Dennis Rodman is set to visit North Korea for the third time, meeting with its current ruler, Kim Jong-Un, with whom Rodman has established a friendship.

The primary reason for Rodman’s visit is to help train North Korea’s national basketball team, an American sport that the North Korean ruler enjoys. The training is said to last for four days.

Rodman’s visit comes at a time when Jang Song-Thaek, Kim’s uncle, was recently executed by the state on charges of treason and conspiring against the state. The execution was allegedly demonstrated in front of other would-be conspirators of the coup d’état.

The Daily Mail reports that this would be only the beginning of a possible purge set against members of the old regime, under Kim’s father, Kim Jong-Il. Such a display would make room for a newer crew under the new regime.

Furthermore, old state records are being erased, including those of Jang Song-Thaek. The deleted online records were estimated to range upwards to 35,000 documents.

Rodman himself is set to coach the national team in preparation for a match against former NBA players that will be held in the near future. The game, called “Big Bang in Pyongyang,” is to be hosted by Paddy Power, an online gaming company from Ireland.

For the upcoming exhibition match, Rodman hopes to recruit Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen, his former Chicago Bulls teammate.

As for the Obama administration’s response, Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, cites that the only comment is the official State Department caution on traveling to North Korea. U.S. citizens should refrain from traveling to an isolationist country – a country with which the U.S. does not have current diplomatic ties.

Rodman’s NBA career consists of five NBA championships. Rodman won his first two championships with the Detroit Spurs between 1989-1990. The latter three were won as a part of the Chicago Bulls between 1996-1998 alongside Michael Jordan.

– Miles Abadilla

Sources: Daily Mail, ESPN, Huffington Post, New York Times, Time Magazine
Photo: World News

There are countless opinions on the United States’ relations with Iran. But at the end of the day, communication is key to moving forward. Here are three ways that sitting down and talking will help prevent global poverty.

1.  Sanctions Hurt People, Not Politicians

Sure, Iranian leaders are affected by the tough sanctions the U.S. has imposed on their country, but it’s the citizens who suffer. The inflation rate in their country has increased by 40% and it is making living conditions difficult for the Iranian people.

“Food prices are so high that many Iranians have skipped out on buying fresh meats and vegetables, restricting their ability to have a full meal,” says Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani of the Huffington Post.

2. Negotiations Empower the People

According to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), workers in Iran have no protest rights. That means they cannot stand up for themselves even as living conditions deteriorate, unemployment rises, and the gap between rich and poor increases. With over 50% of the population currently living under the poverty line, that’s a lot of protest power.

The United States is a driving force when it comes to human rights issues. Inviting Iran to the party would not only lay the groundwork for peace, but it would also be a step toward giving Iranian people a voice of their own, so they could fight for their rights and the future of their country.

3. The U.S. Benefits by Making Friends

Valerie Elverton Dixon, founder of, says, “The sanctions are hurting ordinary Iranians, many of whom are young people who will become the future leaders of Iran. They are paying close attention to these negotiations and how we conduct them.”

In the fight against global poverty, it is crucial that the United States makes political allies. The money the U.S. spends defending its borders against would-be attackers could go to much better use in the form of foreign aid. Opening trade relations also creates jobs not only for populations overseas, but also here in the United States.

With young people watching, investing time and resources into Iran could prove to yield a big return down the road. If the future leaders of Iran are impressed with how the U.S. diplomats treat their country during these negotiations, peace and prosperity are an inevitable outcome.

Mike Doane

Sources: Huffington Post, Washington Post, FIDH
Photo: Majalla

quotes about diplomacy churchill
Tool of war or a path to peace? Art of compromise or art of deceit? Over the years, diplomacy has been viewed in many different ways. Below are quotes about diplomacy from five famous individuals, who each had their an opinion on diplomacy and its role in international relations.


5 Inspirational Quotes about Diplomacy


  1. “Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.” – Henry Kissinger, 56th U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. National Security Advisor and winner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize
  1. “Part of diplomacy is to open different definitions of self-interest.”- Hillary Clinton, 67th U.S. Secretary of State, former New York senator and former First Lady
  1. “Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”- Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister during World War II and recipient of the 1953 Nobel Prize for Literature
  1. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”- Sun Tzu, Chinese general and author of “The Art of War”
  1. “To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy.”- Will Durant, author, philosopher and historian

–  Jordanna Packtor


Read global poverty quotes

Sources: Brainy Quote, Good Reads,, Encyclopedia Britannica,
Photo: History Today

Chefs of world leaders are teaming up to feed New York City’s hungry this year. These professional chefs are members of Le Club des Chefs de Chefs, the organization of chefs for the world’s leaders. They will be teaming up with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts to serve high quality food to more than 200 individuals in New York’s Xavier Mission. The 20 chefs involved will create food “fit for a king” and will use this special luncheon event as a way to highlight world hunger.

