A new TV series, “Diplomacy At Risk!” debuted on April 26 and features some of America’s most respected diplomats with a pilot episode providing an overview of how diplomacy keeps Americans safe both at home and abroad.
The premiere introduces moderator Ronald Neumann, former ambassador to Afghanistan, Bahrain and Algeria, and current president of the American Academy of Diplomacy. Neumann and his father, ambassador Robert G. Neumann, are the only father and son besides John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams to serve in diplomatic posts abroad.
In this episode, Neumann interviews fellow ambassador Peter Romero, rear admiral Michael Smith and ambassador Edward Marks about why diplomacy is so important to national security and the everyday lives of Americans.
The goal of the series is to educate and engage U.S. voters in hopes of getting viewers to be more active in communicating with their Congressional representatives to support full funding budget and filling of the U.S. State Department’s vacant posts with experienced, professional U.S. diplomats. The U.S. does not yet have ambassadors in five of the 10 countries that made Foreign Policy magazine’s list of “10 Conflicts to Watch” in 2018. Over 45 of 188 ambassador positions are vacant, even in hot spots like South Korea and Venezuela, and with key military partners like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the European Union.
As ambassador Romero quotes ambassador Marks saying, “Diplomacy doesn’t stop because the United States is disengaged. Diplomacy continues, and other people fill the vacuum of the United States’ withdrawal…believe me, they are not going to have your interests, my interests, any Americans’ interest in mind, and it’s not going to look pretty.”
Visit DiplomacyAtRisk.org or the Facebook page “Diplomacy At Risk” to learn more. The series is being produced at Falls Church Community Television studios in Falls Church.