The Foreign Service Journal

 


The Foreign Service Journal covers foreign affairs from an insider's perspective, providing thought-provoking articles on international issues, the practice of diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. Including the AFSA News section, The Journal is published monthly (January-February and July-August issues combined) by the American Foreign Service Association.

This month, the focus is on Afghanistan as December marks the official withdrawal of U.S. military forces from the country. What is the situation today, and what does the future hold for Afghanistan? We examine the question through three separate articles from retired Foreign Service officer Edmund McWilliams, Director of the United States Institute of Peace’s Afghanistan & Central Asia Program Scott Smith, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia David Sedney. They each have a different viewpoint and offer suggestions and predictions ranging from pessimistic to hopeful. All of them agree, however, that without some continuing U.S. engagement, Afghanistan’s future is very much in doubt.

In addition, entry-level Foreign Service officer Wren Elhai makes the case for including Twitter as an indispensable part of the U.S. diplomatic toolkit, and AFSA President Bob Silverman remembers fallen colleagues in his monthly column. Finally, the December issue contains our semi-annual education supplement, focusing on educational information for Foreign Service families. The supplement includes two highly information articles for Foreign Service parents; one looking at the realities of college rankings, and the other at the possible option of boarding school for Foreign Service kids.

We always welcome short, focused letters about FSJ content; please send them to journal@afsa.org.

Featured Content

FOCUS ON AFGHANISTAN

Will History Repeat Itself?

Afghanistan is at another turning point. Though the challenges are great, the nation cannot afford to cycle back into civil war.
BY EDMUND MCWILLIAMS


Five Things We Can Still Get Right

Effective U.S. leadership is more important than ever in Afghanistan. What policies should we adopt to help as Afghans take the reins of their own country?
BY DAVID SEDNEY


What U.S. Policymakers Should Know About Afghanistan Today

Afghanistan’s emergence as a modern nation will involve negotiating a cultural transition that integrates enduring traditions with viable change.
BY SCOTT SMITH


EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT

American College Rankings: How They Work and What They Mean

This in-depth look at U.S. college rankings offers a fresh perspective on the high school student’s college search and a wealth of resources to help find the “right” school.
BY FRANCESCA HUEMER KELLY


Have You Considered Boarding School?

The boarding school option has much to offer Foreign Service kids.
BY LAWRENCE JENSEN


COLUMNS

President’s Views

The Departed
BY ROBERT J. SILVERMAN


Speaking Out

Twitter Is a Cocktail Party, Not a Press Conference (or, Social Media for Reporting Officers)
BY WREN ELHAI


Reflections

Unpacking Memories
BY DOUGLAS E. MORRIS