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

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

The Birth of NATO

nato tableAfter the devastation of World War II and the ensuing Cold War with the Soviet Union, nations across the globe sought out alliances to protect themselves and to avoid a possible World War III. Europe’s growing concern about Soviet aggression led to the March 1948 signing of the Treaty of Brussels. Theodore Achilles and a handful of other American diplomats rightfully predicted the USSR’s expansionist policy and saw the glaring need for a military alliance which included the U.S.; however, such a treaty would encounter strong opposition in a Congress wary of further entanglements abroad.

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 (after Larry Eagleburger). Burns also served as the Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 to 2005, and Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 until 2001.

Read about other Fascinating Figures.

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Inside Foggy Bottom

C Street entranceFoggy Bottomiranian hostage crisis_limbert arrival 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.  

ADST is On the Air!

Listen to Emily Kopp of Federal News Radio as she focuses on three major events in the Foreign Service:  the Embassy Beirut bombing; the Clayton Lonetree spy scandal in Moscow; and the Iran hostage crisis. Stu Kennedy helps set the stage for some of the most dramatic episodes in U.S. foreign policy in the past half century.



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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