iOS app Android app

Nicholas Kralev
GET UPDATES FROM Nicholas Kralev
 
Nicholas Kralev is the author of America's Other Army and Decoding Air Travel, and a former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent.

Entries by Nicholas Kralev

Another False Rolling Stone Headline

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 4:39 PM

2015-07-27-1438024861-8324434-RS.png

"Meet the man who flies around the world for free," proclaims a headline in the most recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine. What follows is a 6,000-word story about a 25-year-old travel blogger who, the article says, pays to lounge in...

Read Post

Australia's Security Burden-Sharing (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 4:58 PM

On this week's episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev, the Australian ambassador to Washington, Kim Beazley, talks about his country's "massive burden-sharing" in the diplomacy and security of the Asia-Pacific.

He discusses the Obama administration's "pivot" to the region, and the importance of Southeast Asia in particular for the world economy.

Beazley, a former member of the Australian parliament who has held several ministerial posts, also talks about his transition to international diplomacy after 27 years in domestic politics.

> Back to the show's main page

Read Post

Are U.S.-India Diplomatic Strains Over? (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 4:48 PM

On this week's episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev, Nisha Biswal, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, talks about the complex U.S.-India relationship, and about attitudes toward Russia in Central Asia.

"Some of the moves Russia has taken in Ukraine cause a great deal of anxiety in Central Asia," Biswal says. "We would say to our Russian friends: Is this really the basis on which you want to engage with all of the countries on your periphery?"

Biswal also talks about what the State Department learned from the recent arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York, and about the deteriorating human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

> Visit the show's main page

Read Post

Mapping Out Path in Foreign Service (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 12:27 PM

On this week's episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev, Philip Reeker, former ambassador to Macedonia and incoming consul-general in Milan, talks about the wide variety of tasks professional diplomats perform, and creating a successful Foreign Service career.

A former deputy State Department spokesman, Reeker also discusses speaking to the world on behalf of the United States, and the relationship between diplomacy and the media.

Reeker joined the Foreign Service in 1992 and has also served as deputy chief of mission in Hungary, counselor for public affairs in Iraq, and deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs in charge of the Balkans.

> Visit the show's main page

Read Post

U.S. Diplomats' Influence in Washington (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 10:28 AM

On this week's episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev, we discuss the role career diplomats play in making U.S. foreign policy, and why presidents tend to distrust the Foreign Service, with James Jeffrey, former ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, and Avis Bohlen, former assistant secretary of state for arms control.

Jeffrey and Bohlen also talk about how career diplomats can best prepare to be influential and effective policy advisers to presidents and secretaries of state.

Both Jeffrey and Bohlen joined the Foreign Service in 1977 and are now retired. Jeffrey also served as deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush White House. Bohlen is a former ambassador to Bulgaria and deputy chief of mission in Russia.

> Back to the show's main page

Read Post

Exploring U.S.-Iran Reconciliation (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 1:31 PM

On this week's episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev, author and Iran expert Barbara Slavin talks about the prospect of a long-term nuclear deal with Tehran, the possibility for U.S.-Iran reconciliation, and the likelihood of American diplomatic presence in Iran.

Slavin points to a problem with implementing the interim nuclear agreement reached last fall between Iran and six world powers: Banks have been reluctant to do business with Tehran, even though they are now allowed to do so in certain areas despite international sanctions. So Iran hasn't received "the money it's entitled to" under the accord, she says.

A former correspondent for The Economist, USA Today and assistant managing editor at the Washington Times, Slavin is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and Washington correspondent for Al Monitor, a Middle East news website. She is the author of "Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies."

> Back to the show's main page

Read Post

Can Washington Ever Please Moscow? (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 1:29 PM

On this week's episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev, two experts discuss the successes and failures of U.S. diplomacy with President Vladimir Putin's Russia, and the need for Washington to be more strategic in its dealings with Moscow.

Kurt Volker and Andrew Kuchins also talk about the U.S. government's knowledge base and understanding of Russia and its behavior, both domestically and internationally.

Volker is a former Foreign Service officer and ambassador to NATO. He is now executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, which is part of Arizona State University. Kuchins directs the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

> Visit the show's main page

Read Post

Running the World's Largest Embassy (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 10:25 AM

On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Beecroft, talks about the challenges for U.S. diplomacy in the country amid continuing violence and political dysfunction.

Beecroft also addresses accusations that the Iraq war was about U.S. access to Iraqi oil, and talks about contracts for American oil companies and other firms, as well as about running the largest embassy in the world.

A practicing lawyer before joining the Foreign Service in 1994, Beecroft was previously ambassador to Jordan, and executive assistant to Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

> Back to the show's main page

Read Post

Reconciling Internet Freedom and Government Snooping (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 12:16 PM

On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," Alec Ross, former senior adviser for innovation at the State Department, talks about the role of modern technology in achieving diplomatic objectives, empowering citizens around the world, and reconciling Internet freedom with U.S. government surveillance.

