How did the poorest country in the Arab World become one of the most important?

With a Houthi rebel insurgency in the north and a secessionist movement in the south, Yemen has not seen true stability nor all-encompassing governance in decades. 40% of its water supply is used to cultivate qat, an amphetamine that more than … Continue reading Read more »

Real solutions are not being exercised to combat terrorism

Barack Obama, as a new President of the United States, came holding the torch of changed discourse when he gave his speech in one of the Islamic world’s most weighted countries, Egypt. Obama touted optimism and dialogue, calling to “forget … Continue reading Read more »

Obama’s Indonesia Trip and Associated Whacky Extremist Claims

by Chris Lundry President Barack Obama concluded his brief visit to Indonesia yesterday, fulfilling his promise to travel there despite having cancelled three prior trips to the land where he spent time as a young boy (between 1967-71). The cancellations had provoked much discussion there and among those who study Indonesia, some of whom were worried that that the President had irrevokably strained relations by not following through on his trips. The naysayers were mostly […] Read more »

State’s Digital Outreach Team May Do More Harm Than Good

by Cameron Bean Since November of 2006, the State Department has taken its public diplomacy efforts into the online arena of Arabic, Urdu, and Persian discussion boards. Heading this effort is the Digital Outreach Team (DOT). According to DOT member Muath Alsufy, the initiative began after the realization that “there was a lot of misinformation about the US, mainly foreign policies, and there was a void… no source on these forums and blogs that would […] Read more »

Discussing Social Media in Egypt

For all my work with new media for public diplomacy, the best engagement is still the oldest: face-to-face discussions. “The last three feet”, as Edward R Murrow put it, allow for more personal interaction than the sometimes detached and often anonymous online type. Working from Washington, D.C., where we are so removed from the field, […] Read more »

Secret affairs with radical Islam: why covert Western foreign policy needs to change

Earlier this year the case of Binyam Mohamed resulted in the severe condemnation, by one of Britain’s most senior judges, of Britain’s Security Service, finding that they had “failed to respect human rights, deliberately misled parliament and had a “culture of … Continue reading Read more »

Wiki-leaked Docs a Threat, but Maybe Not How Pentagon Thinks

by Cameron Bean and Bennett Furlow On Friday, October 22, Wikileaks released almost 400,000 documents on the Iraq War.  At first Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell seemed to downplay the release, claiming the documents were “essentially snapshots of events” and do not “tell the whole story.” But chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen condemned the release, tweeting: “Another irresponsible posting of stolen classified documents by Wikileaks puts lives at risk and gives adversaries […] Read more »