Colin Powell Leadership Alumnus Ethan Frisch (2006–2008) is now working in Afghanistan with the Aga Khan Foundation, a humanitarian organization. We recently followed up with Ethan to learn more about his work, goals, and trajectory.
What are you doing in Afghanistan?
I’m working for the Aga Khan Foundation–Afghanistan as the national program coordinator for engineering, helping to oversee the administration of grants dealing with physical infrastructure and engineering projects in northern Afghanistan. I’m based at AKF’s headquarters in Kabul, working closely with our regional teams and traveling regularly throughout the five provinces in which AKF works. Continue reading
Hannah Gurman’s The Dissent Papers. Image: Amazon.com.
On Sunday, July 8, I’ll be hosting the FireDogLake Book Salon with New York University’s Hannah Gurman at 2:00pm. We’ll be discussing her recent book, The Dissent Papers: The Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond. As FDL notes,
Beginning with the Cold War and concluding with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Hannah Gurman explores the overlooked opposition of U.S. diplomats to American foreign policy in the latter half of the twentieth century. During America’s reign as a dominant world power, U.S. presidents and senior foreign policy officials largely ignored or rejected their diplomats’ reports, memos, and telegrams, especially when they challenged key policies relating to the Cold War, China, and the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. The Dissent Papers recovers these diplomats’ invaluable perspective and their commitment to the transformative power of diplomatic writing. Continue reading
Last month, I saw “Brother Number One,” a documentary by Annie Goldson that follows New Zealander Rob Hamill on the trail of his brother Kerry, who was captured and killed by the Cambodian Khmer Rouge regime in 1978. Kerry was just one of 1.5 million victims of the regime, nearly all of them Cambodians.
In the film, Rob travels to Cambodia to testify at the trial for crimes against humanity of Kang Kek Iew, better known as Comrade Duch, the director of the infamous S-21 prison where Kerry and thousands of others were tortured and killed. (Duch was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2010, extended to a life sentence this year.)
Who Does Justice Benefit?
Throughout the film, I thought back to my college history thesis, on the 1994 trial of Paul Touvier for crimes against humanity. Touvier was the first Frenchman to be tried on that charge, and his trial, a half century after the German occupation of France ended, brought the dark memories of collaboration and the dirty deeds of the Vichy regime to the surface of the public consciousness. Continue reading
A school at the Dadaab refugee camp, in Kenya. Photo: Public Domain
This post originally appeared on DevelopKenya.com.
Depressing right? Located in Eastern Kenya, Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world with almost half a million refugees living there. That’s 500,000 people. Living in temporary housing – mostly tents, but also mud and brick houses. With no water, electricity, means of income..nothing.
There are 10,000 third-generation refugees in Dadaab. What the hell?? That means their parents were born in the camp as well. It was set up 20 years ago with 90,000 Somali refugees fleeing the Somali civil war of 1991/1992. Continue reading
Originally posted on Huffington Post by Center Coordinator Michael Busch.
Earlier this spring, Moisés Naím provocatively warned against an emerging menace facing our world today — the advent of what he terms the “mafia state.” Analyzing the role of transnational organized crime in the age of globalization has been Naím’s bailiwick for some years now, and familiar readers will find little that catches them off-guard. Still, his argument that illicit actors have penetrated national governments with unprecedented success in recent years should be enough for policymakers to take notice. Naím doesn’t mince words about what’s at stake. “In a mafia state, high government officials actually become integral players in, if not the leaders of, criminal enterprises, and the defense and promotion of those enterprises’ businesses become official priorities.” Continue reading
Former fellow Mohamed Jallow (right) with Ambassador John Price. Photo: Sirin Samman
Looking back at my academic and career trajectory, it would not have been possible without my affiliation with the Colin Powell Center. My internship at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which led to my full time employment there after graduation, was largely due to the service-learning requirements at the Colin Powell Center. The idea of linking students with a domestic or international organization engaged in work around a student’s area of interest to provide real world experience is innovative and immensely rewarding to those who participate. My time at the CFR allowed me not only to grow my professional network, but to learn and discover new approaches to solving global issues, including global public health, a field in which I currently work. Continue reading
Gen. Powell with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Image via video screenshot.
Last night, General Colin L. Powell appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” to promote his new book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership. Powell discussed his “13 Rules”, fielded questions about his support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq , and recounted stories about President Reagan- and squirrels. Continue reading
Some claim that Mexico must choose between acquiescence to drug cartles and a continuation the “tough hand” militarism of Mexican president Felipe Calderón (left). Photo: Agencia Brasilia / Creative Commons
This article was originally published by Dissent magazine on May 11, 2012.
With Mexico’s presidential elections just around the corner, questions about the country’s future—and its bloody war on drugs—hang heavy in the air. The new issue of Foreign Affairs features a brief argument from Robert Bonner addressing this uncertainty, and offers a spirited defense of Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s fight against the country’s narcotraffickers. Bonner, former administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency and commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is hardly a stranger to the drug-fueled violence and corruption ravaging Mexico. The effects have been devastating: anywhere between 45,000 and 67,000 people have been murdered since Calderón’s efforts began; the country’s alphabet soup of local, state, and federal security and judicial organs have been largely crippled by graft; and the power of the so-called “Mexican cartels” seems to have metastasized within and beyond Mexico’s borders. Continue reading