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    Parker comments, often with wry humor, on the people and times around him, the thorny Middle East issues he dealt with, and the foreign and domestic potentates with whom he dealt.

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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,!

The Bombing of U.S. Embassy Beirut — April 18, 1983

Beirut Security at the US EmbassyThe suicide bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon on April 18, 1983 was the deadliest attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission up to that point. The blast killed 63 people, 17 of whom were Americans. The attack led to the creation of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) and the Diplomatic Security Service.  Ambassador to Lebanon Robert S. Dillon recounts the explosion, the Hezbollah terrorists, the issues with embassy security, and how the attack changed his life. 

Read more Moments in Diplomatic History.

James A. Baker III — The Velvet Hammer

Baker, JamesJames A. Baker served as the Secretary of State during the Presidency of George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1992, a period that included such events as the collapse of the Soviet Union, the First Gulf War, and renewed Arab-Israeli peace talks. Remembered as a skilled diplomat and negotiator, Secretary Baker will be given the Ralph Bunche Award for Diplomatic Excellence for his many contributions to foreign policy at ADST’s biennial gala dinner in May 2014 .

Read about other Fascinating Figures

Inside Foggy Bottom

hall of flagsFoggy Bottom, so called because its location alongside the Potomac made it susceptible to dense concentrations of fog and industrial smoke, refers not only to that neighborhood of Washington, DC, but also to the State Department itself. (Some would say that moniker is all-too appropriate.) 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. 

Top Ten Things You Learn From a Hostage Situation

Sometimes it just ain’t easy working for the State Department



The Stump

stump photoThe Stump 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 the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.


ben_cool (2)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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