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Brass Tacks and Kashmir: India-Pakistan Military Crises in the 1980s

A crisis between India and Pakistan erupted between November 1986 and March 1987 after India launched the largest-ever military exercise in the subcontinent, called Operation Brass Tacks. The exercise took place in the desert area of Rajasthan, a few hundred miles from the Pakistani border, and included nine infantry, three mechanized, three armored and one […]

Modern Turkey’s History of Military Coups

The July 2016 attempted coup d’état in Turkey was the latest in a series of military interventions in the nation’s history. The military has forced out four civilian governments since 1960, when Premier Adnan Menderes was deposed. In 1971 the military forced Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel to resign; in 1980, the Turkish army launched the […]

Windshield Tour of a Military Coup in Benin

The small Western African country of Benin (formerly Dahomey) has had a turbulent post-colonial history. Since gaining independence from the French in 1960, the country has experienced various forms of government, coups, periods of military rule and ethnic strife. A number of politicians rose and fell from power in a series of coups between 1960 […]

“Military overreach cannot be offset by diplomatic incapacity”

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the devastating “war to end all wars.” While the world is a very different place than it was a century ago, retired Ambassador Chas W. Freeman notes that on the eve of WWI, nations began to conflate “military posturing with diplomacy, much as events […]

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Grains, Cows, and the End of the Cold War

The end of the Cold War is sometimes thought about as a dramatic and rapid event marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR. While these were notable moments at the end of the Cold War, the reality was much more complicated. Charles O’Mara’s stunning account of his time […]

Keeping “Enemies” Close: Diplomacy in Divided Cities

The twentieth century continues to captivate the attention of policy professionals, academics, and the general public. This is due to more than its contemporary salience; the century epitomized ideological contest on a global scale. As the threshold between Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism, the setting of both world wars, and a witness to the decades-long contest of […]

Daily Life in Japanese Custody: Japan Takes Over U.S. Consulate in Vietnam During WWII

About one month before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States officially entered World War II, tensions were already rising between Japanese officials and U.S. Foreign Service Officers serving in Asia. Japan continued its mission of global expansion, hoping to become a more respectable world power, while the United States issued economic sanctions and […]

The Pursuit of Perfection: Dilemmas in the Foreign Service

Capturing, preserving, and sharing the experiences of America’s diplomats. ADST’s maxim perfectly encapsulates the diverse nature of a Foreign Service career that arguably makes every officer’s professional journey unique. And yet, underlying the idiosyncratic nature of these experiences are undoubtedly core values and challenges that unite most—if not all—individuals in this particular field. This is […]