Aerial photo of container vessel in Suez Canal

Some Lessons of Suez, 2021

The limited flow of traffic through the Suez Canal in late March and likely in the first day or so of April has wreaked havoc on the global economy.  That’s because a huge freight ship twisted sideways, lodged its bow and stern in both canal banks and blocked all vessels from using the vital link…

Conference stage with speaker

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. GLOBAL TIES U.S. MARKS 60 YEARS OF CITIZEN DIPLOMACY: The March 22-26, 2021 National Meeting of Global Ties U.S. — the nation-wide network of partners and community supporters which makes the successful, State Department-funded International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) possible — was historic. Not only did the huge annual gathering mark the 60th anniversary of…

children walking in refugee camp

The Tragic Case of the Rohingyas

Who are the Rohingyas?  Short answer:  more than a million displaced refugees who fled from Burma to neighboring Bangladesh to escape persecution four years ago, and whose future remains very uncertain even today. The Rohingyas have long have been a matter of regional, as well as international concern.  On March 25, Pakistan, Bangladesh’s western neighbor,…

Seeds of Democracy in a Tumultuous World

Can the North African country of Libya offer hope for reforms elsewhere? On March 16, a new national unity civilian government took power in Tripoli.  In the words of a recent Washington Post editorial: “After a decade of chaos, the oil rich nation has taken a significant step toward a new political order.” Libya’s recent…

cherry blossoms Jefferson Memorial

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HATE CRIMES — ANOTHER PUBLIC DIPLOMACY CHALLENGE: Our ambassadors and PD officers suddenly have a new challenge: explaining what President Biden has called a “skyrocketing spike” of harassment and violence against Asian Americans and the need for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to pass Congress. On several occasions since taking office, President Biden has clearly…

satellite image of arctic circle

Arctic Strategy — an Awakening Interest

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a passenger in a space capsule with a view of the Arctic Ocean, with its polar icecap kissing the coasts of the U.S. state of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and hovering close to Russia. That schematic map of Planet Earth’s northernmost region is vividly depicted on page 45 of…

Dr. Biden at podium

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HONORING “WOMEN OF COURAGE” AND ADVANCING A “FEMINIST FOREIGN POLICY”: For the past 15 years, the State Department has marked International Women’s Day by recognizing a group of amazing women who have shown unusual courage and leadership. This year’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) ceremony, held March 8, 2021, seemed better and more inspiring than…

An Opportune Time To Ease Persian Gulf Tensions?

Is it possible that the U.S and European allies are giving Iran space to cooperate with a United Nations review of Tehran’s nuclear activities? According to two Wall Street Journal correspondents, Laurence Norman in Brussels and Sune Engel Rassmussen in London, time is of the essence and would make it possible to: revive a dialogue…