As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 275 million people around the world each week via radio, television and online media. Read More

Biden’s Leadership Message Leads with Vaccines

A wide angle Agence France Presse photo of President Biden, on his first overseas trip as chief executive, displays a crowd sitting behind him.  Of a hundred spectators in the stands, all except two are wearing black masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The President was speaking to U.S. Air Force staff in Suffolk,…

June: a Landmark Month for U.S. Diplomacy

by Alan Heil When I led VOA during a couple of years in the mid-1990s, we debated what might lie ahead on for the world and the U.S. as we deployed  more than a score of correspondents around a post-Cold War planet. Who then, or for more than two decades since, could have foreseen the…

Taiwan: An Accelerating Crisis?

by Alan Heil The tiny democratic Chinese-speaking Pacific island republic lies within sight of Communist China and is now facing twin crises: a coronavirus outbreak in addition to long-standing potential threats from the mainland superpower. Taiwan’s population is 24 million, compared to mainland China’s 1.4 billion. Michael Mandelbaum of Johns Hopkins University describes the Taiwan…

Gaza: What Should Happen Now?

By Alan Heil Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded a two-day mission to the Middle East May 26, winning what the Associated Press termed “valuable diplomatic support” for a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas leaders. This followed quickly on the heels of an 11-day war that cost the lives of nearly 250…

Gaza Aftermath: Next Steps?

by Alan Heil It’s over, the latest spasm of severe strife in the heart of the Middle East. An 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza has ended in what appeared May 21 to be a durable ceasefire, for now at least. Once again, there was a horrific Arab-Israeli death toll in the May fighting: 232…

Gaza Crisis: No Pause In Sight

by Alan Heil An anxious world is waiting. As of dusk on the eighth day since a few Israelis evicted Palestinian residents from their homes in East Jerusalem, sustained retaliatory air attacks from Gaza and Israeli responses have set in motion the Middle East’s most serious fighting since 2014. As nightfall approached in the region…

Middle East map with toy cannon

The Middle East Cauldron Erupts Again

by Alan Heil Full-blown conflict in Israel and Gaza, triggered by Israeli seizure May 10 of several Palestinian homes and expulsion of their residents in east Jerusalem… Hundreds of civilians or soldiers killed or injured in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel itself during the initial week of this latest tragic chapter of Arab-Israeli tensions……

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…