Ross recounts both success stories during his tenure at Foggy Bottom, such as using mobile technology to ensure a "clean" independence referendum in South Sudan in 2011, and efforts that failed, including a program to pay electronically the salaries of soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Before joining Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's team in 2009, Ross worked on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. In 2000, he co-founded One Economy, a nonprofit that uses technology to improve the lives of underserved people in developing countries.

> Visit the show's main page

Read Post

German Envoy Seeks to 'Rebuild Trust' After U.S. Spying Revelations (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 9:48 AM

On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," the German ambassador to the United States, Peter Ammon, talks about the need for Washington and Berlin to rebuild trust following recent revelations about U.S. surveillance on German officials.

"It's like in a marriage," Ammon says. "The closer you are, the bigger the disappointment when one of the partners fails. But both sides, I think, are convinced that we have to rebuild trust."

Ammon, who joined the German Foreign Service in 1978 and was most recently ambassador to France, also talks about his country's global diplomatic priorities and the role of formal training for its diplomats.

> Visit the show's main page

Read Post

Does Foreign Aid Help U.S. Security? (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 10:18 AM

On the Season 2 premiere of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), talks about how $33 billion in U.S. foreign aid contributes to American security.

"In 1990, 44 percent of the global population lived on $1 a day or below. Today, it's about 22 percent. Our target for 2030 is about 3 percent. The question, is it achievable to move 1.1 billion people out of that lifestyle and into a global economy, will only be answered in time, but we have seen huge progress," Shah says. "Today for the first time we can envision accomplishing that goal."

Shah has headed USAID since December 2009, having spent several months as an undersecretary for agriculture in the Obama administration. Before that, he worked for seven years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

> Visit the show's main page

Read Post

Once Expelled, Gay Diplomat Thrives in Foreign Service (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 9:59 AM

How has life for gay diplomats changed in recent years? On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," meet Jan Krc, the public affairs counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna who was once expelled from the Foreign Service for being gay.

Having first joined the service in 1982, Krc was kicked out two years later. Following a nearly decade-long court battle, he reapplied and was accepted again in 1993. Since then, he has served in Turkey, Russia, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic, where he was actually born.

He tells his story and talks about the recent advances for LGBT officers, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's now-famous gay rights speech in Geneva in 2011, and about being a foreign-born U.S. diplomat.

Watch the full episode


MORE EPISODES

Ep22: The Syrian Chemical Weapons Negotiations
Ep21: Canadian Ambassador to U.S. Gary Doer
Ep20: Raising a Family in the Foreign Service
Ep19: Foreign Service Institute Director Nancy McEldowney
Ep18: Asian-Pacific Diplomacy with Kurt...

Read Post

How Money in Politics Affects U.S. Diplomacy (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 12:16 PM

On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," Harvard professor Joseph Nye, who coined the term "soft power," talks about presidential leadership in the conduct of diplomacy, and how the United States can maintain its primacy in world affairs.

Commenting on political appointments to diplomatic positions regardless of appointees' lack of qualifications, Nye says that "it has become worse with the pressure of money in modern politics."

Nye, a former dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, joined the Harvard faculty in 1964 and has been named repeatedly among the most influential scholars of international relations. He has also served at the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House.

Watch the full episode.


MORE EPISODES

Ep23: Being Gay in the Foreign Service
Ep22: The Syrian Chemical Weapons Negotiations
Ep21: Canadian Ambassador to U.S. Gary Doer
Ep20: Raising a Family in the Foreign Service
Ep19: Foreign Service Institute Director Nancy...

Read Post

U.S. Expects Syrian Stockpile Destroyed Ahead of Schedule (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 4:34 PM

The United States expects Syria's chemical weapons to be destroyed "even faster than the very ambitious goal" of June 30 set in the U.S.-Russian agreement reached in Geneva in September, top U.S. negotiator Thomas Countryman says on this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev."

Countryman, who is the assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, also says that U.S. and Russian officials met repeatedly over two years before the Geneva negotiations to work out the basic details of how the Syrian chemical program would be dismantled in the opportunity presented itself.

A Foreign Service officer since 1982, Countryman explains how Washington reconciles its attempts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction with its conventional arms sales worth tens of billions of dollars a year.

Watch the full episode


MORE EPISODES

Ep21: Canadian Ambassador to U.S. Gary Doer
Ep20: Raising a Family in the Foreign Service
Ep19: Foreign Service Institute Director Nancy McEldowney
Ep18: Asian-Pacific Diplomacy with Kurt Campbell
Ep17: Chief U.S. Aviation Negotiator Krishna Urs
Ep16: British Ambassador to U.S. Peter...

Read Post

Do Politicians Make Good Diplomats? (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 10:01 AM


On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," meet the Canadian ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer, a longtime politician who was most recently premier of the province of Manitoba.

Doer, in Washington since 2009, talks about Ottawa's diplomatic priorities, the role of domestic politics in international diplomacy, and the impact of the recent government shutdown in Washington on the U.S. image abroad.

