Search Results for southeast Asia

The Thai-tanic: Responding to the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997

Asian countries took a financial hit in 1997, resulting in a crisis that reverberated throughout the world. It began on July 2, when the central Bank of Thailand allowed the baht to float against the U.S. dollar for the first time in 14 years. The baht plunged between 15-20 percent in overseas currencies. The collapse of […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific Tagged |
The Diplomacy of Tragedy: Burmese Airways Crash Kills 14 Americans in 1987

In the early morning hours of October 11, 1987, a Burmese turboprop plane transporting 49 passengers, including 36 foreign nationals and four crew members, departed from Rangoon (now Yangon) and began its flight towards the popular tourist town of Pagan.  Approaching the airport, the plane’s wing clipped the ridge of a mountain just outside the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific, Europe
A New Way of Teaching America’s Frontline Diplomats

The State Department invests significant resources in training its incoming consular officers. They learn through courses taught at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) by senior consular officers using group projects and case studies, as well as field trips to airports to observe how visa holders are processed at the port of U.S. entry. Officers must pass weekly […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Consular, Foreign Service Tagged |
Paying Calls in Shangri-La

Back to Diplomats and Diplomacy Paying Calls in Shangri-La: Scenes from a Woman’s Life in American Diplomacy “This is a wonderful memoir about Foreign Service life abroad and the author’s transition from Foreign Service wife to Foreign Service officer. She demonstrates how, by being out and about in the host country, you can sometimes be in the […]

The U.S. Returns Okinawa to Japan, 1971

In 1945, towards the end of World War II, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps invaded Okinawa with 185,000 troops; a third of the civilian population was killed. After the war, Okinawa became a de facto trustee of the U.S. government, which established several military bases there and on other Ryukyu islands. In addition, the U.S. Civil Administration of […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific, Military Tagged , , |
Politics, Pinatubo and the Pentagon: The Closure of Subic Bay

The closure of Naval Base Subic Bay, the U.S. Navy’s massive ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility in the Philippines, was prompted by both political and geological unrest. Once the second largest U.S. overseas military installation in the world, it was acquired by the U.S. in the 1898 Treaty Of Paris and because of its strategic […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, East Asia and Pacific, Military, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , , , , |
Brother, Can you Spare me some Stew?: Hot, Hungry, and Abandoned in Vietnam

Speaking a foreign language is critical in the Foreign Service and can sometimes rescue you from the diciest situations. Case in point:  Political officer Ken Landon, who had been sent to Hanoi in the immediate aftermath of World War II and found himself abandoned by the French group with which he was traveling. Stuck some 30 miles […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific, Foreign Service, Humorous Tagged |
Drug-Sniffing Mongooses and Other Tales of the Sri Lankan Civil War

In July 1983, tensions increased between Tamil minority separatists and the Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka, erupting into civil war. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or the Tamil Tigers) fought to create an independent state in the northeast of the island nation.  Most of the fighting took place in the north, but the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Human Rights, South Central Asia Tagged |
Sound and the Fury — The 1954 Geneva Conference on Vietnam and Korea

In April 1954, amidst growing tensions regarding the situation in the Korean Peninsula and Indochina, the international community convened a conference in Geneva in the hopes of reaching some sort of accord. The United States, United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union, and People’s Republic of China were the primary negotiators, each jockeying to achieve their objectives […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, China, East Asia and Pacific, Europe, Military, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , , , , |
Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s Founding Father

Lee Kuan Yew, who died in March 2015, is known for being the longest serving prime minster in the world and the creator of modern Singapore. His legacy is not without controversy, however. He was a smart yet fierce politician who was not afraid to completely destroy his rivals and those he believed might undermine […]

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