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Is 757 Years Enough?

It’s 5:30am, and Kala Bokelman of the Diplomatic Security Service is one of many staking out a professional photographer named Solano’s house on a skinny on a dead-end street in Costa Rica. Together with Costa Rican security, the DSS...

Smuggling Cubans

Party at Carla’s house!  Kala Bokelman, diplomatic security special agent, tells of a raid on a house straddling the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border.  The goal?  To stop coyotes smuggling people from Cuba to the US via Ecuador and...

Combatting Anti-Blackness as a Diplomat of Color

As a diplomat of color, how did the murder of George Floyd inspire Christian Loubeau, Security Council negotiator for the United States mission to the United Nations, to create change at USUN? And, how exactly do you conduct multilateral...

Onboarding Online

Andrew Shinn onboards as a new Foreign Service Officer during the pandemic.  But what is he onboarding to?  There’s no place to go, and even State doesn’t really know what to do with these newbies.  Do you swear in wearing...

F.W. de Klerk, Winnie Mandela and Cyril Ramaposa

We all know the importance of Nelson Mandela, but great as he was, he did not work alone. Each of these figures brought their motives and personalities to shape South Africa’s transition from apartheid to the present. John Campbell, political...

Trifecta

It all began with a call from the police. Andrew Byrley, a young officer and former robotics expert, shares tales of a harrowing month assisting Americans in crisis in Belize. What can, what cannot, and what must the American consulate do for you in...

Bahrain, So Small, So Important

The Arab Spring – Tunisia, Egypt – we know about these places. But Bahrain is almost never in the news.  What is its geopolitical significance, and strategic importance to the US?  And why was Ambassador Tom Krajeski in a tight...

The Shining City on the Hill?

“But we’re Americans. We don’t lose wars.”  False!  Ambassador and former National Security Advisor Tony Lake takes a hard look at American leadership in the world from Kennedy until the present time, when like so...

The Secret Dinners

Like Chicago mobsters, hard line parties grab to divvy up the riches after the genocide in Bosnia has stopped. Ambassador Tom Miller, together with the British ambassador, organizes “secret dinners” that lead to a peaceable coalition of...

The Ugly American

Or a traitor, anyway.  In an eerily quiet region during the Vietnam war, from a banana grove in the middle of the night, Lionel Rosenblatt discovers that a US military official is guilty of supplying the enemy with life-saving medicine from the...

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American Diplomat Podcast