Diplomacy and Statecraft

Ask CFR Experts

After President Obama’s trip to the Middle East, can he be more assertive in solving Israeli-Palestinian issues?

Asked by Mirvet S Muca, Ph.D, from Naugatuck Valley Comm. College

The conventional wisdom has it that second-term presidents, freed from the need to win another election, tend to be bolder in their initiatives. While that logic may apply to President Obama's domestic policy, it is unlikely to extend abroad.

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Why did the United States reestablish diplomatic relations with communist states like China and Vietnam?

Asked by Michael Varacalli, from New York University

The United States did not have diplomatic relations with mainland China in the late 1940s after the communist takeover (though theoretically it maintained diplomatic relations through ties with Taiwan). The United States ended diplomatic relations with Vietnam following the Vietnam War in 1975.

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Foreign Affairs Article

The Clinton Legacy

Author: Michael Hirsh

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton helped restore America's standing in the world, but she left office with no signature achievement. If she gets her way, her tenure as the country's top diplomat will come to be seen simply as a stepping-stone to the presidency

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Must Read

The Iran Project: Strategic Options for Iran: Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy

Authors: William Luers, Priscilla Lewis, and Iris Bieri

"It is time for Washington to rebalance its dual-track policy toward Iran, strengthening the diplomatic track in order to seize the opportunity created by the pressure track. The United States should now dedicate as much energy and creativity to negotiating directly with Iran as it has to assembling a broad international coalition to pressure and isolate Iran. Only by taking such a rebalanced approach might the United States achieve its objectives with respect to Iran's nuclear program."

See more in Iran; Proliferation; Diplomacy and Statecraft