State Department
America’s Orphaned Diplomacy

America’s Orphaned Diplomacy

Thanks to some well-timed diplomacy this September, the world narrowly escaped another U.S. intervention in the Middle East. But military action in Syria was not prevented by a professional diplomatic strategy on the part of the Obama administration—that part was...

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It’s Time to Delist Cuba

It’s Time to Delist Cuba

John Kerry’s ascent to U.S. Secretary of State generated a discussion about taking Cuba off the State Department’s list of “state sponsors of terrorism.” Given Kerry’s generally reasonable position on Cuba in the past, it was perhaps not surprising that he considered this option. Nonetheless, on May 1, the U.S. State Department announced that Cuba would remain on its list. It’s a serious mistake.

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Afghanistan: Avoiding Default

Afghanistan: Avoiding Default

Although most Washington policymakers would simply prefer that Afghanistan disappear, they must still come up with a politically palatable solution regarding U.S. involvement. Here are three scenarios for how the U.S. might manage its involvement in the country between now and 2014.

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U.S. Hand in Honduran Massacre

U.S. Hand in Honduran Massacre

Hilda Lezama was taking passengers back upriver to the township of Ahuas after a fishing expedition in a remote area of the Mosquito Coast in Honduras. In the pre-dawn darkness, she could hear the helicopters buzzing overhead, but she thought nothing of it at first. Suddenly, bullets shot from U.S. State Department helicopters with DEA agents and Honduran police aboard penetrated both her legs.

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Will Panetta Help the State Department?

Leon Panetta, the new Pentagon chief, got through his confirmation hearings the newfangled way: by revealing as little as possible about what he’d do in office. He tipped his hand a bit more last week by calling “completely unacceptable” the across-the­board military cuts planned in the event the next debt deal fails.

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The Lasting Significance of Kwangju

The Lasting Significance of Kwangju

Last week marked the 30th anniversary of the Kwangju Citizens’ Uprising in South Korea, a pivotal event that inspired the Korean democratic movement through its ultimate victory in the late 1980s. In Kwangju, where hundreds died in the uprising, the event was marked by solemn remembrances and the presence of political leaders from both left and right, including representatives of President Lee Myung-bak, South Korea’s most conservative leader in over a decade. But the event drew hardly a passing glance in the United States, which is South Korea’s closest ally.

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