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Patricia H. Kushlis
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The so-called “Finnish model” that has been proposed is a solution that belongs to the past and does not solve the crisis in Ukrainian-Russian relations. Ukraine can build good relations with Russia. All that is needed is for Russia to accept proposals put recently forward by the Ukrainian leadership. This too would be in Russia’s interest. Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at WhirledView
This past summer, the State Department claimed that it publicly released its aggregate promotion data for 2013 in The State Department Magazine, its trade magazine. There is just one problem: the statistics on diversity and gender were, as usual, missing. I noted this in two different posts this summer: one on discrimination against Hispanics in the Foreign Service and an earlier one on continuing gender inequality. . . . Doesn’t a law exist that mandates all federal agencies to collect and publicly release such data annually? If so, how can State consistently fail to comply - not once, not twice - but for years? Or am I wrong? Could it have some kind of special secret dispensation from the requirement? And if so why? In short, what is State hiding behind the Great Diversity Firewall? And why doesn't the administration and Congress demand accountability for a change? Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at WhirledView
By James Schumaker, Guest Contributor James Schumaker, a retired Foreign Service Officer, has served in various capacities in the United States Government over the past several decades, with professional experience in the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at WhirledView
In reality Novorossiya is a fuzzy concept, but at root it is based on the premise that irredentism is just fine as long as it’s my country that’s being the irredentist. Which means: the term Novorossiya has far reaching and dangerous consequences for international peace and stability. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at WhirledView
I don't agree with everything Ambassador McFaul says in his recent New York Times op-ed, but I do believe he is on the right track. . . .I also see that a lot of the featured commenters on his Op-ed are swallowing whole the Russian line that somehow Eastern Ukraine is naturally Russian because a majority there speaks Russian, and that Ukraine is not really one country but two. The fact is that while a minority of Eastern Ukrainians would like to move closer to Russia, a majority are for a united Ukraine, and favor closer connections with the West. Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at WhirledView
Whoever convinced Vladimir Putin that it would be a cup of afternoon tea by the samovar to send arms and irregulars into Ukraine in the name of "protecting" the greater Russian speaking population and then to hive off the country's east because its population would welcome them with rose petals and vodka should be off the Kremlin payroll. Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2014 at WhirledView
Is there a reason that Bill Fitzgibbons - the apparent Hotline Coordinator in the office of the State Department’s Inspector General - e-mailed Joan Wadelton on July 3, 2014 at 2:07 in the afternoon just as the US government was shutting down for the July 4 holiday weekend to notify her that the IG’s office had decided to close its investigation of her case against the Department’s Bureau of Human Resources for lack of additional evidence? And then on Friday July 18 at 11:59 pm (one minute before midnight) responded to her request for supporting documents (see e-mail exchange in post) with what one could only consider the most cursory brush-off again via an OIG Hotline e-mail? Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at WhirledView
How does State fare in OMB’s annual reports and with the EEOC, which also keeps gender and ethnicity statistics on the federal agencies? Well, it’s hard to be precise because State, uniquely it seems among federal agencies, does not allow the general public access to its gender/ethnic promotion statistics, classifying them as SBU and hiding them behind the department’s intranet wall. Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at WhirledView
Nevertheless nearly 50 years later, a “female-proof” glass ceiling remains in the stodgiest of our federal bureaucracies to the extent that the State Department refuses to make public its latest promotion statistics for both women and minorities. To ensure the statistics won’t become public the Department has classified them this year – the first time they've been classified as far as I can remember. Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at WhirledView
Justin - please. Give me a break. I really don't care what Putin said or what he didn't re Crimea. Try reading the region's history before you believe this piece of Russian propaganda. The Crimean peninsula was a pretty late addition to the Russian Empire (taken by force from the Ottoman Empire). Furthermore, I don't know where you're getting your information but I really doubt that either Soros or Nuland made the comment you attribute to them. Moreover your reference to Nuland is distorted and taken from a cell phone conversation several months ago that was secretly recorded and then released publicly by Moscow as a part of its anti-American propaganda campaign. Furthermore, the issue was Ukraine's decision to sign an association agreement with the EU (did not relate to the IMF) - and then Yanukovich's abrupt refusal to do so as a result of heavy Kremlin pressure. Seems to me you need to read a bit more history yourself.
