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  • Talk is Cheap: The Obama Administration on Democracy Promotion and Human Rights

    Diplomacy and development have been major administration priorities as illustrated by the State Department’s first ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) intended to provide the short-, medium-, and long-term blueprint for our diplomatic and development efforts. On December 14, 2009, Secretary Clinton gave democracy its due in a lecture … More

    False Hope at Copenhagen

    Nothing of substance will come from the two-week UN climate summit taking place in Copenhagen which President Obama will attend at the end of next week. Nonetheless, this will not stop the relentless political machine pressing for growth-sapping measures. This was the conclusion of a roundtable discussion today hosted by … More

    Democracy after the Iron Curtain: A Work in Progress

    On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and Central and Eastern Europeans were freed from the constraints of communism. Twenty years later, the world that President Obama inherited from Ronald Reagan’s legacy is profoundly changed. Those suffering under planned economies and the denial civil rights are now living in … More

    Facebooking for Freedom

    Since the rise in the use of new media, authoritarian regimes have been confronted by a wave of opposition. The surge of digital, computerized and networked information as well as communication technologies has facilitated those seeking to shed light on government oppression. Social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and … More

    Cold War Calling

    On September 30, 2009, The Heritage Foundation hosted “The Year of Miracles: The Fall of the Berlin Wall Twentieth Anniversary.” A reoccurring theme of the event centered on America’s use of government-sponsored broadcasting and its effects on U.S. influence during the Cold War and how it must be used today. … More

    State Department Gets an “F” in Language Designate-Positions

    A recent report released by the GAO, “Comprehensive Plan Needed to Address Persistent Foreign Language Shortfalls” (September 2009) announces that Foreign Service Officers do not have the necessary language skills they need to do their jobs effectively. While GAO has reported before that State Department personnel working overseas are in … More

    Missing in Action: Obama’s Public Diplomacy

    When Director of the USC for Center Public Diplomacy, Philip Seib told Professor Nicholas Cull that the anthology, Toward a New Public Diplomacy (released September 14, 2009) was going to be written, Cull was pessimistic regarding the book’s potential impact on the Obama administration’s public diplomacy initiative. On September 14, … More

    Cultural Intelligence for Winning the Peace

    While cross cultural communication has been deployed throughout the ages, most notably during WWII and the Cold War, it has now become “unavoidable” if the United States is to succeed in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to Col. Glen Ayers, who until retirement last year was chief of the Psychological Operations … More

    Terrorism Takes Root in Africa

    It is no secret that many countries in North and Sub-Saharan Africa are hotbeds for terrorism. Scotland’s release and transfer of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi to Libya is a most recent reminder that terrorism originating in Africa is not a new phenomenon. However, the most recent arrest of Malam Abdulrasheed … More