On Monday the United States and Japan agreed to the most sweeping changes to their bilateral alliance in more than fifty years. The so-called “2+2” Security Consultative Committee (SCC), consisting of the U.S. secretary of state, and secretary of defense, and Japan’s foreign minister and defense minister agreed to a series of initiatives that will draw the two allies even closer in defense and security matters. Read More
The recently retired head of the U.S. Coast Guard has been appointed as a special ambassador to the Arctic, according to a Wednesday announcement from the U.S. State Department. Read More
From the Dec. 16, 2013 U.S. State Department fact sheet: Expanded U.S. Assistance for Maritime Capacity Building.
On December 16, Secretary of State John Kerry announced an initial commitment of $32.5 million in new regional and bilateral assistance to advance maritime capacity building in Southeast Asia. Including this new funding, our planned region-wide funding support for maritime capacity building exceeds $156 million for the next two years. Read More
From the Nov. 8, 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad:
The United States maintains about 285 diplomatic facilities worldwide. Attacks on such facilities, and on U.S. diplomatic personnel, are not infrequent. The deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, along with attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen, drew renewed attention to the challenges facing U.S. diplomats abroad, as well as to the difficulty in balancing concerns for their security against the outreach required of their mission. Congress plays a key role in shaping the response to these challenges, such as by providing resources for diplomatic security and examining security breaches overseas. Read More