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    The Camp David Peace Accords signed on September 17th 1978.

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    Here is the untold story of how, in the wake of independence in July 1946, the Department of State trained the first officer corps of the Philippine Foreign Service, dubbed the “State Department Boys.”

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    At Poor Richard's General Store, we have all you need to show that you're a proud member of ADST Nation. As Poor Richard would say, "Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it."

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    Interested in learning more about our nation's diplomatic history? Visit our sister site,!

Take This Job and Shove It, Mr. Kissinger

kissinger nixon 2In the late 1960’s, the United States had become polarized by the Vietnam War, as even many defenders were beginning to question the goals and tactics of the military. One such person was William Watts, who at the time had been promoted to the position of White House Staff Secretary for the National Security Council. Bureaucratic tensions were often high and interpersonal skills were often lacking. U.S. policies on Vietnam and the planning over the invasion of Cambodia. Watts resigned from the NSC in 1970 after a fiery exchange with Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig, then Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff.

Read more Moments in Diplomatic History.

Bill Burns, A Consummate Diplomat

william-j-burnsBill Burns stepped down as Deputy Secretary of State in October 2014 after an illustrious 33-year career in the Foreign Service. Burns held the rank of Career Ambassador in the Foreign Service, equivalent to a four-star general, and was only the second career diplomat to become Deputy Secretary. Burns also served as the Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, Ambassador to Russia, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and Ambassador to Jordan.

Read about other Fascinating Figures.

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Inside Foggy Bottom

C Street entranceFoggy Bottomthe-cocktail-party-teresa-bingham refers not only to that neighborhood of Washington, DC, but also to the State Department itself. In this feature, we will try to dispel that fog and smoke and cast light on some of the lesser known aspects of the State Department and diplomatic history.

Schmoozing for Diplomats 

To the uninitiated (or to those who simply watch too many B-movies), an ambassador’s life seems to be nothing but dinner parties and cocktail receptions. As Governor of Illinois and Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson famously said, “A diplomat’s life is made up of three ingredients:  protocol, Geritol and alcohol.” While other issues such as embassy security may have greater prominence, protocol and the ability to network with a wide range of people continue to occupy a central role in any well-run diplomatic mission.



The Stump

The StumpOp Enduring FlusterCluckstump photo is an online forum to encourage creativity and discussion on issues regarding the State Department and foreign policy. The views expressed should not be considered official statements of the U.S. government or ADST.

The Collapse of Order in the Middle East

Will Rogers once observed that “when you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you’ve got to have been looking for it.”  It’s a good deal more than 5.000 miles to Baghdad or Damascus from here.  And, boy, have we gotten into trouble!  We are trying to cope with the cumulative consequences of multiple failures.  Just about every American project in the Middle East has now come a cropper.  There is a new velcro-backed military campaign morale patch commemorating this. The patch bears an escutcheon with a logo that, in the interest of decorum, I will not read out. Read on for commentary by Ambassador (ret.) Chas W. Freeman, Jr.



Big Ben’s Top Ten


Powers on trial (AP Credit)Your BF serves them up the way you like them -- great taste and more filling!

Check out Big Ben's Top Ten -- the articles he recommends for their substance and popularity. He's got a wide selection from around the globe.


nica Front of currencySo share the Moments -- they're good for whatever ales you.




assassination sadat1.  The Assassination of Anwar Sadat              6.  Murder in an Embassy

2.  Trial of U2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers         7.  The Tet Offensive

3.  Terrorist Attack in Khartoum                       8.  Nixon Goes to China

4.  The Jonestown Massacre                              9.  8 Weird Things About Diplomats

5.  The Peruvian Hostage Rescue                    10.  In Ambassador We (Don't) Trust


ben_cool (2)The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  — William Faulkner

The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1986. Located at the State Department’s George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, ADST advances understanding of American diplomacy and supports training of foreign affairs personnel through a variety of programs and activities.

Over the past quarter century ADST has conducted more than 1800 oral histories, which are also posted on the Library of Congress website, with more to come. Interviewees include such fascinating people as Prudence Bushnell, who describes her harrowing experiences during the bombing of U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Julia Child, Philip Habib, Dean Rusk, George Ball, Kathleen Turner, and many others. Excerpts from our oral history collections highlight the horrifying, the thought-provoking, and the absurd. In other words, they reflect the reality of diplomacy, warts and all.

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