At the end of last month, the National Research Council (NRC) released a report warning that U.S. nuclear forensics capacity — or the ability to determine the origin of material used in a nuclear explosion or for nuclear terrorism — was dangerously eroding, despite renewed government efforts to bolster it. “Although U.S. nuclear forensics capabilities are substantial and can be improved, right now they are fragile, under-resourced and, in some respects, deteriorating,” the report concluded. “Without strong leadership, careful planning and additional funds, these capabilities will decline.” The public document, entitled “Nuclear Forensics: A Capability at Risk,” summarized a classified […]
At the beginning of this year, I made the following observation: The novelty of the Obama presidency has worn off. What remains will be a long, hard slog of rebuilding America’s global position. And while the fancy rhetoric of 2009 convinced many to give Washington a second chance, 2010 needs to be the year of delivery. If not, Obama will discover, as Bush did before him, that America cannot lead if others will not follow. More than halfway through 2010, the Obama administration has made some progress on a number of the foreign policy challenges facing the United States. There […]
United States Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller delivered a statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the new START treaty. Gottemoeller was the lead United States negotiator on the new treaty. She highlighted the fact that there were no backroom deals during negotiations, despite rumors of the contrary, and emphasized the treaty’s importance.
American public diplomacy has been the subject of many reports and much discussion over the past few years. But one rarely examined element is the true impact of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which for all practical purposes labels U.S. public diplomacy and government broadcasting as propaganda. The law imposes a geographic segregation of audiences between those inside the U.S. and those outside it, based on the fear that content aimed at audiences abroad might “spill over” into the U.S. This not only shows a lack of confidence and understanding of U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting, it also ignores […]