...[a] full-blown geopolitical rivalry cannot occur on one dimension only – it needs to go beyond, say, a military capabilities competition to include diplomacy, economics and even soft power.

Yet these new commitments to control the border have been largely expressions of public diplomacy rather than manifestations of new thinking about the border.

The author correctly argues that AFRICOM, in undermining state sovereignty, will “alter the regional balance of power, and be divisive and destabilizing…It would undermine the unity and collective decision-making.” AFRICOM was to be located in Africa, General Ward probably plans to locate it in countries such as Botswana and Namibia with pro-western leadership.

With great fanfare, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a Quadrennial Development and Diplomacy Review (QDDR)—modeled on the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review—which promised a new era in foreign relations. In the President’s 2010 budget, State and USAID were the clear winners (with defense spending a clear loser).

July brings us our nation's birthday, which allows us to reflect on the beginning of America's history...The State Department's request of $2.14 billion for the contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities account, and recover $322 million cut from public diplomacy in 2008.

Washington, especially Obama’s State Department, has a democracy problem. Too many see democracy promotion as a Bush-era priority, others see democracy as “cultural imperialism,” and still others see dangers, not opportunities.

The U.S. should also increase its public diplomacy efforts to convince the Japanese and Okinawan legislators, media, and public that the U.S. military presence is critical to the security of Japan and regional stability.

The United States and Germany highly value science and technology (S&T); both have committed to spend 3% of GDP on S&T research and development. More than 50 bilateral cooperation agreements exist between U.S. and German government agencies and scientific institutions along with over 1,500 university partnerships.