Watch the full episode


MORE EPISODES

Ep20: Raising a Family in the Foreign Service
Ep19: Foreign Service Institute Director Nancy McEldowney
Ep18: Asian-Pacific Diplomacy with Kurt Campbell
Ep17: Chief U.S. Aviation Negotiator Krishna Urs
Ep16: British Ambassador to U.S. Peter...

Read Post

From the Peanut Fields of Alabama to the Foreign Service (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 1:35 PM

On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," Jimmy Mauldin, a Foreign Service officer currently serving in India, talks about his unlikely path from the peanut fields of Alabama to American diplomacy, and about raising a family in the Foreign Service.

Mauldin also talks about his experience with the written and oral Foreign Service exams, the training he received, and serving in Pakistan, where he was separated from his wife, Jennifer, and their four children. Jennifer joins him to discuss being a spouse in the Foreign Service.

Watch the full episode


MORE EPISODES

Ep19: Foreign Service Institute Director Nancy McEldowney
Ep18: Asian-Pacific Diplomacy with Kurt Campbell
Ep17: Chief U.S. Aviation Negotiator Krishna Urs
Ep16: British Ambassador to U.S. Peter...

Read Post

Can Diplomacy Be Taught? (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 1:44 PM

On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," meet the woman who is trying to change the State Department's decades-long aversion to formal training: Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, director of the Foreign Service Institute.

She talks about the challenges of teaching diplomacy, recent changes to her institute's curriculum, and innovation in diplomatic training.

McEldowney, a former ambassador to Bulgaria, joined the Foreign Service in 1986. Most recently, she was vice president of the National Defense University.

Watch the full episode


MORE EPISODES

Ep18: Asian-Pacific Diplomacy with Kurt Campbell
Ep17: Chief U.S. Aviation Negotiator Krishna Urs
Ep16: British Ambassador to U.S. Peter Westmacott
Ep15: Innovation in Managing Diplomatic Missions
Ep14: West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert...

Read Post

Asia Still 'Distant Third' in U.S. Priorities, Ex-Obama Official Says (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 6:59 PM

Asia still holds a "distant third" place in Washington's diplomatic priorities behind Europe and the Middle East, in spite of the Obama administration's "pivot" launched four years ago, Kurt Campbell, former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, says on this week's episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.

Campbell, who had a long think-tank career before joining the Obama team in 2009, also talks about how U.S. diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific affects the lives of Americans, the diplomatic approaches of the main countries in the region, the obstructionism of North Korea's young leader, and China's global influence.

Watch the full episode

MORE EPISODES

Ep17: Chief U.S. Aviation Negotiator Krishna Urs
Ep16: British Ambassador to U.S. Peter Westmacott
Ep15: Innovation in Managing Diplomatic Missions
Ep14: West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen
Ep13: Voice of America Director David...

Read Post

U.S. Calls on China to Lift Flight Limits (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 10:25 PM

China's continuing refusal to lift all limits on flights to and from the United States hurts Chinese business travelers and prevents Chinese carriers from enjoying the full benefits of access to the U.S. airline market, the chief U.S. aviation negotiator, Krishna Urs, says on this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev."

Urs, who is deputy assistant secretary of state for transportation, also talks about the intricacies of aviation diplomacy, how it affects airlines and the flying public, the expected increase in flights to Tokyo's Haneda Airport, and the Open Skies Agreements the United States has with 111 countries.

A Foreign Service officer since 1986, Urs has spent most of his career in Latin America, having served in Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, as well as in Bangladesh.

Watch the full episode


MORE EPISODES

Ep16: British Ambassador to U.S. Peter Westmacott
Ep15: Innovation in Managing Diplomatic Missions
Ep14: West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen
Ep13: Voice of America Director David...

Read Post

The Royal Family's Role in British Diplomacy (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 8:27 AM

The involvement of Britain's royal family in diplomacy "gives us extra ability to make a difference in certain areas," Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to Washington, says on this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev."


Westmacott, a former deputy private secretary to Prince Charles during his marriage to Princess Diana, recalls the princess' role in changing attitudes toward HIV/AIDS patients and raising awareness about the danger of land mines. He says the main focus of British diplomacy today is the "prosperity agenda" aimed at producing economic growth and jobs at home through trade and investment.

A Foreign Service officer since 1972 and a former ambassador to France and Turkey, Westmacott also talks about the "very modest amount of politicization" in the Foreign Office in London, where the number of political appointees has increased slightly in recent years, though Britain still relies on its career diplomats much more heavily than the United States does.

Watch the full episode


MORE EPISODES

Ep15: Innovation in Managing Diplomatic Missions
Ep14: West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen
Ep13: Voice of America Director David Ensor
Ep12: U.S. Global Sanctions Coordinator Daniel Fried
Ep11: Sports Diplomacy with Michelle Kwan
Ep10: Spying and Diplomacy with John...

Read Post