Some of the participating chefs include Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford, Chef to President Obama, and Chef Christian Garcia, president of the club and personal chef to Prince Albert II of Monaco. Other participating chefs hail from Canada, India, Denmark, France, and Italy, amongst several other nations.

On Saturday July 27, the chefs provided a variety of home-style cooking at Xavier Mission. 10 special dishes were featured and available to the residents of the mission. The next week, 16 restaurants of InterContinental will feature the dishes as part of their “Fit for Royalty” Menu. The proceeds from these menu items will be donated to local food banks. The menu will allow guests of the restaurants to sample what world dignitaries eat and, at the same time, draw attention to the world hunger.

Most importantly, these chefs are engaging in a new type of diplomacy by gastronomy. The world’s food issues are a topic that needs to be addressed everywhere. By combining their experience and collaborating on ideas, today’s chefs can urge world leaders to tackle global hunger. Moreover, as food experts, chefs can be leaders in the discussion on food and hunger.

In a compelling article on CNN’s Eatocracy, Chef José Andrés outlines why he believes that chefs should be involved in the fight against hunger. He suggests that food promotes a sense of fellowship that extends beyond borders. As experts of food, chefs can bridge the gap between world leaders using food as common ground.

Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself has said, “Better and more effective diplomacy can happen around a dining table than at a conference table.” Diplomacy by gastronomy has the ability to be a powerful tool in mobilizing the fight against world hunger. By sharing their recipes, 20 world leader’s chefs will be able to both feed the hungry and mobilize action against food insecurity.

– Grace Zhao

Sources: CNN Eatocracy
Sources: New York Times

Why Military Leaders Oppose Foreign Aid Cuts
The link between the alleviation of global poverty and the assurance of national security is one that has been promoted by high-ranking military officials for decades. According to the United States Global Leadership Committee, 84% of military officials say that strengthening development and diplomacy efforts should be at least equal to strengthening military efforts.

This is because they recognize the connection between the grievances that spawn from those in abject poverty and the propensity toward terrorism. They can see that investing in human welfare in developing nations has the capacity to ensure freedom from violent extremist groups.

On March 13, 2013, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) released the Senate’s Budget Resolution for the fiscal year of 2014. In this resolution, a 9.6% (about $4 billion) increase in U.S. foreign assistance was proposed. In response, two senators proposed amendments that would reduce this figure significantly. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) proposed to cut aid to Egypt as well as to suspend funding to the United Nations while any member nation legally allows forced involuntary abortions.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), however, proposed very drastic cuts to foreign assistance as a whole. His amendment to the resolution included a 33% cut- about $15 billion. When this failed in the Senate, he proposed an aid freeze at $5 billion.

Approximately a week later, Paul received a letter from USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council expressing its disapproval of the proposed amendments. In it, they implore the senator to acknowledge that cutting funding for development and diplomacy programs would do little to salvage the nation’s fiscal problems. After all, foreign assistance only comprises 1% of the federal budget.

Admiral James M. Loy and General Michael W. Hagee, the chief authors of the letter, argue that in order for the United States to be successful in their efforts abroad, they “must balance strategically all three aspects of national power and international influence- defense, diplomacy, and development.” These are the Pentagon’s official “3D’s” for protecting the United States.

The letter makes it clear that their perspectives are much more useful in discerning the importance of development and diplomacy programs. As officers in the United States military, they have had the first-hand experience in the regions that need foreign assistance the most.  They also urge the senator to look past the monetary value of these programs and instead consider the cost in human lives.

Military leaders oppose foreign aid cuts because they have seen that the Department of Defense cannot handle the world’s issues single-handedly. A multi-level approach, both militarily and non-militarily, is necessary to ensure national security. Additionally, they see military intervention as a last-resort solution to an existing problem. Diplomacy and development, however, can fix the problems before they even begin.

