State Department

Latest in State Department

The Ukraine Connection

The Volker Texts: What Quid Pro Quo Looks Like

The more information becomes public about L’Affaire Ukrainienne, the wider and deeper the controversy becomes. Late on Oct. 3, Congress released perhaps the most damning information yet: excerpts from a trove of encrypted text messages provided by former Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker as part of his closed testimony earlier that day before those House committees leading the impeachment inquiry.

Iran

Parsing the State Department’s Letter on the Use of Force Against Iran

Recent tensions between the United States and Iran have led many members of Congress to speculate about what legal authority the Trump administration may claim it has to go to war without congressional authorization. On June 28, the State Department gave a partial answer to these questions, at least insofar as they relate to the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs).

Cyber & Technology

The Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2017: Giving Cyber the Importance It Needs at the State Department

A bill from a strong bipartisan group of House members may reinstate and elevate a version of the cyber coordinator position eliminated as part of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s controversial “redesign” in July. The bill recognizes the degree to which protecting security in cyberspace and promoting digital communications as a vital economic, social, and political bridge have become critical to the mission of the U.S. government.

Cybersecurity

Is the State Department Reorganization Undermining Cyber Diplomacy?

The Trump administration seems to want it both ways on cybersecurity policy. On one hand, the White House has ordered the State Department to study and report on the United States’s “international engagement strategy” for cyber issues, signalling it takes the issue seriously. Yet Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s ongoing State Department reorganization hobbles U.S. cyber diplomacy by downgrading the central coordination office for international outreach on cyber issues.

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