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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

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JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2016

15

We have been presented with two options and we need to choose.

We either condemn our planet to further destruction

or we save it. Those are our stark choices.

—Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Kenny Anthony, from his address to the United Nations

Framework Convention on Climate Changes in Paris on Nov. 30.

Contemporary Quote

UK Boosts BBC World

Service Funding

T

he British government has

announced that it will increase fund-

ing for BBCWorld Service, the world’s

largest international broadcaster, by $437

million over the next few years.

This is a dramatic reversal in policy

from 2010, when the new Conservative

government decided to cut World Service

funding completely, leaving the BBC to

absorb the cost and fund itself through

the money paid by the British public for

television licenses.

According to BBC News, “the govern-

ment will provide £34 million in 2016-2017

and £85 million per year from 2017 to

2018” and onwards for services related to

the Internet, television and radio.

Comparable to Voice of America in

the United States, BBCWorld Service

is a valuable soft-power tool in British

public diplomacy efforts. The increase in

funding comes from a revamping of the

soft-power strategy of the British Foreign

Office, which is hoping to reach countries

with “democratic deficits.”The goal is to

increase global access to information,

especially in countries where authoritar-

ian governments make information dis-

semination difficult.

BBC Director General Lord Tony Hall

has pointed out that this is “the single big-

gest increase in the World Service budget

ever committed by any government.”The

World Service is one of the U.K.’s most

important cultural exports, he adds, “and

The Case of the Oldsters

T

he Foreign Service as now constituted

has no real Reserve Corps. The employees

bearing the “Reserve Officer” designation are

in fact on active and quasi-permanent duty

and are not a “reserve,” in the accepted sense

of that word, upon which the Department of

State can draw to beef up its operations during

critical situation or for special operations where some

additional talent or skill is temporarily required.

It is proposed that the department seek legislation

which would permit it to organize a true Emergency

Reserve Corps composed of individuals, not in active ser-

vice, possessing special skills and talents which might be

drawn upon when the national interest so requires. One

obvious source for this Emergency Reserve Corps would

be former Foreign Service officers who have retired or

resigned for personal reasons and who still maintain their

skills and know-how, now largely going to waste.

Under this proposal when an FSO retires or leaves the

service under conditions in which he could still render

valuable service to the nation in times of need, he would

be offered a commission in the

Foreign Ser-

vice Emergency Reserve Corps

in the highest

grade he held while on active service. His

skills, special contacts and know-how would

then be IBM’d, his security clearance would

be kept current and, to the extent possible,

he would be kept up-to-date on his special-

ties, either by short periods of active duty

or by correspondence courses, etc.

In this way his special contributions would be pre-

evaluated and known to officers in active operations both

in the department and the field. This would constitute a

very valuable addition to the total manpower pool of the

foreign affairs establishment. Emergency Reserve com-

missions would, of course, also be offered to selected

individuals who have served with the other closely related

foreign affairs agencies such as USIA and USAID.

This would give the Secretary great flexibility in tap-

ping a very valuable and highly skilled manpower source

which is now largely dissipated.

—Leon B. Poullada, from “A Foreign Service Training

Corps?” in the February 1966

FSJ

.

50 Years Ago