A Free Press Matters: a Worldwide Roundup

In a World Press Freedom Day message yesterday May 3, President Biden warned that “the truth is under attack” and that “authoritarians” are trying to undermine the media globally. In a statement on the White House website, the president praised objective journalists around the world and urged them “to continue holding those in power to…

Myanmar’s Horrific Crisis

Myanmar, or Burma, on May 1st entered its fourth month under a brutal military regime.  That regime has killed more than 700 citizens and innocent civilians since it seized power on February 1. That was the very day a newly elected democratically parliament in Myanmar was about to hold its initial meeting. The Association for…

Aircraft with USAID relief packages andU.S. officials in foreground

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE STRUGGLE TO REFORM PUBLIC DIPLOMACY STAFFING: As any PD officer knows, the effort to inform and influence foreign publics relies heavily on support from approximately 2,600 loyal PD Locally Employed Staff (LES) who do PD work in 189 U.S. missions around the world. Any attempt to reform their functions, structures, and position descriptions is…

protest sign "There Is No Planet B"

U.S. Takes Lead on Climate Change with Virtual Summit

At a two-day Washington virtual summit April 22-23, President Biden urged the 40 participating nations to counter the problem of increasing planetary pollution seriously and with the urgency that crisis demands. One approach:  what philanthropist Bill Gates describes as huge new public and private investment in innovation globally to avoid catastrophic climate change.  “Just using…

Climate Envoy John Kerry with Secretary of State Biden at table

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. UNITED STATES PULLS OFF “LEADERS SUMMIT ON CLIMATE”:  This year’s “Earth Day” was different. It really was “Earth Days” — plural.  April 22-23, 2021 were rather remarkable days for the Biden Administration and U.S. public diplomacy. Timed for the annual “Earth Day” observance, the White House and State Department quite smoothly managed a two-day Leaders…

title Global Trends 2040

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. “GLOBAL TRENDS 2040” — TOWARDS A SCARY FUTURE? Intelligence reports — the rare ones that are unclassified and officially made public — aren’t always very helpful in explaining an issue or concern. They usually are cryptic and sanitized, and not very readable. But let me highly recommend one released April 8, 2021 by the National Intelligence…

Africans performing traditional dance

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. COMING UP: A COSTLY U.S. DEPARTURE FROM AFGHANISTAN?: For literally decades, one of the most challenging and frustrating jobs for U.S. diplomats, as well as the military and non-governmental organizations, has been trying to deal with the Afghanistan war and the Afghan government and the Taliban. Billions have been spent on various well-intended “nation-building,” “reconstruction,” and…