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Allies & Enemies of the United States

The United States conducts foreign policy through a shifting web of alliances - friendly and unfriendly. Learn about the United State's closest allies and most intractable foes.

Ukraine Deal; Or Is It No Deal?
US Secretary of State John Kerry announces a deal to de-escalate tension in Ukraine, but US President Barack Obama is skeptical.

Ukraine: Back To The Brink?
U.S., UN, and NATO officials fear that an escalation of tensions in eastern Ukraine might herald more Russian intervention.

The Budapest Memorandum
The Budapest Memorandum figures greatly in western opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea. But what exactly is it? Find out here.

U.S. and Russia: Unlikely Civil War Allies

Is Brinkmanship Back?
In Vladimir Putin, old style foreign policy "brinkmanship" is making a comeback. Or maybe it never really left.

Russian Troops Worry NATO, US
At the NATO Brussels Forum March 21, 2014, NATO leaders expressed resolve against further Russian aggression, even as they worried more might be imminent.

U.S., West Watch Crimea Referendum
Russia vetos anti-referendum resolution in United Nations while world awaits Crimean vote.

Politicizing The Ukrainian Crisis
Rand Paul opens a 2016 election-season attack on Obama's handling of the Ukraine Crisis.

U.S. Options In Crimea
The U.S. is trying several options, including sanctions and diplomacy, to resolve the crisis in Crimea.

U.S., Russia And The 2014 Crimean Crisis
U.S. and Western countries lag behind as Russia presents Ukraine with a done deal in Crimea.

U-2 Spy Plane Nears The End
Recon drones appear ready to replace venerable U-2 spy plane as Pentagon budget cuts loom.

Pentagon Requests Budget Cuts For 2015
The Pentagon wants deep budget cuts for 2015 and beyond. Will that hurt US foreign policy?

US-Russian Cooperation: Apollo-Soyuz, 1975
The Apollo-Soyuz mission in July 1975 ushered in a new era in US-Russian foreign policy and set the stage for decades of successful cooperation in space.

US-Russian Cooperation

Does Nuland's F-Bomb Make Any Difference?
Victoria Nuland's F-bomb reveals more about humans under pressure than American opinions of the European Union.

Major Foreign Policy Moments In American Intelligence
A list of major foreign policy moments in U.S. intelligence.

Paul Revere And The NSA?

Obama's NSA Reforms
President Obama revealed his plan to reform the operations of the National Security Agency (NSA) on January 17. He paid special attention to the foreign policy implications of his plan.

Rodman's Amateurish "Diplomacy"
Dennis Rodman's "basketball diplomacy" foray to North Korea did little but embarrass him and irritate fellow Americans. The State Department, however, operates a real sports diplomacy initiative.

Cold Start To Winter Olympics
President Obama's choices of delegations to the Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies are an obvious foreign policy snub to Russia.

Will The Obama-Castro Handshake Really Matter?
In the end, the handshake between Barack Obama and Raul Castro probably will not hasten any change between the U.S. and Cuba.

How The AK-47 And U.S. Foreign Policy
By supporting the Soviet policy of revolution, the AK-47 drove the United States' own Cold War policy of containment.

Barack And Raul: A Handshake

B-52s Over East China Sea
U.S. demonstrates opposition to Chinese "air defense zone" over disputed islands by flying B-52s through the area.

Obama, Bibi At Odds Over Iran Nuke Deal
The "first step" agreement on Iranian nukes will no doubt increase tension between Obama and Netanyahu. Bibi has already called it a "historic mistake."

"First Step" Deal On Iranian Nuclear Program
The U.S. announced a deal with Iran that halts the Iranian nuclear program and provides for stringent monitoring. It is a "first step" toward dismantling part of the program.

John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address

Kennedy And Vietnam

Kennedy, Cuba, And The Bay Of Pigs

Kennedy and Khrushchev

Asteroid Hunting With The UN

When U.S. And France Were Really Enemies; Part 2

When The U.S. And France Were Really Enemies: Part 1

U.S. Allegedly Spies On Its Allies

London 11 Look Toward Geneva II, Hope For Answer To Syria War

Obama and Putin Will Not Meet
Obama and Putin will not hold a bilateral meeting during the G20 summit in September. Obama cancelled the meeting over Russia's giving asylum to Edward Snowden, the man who allegedly leaked secrets of the National Security Agency.

