Diplomacy Under Fire

Diplomacy Under Fire

"When I worked in the state department, we made the decision to put diplomats into the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's an entirely different proposition than serving in Rome."
– Former Ambassador Nicholas Burns

The cocktail parties and communiqués of traditional diplomacy are giving way to counterinsurgency and crisis management missions in places like Iraq and Colombia. American diplomats are now required to serve in both embassies and embeds. But the Foreign Service is short on folks with the language and technical skills to fill these modern posts. Add to that a bureaucratic State Department short on funds and slow to adapt and you end up with the 82nd Airborne as the face of American foreign policy to the world.

Executive Producer: Aaron Lobel / AAM Producers: Monica Bushman, Sean D. Carberry, Matt Ozug, Monica Villavicencio and Chris Williams / Interns: Natalie Friedman, Alex Taylor and Jake Yarmus / Photo: Sean Carberry.  Host: Deb Amos 

The Changing Landscape of American Diplomacy

Deborah Amos and Sean Carberry discuss the changing landscape of American diplomacy.
Guests include Ambassador Nicholas Burns, former US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Bush Administration and Ryan Crocker, Ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009.

Language / Security Training

Deborah Amos investigates what the US is doing to equip Foreign Service officers with the language and survival skills necessary for the diplomacy of the 21st Century.
Guests include Ambassador Ryan Crocker; Barbara Cummings, Diplomat-in-Residence; Dr. Nabeel Khoury, Director of the State Department’s Near East and South Asia Office; and Ray Leki, Director of the Transition Center at the Foreign Service Institute.

Plan Colombia

Deborah Amos explores how US diplomats implemented Plan Colombia, and what lessons can be learned from their efforts to stabilize a struggling state.
Guests include Leslie Bassett, a political counselor in Bogota from 1999 to 2001; Luis Moreno, former head of the Narcotics Affairs Section at the US Embassy in Bogota; Anne Patterson, Ambassador to Colombia from 2000 to 2003; and Stewart Tuttle, a political officer at the US Embassy in Bogota from 2001 to 2005.

Field report from Hyderabad, India

Matt Ozug travels to Hyderabad, India, where the new Consulate General is expanding commercial and diplomatic ties in an emerging economic center.
Guests include Cornelis Keur, US Consul General; Pandrangi Radhakishore, Commercial Specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce; Ajit Rangnekar, Dean of the Indian School of Business; and Alok Sethi, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hyderabad.

The Challenges Facing the State Department

Deborah Amos moderates a discussion on the fiscal and functional challenges facing the State Department.
With Professor Gordon Adams, a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center and a U.S. Foreign Policy professor at American University and Marc Grossman, former Ambassador to Turkey, Director General of the Foreign Service, and US Undersecretary for Political Affairs from 2001 to 2005.