringing stability to the Afghan-Pakistan region.

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It's A Free Country ®

Slideshow: What To Make Of Wikileaks

Monday, December 13, 2010

Images and notable quotes from a recent symposium on Wikileaks and Internet Freedom, sponsored by the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

George Packer on Wikileaks and Julian Assange

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, discusses what we've learned about U.S. foreign policy from WikiLeaks and this morning's arrest of Julian Assange.

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The Takeaway

Iran Pursues Nuclear Ambitions, Produces Yellowcake Uranium

Monday, December 06, 2010

American and European diplomats are meeting in Geneva today in hopes of building a framework for future talks on tempering Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But yesterday, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization announced that it had produced yellowcake uranium from domestically-mined ore — a breakthrough that eliminates Iran's reliance on imports for their nuclear goals.

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The Takeaway

Wikileaks Documents Shed Light on US-Pakistani Relations

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Among the State Department cables leaked on WikiLeaks and analyzed in The New York Times were messages from the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan about the country's nuclear fuel resources. In a cable dating May 27, 2009, Amb. Anne W. Pateron reported her concern over a stockpile of highly enriched uranium, which had been sitting for years near an aging research nuclear reactor in Pakistan. There was enough to build several “dirty bombs” or, in skilled hands, possibly enough for an actual nuclear bomb.

The cables show that underneath public assurances lie deep clashes over strategic goals on issues like Pakistan’s support for the Afghan Taliban and tolerance of Al Qaida.

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The Takeaway

Richard Haass on Transparent Diplomacy

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The hundreds of thousands of secret memos released by WikiLeaks this week shine a bright light on a world used to being away from the public eye. Some argue secrecy in diplomacy is important.On Monday, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton responded to the release by saying that "it is imperative that we have candid reporting from those who are in the field, working with their counterparts, in order to inform our decision making back here in Washington." But what would it be like if the art of diplomacy was always this open?

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Diplomacy Made Public, Morning Headlines

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wikileaks has revealed some of the secret agendas of countries that usually reside behind the headlines. What would it be like if countries' true feelings were always made this public? 

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The Takeaway

Wikileaks 'Intelligence' Gathering: State Department or CIA?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Yesterday's WikiLeaks document release shed light on certain demands on U.S. State Department officals across the world. According to the confidential cables obtained by Wikileaks, State Department personnel have been asked to gather personal information — frequent flier numbers, fax and phone information, and credit card numbers, among others — on foreign officials. Is this an explosive realization, or merely a glimpse at the normal operations in the State Department? 

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