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Diplomacy in Cold Blood: Fatal Encounters Around the World

An American citizen abroad accused of murder: this is a particular nightmare for consular officers. These cases can become public scandals and political quandaries, and it is the job of American Citizen Services to ensure that Americans accused of major crimes beyond U.S. borders receive appropriate treatment in accordance with international law. If an arrested […]

Contempt with a Capital Tea

Oftentimes, high-level diplomatic exchanges are not characterized by the usual diplomatic niceties. Take, for example, a memorable meeting between Indian Foreign Minister Krishna Menon and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. The setting was the 1954 Geneva Conference, which ultimately passed the Geneva Accords, dividing French Indochina into Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Menon was a talented diplomat […]

Crazy Train — A Congolese Victory Tour

What’s a party without prostitutes, undrinkable whiskey, and the best seats in the house, cleared for you at sword-point? Following the successful defeat of a secessionist movement by the breakaway province of Katanga in the newly formed Republic of the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), the new prime minister of the region […]

Wives Gone Wild

Every Foreign Service Officer can have a difficult job of navigating cultural differences, memorizing customs and sticking to protocol while at their post. The long list of do’s and don’ts apply equally to a Foreign Service spouse, and while they usually do a commendable job, there have been a few cases when they have made […]

No Good Deed – Cattle, the French, and Getting PNG’ed from Madagascar

While U.S. diplomatic missions attempt to build relationships with the nations in which they maintain embassies, these relationships don’t always work out. Sometimes, diplomats are PNG’ed or declared persona non grata – a nice way of saying they’ve been kicked out of the country. Such was the case with Ambassador Anthony Marshall. While serving in […]