Search Results for geography

Negotiating the Mexican-American Border: the Case of Chamizal

Defining the border between Mexico and the United States has not always been in the hands of politicians; at one point, a shift in the Rio Grande River created a new boundary and generated a diplomatic dispute. In February 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War and designated the Rio Grande the boundary […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Western Hemisphere Tagged , |
Melissa Wells: From Vegas Showgirl to Chief of Mission

Melissa Foelsch Wells, accomplished diplomat and four-time ambassador, was among the pioneers who paved the way for women to work in the Foreign Service. The daughter of a physicist and a renowned Estonian opera singer and film star, Wells grew up travelling around the United States and Mexico before her family settled in Hollywood. She […]

Transnistria — Life in a Russian Bear Hug

Transnistria is a small breakaway state located between the Dniester River and Moldova’s eastern border with Ukraine. In November 1990, limited fighting broke out between Russian-backed pro-Transnistrian forces and the Moldovan police and military. The fighting intensified in March 1992, and lasted until an uneasy yet lasting ceasefire was established on July 22, 1992. Transnistria’s […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Europe, Military, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , |
Ambassador to a Small World

Back to Memoirs and Occasional Papers Ambassador to a Small World is a highly personal portrait of Chad from the vantage point of Christopher E. Goldthwait, the longest-serving U.S. Ambassador to N’Djamena. The book touches on Chad’s politics, economy, and society and on U.S. foreign policy, foreign aid, and the life of the small American […]

American Diplomacy at Risk

A strong State Department, based on a strong Foreign Service and a strong Civil Service, is a critical component of America’s security. But America’s diplomacy—the front line of our defenses—is in trouble. Increasing politicization undermines institutional strength; almost no career officers serve in the most senior State positions, while short-term political appointees penetrate ever deeper […]

“Like Star Wars and Fiddler on the Roof” — Life with the Sinai Field Mission

The relative peace between Israel and Egypt, particularly on the Sinai, has been one of the few bright spots in the Middle East in the last 40 years. In 1975, Israel made a key compromise to withdraw from the strategic Giddi Pass and Mitla Pass in the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for monitoring by third parties. The United States established the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Foreign Service, Humorous, Middle East, Military Tagged , |
The Collapse of Order in the Middle East

Will Rogers once observed that “when you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you’ve got to have been looking for it.”  It’s a good deal more than 5.000 miles to Baghdad or Damascus from here.  And, boy, have we gotten into trouble!  We are trying to cope with the cumulative consequences of multiple failures.  Just about every […]

Reviving the Foreign Service, Part II

This article first appeared in the May 2013 edition of the Foreign Service Journal. In it, Susan R. Johnson, the former President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), discusses the differences — and deficiencies — in the current personnel systems at the State Department and ways to improve them. You can read Stephanie Kinney’s […]

“The U.S. values amateurism over professionalism in diplomacy”

Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is one of those rare diplomats with brilliant language abilities who also was involved in an astonishing range of key events in the last 30 years of the 20th century. While his ancestors may have been a bit rakish, he grew up in the Bahamas in a household where it was […]

Incoming! Surviving SCUD Attacks in Dhahran

Ken Stammerman was economic counselor in Kuwait from 1986 to 1987 before becoming consul general in Dhahran in 1989. Home to the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, or ARAMCO, Dhahran hosted many American citizens during Stammerman’s service.  It was also the target for numerous SCUD missile attacks during Desert Storm. Here he talks about the fear […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Middle East, Military