– Kathryn Cassibry

Source: United States Global Leadership Committee
Photo: IBT

US Military Leaders Support Development
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) is a diverse network of national security and foreign policy experts, business leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, and academics who recognize the importance of partnering diplomacy and development with defense to improve foreign relations, trade, and security. The USGLC argues that diplomacy and development are severely neglected in terms of funding and manpower, and they advocate for a strong foreign aid budget to benefit the U.S. and the world as a whole.
Defense and diplomacy can and should work together to strengthen the security of our nation. Foreign aid deters terrorism, encourages international markets, drives economic growth, relieves poverty, combats infectious diseases, provides educational opportunities, strengthens democratic institutions, and so much more. In fact, many high-ranking military officials are also proponents of a healthy International Affairs budget. The following statements exemplify how many USGLC military leaders support development and diplomacy in their defense objectives.
“The work performed by diplomatic and development professionals helps build the foundation for more stable, democratic and prosperous societies. These are places where the potential for conflict can be minimized, if not completely avoided, by State and USAID programs – thereby lowering the likely need for deployment of U.S. military assets.”
– Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Letter to the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, April 21, 2010
“Robust resourcing for the State Department’s mission is one of the best investments for reducing the need for military forces to be employed. Together, our military leaders and our diplomats not only represent a symbol of America’s enduring commitment to the region, but they also build trust through partnerships that have an important stabilizing effect when trouble looms.”
– General James N. Mattis, Commander, U.S. Central Command, testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, March 1, 2011
“The diplomatic and developmental capabilities of the United States have a direct bearing on our ability to shape threats and reduce the need for military action. It is my firm belief that diplomatic programs as part of a coordinated strategy will save money by reducing the likelihood of active military conflict involving U.S. forces.”
– Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Letter to Senate Majority Leader, May 21, 2010
“To truly end the threat from al-Qaeda, military force aimed at killing our enemy alone will never be enough. The United States must stay involved and invested through diplomacy, through development, through education, through trade in those regions of the world where violent extremism has flourished.”
– Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in a speech to the Center for a New American Security, November 20, 2012
“This is not just a military campaign. This is not a campaign where we take the hill, plant the flag, and come home to a victory parade. This is a civil-military comprehensive endeavor that requires building on what our troopers in uniform have achieved.”
– General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.), testimony before House Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2011
“Development and diplomacy keep us safer by addressing threats in the most dangerous corners of the world and by preventing conflicts before they occur. …We urge you to support a strong and effetive International Affairs Budget. Our nation’s security depends upon it.”
– 70 top military leaders, USGLC National Security Advisory Council’s Letter to Congress, March 30, 2011
These insightful statements have come straight from the mouths and pens of some of our nation’s greatest military leaders. Men and women who have dedicated their lives to defending our nation are able to recognize the vital role of diplomacy. And with the support of such highly qualified military experts, the USCLG continues to advocate for elevated diplomacy in the interest of a safer, stronger world.
– Dana Johnson

Source: USGLC
Photo: NY Daily News

The Truman National Security Project is a national security leadership institute. They have developed a recruitment and training program to create a new generation of progressives to lead America’s future national security strategy. They hope to implement their objectives through advocacy initiatives, media appearances, and public service in elected and appointed offices. Their program leaders are in place as congressional and presidential advisers, legislation drafters, and advocates for progressive national security policy objectives.

The Truman National Security Project aims to make belligerent unilateralism and isolationism minority fringe positions in the United States policy. They would like to use all available tools to create a stable national security strategy including: development aid, military and allies, our reputation and diplomacy. They project the idea that where there is a great deal of insecurity, the freedoms of economic growth and individual rights cannot coexist. The Truman National Security Project believes the United States has a responsibility to maintain global stability and promote civil and human rights and equality of opportunity and tolerance.

Importantly, the Truman National Security Project has focused on promoting development abroad as a fundamental method of protecting American national security.  Their mission and goals indicate that the protection of American national security requires the US to address state weakness, poverty, corruption, and social breakdown abroad.  The Truman Project projects an agenda of strategic development aid coordinated with trade, diplomacy and military assistance in order to reduce poverty and build international security.

The Truman National Security Project has a large variety of programs focusing on communication methods, leadership tactics and educational programs to teach participants the values and methods of their program. The Truman Project has been praised for its effectiveness- training its participants and preparing them with an incredibly successful skill set and creating instantly useful leaders in the political and diplomatic arenas.

The Truman Project offers many different fellowships, scholarships and internships available to help train and inform progressively minded participants on national security problems, conflicts, solutions, and policy prescriptions.

– Caitlin Zusy
Source Truman Project
Photo Center for National Policy

Divided Congress a Threat to Foreign AidJohn Kerry, in one of his first official speeches as Secretary of State, declared that diplomacy is key to securing the nation’s economic well-being, and urged Americans and legislators alike to avoid isolationism simply because of a down economy. Kerry pinned the blame for a lack of support for foreign aid on a divided Congress, saying that “the greatest challenge to America’s foreign policy today is in the hands, not of diplomats, but of policymakers in Congress.”

As a budget-cut-inducing sequester looms, Congress must come to an agreement on the national debt and budget – which includes funding for foreign aid and diplomacy programs, many of which have been the target of proposed cuts by conservatives. Kerry said that it is more important now than ever for America to have financial stability in order to set an example through diplomacy for developing countries. He went on to argue that diplomacy strengthens our economy at home by providing economic markets abroad for US exports, which negates the initial cost of government-sponsored foreign aid and international development ventures.

Kerry cited the success of the Marshall Plan in post-World War II Berlin, and asserted that the United States would have to stay relevant in the global arena in order to keep up with rising economic super powers like China and India.

Kerry gave additional real-world examples in support of foreign aid, including increased exports to Vietnam in the last decade, and the high number of former aid recipients who now import US goods. Learn more about how the US economy depends on participating in foreign aid here.

Christina Kindlon

Source: The Telegraph