Middle East Policy Options for the Next Administration
At the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum on Friday evening, November 4 at 7 PM Ambassador (retired) Ronald Neumann, formerly the American ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain and most recently to Afghanistan, will speak about American foreign policy, the Middle East and what awaits the new President. St. Johnsbury resident Robert Ford will introduce him and, after Ambassador Neumann’s remarks, Ford will pose a few questions to Neumann. The audience can then follow with more questions.
Ambassador Neumann is now president of the American Academy of Diplomacy in Washington. The Academy provides the Secretary of State and Congress with assessments and analysis of how budget proposals will affect the conduct of our foreign policy worldwide and the impact on the U.S. diplomatic service.
Ambassador Neumann served as a U.S. Army lieutenant in Vietnam, and then worked in the U.S. diplomatic service from 1970 until he retired in 2007. At the end of his career he was considered one of the State Department’s top experts in how the diplomatic service and the military services should collaborate in crisis situations. He began his career in Iran and later worked in Abu Dhabi and Yemen. He was the American ambassador to Algeria 1994-1997 during that country’s civil war, and later worked at the American Embassy in Iraq (2004 to 2005) coordinating U.S. diplomatic efforts with the ongoing American military operations in the war there. In 2005 the Senate confirmed him asthe American ambassador to Afghanistan where he worked from 2005 to 2007.
Ambassador Neumann is the author of a 2009 book The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan. He still regularly visits that country as a member of study teams invited by the American military commander to provide assessments of U.S. strategies and estimates of where the war in Afghanistan is headed. He has appeared in such media as the New York Times, NPR and CNN.