1. News & Issues

U.S. State Department

The U.S. State Department is responsible for advising the president on U.S. relations with the rest of the world - and for carrying out America's foreign policy. These resources are the best on the Web for exploring and better understanding the work of the U.S. State Department.

Boko Haram Kidnappings
US military and FBI personnel have joined the search for Nigeria's missing girls, kidnapped by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014.

Tragedy, Fear Overshadow Obama 2014 Asia Trip
Tragedies and threats overshadowed Barack Obama's 2014 Asia-Pacific trip.

Shirley Temple: The Diplomat You Didn't Know
Shirley Temple leaves behind not only a Hollywood legacy, but a diplomatic one as well.

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., 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.

US Interests In Ukraine
Is the US instrumental in helping solve the Ukraine crisis, or is it irrelevant?

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.

Myth Of American "Disengagement"
John Kerry rails against myth of American disengagement.

U.S. Advice For Travelers To Sochi Olympics
The U.S. State Department doesn't advise Americans to stay away from the Sochi Olympics, but they do advise caution and limited patriotic display while there.

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.

Violence In Central African Republic, South Sudan
Understanding the U.S. diplomatic role in the violence in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

Samantha Power Tries To Avert Genocide
American ambassador Samantha Power seeks diplomatic solution to avert genocide in central Africa.

The 1980s Battle Over Apartheid Sanctions
The Reagan administration didn't necessarily like apartheid in the 1980s, but it was comfortable with it. It's foreign policy with South Africa reflected that.

"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.

U.S. Allegedly Spies On Its Allies

Kerry's "Apology Tour"

The U.S., LGBT Rights, And Sochi Olympics
U.S. President Barack Obama is disappointed in Russia's recent anti-gay legislation, but he's not letting this and other obstacles in U.S-Russian relations cause him to commit the same blunder President Jimmy Carter did in 1980. Obama is not going to have the U.S. boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

U.S. And Russia, 2+2
The U.S. and Russia engaged in what is called 2+2 meetings August 9, 2013, in an effort to keep communications open during a difficult period during the countries' relationship.

Relations Between The U.S. And Yemen
Events in early August 2013 tested relations between the U.S. and Yemen. The United States -- a strong supporter of Yemen's transition to a democratic government -- ordered non-essential embassy personnel out of the country on August 6 amid fears of Al Qaeda strikes. It recommended that other Americans also leave the country.

Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador?
President Obama nominates Caroline Kennedy to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan. She has no professional diplomatic experience, but she has a wealth of other assets.

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.

Kerry Visits Syrian Refugee Camp
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan on July 18, 2013, in what must have been a heart-rending tour. It also sparked renewed outcry from refugees for American intervention in the Syrian civil war.

Of A Park On The Moon
Two U.S. Representatives have introduced legislation to make national parks out of equipment that American astronauts left on the Moon between 1969 and 1972.

Kerry Challenges Wisdom Of Sequestration
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used his first major policy speech to challenge the wisdom of the federal budget sequestration.

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.

What Is A Doctrine?
The word "doctrine" gets tossed about a lot in foreign policy. Here is a Foreign Policy 101 look at what makes up a doctrine, and some of the most famous doctrines in U.S. foreign policy.

The U.S. Secretary Of State
A look at the origin of the U.S. secretary of state's job, and his traditional duties.

Clinton Leaves, Kerry Sworn In, Ankara Embassy Bombed
On February 1, 2013, Hillary Clinton officially resigned at United States Secretary of State, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was sworn in as her replacement, and a suicide bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

Clinton's Heated Exchange
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton engaged in an emotional, heated exchange with senators during questioning about the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, September 11, 2012.

U.S. Foreign Policy Year In Review, 2012
A look at the top U.S. foreign policy stories of 2012.

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.

A Biography of John Kerry
Sources report that President Barack Obama is about to nominate Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State.

Rice Withdraws From Secretary Of State Consideration
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for the Secretary of State position on December 13, 2012.

Williams Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an unlikely secretary of state with little foreign policy experience.

Who Will Replace Hillary Clinton As Secretary of State?
President Barack Obama has a choice of many qualified people to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when his second term begins in January 2013. Here is a look at some of the top possibilities.

John Quincy Adams
Through a life of public and diplomatic service, John Quincy Adams was probably the United States' best secretary of state.

John Quincy Adams, Part II
He spent his youth tagging along with his father in the important events of America's revolutionary era. That time prepared him to be the United States' best secretary of state.

Powell Endorses Obama
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for another term as president.

Ambassadors Killed In The Line Of Duty
When U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens died in the Muslim extremist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012, he became the eighth U.S. ambassador to die in the line of duty in the last 62 years.

Lincoln's Secretary of State
William H. Seward was Secretary of State to both Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. While he is most famous for brokering America's purchase of Alaska, he also effectively kept Europe out of the U.S. Civil War.

U.S. Mourns Loss Of Ambassador In Benghazi Attack
An attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012, killed American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

U.S. Concerned About Pussy Riot Sentencing
The U.S. State Department, White House, and Voice of America have all registered their concerns over the sentencing of Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

Obama's Indirect Moves on Assad
August 2012 saw the Obama Administration reveal several indirect moves against the regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria.

