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Dangerous Roads – Carjacking and the Foreign Service

Foreign Service officers are trained to handle and adapt to any number of highly dangerous situations. One such situation is carjacking, a regrettably common threat in many areas of the world. The perpetrators range from terrorist organizations to petty criminals to opportunistic ne’er-do-wells. Carjackers always want the vehicle, and, on some occasions, they want the […]

The Year of Living Dangerously – Indonesia and the Downed CIA Pilot, May 1958

In April and May of 1958, Indonesia went through a period of rebellion, as discontent on the peripheral islands, like Sumatra, grew because of lack of support and autonomy from the central government, which is located on the island of Java. Although Sukarno’s government was not communist, it did allow the communists to participate politically. […]

Living Through History with a Historian—Witnessing Monumental Societal Change in the Soviet Union from the 60s to the 90s

American diplomats and their families abroad become accustomed to living through exciting or harrowing events; but occasionally their lives provide them a unique window into historical transformation of great import. In this “Moment in U.S. diplomatic history,” we get a first hand perspective of monumental societal change in the Soviet Union from historian Naomi Collins […]

Barranquilla Nights—Braving a Difficult Time in Colombia

Annie Pforzheimer entered the U.S. Foreign Service when she was twenty-four years old and was immediately whisked away to Barranquilla, Colombia, which at the time (1989) was a two-person post that was known for bearing witness to tremendous amounts of violence. Pforzheimer lived and worked at a time where there was extensive political turmoil as […]

The Interest Trap—Diplomacy before the Cyprus Dispute

The majority of society dismisses Classical literature and history as irrelevant to tangible success in a world that has become as technologically, politically, and socially advanced as ours today. However, this perception fails to adequately acknowledge the presence of banes and boons that have withstood the test of time. The Cyprus Dispute of 1974 is […]