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Palgrave Macmillan

The Demilitarization of American Diplomacy

Two Cheers for Striped Pants

ISBN 9781137298546
Publication Date January 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot

Both an insider and a historian, Laurence Pope describes the contemporary dysfunction of the State Department and its Foreign Service. While the Defense Department and the American military services have reinvented themselves in a decade of failed nation-building wars, the State Department is promising to do a better job of nation-building next time. Its policy functions have migrated to the White House. Secretaries of State largely ignore the State Department bureaucracy, circumventing it with a personal staff. Pope contends that in the information age diplomacy is more important than ever, and that, as President Obama has stressed, without a 'change of thinking' the U.S. may be drawn into more wars it does not need to fight.

Laurence Pope is a retired American diplomat who lives in Portland, Maine, USA. He is the author of several books, including François de Callieres: A Political Life (2010), a biography of the first proponent of professional diplomacy.

1. A City on a Hill Cannot be Hid 
2. The Perpetual Decline of the State Department
3. Hillary Clinton's Power Outage
4. Drones, Cyberwar, Special Forces and Other Extraterritorials
5. Two Cheers for Striped Pants: Diplomacy for the 21st Century
Selected Bibliography


'Larry Pope has written a brilliant book on the most significant problem with American diplomacy today. He is an experienced and gifted diplomat who has a deep understanding of his craft. He knows the military well and is highly qualified to address this subject. This is an important work and its message should be heeded by all our political and military leaders. It is a must read for all Americans.' - Anthony C. Zinni, former General USMC, USA.'With style, wit and vivid insight, Laurence Pope describes the current institutional shambles of the State Department and the marginalization of America's professional Foreign Service. The escalating usurpation of national security policy-making by the military, the intelligence services and a burgeoning White House staff means that the United States faces this complex world almost bereft of the essential prime asset of a great power: skilled diplomacy. Pope's restrained, intelligent analysis is a flashing warning light for the nation.' - Raymond G. H. Seitz, former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, former Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, USA.'A slashing, erudite, highly readable and deeply troubling examination of the problems with an American diplomacy imbued with fads but losing sight of power realities at home and abroad. Many will debate individual points but all should be concerned with the overall picture and heed the call for change.' - Ronald E. Neumann, former ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain and Afghanistan and President, American Academy of Diplomacy, USA.'Pope's cogent plea for rehabilitating America's neglected and scorned State Department, and especially its Foreign Service professionals, should be required reading for Congress, the White House and thoughtful citizens far beyond the beltway. After two disastrous wars, here's the case for loosening the White House monopoly on foreign policy, reining in the military-intelligence state's excesses and restoring America's battered relations with the world.' – Jon Randal, former Senior Foreign Correspondent for the Washington Post.
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