Skip to main content

Winds of Change

March 2018

Chapter 6 of The Atlanticists: A Story of American Diplomacy
by Ken Weisbrode

Diplomacy on the Rocks

March 2018

by Ambassador (ret.) Barbara K. Bodine At Minneapolis Council on Foreign Relations Minneapolis, MN November 21, 2017 The News You Have Not Heard On my way here I heard a news report that the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman … Continued

Africa and the Politics of Possibility

December 2017

by Louis S. Segesvary, Ph.D. To entice tourists and quell the fears of the naïve, Africa is often presented in travel books as a magical destination, where sweeping savannahs and imposing mountain ranges serve as a backdrop to an exotic … Continued

Angola – an ambassador’s daily diary

October 2017

Angola – O dia-a-dia de um embaixador Angola – an ambassador’s daily diary by Ambassador Antonio Pinto da France Edicao de Livros e Revistas, Lisbon 2004 Translation by Ed Marks Selections From the preface I was the third Portuguese ambassador … Continued

Applying Diplomacy

April 2017

by William Harrop When I arrived as Chief of Mission to the Republic of Guinea in May 1975, Sekou Touré, the father of “African Socialism”, had been president for 17 years. He had founded a repressive Communist dictatorship. Guinea was … Continued

Duty Calls

April 2017

Chapter 1 of Dead Cow Road – Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis by Mark Wentling The famine had already killed tens of thousands. The Somali landscape was littered with ragged lumps of human scraps. Death by … Continued

Africa’s Great Hunger Handicap

October 2016

by Mark Wentling The hefty burden of widespread hunger prevents Africa from realizing its full potential. Accepting that good nutrition is the foundation of life and human progress, Africa is clearly falling behind other regions. As long as Africa remains … Continued

Angola Terrorist Report

May 2016

by Robert Baker Until I did my report on the March, 1961 terrorist uprising in Angola, I had done well at my job as an intelligence analyst, especially at the hard slog of scanning thousands of pages of reports to … Continued

Getting Sick in Africa

March 2016

by Bob Baker Malaria was like having a pain X-ray of all your bones, but after a fever bout, shaking chills diverted attention from your aching bones. I had taken all the anti-malaria pills but had evidently bumped into a … Continued

Uganda—and triggered observations

March 2016

by Robert Baker Rajat Neogy declared himself referee and demanded a formal exchange of insults contest between Paul Theroux and me. It was the fag end of a very Scotch evening in Rajat’s cluttered, dusty living room up in the … Continued

Final Tribute to ‘My’ Ambassadors

January 2016

by Mark Wentling What is an embassy? What is an ambassador? ‘Embassy’ and ‘Ambassador’ were practically new words for me in 1967 when I encountered them firsthand in Tegucigalpa. Way back then, I and other members of 8th group new … Continued

A Most Unusual Christmas Feast

December 2015

by Michael Cotter The summer of 1984, my wife Joanne and I headed off for assignments—our first as a tandem couple—to Kinshasa, capital of what was then Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My parents, inveterate … Continued

The Mind of the African Strongman

November 2015

Reviewed by Anthony Quainton Herman J Cohen, The Mind of the African Strongman: Conversations with Dictators, Statesmen, and Father Figures, New Academia Publishing/Vellum, 2015, ISBN-13: 978-098643530, 288 pp. $34.00 (Hardcover), $24.00 (Paperback) In the course of a forty-year career working … Continued

Making Aid Work by Building Strong Institutions

June 2015

 Observations on aid after over four decades of practicing development in Africa by Mark Wentling Abstract All agree that strong institutions are necessary for the achievement of lasting progress. It is widely recognized that strong institutions are essential for nation-building … Continued

Comment On: Edmund DeJarnette

June 2015

Dear Editor, I have just learned that our former colleague Edmund DeJarnette has died. Here is the obituary which appeared last month in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: http://www.richmond.com/obituaries/article_53c74576-c09f-523b-a22c-7f467e4a1cd4.html. Ed DeJarnette was one of the most accomplished Africanists in the Foreign Service, … Continued

Visions of Freedom

January 2015

Review by Ambassador (ret.) Herman J. Cohen Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa by Piero Gleijeses University of North Carolina Press, 2013, ISBN-13 978-1469609683, 672 pp., Hardcover $40.00, Amazon hardcover $32.00, Kindle $18.19. The … Continued

The Islamic World Faces Its Future

January 2015

by Benjamin L. Landis It is apparent without further explanation that the world of Islam from the shores of the Atlantic to the extremities of the Indian Ocean is today in tumult. The causes for these chaotic conditions are rooted … Continued