Michelle Obama, Olympic Diplomat
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was America's lead diplomat in London at the opening of the 2012 Olympics.

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.

Sports Diplomacy Echoes Olympic Creed
The U.S. State Department's Sports Diplomacy initiative champions the same qualities as the Olympic Games.

James Monroe
James Monroe is best known for the Monroe Doctrine, but he was also a U.S. secretary of state and a factor in the Louisiana Purchase.

U.S. Special Envoy Encourages Russia To Pressure Syria
The United States sent a special envoy to Moscow on June 7, 2012, to encourage Russia to pressure Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad to end the violence in his country. Russia, however, is balancing its position as a Syrian ally and a factor in Middle Eastern diplomacy.

Profile: U.S. Ambassador To China Gary Locke
A profile of Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China.

The Chen Guangcheng Diplomatic Incident
The Chen Guangcheng diplomatic incident threatened to disrupt U.S.-Chinese relations in the first week of May 2012, just as U.S. President Barack Obama was re-orienting American foreign policy interests to deal with Chinese hegemony in the Asia Pacific region, and as the president was officially launching his 2012 re-election campaign.

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.

Hamilton Fish, 26th U.S. Secretary of State
A brief look at the tenure of Hamilton Fish, 26th U.S. Secretary of State

Burma Election Signals Continued Reform
Elections in Burma signal continued reform in that country and form a central part of Obama's U.S. plan for the Asia Pacific.

State Department Lends Name To Earhart Search
U.S. State Department backs a privately funded search to find Amelia Earhart's 1937 crash site.

United States Continues Its Efforts Against Kony
An update of U.S. efforts in central Africa against Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.

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.

U.S. Wants To Secure Weapons In Libya
The collapse of the Qaddafi regime in Libya puts new emphasis on one of the U.S. State Department's major policy components -- conventional weapons nonproliferation.

Sports Diplomacy
The U.S. State Department sponsors Sports United, a program that sends American athletes on public diplomacy efforts to foreign countries, and which welcomes foreign athletes to the United States.

Christopher Painter
Christopher Painter is the U.S. State Department's first Coordinator for Cyber Issues.

International Strategy for Cyberspace
Just as the realm of U.S. foreign policy reaches around the globe, it also reaches into cyberspace. In an effort to keep the Internet free, open, and secure, the Obama administration introduced the International Strategy for Cyberspace in May 2011.

Merida Initiative Targets Drug Trafficking
The Merida Initiative is a U.S. foreign policy effort with Mexico to combat drug trafficking in Central America.

US Issues 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report
A brief look at the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US State Department.

What is the U.S. State Department?
The U.S. State Department is the foreign ministry of the United States of America. Learn more about its history, leadership, and budget.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton is the 67th U.S. Secretary of State. Learn more about her background, education and experience.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke
Richard Holbrooke is the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Obama administration and is a former ambassador to the United Nations and Germany. Learn more about his background, education and experience.

Ambassador Christopher Hill
Christopher Hill is an American diplomat who is currently the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. Learn more about his background, education, experience, and sweeping influence on U.S. foreign policy.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger was U.S. secretary of state and national security adviser for presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Learn more about his background, education, experience, and sweeping influence on U.S. foreign policy.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
A profile of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice was the 66th U.S. Secretary of State. Learn more about her background, education and experience.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright was the 64th U.S. Secretary of State. Learn more about her background, education and experience.

Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker
James A. Baker was the 61st U.S. Secretary of State. Learn more about his background, education and experience.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad
Zalmay Khalilzad is teh former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush. Learn more about his background, education and experience.

Bye-Bye Bolton?
Ambassador John Bolton's recess appointment as U.S. representative to the United Nations has always been controversial. Now it is set to expire. Keith Porter, your About Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy, has more.

Passport Problems Cause Travel Headaches
The U.S. State Department explains the delay in processing passport applications. Keith Porter--your About Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy--explains.

What is "Transformational Diplomacy"?
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is implementing an approach to U.S. foreign policy she calls "transformational diplomacy." Learn more about her plan to change the world, from Keith Porter - your About Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy

Choosing the Next U.S. Secretary of State
One of the most important choices the next president will make is nominating a new secretary of state. Who are the leading possibilities? Take the poll.

The National Security Council
A short description and history of the National Security Council (NSC).

U.S., Russian Relations Run Cold
U.S. and Russian foreign relations ran rather cold in May 2013, as both countries accused each other of either spying or recruiting spies; the U.S. claimed Russia didn't play straight with intelligence that could have impacted the Boston Marathon bombing; and the U.S. Secretary of State said Russian arms sales to Syria were "destabilizing" the Middle East. Here's the gist of it all.

Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its subsequent reauthorizations seeks to eliminate modern slavery.

U.S. Energy Independent By 2035?
The International Energy Agency reports that the U.S. could be energy independent by 2035.

U.S., Russia Update Cold War NRRC Agreement

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.