What’s Ahead Following A Russian War Threat In Vienna?

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, puts it bluntly. “As people see unaccountable rulers (those not empowered in free elections) prioritize their own interests over that of their publics,” he contends, “a popular demand for rights-respecting democracy remains strong.” The second week of 2022 appears to have been crucial in determining whether or…

Foreign Policy Trends To Look For: 2022

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) focuses on four foreign policy news stories to follow this year. “Any one of them,” the CFR website says, “could turn into the dominant news event of the year — or fade away.  We’ll know in 12 months which will sizzle and which will fizzle.” The top four are:…

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…

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…

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…

Perception Hacking: the Dark Side of Public Diplomacy

Attendees at First Monday Forum got a data-drawn picture of the extent to which the world is being assaulted by disinformation and propaganda, with the United States in the bullseye.  What is public diplomacy’s role? “Perception Hacking: How Russia, China, and Iran Use (and Abuse) Western Information Platforms” was the title.  Bret Schaefer, Media and Disinformation…