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A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History:

The Politics of Water in the Middle East: U.S. Mediation Between Jordan and Israel



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Duty and Danger:

Responding to Terrorism in Saudi Arabia: Memories of a Public Affairs Officer See more Duty and Danger

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Check out our FEATURED ORAL HISTORY: Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger was instrumental in directing U.S. foreign policy while serving as national security advisor from 1969 to 1975 and United States Secretary of State from 1973 until 1977. Practicing realpolitik, Kissinger orchestrated the policy of detente with the Soviet Union, negotiated the termination of American involvement in the Vietnam War, and established diplomatic relations with China.

Some excerpts:

On the continuation and challenges facing Sino-American relations:  [I]n both countries there are significant elements who argue that the traditional pattern of international relations, which dictates confrontation between an aspirant country and an established country, is going to reassert itself and who are therefore advocating a more confrontational approach. That is the challenge of American foreign policy. It’s also the challenge of Chinese foreign policy. . . .  There are many unsolved issues, but the most positive thing is that for eight American administrations and for four generations of Chinese leaders, the main lines of diplomacy established in the 1970s have been maintained and elaborated.

 

On the importance of diplomacy: I don’t like to treat diplomacy and military power as alternatives. We are in the habit of saying that the military fight up to a certain point, and then the diplomats take over, or the other way around. I think the two should be linked. At all times, diplomacy is extremely important, and should be pre-eminent. In the present world, where the number of problems that one can even imagine solving with military means is shrinking, the role of diplomacy is even greater.

Read more about Henry Kissinger HERE.

For a list of oral histories by NAME, click HERE.  ADVANCED SEARCH:  click HERE.

 

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Check out our FEATURED PODCAST:    Take This Job And Shove It, Mr. Kissinger

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"Students asked for suggestions for readings on diplomacy. I pointed to incredible trove of diplomatic memoirs maintained online by the Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training."
Amb. Laura Kennedy (ret.)
Former U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan

 

Featured Publications

TERRORISM, BETRAYAL, AND RESILIENCE: MY STORY OF THE 1998 U.S. EMBASSY BOMBINGS

by Prudence Bushnell

Order book HERE.

On August 7, 1998, al-Qaeda bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya, where Prudence Bushnell was U.S. ambassador, and Tanzania. Terrorism, Betrayal, and Resilience is her account of what happened, how it happened, and its impact twenty years later. Congress held no hearings about the bombings, the national security community held no after-action reviews, and the mandatory Accountability Review Board focused on narrow security issues. Then on September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. homeland, and the East Africa bombings became little more than a footnote.

This book is Pru Bushnell’s account of her quest to understand how these bombings could have happened, given the scrutiny bin Laden and his cell in Nairobi had been getting since 1996 from special groups throughout the U.S. intelligence community. She tracks national security strategies and assumptions about terrorism and the Muslim world that failed to keep us safe in 1998 and continue today. In this hard-hitting, no-holds-barred account she reveals what led to poor decisions in Washington and demonstrates how diplomacy and leadership going forward will be our country’s most potent defense.

“A gripping diplomatic thriller that tells the harrowing saga of the 1998 bombing of Embassy Nairobi, Ambassador Bushnell’s first-person account provides lessons of leadership, crisis management, and policy acumen. The tale dramatically illustrates the terrorism danger diplomats confront daily.”
––Ambassador Robert E. Gribbin III (Ret.)”

 

THE MAN IN THE ARENA: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF U.S. SENATOR GALE MCGEE

by Rodger McDaniel

Order book HERE.

The Man in the Arena offers a political history of the United States from the late 1930s to 1980, told through the experiences of a U.S. senator who was deeply involved in the most crucial issues of the times and among the century's most renowned liberal senators. At the height of American liberalism, Gale McGee was elected to the U.S. Senate from conservative Republican Wyoming in 1958 and reelected twice. From 1977 to 1981 he served as Jimmy Carter's U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States.

“Gale McGee was indeed an extraordinary person. He had three distinct careers and loved them all equally. During his service as a professor, a U.S. senator, and an ambassador, his powerful intellect and eloquence reached the young minds in his classroom and reached out across the globe, where he shared his energy, knowledge, and brilliance–all to the common good.”
—from the foreword by former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson


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