US Opinion and Commentary

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Philippines’ Duterte Leaves U.S. Policymakers “Baffled”

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 9:42 am (UTC-5)
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Earlier this year, U.S.-Philippines strategic cooperation appeared to be making progress towards increasing joint naval patrols, basing more U.S. troops in the Philippines, and military aid….Once Filipino President Benigno Aquino passed the torch to Duterte on June 30th of this year, many believed he would maintain if not build on the work of his predecessor.

Move the Federal Government Out of Washington

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 9:09 am (UTC-5)
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In one bold move, it would bring the federal government closer to the people, reduce the threat a major act of terrorism would pose to our nation’s capital, and create new jobs, new infrastructure throughout the country….it would renew faith that government exists not to serve the wealthy or the connected, but all the people.

Hillary Clinton’s Emails

Posted May 26th, 2016 at 5:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Hillary Clinton is the target of criticism after Wednesday’s release of an internal report that says she failed to follow rules about the handling if her email while Secretary of State.
The report by the Office of the Inspector General for the State Department cited Clinton’s use of a private email account to conduct State Department addresses as inappropriate for record keeping; she failed to provide emails for the first few months of her tenure; and her use of a private server for her email was neither approved nor secure.
Clinton has previously acknowledged that using a private email server was a mistake and she would do it differently if she had to do it again. In an interview with Univision’s Los Angeles affiliate, she said “nothing has changed” regarding the email story and she used personal email “just like previous secretaries of state.”
The report has given Clinton critics new ammunition to question her judgment and veracity. And there still is an FBI investigation of whether she mishandled classified information because of the email setup.
And the issues of character and national security are at the center of this presidential election

When Diplomats Get Punished for Doing Their Jobs

Posted May 18th, 2016 at 10:24 am (UTC-5)
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The threat that government surveillance and national-security investigations pose for private citizens has been hotly debated for the past decade. Less understood is the damage done to government officials themselves when they fall into the dragnet.

Young Partners in Global Peace

Posted April 19th, 2016 at 5:09 pm (UTC-5)
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US State Department awards youth leaders tackling peace with their creativity

Kerry & Lavrov: The Odd Couple of the New Cold War

Posted April 19th, 2016 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The two are “on very good terms,” Lavrov said last month, “but that does not mean that we should smile from ear to ear and express joy during each and every meeting to please Russian, American, and other journalists.”

Speed Up Investigation Into Clinton’s Email Server

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 9:50 am (UTC-5)
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Democrats have a special interest in reaching closure before picking their nominee. Even the most loyal Clinton supporters wonder if an indictment is more than right-wing wishful thinking.

A Presumptive Candidate’s Troubles

Posted March 31st, 2016 at 5:00 pm (UTC-5)
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The FBI investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failure to protect state secrets contained in her emails has entered its penultimate phase, and it is a dangerous one for her and her aides.

Honoring Fourteen #WomenOfCourage

Posted March 30th, 2016 at 10:17 am (UTC-5)
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Secretary of State John Kerry awarded women around the globe who are exceptional advocates for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, often doing so at great personal risk

Meeting An Unprecedented Migrant Challenge

Posted January 14th, 2016 at 2:14 pm (UTC-5)
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“My colleagues and I in the State Department’s Population, Refugees and Migration bureau cannot recall another time as challenging.” Anne C. Richard

Iran Nuclear Agreement Faces ‘Significant Turbulence’

Posted December 21st, 2015 at 1:43 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Eager to see relief of punishing economic sanctions, Iran is moving swiftly to implement the landmark nuclear deal it reached with the international community in July. But other actions in Tehran and Washington are souring the climate for compliance. Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for the agreement, faced tough questioning […]

The US is Losing the Social Media Wars

Posted October 16th, 2015 at 9:40 am (UTC-5)
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The use of social media and the Internet is rapidly becoming a powerful weapon for information warfare and changing the nature of conflict worldwide. Because of misaligned U.S. policies and laws, we continue to largely rely on only conventional warfare techniques, which puts us at a severe disadvantage.

US Confronts Islamic State Militants Online

Posted September 29th, 2015 at 4:47 pm (UTC-5)
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Efforts to defeat the Islamic State involve more than military might, President Barack Obama said at Tuesday’s summit on countering violent extremism: “…This means defeating their ideology. Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they’re defeated by better ideas.” The stunning success of IS online recruitment via social media has resulted in a growing US operation to dilute the messaging that has inspired tens of thousands to drop everything and join IS in Syria. Anti-terrorism messaging is not a new tool, but it is a difficult one to get right. US officials are betting on telling the stories of IS defectors and reaching young minds on the Internet and elsewhere.

The Islamic State’s Je Ne Sais Quoi

Posted June 18th, 2015 at 11:25 am (UTC-5)
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The problem with much of the earlier outreach in the Middle East and Muslim world is that it’s hard to persuade folks by just changing the wrapping paper on the box if the contents of that box, in this case U.S. policies that alienate Arabs and Muslims, remain essentially the same.