While diplomats cycle in and out of posts every 2-3 years, it is the local FSN staff that remains over the years. It is truly the local staff that maintains the institutional memory for public and cultural diplomacy programming.
Lying just six feet above the water some 2,000 miles south-west of Hawai'i, there is no doubt that the Marshall Islands stands at the front line. But our story here is quickly becoming the story of people everywhere.
These are important questions that Secretary Kerry, and ultimately President Obama, must answer. The fact that neither man has any clue where TransCanada intends to place the Keystone XL pipeline is a troubling revelation that demands immediate and thorough scrutiny.
It's important to remember that ERM was chosen on behalf of State by TransCanada itself . Further, one of the ERM employees tasked to conduct the SEIS, as exposed in Mother Jones investigation, is a former TransCanada employee.
Although all of Syria's neighbors have been negatively impacted by the country's crisis, Iraq's sectarian tensions and the religious, historical and cultural bonds between Syrians and Iraqis connect the two states' political fates.
Perhaps the greatest deterrent to extremism is prosperity. If people have a decent place to live, can put food on the table for their families, and see their children healthy and being educated, they are likely to tune out recruitment efforts by terrorists and other proponents of violence.
Any embed with American troops takes a spiraling nebula of approvals. Public affairs-savvy U.S. officers in today's Afghanistan are sticking to well-honed talking points. But for some reason, the Afghanistan Foreigner Registration Card is the thing that causes me the most anxiety.
North Korea, largely by its own choosing, has been isolated from the rest of the world when it comes to technology and communication. More engagement and inclusiveness through civil society, in non-security matters, should be afforded an opportunity.
On top of its looming decision on the Keystone XL, it's likely that the Obama administration will make a final decision on whether or not to greenlight shale gas exports sometime in 2013. The policy agenda is about to heat up in the energy and environment policy arenas inside the Beltway.
This week Leon Panetta said America has "a responsibility to go after al Qaeda wherever they are." He was referring to U.S. efforts to assist the French in Mali. Yet, not that far away, the U.S. turns a blind eye to extreme Islamist policies and actions that threaten America's security.
By the time you read this, I earnestly hope that formar Marine Lance Corporal Jon Hammar is a free man. For almost four months, he has been held in a notoriously dangerous prison on a trumped up charge that he tried to bring a military weapon into Mexico.