Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 6th ed.  –  Online updating pages

Chapter 7: Embassies

p. 105, last para, locally engaged staff: According to an article in The Washington Post of 3 December 2021 (see Furthe reading), Russian embassies and consulates are an exception: they emply no LE staff at all, relying exclusively on Russians.

p. 106, embassy sections: Whether the Iranian Embassy in Beijing has a whole ‘technology section’ or not I do not know. However, it is confidently reported (see Karnitschnig in Further reading below) that it certainly has a ‘technology counsellor’, who in early 2023 has a leading role in negotiations to obtain  a key ingredient for the solid fuel that propels ballistic missiles. Via Russia, some of those made in Iran will end up, nose-first, in Ukraine.

p. 114, intervention in the political affairs of receiving states: A flagrant example of this is provided by the actions of Yevgeny Migunov, second secretary of the Russian Embassy in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, in early March 2022. The constitution of the country, already more or less a Russian vassal state courtesy of the mercenary thugs of the Wagner Group, should be amended, he informed the head of its highest court, so that the pro-Kremlin president could remain in office for life. Preparations for a ‘referendum’ to achieve this end were duly begun. See the long, detailed article on this by Cohen in ‘Further reading’ below, which also records how the embassy in Bangui of France, the former colonial power, is now seriously embattled.

Further reading

Cohen, Roger, ‘Putin wants fealty, and he’s found it in Africa’, The New York Times, 24 December 2022

Karnitschnig, Matthew, ‘Iran in secret talks with China, Russia to acquire sanctioned missile fuel’, Politico, 12 April, 2023

Khurshudyan, Isabelle and John Hudson, ‘Amid heightened tensions, Russia and U.S. make quiet breakthrough on staffing at Moscow embassy’, The Washington Post, 3 December 2021

Pastor-Castro, Rogelia and Martin Thomas (eds), Embassies in Crisis: Studies of Diplomatic Missions in Testing Situations (Routledge, 2021)

Toosi, Nahal, ‘America’s Last Man standing in Moscow’, Politico, 20 February 2022
A very full article on the US Embassy in Russia during the Ukraine crisis, with good links to other articles.

Wilkinson, Tom, ‘Typology: Embassy’, The Architectural Review, 9 December 2019. A brilliant and beautifully illustrated piece on the tension in embassy design between the desires to project a national image, flatter the locals – and stay safe.

Young, John W., David Bruce and Diplomatic Practice: An American ambassador in London, 1961–9 (New York, 2014). It  was stupid of me to have forgotten to list this valuable book. It is focused precisely on this important ambassador’s various roles relative to other diplomatic channels, exhaustively researched, full of instructive examples, and very clearly written.

Yovanovitch, Marie, Lessons from the Edge (Mariner Books, 2022)