On this edition of ST, a discussion of Pakistan, that vitally important yet on-again-off-again U.S. ally --- or is "ally" even the proper term here? --- which saw an electoral "first" recently. That is, after its historic elections over the weekend, Pakistan's first elected government served its full term and then ceded power to a new government, to be headed by prime minister-elect Nawaz Sharif and president-elect Asif Ali Zardari. Our guest is the noted South Asian expert, Dr.
Our guest on this edition of ST is Molly Williamson, a highly experienced former Foreign Service Officer who served six U.S. Presidents over the course of a long, far-flung career, eventually achieving the rank of Career Minister. Throughout the 1990's and early 2000's, she held important positions within the U.S. Departments of Energy, Commerce, State, and Defense.
On this edition of our show, we welcome back Husain Haqqani, who served as Pakistan's ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011. He's giving a free-to-the-public address tonight (Thursday the 28th) at 7:30pm in the Lorton Performance Center on the TU campus. Haqqani (who also addressed the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations last night) currently serves as Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University; he's also a Senior Fellow and the Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute.
Our guest is Richard Soudriette, who's the President of the Center for Diplomacy and Democracy, which is based in Colorado Springs. He also served as founding President of IFES, or the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, from 1988 to 2007. Under Mr. Soudriette's leadership, IFES grew into one of the premier organizations offering technical assistance around the globe in matters related to elections, civil society, rule of law, and governance. Thus he's played a key role in launching networks of elections officials in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia.
What does it take to be a successful diplomat? How does one best "train" or prepare for this type of work? And how, if at all, does the art of diplomacy differ from how it was, say, twenty or thirty years ago? A recent change of leadership at the U.S. State Department --- in the wake of last year's deadly attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens as well as three other Americans --- has reminded us, once again, of the serious challenges now facing the U.S. Foreign Service.
How will U.S. relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan change once NATO forces start withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2014? It's a question (or a pair of questions) that's been widely discussed, and widely debated, of late. But what about, moreover, our relations with the so-called "stans" of Central Asia --- namely, the five republics of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. On this installment of ST, we welcome Dr. Charles E. Ziegler, Professor of Political Science and Distinguished University Scholar at the University of Louisville.
On this installment of ST, we welcome Dr. Elizabeth Colton, who's still pursuing an active, long-running, and wide-ranging career in diplomacy, journalism, foreign-relations scholarship, and U.S. and international politics and education. Such work has taken her to more than 100 countries; she's taught and/or delivered lectures on six different continents. Last night, Dr. Colton addressed to the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations on the topic of "Foreign Policy Challenges for the New Administration" --- which will be, of course, in this case a second Obama Administration. Dr.