Tag: Diplomacy

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Britain is all atwitter about their Ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch, and his leaked diplomatic reports back to London on his take on Donald Trump. The take was none too flattering, basically cut and paste from the Washington Post and New York Times. Among the more common comments are along the lines of whoever leaked this […]

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A Tale of Two Visits to the DMZ

 

Consider two images of two United States presidents at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea. The two images convey very different messages, very different possibilities. Which do you prefer?

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Andrew McCarthy is wrong this time. He calls not only for a policy of regime change but also for President Trump to call for “regime change” in Iran. McCarthy should pay closer attention to the history of American presidents talking up “liberation” or regime change. Consider both President Eisenhower and President George H.W. Bush, and […]

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Trumping Middle East Hands: Iran [Updated]

 

Start from the position that the Iranian people are hostages in their own country to a regime based on an idea, perhaps an ideology, concocted in the 1970s and propounded clearly only after Khomeini’s faction had control in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Consider that there has been popular unrest against the regime. Factor in that the rulers are savvy and ruthless, with an elite military force keeping the regular military and the populace in check, while extending regime influence regionally and globally. The Khomeinists seem to have a strong hand, with some high cards, so how do we set about trumping their hand? Moving towards answers that are feasible takes more than hand-waving and posturing.

The U.S. military has long recognized that it was only one instrument in Uncle Sam’s tool belt, and that military strategy needed to be integrated with plans and actions by the rest of the government. This became called a “whole of government” approach. For many years, military officers, in their advanced schooling, were instructed in consideration of four “instruments of national power:” Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economy (DIME).

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Quote of the Day: The More Things Change…

 

“Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?” Axel Oxenstierna, in a 1648 letter to his son Johan Oxenstierna, who was negotiating at the Peace of Westphalia

The wise statesman (and the Count of Södermöre certainly earned that title – he was respected across all Europe) rapidly realized that many of the leaders of the world are fools, even more so than oneself. This realization is alternately a relief and utterly horrifying.

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The East Is Red

 

With more than $1 billion in debt to China, last year Sri Lanka handed over a port along with 15,000 acres of land to companies owned by the Chinese government. China is stepping up its public diplomacy efforts to win friends and influence people in the Asia-Pacific region. According to a new study released recently by AidData from the College of William and Mary, from 2000 to 2016, China spent more than $48 billion in the region, 95 percent of which went to infrastructure investments.

The study found that China has tailored its strategy for different receiving countries based on local factors such as internet penetration, the size of the Chinese diaspora, and popular discontent. The target audience for China’s public diplomacy efforts in a receiving country includes public officials, civil society and private sector leaders, journalists, academics, students, and other relevant socioeconomic or political sub-groups.

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The Road To Singapore, not the 1940 film starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, but the 2018 summit featuring President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Michael Auslin, the Hoover Institution’s Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia, explains the historical significance of this first such meeting between the two nations’ heads of state, what steps […]

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Freeze Warning for the Infernal Regions

 

CNN has actually praised the current first lady, Melania Trump! Just in case it disappears under a torrent of leftist bile:

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First Lady Melania Trump has championed cyber-bullying as a cause, but Hoover visiting fellow Markos Kounalakis thinks she should broaden her horizons – to include a little diplomacy in her native Central Europe. It’s a portion of the world that’s drifted into angry nationalism, economic uncertainty and civil unrest, with one country (Poland) displaying troubling […]

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review on Ricochet on the following Sunday. More

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Time to Break from the Palestinians and the Peace Process

 

Did you know that members of Fatah attacked a US delegation from the Jerusalem consulate last week? This is Caroline Glick’s description of the attack:

On Tuesday a delegation of diplomats from the US Consulate in Jerusalem came to Bethlehem to participate in a meeting of the local chamber of commerce. When they arrived in the city, Fatah members attacked them. Their vehicles with diplomatic license plates were pelted with tomatoes and eggs by a mob of protesters calling out anti-American slogans.

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Making America Great Again with the New National Security Strategy

 

I found the National Security Strategy (NSS) publication timing and the setting of President Trump’s speech both significant. Publication within the first year of the Trump Administration is remarkable. The timing shows he recognized the importance of this document to drive change across agencies and shows the competence of his senior national security team. The speech setting both evoked Reagan and pointed to serious support for the full set of instruments of national power.

The setting was not a military base or DHS, rather it was the Ronald Reagan Building, whose tenants include USAID, Commerce, Trade, and CBP as well as the Woodrow Wilson Center. That reinforced the new President’s intent to use the informational and economic tools of national power. So, while President Trump was addressing multiple audiences with his words, his physical presence delivering the speech also underscored his intent.

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By now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Christians are being exterminated in the war-torn countries of the Middle East. But a couple points in this interview by EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo of an Iraqi Christian priest stand out. More

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet.  More

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French President Hollande took a firm stand for French culture: The meeting [with Iranian President Rouhani] was supposed to take place over lunch – normally served with an array of French dishes and a top-grade wine vintage as well as cheese. France is hugely proud of its culinary credentials, with its gastronomic meal recently pronounced […]

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Central Asia, the -stan countries that speak Turkic or Persian languages and use the Cyrillic alphabet, was a prominent and strategic region of the world in the past–think Tamerlane and his Mughal scions. This article makes the case that it is returning to strategic importance. It has a kind of blame-the-west tone, but touches on […]

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As you might have already heard, from the Washington Examiner: A Russian air force jet was shot down after it violated Turkey’s airspace, according to unconfirmed reports. Witnesses say they saw a large explosion in Huraytan, northern Syria, as three fighter jets flew above. More

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Book Review: Our Man in Charleston

 

Our Man in CharlestonThe Confederacy was almost certainly doomed, even had it won the Civil War. Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey, explains why.

The book tells of Robert Bunch, Great Britain’s consul in Charleston, SC between 1853 and 1863. It shows Bunch to be the man most responsible for Britain’s refusal to recognize the Confederacy.

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Hugh Hewitt nails it in Friday’s radio show: the US Secretary for Energy Moniz’s hair is a joke. Yes, diplomacy boils down to the personal, and if you are sniggering behind your hand at your negotiating opponent, you’ve got leverage. What is it with Sec. Moniz – and come to think of it – Kerry’s […]

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