Diplomatic Leverage Is Critical In Foreign Policy
In foreign policy and diplomacy, nations must negotiate from a position of power, or at least have some diplomatic leverage, for their policy initiatives to be effective.

Putin's Op-Ed On Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin had strong words for the United States and President Barack Obama in an editorial piece September 12, 2013. Putin's op-ed regarded the possibility of American punitive military strikes against Syria for a chemical weapons attack August 21.

August 2013 U.S. Embassy Closures
An "abundance of caution" in the wake of intercepted intelligence prompts U.S. embassies in the Middle East and Africa to close in the first week of August 2013.

What To Give The Royal Baby?
What do you get the newborn who has everything? Well, who knows -- but it better be good, because if he's the future king of England the gift might have long-term foreign policy implications.

The Reagan Doctrine, Pt. 1
The Reagan Doctrine was a policy of rolling back, not just containing, Communism.

The Reagan Doctrine, Pt. 2
National Security Decision Directive 75 was the lynchpin of Ronald Reagan's policy to rollback the Soviet Union.

Evidence Of Chemical Weapons In Syria
President Obama says evidence of chemical weapons usage in Syrian civil war is a "game changer," but what does that mean?

Kerry Visits East Asia
In April 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited China, Japan, and South Korea in a trip that reaffirmed the nations' commitment a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Former Brit P.M. Margaret Thatcher Dies At 87
Reflections on the U.S. foreign policy impact of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

North Korean Threats Go On
The United States responded in early April 2013 to North Korean threats by renewing defense ties with South Korea and repositioning missile defense systems in Guam.

Barack and Bibi: Best Friends?
During President Barack Obama's March 2013 trip to Israel, he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed on better terms and in agreement on more issues than ever before.

Obama's Trip To Israel Offers Little New
President Barack Obama's March 2013 trip to Israel was mostly public relations, but public relations are an integral part of foreign relations.

U.S., Chinese Policies Toward North Korea
A look at U.S. and Chinese policies toward North Korea.

What Is The Korean War Armistice That North Korea Just Invalidated?
On March 11, 2013, North Korea declared the Korean War armistice invalid. Here is a look at the Korean War, the armistice, and American foreign policies involved in both.

North Korea Threatens To Engulf Washington in "Sea of Fire"
On March 7, 2013, North Korea threatened to engulf Washington D.C. in a "sea of fire" with a nuclear missile attack after the United Nations strengthened sanctions against the communist country.

Does Chavez' Death Mean Better Relations Between U.S. and Venezuela?
Does Hugo Chavez' death mean better relations between U.S. and Venezuela?

Operation Cope North And Budgetary Sequestration
Two events in February 2013 -- one an extensive set of allied maneuvers in the Pacific, the other a Washington budget battle -- tugged at both ends of American military readiness.

The United States and Canada
The first foreign dignitary John Kerry hosted as secretary of state was Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. Their meeting highlighted the enduring relationship between the U.S. and Canada.

North Korea Triggers Third Nuclear Test
On February 12, 2013, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, angering the U.S., U.N. and other members of the international community.

New Sanctions Against North Korea
North Korea's war of words over its missile program heated up once again in late January 2013. Responding to a December 2012, North Korean missile launch in violation of international mandate, the United Nations on January 22 levied another round of sanctions against the communist country. In turn, North Korea vowed retaliation against South Korea and the United States.

The Geneva Accords, 1954
The Geneva Accords of 1954 were an attempt to end eight years of fighting between France and Vietnam. They did that, but they also set the stage for the American phase of fighting in Southeast Asia.

The United States In Vietnam
A brief look at the American policies and ideologies that plunged the U.S. into the Vietnam War.

Henry Kissinger, Seretary Of State For Nixon And Ford
Henry Kissinger is one of the most reconizable, and controversial, of America's modern secretaries of state.

