Foreign Service Accounts from the Oral History Archives

September 2018

August marks the 30th anniversary of the Burmese student pro-democracy demonstrations that began on “8/8/88”. The U.S. subsequently withdrew its ambassador in protest of the military regime, beginning a hiatus in relations that lasted until 2012.

The Limits of Opposition

April 2018

A Case Study of U.S. Reflagging Operations During the Iran-Iraq War
by Christian Heller

Afghanistan is Not Our Longest War

October 2017

by David T. Jones There seems to be a new truth that whoever starts a column about Afghanistan, adds the descriptive phrase, “Our longest war.” Or words to that effect. One is not exactly sure why the writers seek to … Continued

Jihad as Grand Strategy

October 2017

Review by Jon Dorschner Jihad as Grand Strategy (Islamist Militancy, National Security, and the Pakistani State) by S. Paul Kapur, Oxford University Press: New York, 2017, ISBN 978-0-19-976852-3, 177 pp., $39.95 (Hardcover). Although the United States was a long-term patron … Continued

Making Peace in Syria: Economic Diplomacy

January 2017

by Abdallah Al Dardari Aleppo is a landmark in the Syrian conflict and has become the strongest signal of the failure of the western approach to diplomacy and other means of influence to end the conflict. This failure calls for … Continued

The Mideast Peace Process Peters Out

May 2014

By Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/may-clifford-d-the-mideast-peace-process-peters-out/ Reviewed by Norvell DeAtkine There should be an entry in the medical journals for a chronic disease that seems to afflict every American administration but has … Continued

The Battle for Control of the Middle East

April 2014

by Curt Jones  As a geopolitical region, the Middle East generates a never-ending power struggle for overall hegemony. That objective has never been achieved by a single contender. The Caliphate came closest. From the death of Muhammad in 632, the … Continued

Mid-East Peace

February 2014

by Sol SchindlerBecause of Secretary Kerry’s perseverance and industry we shall soon see three international conferences underway, all attempting to pacify different corners of the Middle East. Those of us who have run laps around those corners these last few … Continued

The Geopolitics of the Sunni-Shi‘a Divide in the Middle East

January 2014

By Samuel Helfont, Associate Scholar in FPRI’s Program on the Middle East Text: https://www.fpri.org/articles/2013/12/geopolitics-sunni-shii-divide-middle-east SYMPOSIUM Review by Michael W. Cotter This lecture from an FPRI conference for teachers is well worth reading for two reasons. First, it provides an excellent, … Continued

The Contemporary Middle East

June 2013

Review by Curt Jones
The Contemporary Middle East, Third Edition, Edited by Karl Yambert with a contribution by Shibley Telhami, Westview Press: Boulder, Colorado, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0813348391, pp. 448