- By Colum Lynch
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.
A major policy rift between the White House and President Obama’s national security team broke into the open Thursday when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that they had backed a plan, crafted by former CIA director David H. Petraeus, and supported by then-Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, to arm Syria’s rebels. But there was one prominent national security advisor who was not part of the intervention faction: Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
On matters of war, Rice, one of Obama’s longest-serving foreign policy advisors, has positioned herself close to the president. When it came to Syria, Rice made clear to me during an interview I conducted with her in September for the Washington Post, she was not in the intervention camp. "I’m not of the view that this is a circumstance in which external military intervention is wise for the United States or others," she said.
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