North America

"I think that public diplomacy has been done as if the channels of communication are the same as the 1980s. They have completely and radically changed, and I think Americans need to understand that the rules of the game have changed." 
–Lahcen Haddad, Professor at Mohammed V University

“One of the most important lessons of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is that military success is not sufficient to win.” 
– Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

"In these environments, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, it isn’t a classical war of armies facing each other but rather it is a state and nation building, building institutions that serve the people." 
– US Representative to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad

America Abroad joined CNN as a media partner at a bipartisan roundtable discussion to assess the US foreign policy challenges confronting the next American president. The roundtable featured five former Secretaries of State – Madeleine K. Albright, James A. Baker, III, Warren Christopher, Henry Kissinger, and Colin L. Powell.

It’s the summer of political conventions: Democrats in Denver, Republicans in Minneapolis, and jocks in Beijing. The Olympics are more than just fun and games—they’re also a forum for international politics. China hopes to make its Olympic games the nation’s coming out party. It’s hardly the first time the five-ring spectacle has been the venue for national agendas or grandstanding—think Moscow in 1980 or Hitler’s Berlin. And so far, controversy has surrounded Beijing—Tibet, Darfur, protests, threats of boycotts.

For six decades, Taiwan’s political status has been unresolved. In that time, the small island’s economic dynamism has made it a major player in the global market. But its economic success hasn’t translated into political clout on the international stage. As China’s sphere of influence expands, the island it considers a rogue province is losing friends. Taipei’s occasional gestures towards independence have stroked the ire of China, and the US has backed its democratic ally.

Fidel Castro’s communist government survived a tight US trade embargo, a tense missile crisis and the collapse of its Soviet patron. Now, after 49 years at the helm, the world’s longest serving political leader has stepped down, handing power to his brother, Raúl. We explore what this change in leadership will mean for the citizens of Cuba, and for Cuba’s relationship with the US. 

Guests on this program include:

Public diplomacy efforts have been overshadowed by American foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years. What is America doing to fix this growing problem and is it too late to make a difference?  This episode of America Abroad looks at how engaging foreign audiences has become a prime focus of the US Department of State.  But there seems to be a disconnect between the government’s message and its target audience. 

America’s high hopes for the United Nations have been tempered by frequent frustration. The UN can be inefficient and bureaucratic, and it doesn’t always follow the will of the United States. And yet, for better or worse, the two continue to work together. 

Guests on this program include:

When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, there was a chance for cooperation where there had once been conflict. And for a while it seemed friendship might replace the bitter legacy of the Cold War. But 18 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, relations between Washington and Moscow are once again icy.

Guests on this program include:

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