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Why shouldn't America's diplomats also be honored by the US government in its official Memorial Day ceremonies - along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. Maybe if they were and the public had a chance to learn their stories Americans would come one small step forward towards understanding that its diplomats are every bit as important as its military in the making and implementing of US foreign policy by keeping and restoring the peace. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at WhirledView
But taking a different tack, I wonder why no one seems to be asking the question as to who’s in charge in the Kremlin. Yes, I know Putin’s popularity ratings among Russians based on his playing the “uber-nationalist” card in Ukraine are at an all-time high. But why has he promised to remove the Russian troops from the border multiple times – yet those troops have not budged? Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at WhirledView
The problem is, however, that as much as I support the Fulbright program, one that I defended and administered in the US and overseas throughout my 27 plus year Foreign Service career – particularly since Fulbright is a real exchange (not just a one way program for foreigners to come to the US and spend a few weeks touring the country and meeting their counterparts) - there are other factors that need to be considered and questions that need to be asked and answered in the context of the international exchanges budget in the bureau as a whole. Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at WhirledView
A propaganda/disinformation blitz is only as effective as the lack of knowledge and gullibility of the intended recipients. The most effective antidotes are clear, rapid and credible refutation of whatever the content might be and a simple telling of the truth. Over and over and over again. Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at WhirledView
Talking with the Enemy, Cultivating Friends: Diplomacy Revisited A two-day Santa Fe World Affairs Forum Symposium April 28-29, 2014 At St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at WhirledView
The good news about Shambaugh’s book is that although it is now a year old, China Goes Global is still as relevant today as it was when published. That’s because it is based on thorough and careful research over a span of several decades by a major American analyst and scholar of Chinese politics. It is well written, organized and concise (as such books are) thus accessible and relevant to the non-specialist as well as the China hand. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at WhirledView
Analyzing the Crimean crisis is not an easy task, particularly because the situation changes almost daily. Some conclusions can be made, however. It is clear that Russia has violated both international law and many treaties it had earlier concluded. In addition to the UN Charter and the principles of the OSCE, Russia has violated the treaty according to which Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons left on her territory after the end of the Cold War. Ukraine was then promised that after that no military force will be used against it. However, this is precisely what has happened. In spite of that, the crisis has in many cases been portrayed as if the responsibility of the situation should be divided equally between Russia and Ukraine. Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at WhirledView
Anne - I removed the link (which I now couldn't get to work) and added the article in jpeg format at the end of this post. This works for me. Let me know if you have problems. Thanks, Pat
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To a large extent the real issue for the Kremlin is the revanchism that stems from wounded Russian nationalism. It’s as much about obtaining support from a nationalistic populace whose standard of living is likely to decline as the international price of oil and gas drops as a result of increased supplies and dropping demand from the fracking of shale oil. . . .So what is Putin’s greatest nightmare? Most likely the expansion of the NATO alliance onto his southwest doorstep. But if the Russians push the Ukrainian government into a corner through continued application of the KGB Playbook it might just happen. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at WhirledView
Hi Melinda - thank you. That helps explain it. I think it went viral on various FB pages so Ruth must have lots of friends and friends of friends. I think many of the comments are terrific - so many different stories that I had never heard.
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Hugh - I just turned "Nice Girl or Pushy Bitch" into a MS Word Document and have linked to it in the above post so people should be able to print it out directly from the link from now on. Pat
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Bill - thanks MHS classmate and for contributing yourself. What kind of cosmetics did Marion Davies buy? I've received a lot of fascinating stories on this post but never before by anyone I went to school with from K-12. For some mysterious reason this post has been appearing on numerous facebook pages over the past couple of days. Any idea why? Pat
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Hugh - just sent a jpeg copy to you via e-mail. Please confirm receipt. Nice assignment. Thanks. Pat
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if this president believes what he said in his most recent State of the Union address - that “America must move off a permanent war footing. . . . in a world of complex threats," and that "our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power – including strong and principled diplomacy" then it also behooves him to ensure that this country has the best qualified diplomats his administration can find. It’s can’t be all that hard. White House please give it a try. Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2014 at WhirledView
This time around, high level US officials are again absent from the Olympics in Russia – likely for a variety of reasons - but the large Team USA is there and competing against the best of them. That, after all, is what the Olympics are for. It’s when sports, sportsmanship and fair play don’t take precedence over everything else that problems arise. And that’s the difficulty with having such high profile contests take place in countries that insist upon making them about their “rightful place in the world” – and to glorify their leaders – not about the athletes themselves. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2014 at WhirledView