Search Results for duty and danger

Duty and Danger: An American Diplomat’s Service in Iraq on the Eve of 1991 Gulf War

American diplomat Stephen Thibeault watched as an airplane departed Iraq in 1990, carrying Rev. Jesse Jackson and American hostages liberated in the tense days following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait — and before the U.S. launched Operation Desert Storm, the United Nations campaign that ultimately routed Saddam Hussein’s forces.  Thibeault was tempted to fly away with […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Duty and Danger: A Diplomatic Spouse Targeted for Assassination in Algeria

When they learned they were marked for assassination, Parvaneh Limbert and her husband John — the political section chief at the U.S. Embassy Algiers — had to act quickly and quietly.  They hurried out of the country, surprising family and friends back home, and stayed in the United States until the would-be killers were arrested […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Duty and Danger: A Diplomatic Spouse Recounts Narrow Escapes from Uganda and Cambodia

Louise Keeley waited and worried in neighboring countries when her husband, American diplomat Robert V. “Bob” Keeley, faced the encircling Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the depredations of Idi Amin in Uganda. Waiting for news of a spouse on a dangerous diplomatic assignment can be more stressful than the assignment itself. And when U.S. family […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
The Technology of Terror – South America in the 70s and 80s

Terrorism the world over poses a threat to the lives of Foreign Service Officers. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s terrorist groups threatened the safety of FSOs serving in South America. In Argentina, two such groups, the People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP) and Montoneros, resorted to armed resistance 1969-1970 in response to the regime of Juan Carlos […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Hostage, Military, Post-Colonialism, Terrorism, Western Hemisphere Tagged |
Naming Names: U.S. Embassy Jakarta and Indonesian Purges 1965-1966

An article by an American reporter alleged that the U.S. embassy in Jakarta played a role in the Indonesian massacres of 1965-1966 by supplying a list of known communists to Major General Suharto (seen right), whose forces then hunted them down and killed them. The violence began when Communist forces killed six of Indonesia’s senior […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Espionage, Human Rights, Military Tagged , , , |
Sue McCourt Cobb: Ambassador and Summiteer of Mt. Everest

Climbing Mount Everest has long been the epitome of physical and mental endurance. Since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit on May 29, 1953, only some 4000 have been able to duplicate the feat; another 200 have died in the attempt. Ambassador Sue McCourt Cobb learned first-hand how […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, China, South Central Asia, Women and Minority FSOs 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 |
Congo in Crisis: The Rise and Fall of Katangan Secession

When the Republic of the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) became independent from Belgium in June 1960, the new country immediately descended into a political chaos known as the “Congo Crisis.” The arbitrary boundaries drawn by Colonial powers combined with leftover racial tensions and general uncertainty led to violence along racial lines […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Military Tagged , , , |
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 […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Europe, Foreign Service, Hostage, Humorous, Spouses and children
The Northern Ireland Conflict — Peace by Piece

“The Troubles” between Northern Ireland and Ireland date back to 1167 when England first laid roots in Ireland, but in recent history “The Troubles” refer to the 30 years of conflict over the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. The Unionist side wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom, while the Nationalist and Republican side […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Europe, Human Rights, Terrorism, Women and Minority FSOs Tagged , |