Diplomacy has been under heavy fire this year. The U.S. president’s policies, appealing to a strongly conservative and nationalist base, have unsettled allies and confused (and perhaps encouraged) adverseries. Our own magazine began its third decade this year facing the worst threat to its mission since the infamous Senator McCarthy tried to destroy our nation’s diplomatic corps in the 1950’s.
Diplomatic challenges in 2017 continue to abound. North Korea, global trade, climate change, the Middle East with the Syrian War, rising tensions with Iran, and the aftermath of ISIS are in the headlines almost daily. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a Europe focused on Brexit and needing leadership from Germany, Russian resurgence in the Middle East, the Rohingya refugee crisis, and a China increasingly muscular in trade and military expansion all complicate millions of lives around the globe.
In the face of this agenda, the American secretary of state announced recently that the U.S. will solve a number of issues soon and therefore does not need to expand its diplomatic personnel. The Administration seems to believe that diplomacy is a demand driven activity—that there is a greater supply of diplomats than the problems require. The truth, of course, is that diplomacy is a demand driven profession—there are always more problems to solve than people and resources to solve them. American security and the well-being of our citizens depend on robust American diplomacy carried out daily and globally by career professionals, backed by our military strength and economic prowess, to manage international issues effectively.
The task to restore diplomacy to its proper place in American national security has never been more important. As we share the joy of new beginnings around the world at this time of year, we look to you, our readers—and authors—to join us in fostering and strengthening the power of factual discussion and serious diplomacy to make our world a better place.
Ambassador (ret) W. Robert Pearson
President, American Diplomacy Publishers