Areas of interest and expertise are Latin America (especially Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru), Southeast Asia (especially Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam) and North Africa and the Middle East (especially Libya and to a lesser degree, Syria). Strategic Planning and Commercial Manager, Caterpillar Inc. (1973-2001); Chairman, Board of Directors, Illinois Stewardship Alliance (2001-Present); International Advisory Board, Journal of Libyan Studies (2001-Present); Board of Directors, International Marine Certification Institute, Brussels, Belgium (1993-2001); Board of Directors, Hindustin PowerPlus, Ltd, Bangalore, India. (1990-1992); Board of Trustees, Knox College (1982-1985) Author of 200 books, articles and reviews on the Arab world, Andean America and Southeast Asia with output roughly split between the three geographical areas. Recent publications include: “Libya and the United States: Elements of a Performance-based Road Map,” Middle East Policy (Fall 2003); “Latin America: new ideas for old problems,” San Juan Star (3 August 2003); “Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Prospects for Regime Change in Libya,” Journal of Libyan Studies (Summer 2003); “Ram�n Castilla: Chief Executive, Warrior, Diplomat,” Pol�tica Internacional (Summer 2003); “Grey Days in Peru,” The World Today (August/September 2003); “Libyan Foreign Policy: Newfound Flexibility,” Orbis (Summer 2003); “The Bush Doctrine, the Middle East and Latin America,” Pol�tica Internacional (Summer 2003); “Lessons from Qaddafi,” Foreign Policy in Focus (14 March 2003); “Peaceful Approach Worked in Libya,” Providence Journal (27 February 2003); “New Era in American-Libyan Relations,” Middle East Policy (September 2002); Libya and the United States: Two Centuries of Strife (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002); “Terrorism in American-Libyan Relations,” MEI Policy Brief (May 2002); “Qaddafi_s Rogue Nation Coming In from the Cold,” Journal Star (26 May 2002); “Same Space, Different Dreams: Bolivia_s Quest for a Pacific Port,” The Bolivian Research Review (July 2001); “The Gaza Strip – West Bank and Bolivia_s Quest for Sovereign Access to the Pacific Ocean,” Land Corridor Project (26 April 2002); “The United States, the Cold War & Libyan Independence,” Journal of Libyan Studies (Winter 2001); “Land Boundaries of Indochina,” Boundary and Security Bulletin (Spring 2001); “Libya in Africa: Looking Back, Moving Forward,” Journal of Libyan Studies (Summer 2000); “Misreading the Tea Leaves in Hanoi,” Northwestern Journal of International Affairs (Winter 1999); La Pol�tica Exterior del Per� (Lima, 1999) and the Historical Dictionary of Libya, 3rd edition (Scarecrow Press, 1998). Also author of the most recent essays on Libya in the Africa Contemporary Record, on Libya and Vietnam in the Encyclopedia of Religious Practices and on Libya and Syria in the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Home Email:


A New U.S. Relationship with Libya?

The United States and Libya are on the verge of having a normal relationship.

Dialogue on Laos and Vietnam

Ronald Bruce St John and Andrew Wells-Dang debate the relationship between economic and politics in Laos and Vietnam.

Laos: Power Trumps Reform

Without political reform, Laos will continue to be mired in debt and poverty, argues Ronald Bruce St John.

Garca’s First 100 Days

Peru’s new president is pushing free market policies and promoting social justice. Can he do both?

Decision on Libya Marks Shift in Bush Foreign Policy

The recent announcement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the United States will open an embassy in Libya was welcome news all around. Long overdue, the restoration of full diplomatic relations is a win-win situation for both Libya and the United States, as well as for other states in and out of the Middle East. The U.S. decision also marks a significant shift in the foreign policy of the Bush administration, a change most observers have overlooked.

Peru’s Humala is Washington’s next "Worst Nightmare"

The White House has to be concerned about the potential election of another Latin American government allied to the likes of Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales, overtly challenging the flagging war on drugs, and highly critical of neoliberal, free market economic policies. Eying the runoff against Alan García Pérez, Ollanta Humala Tasso has softened his rhetoric in recent days; but to be successful in the May round of elections, he must retain the support of the core constituency that propelled him to victory in April.

Peru’s Lourdes Flores Challenging Neopopulist Trends

Peruvian elections will be notable for either marking a new neopopulist victory by a former military officer or the first woman Peruvian president.

Tao, Bush, and the Nature of Things

It is customary early in the New Year to recommend good books to read. And the “Tao Te Ching” should be at the top of President Bush’s list. Careening from crisis to crisis with approval ratings drooping, the president should consider the opening lines of chapter 80. “If a country is governed wisely, its inhabitants will be content.”

Cambodias Failing Democracy

Challenges of building democracy in Cambodia.

Deconstructing the Libya Option for Syria

The White House took the wrong lessons from Libya??s decision to renounce weapons of mass destruction and rejoin the international community. The Libya model may yet provide a path through the Syrian imbroglio but only if applied correctly.

Bolivia’s Referendum About More Than Gas

President Carlos Mesa won a stunning political victory last month when Bolivian voters overwhelmingly approved a five-point referendum, endorsing his plans to develop Bolivia’s gas reserves.

Lebanon No Model for Iraq

Increasingly desperate to find a winning formula in Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials are promoting Lebanon as a political model for Iraq.

Time for Bush to Walk the Talk

Bush’s nomination acceptance speech was notable, not for what he included but for what he left out–the problems and missteps that have plagued the Bush administration’s foreign policy.

Expect No Change in Second Term Foreign Policy

If President Bush wins a second term, can the world expect a radically different foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere?

Blowback from Iraq War Is Global, and Growing

blowback increasingly characterizes global reaction to Bush administration policies in and out of the Middle East.

Syria’s Baath Party Congress a Watershed for President Asad

In the run-up to the June 6 Baath Party Congress, Syrian President Bashar al-Asad is torn by competing forces.

New Syria Acts, Looks Like Old Syria

The recently concluded Tenth Regional Congress of the Syrian Baath Party marks a watershed in the presidency of Bashar al-Asad.

Recent Visit Highlights Double Standards in Bush Administration’s Pro-Democracy Rhetoric

The failure of the Bush administration, even as it complements Hanoi for its progress in the economic sphere.

“U.S. Ideological Rigidity Causes Blowback Around Globe”

In the aftermath of 9-11, President Bush told the world you are either “with us or against us.” He then offered a far-reaching moral vision for the Middle East with democracy as the core ingredient.

New Solutions to Old Problems in Latin America

Innovative, new solutions to familiar problems, like the promotion of democracy and the war on drugs, are on the agenda of this Latin American alliance.

    Asia/Pacific, Cambodia, Drugs, Indochina, Iraq, Latin America, Middle East, Peru, South America, U.S. Aid, U.S. Economic/Trade Policy, U.S. Military/Security Policy