- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
It seems to be official — President Barack Obama will nominate Massachusetts senator and fomer presidential candidate John Kerry to be the 68th U.S. secretary of state. We’ll have plenty more coverage of Kerry in the days to come, but here are a few pieces to get you started:
James Traub looks at why the administration settled on Kerry to fill Hillary Clinton’s shoes.
Historian Douglas Brinkley, who has written extensively on Kerry’s Vietnam years, looks at Kerry’s very diplomatic upbringing. (For a more critical take, see Gordon Adams on why senators shouldn’t run Foggy Bottom.)
If you’re interested in what Kerry’s been up to in recent years, see Traub’s July 2011 New York Times Magazine profile, which follows the senator on a trip to Afghanistan in Pakistan. In 2010, the National Journal‘s Michael Hirsh looked at Kerry’s growing skepticism on the war in Afghanistan.
As a longtime senator, Kerry obviously has friends on Capitol Hill, but if Republicans are planning attacks on him, they may choose to focus on his work as the Obama administration’s point man on engaging Bashar al-Assad’s regime — albeit before the Syrian strongman’s brutal response the current uprising. You’re likely to hear reference to a March 16, 2011 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations, in which Kerry avoided discussion of Syria entirely during his prepared remarks, then told a questioner, “President Assad has been very generous with me in terms of the discussions we have had."
For general information about Kerry’s rise to power, see the seven-part biography prepared by the Boston Globe staff during his 2004 presidential run. Joe Klein’s 2002 New Yorker profile also still holds up for its analysis of how Kerry developed his foreign-policy views.
As Kerry takes on what will almost certainly be the highest position in a remarkable political career, it’s also worth taking a look back at how that career began, with his 1971 testimony to Congress on behalf of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. It was in that speech that he famously asked, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to dies in Vietnam? How do ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
Forty years later, he will be one of the ones tasked with making those decisions, and hopefully, avoiding those mistakes.
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Daniel W. Drezner |
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |