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September 4, 2014

Human Rights
What is the Mission of the State Department?

What is the mission of the State Department, or more precisely what are its core missions? Diplomacy? Avoiding war? Solidifying alliances? Explaining American policy? Here’s a new one: America’s f…

January 12, 2018

United States
The State of U.S. Infrastructure The State of U.S. Infrastructure

Amid deliberations over President Trump’s first budget, debate has intensified over how to improve the nation’s infrastructure, as analysts say U.S. transportation, water, and other systems face majo…

February 10, 2001

Politics and Government
State Department Reform

Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the military and economic instruments of American power have benefited from renewed attention and resources. However, the forward edge of American nationa…

February 1, 2018

U.S. Foreign Policy
The U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff listen to U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., January 30, 2018 The State of the Union and the Dangerous Turn in the United States’ North Korea Policy

President Trump’s State of the Union speech signaled the White House’s dangerous and growing fixation on using maximum pressure alone to denuclearize North Korea. But the soundest way to resolve the …

January 24, 2018

Lebanon
Should the United States Be Supporting the Lebanese Army?

In testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last November, I raised some doubts about U.S. military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). My main concern was that the LAF "is increasingly i…

November 16, 2016

United States
Play RTSKP0Z_EC.jpg The State of Online Privacy in the United States

Experts provide an overview of the debate in the United States over online privacy.

July 28, 2016

Israel
The New State Department Assault on Israel

This week the State Department engaged in a remarkable assault on Israel. Both in tone and in content, it marks a new hostility--and plenty of sheer ignorance. The comment was entitled "Recent Isr…

May 17, 2017

Americas
A Venezuelan opposition supporter carries a sign that reads, "OAS: come and see," in front of a mural depicting late President Hugo Chavez in Caracas in October 2009. The Organization of American States

The Organization of American States is an important forum for regional diplomacy, but it has been hesitant to censure member states for violating democratic principles.

September 15, 2015

Middle East and North Africa
UNRWA, the State Department, and the Uses of English

Just a few days ago I wrote here about "Leopoldo Lopez, John Kerry, and the Uses of English." My point was that the State Department’s tepid reaction to the outrageous and farcical "trial" of the Ven…

June 7, 2017

State and Local Governments
Creating a State Department Office for American State and Local Diplomacy

With the increase in subnational international activity, the United States should create an appropriately staffed office within the State Department to serve as a facilitator. This achievable bureaucratic reform would enable the U.S. government to appropriately facilitate activity already underway, enlist city and state leaders as allies in U.S. diplomacy, and prevent policy confusion.