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  • Author: S. Fitzgerald Haney
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: The United States’ strong partnership with Costa Rica has deep roots: our countries established diplomatic relations in 1851, when Costa Rican Minister Felipe Molina presented his credentials in Washington, and a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation was finalized the following year. This early cooperation provided a strong foundation for a bilateral relationship that has only gained depth and breadth, and which continues to grow, evolve, and reveal new sources of strength. Today, the United States is Costa Rica’s largest trading partner and greatest source of foreign investment. Costa Rica’s stability, natural beauty, and proximity to the United States make it a favorite destination for US citizens—tourists, investors, and residents alike—further deepening the connections between our countries. Our shared values, long history of close cultural and commercial ties, and growing cooperation on regional initiatives make Costa Rica a valued strategic partner as the United States promotes prosperity, good governance, and security—the three pillars of the US Strategy for Engagement in Central America (the Strategy)—throughout the region.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance
  • Political Geography: Costa Rica, United States of America
  • Author: Leslie A. Bassett
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: The mythic American legends we grow up with as children in the United States may not be accurate renderings of history, but they are formative in building our values and beliefs. They include George Washington, a soldier and politician, who occasionally made a mistake but never told a lie; the freed slave John Henry, who worked so hard he beat a steam drill while laying rail; and the fearless Calamity Jane, who lived as she chose in the Wild West. But for me, the most influential was Johnny Appleseed, a poor farmer who traveled the land making friends and planting apple seeds, but rarely if ever returning to see the well-tended trees that grew in his wake. The life of a diplomat is a similar journey of planting ideas, programs, and projects while trusting that others will nurture them to grow strong and produce.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, History, Reform
  • Political Geography: Paraguay
  • Author: Michael S. Hoza
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: Since its independence in the 1960s, Cameroon has shared few common objectives with the United States. Its vaunted political stability has been predicated on a complex system of tribal patronage and—through most of its history—strict controls on freedom of expression and assembly. This stability has been punctuated by periods of political violence and crackdowns, most recently in 2008, which have alienated the international community and strained bilateral relations. Yet, confronted by the threat of violent extremism and virulent pandemics, Cameroon and the United States have begun to “push on open doors” to expand and deepen bilateral relations, and this in turn has opened up further—previously impossible—avenues for discussion on sensitive topics, such as humanitarian assistance and democratic and political transition.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Humanitarian Aid, Bilateral Relations, Violent Extremism, Freedom of Expression
  • Political Geography: Cameroon, United States of America
  • Author: Alexa L. Wesner
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Second World War, the United States and Austria have enjoyed one of the most mutually beneficial and prosperous relationships in the world. Born from a shared desire for lasting peace and nourished by trade, education, and people-to-people exchanges, Austria and the United States share an intertwined past and interconnected future. Today, our shared democratic ideals and our willingness to work together to combat global threats serve as an example of collaboration on the world stage. But since the earliest days of the modern era, our common goals have been underwritten by a series of often-overlooked exchange programs that have exposed thousands of people to the significance of our shared values. The intimate human bonds built by exchange participants continue to weave an increasingly beautiful, intricate, and durable social fabric that strengthens our bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: Politics, War, Bilateral Relations, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Austria, United States of America
  • Author: Hari Sastry
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: The world we live in today is more interconnected than ever before—though we may not share soil or language, religion or currency, we are neighbors in this global community. Together, we face challenges that are more complex than any we have ever encountered: violent extremism that threatens our core values of democracy, equality, and freedom; conflicts and natural disasters that devastate and displace; diseases that unroll in waves across entire regions.
  • Topic: Democratization, Globalization, Religion, International Affairs, Freedom of Expression
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hamdullah Mohib
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: The Afghanistan of today would surprise most outsiders, even those who closely follow developments in the country. We are often wrongly branded as a failing state with a struggling government whose young people are fleeing en masse for Europe and whose military has lost control of the security situation. While anecdotal evidence can always be found to lend isolated support to such claims, this sweeping characterization offers a distorted picture of reality.
  • Topic: Security, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe
  • Author: Ross Wilson
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: Turkey has recently come to look like a beat-up boy. At home, it seems to have regained the authoritarianism of its past. Abroad, its behavior looks rough edged and militaristic. It gets blamed for not doing enough, or the right things, on Syria, the problem of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Europe’s migrant crisis. Some have concluded that this country, its regional policies in tatters and under the assault of an autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, can no longer be regarded as an ally.
  • Topic: Migration, Military Affairs, Authoritarianism, Refugee Crisis, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Anthony Luzzatto Gardner
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: Four years ago the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for the “over six decades [in which it has] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights in Europe.” How quickly the mood has changed. While it has become fashionable to charge that the European Union is on the verge of collapse in the face of dire current challenges, rumors of the European Union’s demise would appear premature. The successes achieved in 2015, as well as the potential future areas of good news, are frequently underappreciated. The United States is firmly committed to investing in its relationship with the European Union. This is a partnership that delivers, as it will bring dividends to both the United States and the European Union for the long term.
  • Topic: Peacekeeping, Democracy, Europe , Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Sarah Hearn
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: This short paper provides an overview of the evidence on why institution-building is central to successful peacebuilding, and aims to stimulate fresh thinking on ideas for improving international institution-building efforts. The international community is moving at a slow pace to improve its performance in this area, despite a range of international commitments to building national institutions and ownership in conflict-affected countries. I argue that the UN could pursue more innovation, especially in the areas of south-south and triangular cooperation, setting norms for institution-building, and sustaining long-term attention to institution-building, as well as championing the development of a wider range of aid instruments and partnerships. Finally, I point to major data and evidence gaps, and suggest generating more north-south knowledge partnerships on the subject as a matter of priority – especially around building national ownership and supporting inclusive institution-building processes.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation, United Nations, International Affairs, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus