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Citizen Diplomats and Statecraft

“Professional diplomats are, in some ways, a cursed lot,” asserts Adam Kaplan,  Membership Director for Sister Cities International, the national association for U.S. sister city programs,

“Often endowed with creativity, commitment, ambition, and in-depth knowledge, they all too often find themselves bound protocol, policy, and bureaucracy, Mr. Kaplan contends in a July 10, 2013, post at The Diplomatic Courier.  “After two or three years, right when their networks and country specific insight are maturing, diplomats find themselves transferred to new and even more taxing assignments. Citizen diplomats, however, know no such constraints.”

To read the entire post, please see “Statecraft Comes to the Cities.”

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Gul Gives Kerry A Photo of Three Powerful Men

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ended a visit to Turkey on March 1 [2013] with a meeting with President Abdullah Gül, during which Washington’s top diplomat was presented with a photo of the “three most important men” in the United States by the Turkish head of state,” according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News.

Mr. Gül, according to the English language publication, showed Mr. Kerry a photograph taken on February 22, 2008, in the same room of the Presidential Palace where the March 1, 2013, meeting occurred. The picture was “with current U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, newly appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Kerry. All three officials were senators at the time,” the newspaper told its readers..”

If you want to read more, please see “Gül gives Kerry old photograph with ‘three most important men’ in US.”

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[Editor’s Note: Below are the major points of a foreign policy address that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in photo below, delivered on February 20, 2013, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. The university was founded by Thomas Jefferson, the U.S’ first secretary of state and the fourth U.S. president. Mr. Kerry’s response to his introduction by Senator Tim Kaine has been omitted along with his recognition of several persons and organizations in the audience. The entire speech can be found on the State Department website, the source of this excerpt.) 

Why Kerry Delivered Speech at University of Virginia

Some might ask why I’m standing here at the University of Virginia, why am I starting here? A Secretary of State making his first speech in the United States? You might ask, “Doesn’t diplomacy happen over there, overseas, far beyond the boundaries of our own backyards?”

Secretary of State John KerrySo why is it that I am at the foot of the Blue Ridge instead of on the shores of the Black Sea? Why am I in Old Cabell Hall and not Kabul, Afghanistan? (Laughter.)

The reason is very simple. I came here purposefully to underscore that in today’s global world, there is no longer anything foreign about foreign policy. More than ever before, the decisions that we make from the safety of our shores don’t just ripple outward; they also create a current right here in America. How we conduct our foreign policy matters more than ever before to our everyday lives, to the opportunities of all those students I met standing outside, whatever year they are here, thinking about the future. It’s important not just in terms of the threats that we face, but the products that we buy, the goods that we sell, and the opportunity that we provide for economic growth and vitality. It’s not just about whether we’ll be compelled to send our troops to another battle, but whether we’ll be able to send our graduates into a thriving workforce. That’s why I’m here today.

I’m here because our lives as Americans are more intertwined than ever before with the lives of people in parts of the world that we may have never visited. In the global challenges of diplomacy, development, economic security, environmental security, you will feel our success or failure just as strongly as those people in those other countries that you’ll never meet. For all that we have gained in the 21st century, we have lost the luxury of just looking inward. Instead, we look out and we see a new field of competitors. I think it gives us much reason to hope. But it also gives us many more rivals determined to create jobs and opportunities for their own people, a voracious marketplace that sometimes forgets morality and values.

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What Is Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Legacy?

Al-Jazeera takes a look at former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic legacy.” How did the US secretary of state change the country's foreign policy during her time in office?” the online publication asks in a February 5, 2013, article.

For Al-Jazeera’s version of the answer, please see ”Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Legacy.”

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FPA Blogs Offers Insightful Year in Review Briefings

The Foreign Policy Association (FPA), which has been around since 1918, produces some of the best foreign policy and world affairs blogs around. They  are written by seasoned bloggers and experts such as Chicago’s Brandon Henander, who writes the War Crimes blog, and Patrick Frost who explores Afghan domestic and international politics in a blog called Afghanistan

image if you didn’t keep up with international affairs and diplomacy during the year, just reading the “Year in Review” for FPA network blogs such as Bangladesh, Central Asia, Climate Change, Cuba, Energy and Natural Resources, Global Engagement, Global Food Security, Human Rights, India, Iran, Israel, Latin America, Law and Security Strategy, MexicoMigration, Pakistan, Philanthropy, Public Diplomacy, Rising Powers, Russia, The Arctic, Transitional States, U.S. Defense and Venezuela, will allow you to hold a decent conversation in any salon or gathering of students and experts on international affairs.

The blogs also offer a prediction on what will be hot in 2010. My prediction is that blogs such as the above and sites such as GlobalPost, Just Foreign Policy, Just World News and The Diplomatic Times Review will become go to sites as global conflicts and efforts to find solutions to those conflicts drive Americans to blogs and aggregators such as the previously referenced.

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Masters in Criminal Justice’s ‘Top 50 Foreign Policy Blogs’

The Masters in Criminal Justice blog included The Diplomatic Times Review in its list of Top 50 Foreign Policy Blogs at number 16 in the “U.S. and North America Foreign Policy” category.

Masters in Criminal Justice blogger Laura Milligan noted in a February 4, 2009, post:

Foreign policy affects our future regarding economics, human rights and living standards, safety, war and alliances with other countries, and even the environment. If you want to learn more about foreign policy, U.S. diplomacy and international law, read these blogs by professors, journalists and other experts to stay on top of the U.S. actions around the world.
Thanks to the blog for including The Diplomatic Times Review in some very distinguished company.

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