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    President Ali Abdullah Saleh Returns to Yemen—Can’t Take a Hint

    President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s return to Yemen on Friday after four months in Saudi Arabia has sparked renewed violence after protestors launched demonstrations against the government that were violently repressed. Since the beginning of the uprising last January, Yemen—an already volatile and poor country—has plunged deeper into chaos, dividing the … More

    Not Even a 'Fact Sheet' Changes Facts When It Comes to Nuclear Testing

    The State Department’s newly released fact sheet, “The Case for the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty: Some Key Points,” vividly demonstrates flawed assumptions behind the Administration’s desire to get this treaty ratified. If anything, the case remains at least as unconvincing as in 1999, when the U.S. Senate decided not to give … More

    Secretaries of State, Defense Acknowledge Entitlement Spending Crisis

    During a joint press event today in Washington, the Secretaries of Defense and State agreed that politicians must tackle the elephant in the room to reduce America’s crushing debt: mandatory spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which account for more than 60 percent of the entire federal budget. As … More

    Moscow’s Sanctions Tit-for-Tat Threatens to Kill the “Reset”

    This week the State Department has placed some 64 Russian officials on a visa blacklist that would prevent them from entering the United States. These Russian prosecutors and policemen all played a role in the death of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, the most famous whistleblower in post–communist Russian history. While … More

    Lack of U.S. Nuclear Modernization Dangerous

    The Obama Administration traded 25 percent of the U.S. operationally deployed strategic nuclear missiles for a Russian nuclear buildup in New START, a bilateral arms control treaty with the Russian Federation, writes Mark Schneider in his latest op-ed. This became clear after the U.S. State Department released a factsheet making … More

    Venezuela’s Health: Think of the Nation, Not Its Leader

    The future stability of Venezuela and the survival of the “Bolivarian Revolution” increasingly focuses on the health of Venezuela’s indispensable but stricken autocrat. Before June, the scenario called for Hugo Chavez to rule in Venezuela until 2031. Suddenly, a post-Chavez era in Venezuela, which seemed unimaginable weeks before, moved immediately … More

    State Department Tweets, but Is Anyone Listening?

    The President isn’t the only one engaging Americans on Twitter. On June 28, the notice went out from the State Department’s spokesman that Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale would field her first “Twitter Q & A” the following morning. Under McHale, State has launched a number of new … More

    Revolving Door at State Department’s Public Diplomacy Post

    Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale recently announced that she is moving on, leaving the job after just two years in office. Of her Bush Administration predecessors—Karen Hughes, Patricia Harrison, and James Glassman—only Hughes lasted as long. The United States has faced great global challenges in the aftermath … More

    Progress in Colombia Aids Its FTA Case

    June 10 marked an important step forward in Colombia’s efforts to build enduring democratic security and pursue justice: Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, signed the Victims’ and Land Restitution Law. In the past, violence perpetrated primarily by paramilitary groups and guerrillas displaced 4 million Colombians, forcing them off as much … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #10: The State Department’s Passport Inquisition

    Rewarding failure is a fundamental precept of The Bureaucratic Code, which helps to explain why government’s regulatory powers grow in spite of its incompetence. Examples are legion, of course, including the recent case of the State Department and passport fraud. The General Accounting Office (GAO) has on several occasions investigated … More