The Christmas Bombing
The Christmas season of 1972 brought a brutal American air campaign over North Vietnam. Known as the Christmas Bombing, it was President Richard Nixon's practice of foreign policy by force.

U.S. Chemical Weapons Diplomatic History
U.S. warnings to Syria against chemical weapons usage underscore America's long adherence to anti-chemical weapons policies.

U.S. Warns Syria Against Chemical Weapons Use
President Barack Obama delivered a stern warning to Syria that it would face consequences if it unleashed chemical weapons on opposition rebels.

Clinton, U.S. Role In Gaza Ceasefire
As a ceasefire began November 21, 2012, in the eight-day-old Israel-Hamas conflict over Gaza, it became evident that Arab Spring had not eradicated U.S. influence in the area.

Fiftieth Anniversary of Cuban Missile Crisis
The release of Robert F. Kennedy documents coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

U.S. Changes Ally Tactics In Syria
The United States is making subtle changes in its liaison group with opposition inside Syria.

When The U.S. Boycotted The Summer Olympics
The 1980 Olympics became enmeshed in American foreign policy as the U.S. boycotted the games to protest the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.

Munich Olympic Massacre Forces Changes In U.S. Diplomatic Security
The murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics forced changes in the way the United States handles diplomatic security.

Clinton's Apology To Pakistan
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologizes to Pakistan for a November 2011 incident that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, but her apology has diplomatic wiggle room.

Fortieth Anniversary of SALT I
May 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the SALT I treaty, in which the U.S. and Soviet Union took a major step toward limiting nuclear weapons.

NATO Summit Brings Obama Victory
The NATO 2012 summit in Chicago brought President Barack Obama a diplomatic victory on European missile defense.

NATO Meets in Chicago
NATO leaders meet in Chicago May 20-21, 2012, to discuss future of NATO missions and funding.

George C. Marshall, 50th U.S. Secretary of State
George C. Marshall, the 50th U.S. Secretary of State, earned a Nobel prize for his humanitarian efforts in rebuilding war-torn Europe.

Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, first opened for signing in 1968, was the first major international treaty aimed at curbing the development of nuclear weapons.

North Korea Loses Missile and Food Aid
The United States has cut promised food aid to North Korea in the wake of that country's failed missile launch on April 12, 2012.

North Korea Missle Watch
The United States and the international community were on North Korea missile watch in mid-April 2012 as that country announced plans to launch a satellite into orbit.

The U.S. and Great Britain: The Special Relationship After World War II
Diplomatic events in the "special relationship" between the United States and Great Britain after World War II.

The U.S. and Great Britain: The Special Relationship Forged In War
A look at the "special relationship" of U.S. and British diplomacy during the two world wars.

The U.S. and Great Britain: Origins Of The Special Relationship
A look at 19th Century events in the diplomatic "special relationship" between the United States and Great Britain.

United States And The Friends Of Syria Plan
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced a three-step plan for a democratic Syria, but it faces plenty of obstacles.

Building In Afghanistan
U.S. foreign aid to Afghanistan attempts to bolster governmental and economic foundations before 2014 when Afghanistan transitions to self-sufficiency.

Talking With The Taliban
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's policy of "fight, talk, build" regarding the U.S. war in Afghanistan appeared to make progress in January 2012 as the Taliban opened an office in Qatar.

A History Of U.S. Sanctions Against Iran
While the United States has had some sort of sanction levied against Iran for most of 30 years, few of them have levered Iran into compliance with international rules regarding terrorism or nuclear energy. By early 2012, however, evidence appears to be mounting that sanctions -- both by the U.S. and its global allies -- are hurting Iran.

U.S. and Iran: Accusations And Denials Over Scientist's Death
The explosion that killed Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan in Tehran, January 11, 2012, set off a war of words, suspicion, and accusations between Iran, Israel, and the United States. Here is a rundown of events.

January 2012 Sees Worsening U.S.-Iranian Relations
Relations between the U.S. and Iran, always bad, worsened in January 2012 as Iran sentenced a captive American citizen to death and verified it was enriching uranium. Meanwhile, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited American antagonists Venezuela and Cuba.

