Diplomacy and Statecraft

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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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