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The idea to sponsor an essay contest emerged back at the American Diplomacy Publishers board of directors meeting a month after 9/11. Our thought was that with the declaration of a war on terrorism and the attention of government and the public on the military aspect of that conflict, it was important to highlight the fact that diplomacy will play a major role in fighting that war. This is true of all such struggles, but probably never more so than in the war against terrorism, given its most unconventional nature.

I was asked to head the project and over the next several months I wrestled with a subject for the contest. I finally decided on the theme: “Looking to the mid- to long-term, what is the place of the war on terrorism in formulating American foreign policy?” I believed, and the board agreed, it was important to focus on the longer term, given the fact that all agree this is a war that will not be won quickly or easily.

Thanks to special contributions from Mr. Roddy Jones, president of the Davidson & Jones Construction Co., Raleigh, North Carolina; and board member Ambassador Jeannette Hyde, we were able to offer first and second prizes of $500.00 and $250.00. I offered to fund the third prize of $100.00.

The contest produced an outstanding response of interesting and thoughtful essays by our readers. We on the judging committee (composed of the prize donors) based our evaluation on content (the degree of knowledge and quality of theme development) and expression (clarity of ideas). After much discussion, these three essays were judged to be the best:

1st prize. The winning essay by Jesse Tampio, a student at Harvard Law School, appeared first and was featured in American Diplomacy during the fall of 2002. It may be found now in the journal’s archives.

The second place essay, “Terrorism: How it is Unlike the Cold War,” by Nicholas Allen Kenney, is contained in this presentation of American Diplomacy, as is the third place entry by William Collins, “Diplomacy and the War on Terror.

The editor and I and the board of directors of American Diplomacy extend our thanks to all who took the time and effort to submit entries. They, as well as all of our readers who provide feedback, are what make our work so rewarding. 

Ambassador Michael W. Cotter
Associate Publisher

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