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Archive for the tag “Benghazi”

The Bunkered American Diplomacy

American diplomacy has already undergone vast changes in the past few decades and is now so heavily encumbered by fortresslike embassies, body armor and motorcades that it is almost unrecognizable. In 1985 there were about 150 security officers in U.S. embassies abroad, and now there are about 900. That does not include the military officers and advisers, whose presence in many embassies — especially in the Middle East — can change the atmosphere. Security has gone from a marginal concern to the very heart of American interactions with other countries, Writes Robert F. Worth

Read Here – New York Times

The Return Of Rice And What It Means

Just a few months ago, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and now President Barack Obama’s choice to be the next national security adviser, saw her main chance to become secretary of state dissipate before her eyes, as Senate Republicans excoriated her for, as they saw it, misleading the public about the attacks on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Hillary’s Stepping Stone

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton helped restore America’s standing in the world, but she left office with no signature achievement. If she gets her way, her tenure as the country’s top diplomat will come to be seen simply as a stepping-stone to the presidency.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Two Years On, Libya Is Barely A State – But That’s Good News

This hardly seems like the moment to ask what type of state will emerge in Libya. Two years on from the uprising that eventually toppled Muammar Qaddafi, the country hardly has a functioning state at all.

There is still no constitution and there may not be one for months. The parliament, elected less than a year ago, has decided not to write one itself but instead to hold elections for a separate body to write it.

In the outside world, especially in the West, the chief concern has been about whether Libya’s persistent violence could affect Western interests – analysts nervously think of the recent attack on a natural gas facility in Algeria – or perhaps be exported abroad.

Read Here – The National

Nazi Goebbels’ Step-Grandchildren Are Hidden Billionaires

In the spring of 1945, Harald Quandt, a 23-year-old officer in the German Luftwaffe, was being held as a prisoner of war by Allied forces in the Libyan port city of Benghazi when he received a farewell letter from his mother, Magda Goebbels — the wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

The hand-written note confirmed the devastating news he had heard weeks earlier: His mother had committed suicide with her husband on May 1, after slipping their six children cyanide capsules in Adolf Hitler’s underground bunker in Berlin.

“My dear son! By now we’ve been in the Fuehrerbunker for six days already, Daddy, your six little siblings and I, to give our national socialistic lives the only possible, honorable ending,” she wrote. “Harald, dear son, I want to give you what I learned in life: Be loyal! Loyal to yourself, loyal to the people and loyal to your country!”

Read Here – Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton on China and the Rest of the World

After four years of international tumult, Hillary Clinton is preparing to step down as secretary of state. In addition to carrying out her traditional role as the nation’s top diplomat, Clinton has quietly used the office to help U.S. companies close deals with foreign governments—arguing that business and trade promotion are central to American strategic interests. Bloomberg Businessweek sat down with Clinton in August in her seventh floor office overlooking the Lincoln Memorial. In this edited interview, she talks about competing with China and the rest of the world and why the government should go to bat for business.

Read Here – Businessweek

Rebooting Republican Foreign Policy

This past fall was not kind to U.S. President Barack Obama‘s foreign policy. It became increasingly clear that Afghan security forces were not going to be ready for the 2014 transition. The New York Times highlighted the administration’s failure to persuade the Iraqi government to allow a residual U.S. force to stay in the country, leaving Baghdad ever more at the mercy of Tehran. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fought publicly over how to respond to Iran’s advancing nuclear program. The administration’s much-touted “pivot” to the Pacific seemed like more talk than action, as the United States passively watched tensions rise between China and Japan. And then, the administration tripped over itself repeatedly in trying to explain the fiasco in Benghazi, Libya.

Yet despite all this, Obama not only won the election in November but was more trusted by the public than Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, on foreign policy and national security issues.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Susan Rice Withdraws As U.S. Secretary Of State Candidate

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a close confidante of President Barack Obama, withdrew her name from consideration as secretary of state on Thursday in the face of what promised to be a contentious Senate confirmation battle.

Rice has drawn heavy fire from Republicans for remarks she made in the aftermath of a September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.


Read Here – Reuters


Redrawing the Middle East Map: Iran, Syria And The New Cold War

As President Barak Obama resettles in the Oval Office and casts his gaze again beyond US politics, he may well be reminded that few eyes were on the ball when the Arab uprisings appeared to erupt suddenly in the spring of 2011, catching pundits and politicians by surprise, and re-positioning Washington’s Middle East policies.

Today, we may be at risk of the same inattention again. If we take our eyes off the ball now, we may miss the next big shift: a redrawing of the Middle East map that is triggering a new Cold War with Syria and Iran at its heart.

Under President Obama, the US has begun to pivot toward the South Pacific. Yet, the United States will inevitably stay in the Middle East. This is not just because of oil. Nor is it because of what Samuel Huntington called the “Clash of Civilisations” or what others might call terrorism, although events in Benghazi which led to the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens serve to remind that social and cultural differences can still easily lead to tragedy. Though oil and terrorism are both important, the real reason is the Middle East’s potential to draw the US, Russia, the EU and China into a global conflict – a risk that is rising.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

Nothing Secret About Spies and Spying in the U.S.

The U.S. economy is stuck in the doldrums, but the intelligence business in America is booming. The 17 organizations that today comprise the U.S. intelligence community are all, to one degree or another, building new multimillion-dollar headquarters buildings and operational facilities all over the greater Washington metropolitan area despite recent budget cuts.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

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