The Department of State's CD-ROMs have become an indispensable tool for research on U.S. foreign policy. The CDs rely on the widely used Adobe Acrobat software (included on the CD) and are quite easy to navigate. A few keystrokes gives the reader access to every mention of a word—e.g., Israel—found in significant State Department documents over a four-year period. The compact disk is polished and up-to-date, with only a few rough edges (the table of contents for Dispatch Magazine lists issues not available here).
This current issue features such major documents as the 404-page International Narcotics Strategy Report, the 73-page report on Patterns of Global Terrorism for 1996, and the 39-page Significant Incidents of Political Violence Against Americans. In addition, it contains the latest volume of the Foreign Relations of the United States, a 228-page exchange of letters between John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, 1961-63, the most recent Country Background Notes on every country, and the last four years' worth of Daily Press Briefings, Dispatch Magazine (which has 600 pages a year of the most important State Department speeches), and all the secretary of state's public statements during that period.