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    House Committee to Consider Bill to Advance Keystone Pipeline

    In the wake of President Obama’s decision to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing to review legislation that would restart the project, and give oversight responsibility to an agency the bill’s proponents say is less politically motivated than … More

    Obama Administration Airbrushes Britain out of Europe

    Philip H Gordon, US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, has just delivered a speech in Berlin outlining “the state of transatlantic relations”. His remarks, given at the Korber Foundation on January 11, are a scene-setter for the Obama administration’s European policy in “its final year in office before elections … More

    Tweeting for Hearts and Minds

    January 2012 is the U.S. Department of State’s “21st Century Statecraft Month.” What the State Department has in mind in this case is what former Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy James Glassman dubbed “Public Diplomacy 2.0”: using digital media to maximize outreach to foreign publics. Thus it is not a new … More

    "Virtual" Tehran Embassy Not Worth State Department's Time

    President Obama got his hand slapped when he famously stretched it out to the Iranian regime in the early days of his presidency. Now the U.S. State Department has, figuratively speaking, gotten its nose punched by the Iranian clenched fist as it tried to communicate with the Iranian people. On … More

    State Department’s Response on CFE Treaty Too Little Too Late

    The U.S. State Department recently announced that the United States will cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. The CFE Treaty, which entered into force in 1992, sets ceilings on key armaments essential for conducting surprise attacks and initiating … More

    U.S. Smart Power and Postmodern Art: A Congruent Couple?

    In its latest strategic move, billed smART Power, the State Department is sending abroad on Americans’ behalf not more Foreign Service officers but a cadre of elite artists. Their mission: to use visual arts as a medium for winning the hearts and minds of foreign populations all over the globe. … More

    Administration Sends Mixed Messages to Iraq

    Last Thursday marked the closing of the 38th Baghdad International Trade Fair, an annual event intended to showcase international corporations to Iraqis and Iraqi corporations to the world. This year’s installment, lasting 10 days and drawing more than 1 million visitors, was made all the more special by the fact … More

    The State Department's Turn-the-Other Cheek Policy

    Expel U.S. ambassadors from your country, accuse the U.S. of plotting coups and trying to destabilize your country, and cozy up to Iran, and what do you receive from the Obama Administration? An “Oops, we’re sorry! We’ll try to do better next time.” Ecuador’s temperamental President Rafael Correa has often … More

    The Audacity of Obama's Big Book Promo

    After President Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009, U.S. embassies around the world apparently felt that foreigners still did not know enough about him, despite the unprecedented blaze of global publicity surrounding his election. As has been remarked, U.S. public diplomacy in the age of Obama often amounts … More

    The Decline and Fall of Obama's Foreign Policy Czars

    Whatever became of President Barack Obama’s vaunted foreign policy czars, who were to transform America’s international relations through soft power diplomacy? The answer is nothing good. One by one the czars have fallen by the wayside, leaving a trail of bureaucratic irritation and diplomatic failure behind them. The Administration now … More