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  • State Department

    The U.S. State Department Wants to Hear from You

    In its ongoing search for solutions to U.S. public diplomacy challenges – some might call it a deficit – the State Department has launched yet another new Internet venture, a social website called Opinion Space. At a time when Internet censorship in countries like Iran, Cuba and China present a … More

    An Incomplete Strategic Review

    Among the slew of strategy documents from the Obama administration this spring, full of academic analysis and verbal flourishes, Congress has rightly detected a certain lack of substance. Case in point: The question of whether the U.S. government needs a Center for Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy. According to the … More

    State Over Defense in Obama NSS

    The roll out of the administration’s first National Security Strategy this week has been a classic exercise in strategic communication, Obama style – a highly coordinated, choreographed exercise involving the highest levels of government.  First, the President himself laid the groundwork at the West Point graduation last weekend. Then, Deputy … More

    State's Schizophrenic Stance on Internet Freedom

    To fund or not to fund – the State Department’s Hamlet like approach to Internet freedom. Having unequivocally declared Internet freedom one of the Obama administration’s top priorities back in January, the State Department has been sending out confusingly mixed signals ever since. In fact, what is emerging is a … More

    Why Isn’t Obama Supporting the Visa Security Program?

    Within a span of almost 6 months, there have been two near-miss terror attacks on U.S. soil—the Christmas Day plot and Saturday’s Times Square attempted bombing. The Obama Administration had emphasized, in its review of the Christmas Day terror plot that: …despite several opportunities that might have allowed the CT … More

    Much Ado About Little: Congress Touts Phony Foreign Affairs "Savings"

    There is much hand-wringing in the mainstream media about the Senate Budget Committee’s 6.8% cut of $4 billion last week to the Obama Administration’s massive $58.5 billion Fiscal Year 2011 request to fund the foreign affairs “150 Account” budgets that include the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International … More

    U.S. Policy in Africa: Long on Promise, Short on Performance

    On April 5, in a speech at Harvard University Secretary of State Clinton’s lead diplomat for Africa Johnnie Carson outlined policy guidelines for sub-Saharan Africa. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Carson is a seasoned, three-time ambassador to Africa with an illustrious career as a diplomat and an analyst … More

    The Two Faces of Obama’s Human Rights Policy

    If you are a human rights activist or suffer under the yoke of an oppressive regime, do not expect the United States to be rushing to your assistance these days. As the U.S. government persists in pursuing engagement with less than savory regimes – such as those of Cuba and … More

    Helping Homeland Security

    The only real victim in the attempted Christmas Day bombing of an international flight bound for Detroit was the Department of Homeland Security. Claiming the “system worked” earned the secretary more than a few cat calls, late night jokes, and even demands for her resignation. Napolitano’s statement, however, was never … More

    Budget 2011: New Money, Old Ways in the State Department Budget

    Increasing spending on the State Department and international affairs while freezing discretionary domestic spending is probably not likely to endear President Obama further to constituencies on either side of the Congressional aisle. Yet, the State Department is one of the few winners in President Obama’s FY 2011 budget request, continuing … More