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Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child: A Caning in Singapore

During the spring of 1994, Americans were gripped by an incident in Singapore which unexpectedly became a cause celebre:  the caning of Michael Fay, who was sentenced for his role in vandalizing property in Singapore. The sentence caused outrage in the United States and even President Bill Clinton became involved in the court proceedings. The […]

Starting an Embassy from Scratch in Papua New Guinea

In the decades following World War II, as colonies across the globe gained independence, the United States worked to establish embassies and consulates in these new nations, some in the remotest areas of the world. Papua New Guinea, which gained autonomy from Australia on September 16, 1975, was one such case. Mary Olmsted was assigned […]

Which Witch?

When stationed abroad, Foreign Service Officers may face dangers such as carjackings, bombings, or even assassination attempts. However, for some, the most serious threat may be a supernatural one:  being cursed by a local witch doctor. The supernatural threats encountered by FSOs must always be taken seriously; otherwise, one risks temporal pain and spiritual punishment […]

Board of Directors

Harold W. (Harry) Geisel Ambassador Geisel is currently Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors of ADST. He spent 30 years in the Foreign Service in senior management roles at US embassies in Bern, Bamako, Rome, Bonn and Moscow.  He also served as Consul General in Durban South Africa.  In the Department, he was executive […]

Sound and the Fury — The 1954 Geneva Conference on Vietnam and Korea

In April 1954, amidst growing tensions regarding the situation in the Korean Peninsula and Indochina, the international community convened a conference in Geneva in the hopes of reaching some sort of accord. The United States, United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union, and People’s Republic of China were the primary negotiators, each jockeying to achieve their objectives […]

“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 […]