Perry Would Send U.S. Troops back to Iraq
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry says he would send troops back to Iraq.

U.S. Interest In The Strait of Hormuz
Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz points out the strategic value of many straits to U.S. foreign policy.

Denuclearization After Kim Jong Il
Is Korean denuclearization more or less likely after the death of Kim Jong Il?

U.S. Formally Ends Iraq War
Obama, Panetta Formally End Iraq War

The Treaty of Ghent, 1814
The Treaty of Ghent, signed on Christmas Eve, 1814, ended the War of 1812 and established a new foreign policy dynamic between the United States and Great Britain.

U.S. Opens Virtual Iranian Embassy
The United States opened a "virtual" embassy in Tehran, Iran, on December 6, 2011; within 12 hours the government of Iran blocked the site from Iranian internet users.

The United States and Japan Before World War II
On December 7, 1941, nearly 90 years of American-Japanese diplomatic relations spiraled into World War II in the Pacific. That descent is the story of how the foreign policies of the two nations backed each other into situations they could only solve with war.

Obama's November 2011 Asia-Pacific Trip
United States President Barack Obama spent much of November 2011 shoring up U.S. trade, diplomatic, and military interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

Historical Relations Of The U.S. and Australia
The United States and Australia have a long history of cooperative relations, much of it the result of shared wartime experiences.

Heightened Tensions Over Iran's Nuclear Program
The week of November 6, 2011, brought new worries about Iran's nuclear program.

The Fourteen Points
The Fourteen Points were Woodrow Wilson's ambitious plan for peace at the end of World War I.

Troops Continue U.S. Commitment To Uganda
President Barack Obama's order to send 100 troops to help track down Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony is part a larger U.S. foreign policy commitment to Uganda.

Obama, Panetta Herald End of Iraq War
On October 21, 2011, President Barack Obama announced the end of U.S. involvement in the Iraq War.

Somalia Remains A Foreign Policy Obstacle After 20 Years
While the US has never formally severed relations with Somalia, that country's lack of any official government prevents real diplomacy. The US, however, continues to support foreign aid projects to help famine-stricken, impoverished Somalis.

Resetting the US-Russia Relationship
George W. Bush increasingly found his foreign policy at odds with Russian policies. President Obama is trying to connect with President Medvedev on matters of policy as well as at a personal level. Both sides are interested in building a new relationship between the United States and Russia.

The US-North Korean Relationship
North Korea is considered one of the biggest threats to global piece and is a long-time adversary of the United States.

Fidel Castro
The president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, has been an intractable adversary of the United States since the Cuban Revolution. Find out all about Fidel Castro.

What is NATO?
NATO is the world's largest military alliances, made up of some of the US's most steadfast allies.

Iranians Elect "Moderate" President
Iranians elected a new, supposedly moderate, president on June 14, 2013. Does that mean the country is bowing to the pressures of western sanctions?

US Aid To Syrian Rebels Going Lethal
After confirming the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war, the United States is changing the type of aid it gives the Syrian opposition.

The United States and Mexico, 1850-1920
Between 1850 and 1920, European powers tried to use Mexican enmity with the United States to gain foreign policy leverage in North America.

The U.S. and Mexico, 1821-1850
In the first half of the 19th Century, foreign relations between the U.S. and Mexico were less than friendly as Mexico faced an expansionist United States.

U.S. And Mexico, 1920-1945
The Good Neighbor policies of Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt did much to counter a century of bad relations between the U.S. and Mexico.

U.S. Increases Syrian Humanitarian Aid
The United States announced another increase in humanitarian aid to Syrians caught in their country's civil war.

U.S. And Iran: Detente Possible?
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and U.S. President Barack Obama did not meet at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013, but that doesn't mean a new era in relations between the U.S. and Iran isn't possible.

U.S., Russia Update Cold War NRRC Agreement

NATO Charter Article 5
President Obama has mentioned NATO Article 5 several times during the Ukraine Crisis. What is Article 5? Check here.

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