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November 10, 2020

United States
Revitalizing the State Department and American Diplomacy

Talent flight, institutional stagnation, and ever-evolving policy challenges such as COVID-19 plague a beleaguered State Department. American diplomacy requires serious changes, starting with institutional reform.

September 11, 2018

Diplomacy and International Institutions
Jon Finer Joins CFR as Adjunct Senior Fellow; Mervyn King Returns as Distinguished Fellow

September 7, 2018—The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) welcomes Jon Finer to its David Rockefeller Studies Program as adjunct senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy, and welcomes back Mervyn King, f…

February 18, 2021

United States
Can the State Department Bring More Diversity to the U.S. Diplomatic Corps?

President Biden has vowed to diversify the top ranks of government agencies. The small and shrinking number of senior Black diplomats, in particular, could undermine U.S. foreign policy goals.

January 8, 2021

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: A Divisive and Damaging Presidency Nears Its End

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: The mob that stormed the Capitol Building this week highlighted how Donald Trump’s pr…

Pro-Trump protestors line the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building waving flags and hanging Trump 2020 banners.

December 11, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should a Retired General Be Secretary of Defense?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden’s nomination of General Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense raises question…

Retired General Lloyd Austin speaks at a podium as President-Elect Joe Biden sits behind him.

December 2, 2020

News Release
Reform State Department or Risk Further Damage to U.S. Influence Abroad, Warns CFR Report

“America’s network of international relationships is its foremost strategic asset, even as the agency charged with advancing U.S. interests through diplomacy—the Department of State (DOS)—has fallen …

December 2, 2020

United States
Ten Anniversaries to Note in 2021

Anniversaries mark the passage of time, recall our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand twenty witnessed many significant anniversaries: the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of World War …

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

November 10, 2020

U.S. Foreign Policy
TWE Book and Film Recommendations

Over the decade since I began blogging at The Water’s Edge I have periodically recommended books to read and films to watch. I have also occasionally asked colleagues to recommend books and movies. G…

https://www.cfr.org/blog/twe-book-and-film-recommendations

September 14, 2020

United States
The United States Air Force Celebrates Its 73rd Birthday Today

The United States Air Force (USAF) turns 73 years-old today. On September 18, 1947, Chief Justice Fred Vinson swore in Stuart Symington as the first secretary of the air force, officially founding a …

Air Force

September 8, 2020

News Release
CFR Welcomes Visiting Fellows

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) welcomes the 2020–21 visiting fellows to the David Rockefeller Studies Program. Selected fellows have the opportunity to broaden their perspective of foreign af…