President Biden’s Democracy Summit: A Preview

At least 108 countries will participate in a yearend D.C. virtual summit beginning Dec. 9 to strengthen democracies globally. According to the Council on Foreign Relations (the CFR), “the President’s goal will need robust U.S.- European cooperation to succeed.” The gathering is organized around three broad themes: —Defending against authoritarianism —Fighting corruption —Promoting respect globally…

Russia’s Border With Ukraine: An Urgent Alert

All the ingredients of a possible international crisis are there: —Russia now has an estimated 100,000 troops on the border of its neighbor, Ukraine, an independent neighbor of Russia today that was previously part of the Cold War Soviet Union. —According to Washington Post correspondent Missy Ryan, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was to…

Vocabulary Challenges In A Covid-19 Era

Try to imagine for a moment that you lapsed into a coma in 2019 and were just awakening in 2021 as scores of new terms centered on COVID-19 had infected our vocabulary in just two years. Here’s my list of such terms for such a hypothetical patient: Omicron — a new, possibly more infectious variant…

Thanksgiving Thoughts For 2021 Afghan Pilgrims

David Von Drehle’s column in the Washington Post’s Thanksgiving Day edition sums it all up: “Gratitude is a muscle. It strengthens us with use.” “Ultimately,” the widely-followed columnist concludes, “gratitude is somehow linked to hope and hope is the pre-requisite of action.” “One must be grateful for the Earth before one can save it. One…

Lessons From Glasgow Climate Summit

The Council on Foreign Relations, a respected observer, summarizes the summit findings in an authoritative essay entitled: “What the Summit Did and Did Not Accomplish”. Its summary: Would you consider COP26 a success?  The quick response, according to the CFR, was blunt: “Yes, but barely.”  The recently-concluded summit, it said, “delivered on its primary goal…

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Making the Most of Talent for Virtual Programming

The value of presentation skill sets in public diplomacy is more important than ever. By Loren Hurst Today’s communications environment has vastly increased the importance of presentation skill sets at all levels. Public diplomacy practitioners compete with infinite content choices, where anyone can get online and produce a blog, podcast, or even a feature film.…

Lessons From Covid-19 And A Look Ahead

The New York Times reports Nov. 17 that the Biden administration plans to invest billions of dollars to expand United States production of coronavirus vaccines to deal with the deadly plague at home and abroad. “That goal,” according to Times correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “is a proposed first step in a new plan”, enabling the…