Analysis & Opinions

Former U.S. Under Secretary of State: “Annexation Would Be A Huge Mistake”

| June 17, 2020

Like millions of his compatriots, U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns has also watched in recent months with growing concern his government’s growing failure to properly address the coronavirus crisis, which has led to over 110,000 deaths on U.S. soil so far. “This has been a dispiriting spectacle for the American people,” he says. “They have seen what appears as the failure of the federal government on the pandemic.”

Ambassador Burns, who is Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School, served for 27 years in the U.S. Department of State, rising to the position of Under Secretary for Political Affairs in the second George. W. Bush administration (2005-2008). He has been involved in Middle East geopolitics since first arriving in the region to serve in Egypt and Israel in the 1980s. Later, in his senior positions at the State Department, Burns represented his government in numerous negotiations with regional partners and adversaries and negotiated the 2007 U.S.-Israel Military Assistance Agreement. Even after leaving government, he remains closely involved through “Our Generation Speaks,” an organization he chairs which brings Israeli and Palestinian millennials together to form joint venture business.

In late May, The Arena’s Diplomatic Forum hosted Ambassador Burns for an online discussion of  the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, the upcoming presidential election, Israel’s annexation plans, and other burning issues.

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For Academic Citation:

“Former U.S. Under Secretary of State: “Annexation Would Be A Huge Mistake.” "The Arena" - Diplomacy and Foreign Relations Magazine, June 17, 2020.