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Who We Are

In her President’s Views column in

the November Journal , “Opening the Conversation,” Ambassador Barbara

Stephenson sets forth a well-reasoned

vision for our country’s Foreign Service

given the ever more rapidly changing

context in which it operates. She asks for

readers’ “thoughts, using action verbs”

on how the work of the Foreign Service

can be better explained.

The verb I find myself compelled to

offer, with all due respect, is



Let us remember that the

work of the Foreign Service

is not just about diplomacy,

as important as that is, but

rather diplomacy

and devel-


, as usually linked in

the same breath by former

Secretary of State (and pos-

sible future president) Hill-

ary Clinton in her public

utterances and speeches

on foreign affairs.

Let us also remember that the “New

Threat Set” of climate change, immigra-

tion, rising oceans, declining fisheries,

pandemics, cyberattacks, food and water

security described by Amb. Stephen-

son represents challenges that are best

addressed by employing the specialized

expertise of not only USAID, but also the

Foreign Agricultural and Commercial

Services, as well as other U.S. govern-

ment departments and agencies.

That said, I heartily second Amb.

Stephenson’s exhortation that “we need

to be able to speak and write articulately

about what the Foreign Service actually

does and why that matters to the Ameri-

can people,” remembering all the while



implies many more than those

engaged in the work of diplomacy per se.

A more inclusive understanding of

what we


do and why it



on the part of our fellow citizens will

admittedly require greater and more

coordinated efforts, but the importance

of achieving this objective cannot be


Fred Kalhammer

SFSO USAID, retired

Sun City Center, Florida

The Importance of

Civ-Mil Relations

Having served much of my Foreign

Service career working on political-

military issues, including my most recent

tour as the civilian deputy

and foreign policy adviser

(POLAD) to the commander

of U.S. European Command,

I was pleased to see the Octo-

ber issue focus on “civ-mil”

relations. These



highlight the growing impor-

tance of State’s POLADs serving

with U.S. military organizations


I was especially impressed with Ted Strickler’s article, “Working with the Military: 10 Things the Foreign Service Needs to Know.” Ted does an excellent

job of summarizing key areas of the

“civ-mil” relationship that every FSO

should understand, whether or not he

or she works directly with our military


It is particularly relevant for FSOs

who work closely with the U.S. military,

and especially those serving in POLAD

positions. When I sent Ted’s article to the

military deputy commander of EUCOM,

he immediately forwarded it to his

senior officers so they, too, would better

understand the State-DoD relationship,

demonstrating the high value the U.S.

military places on the role of State offi-

cers serving alongside them.

In Number 6, Ted highlights the

tension between State and the Special

Operations Command. While past prac-

tices did hurt the relationship between

State and SOCOM, more recent com-

manders—in particular, Admiral William

McRaven (now retired) and his succes-

sor, General Joseph Votel—realized the

importance of building trust between

SOCOM and State.

Though the tension has not com-

pletely dissipated, there is currently a

strong commitment from SOCOM and

its regional COCOM elements to operate

with full transparency and only with the

approval of chiefs of mission.

I would add frommy personal experi-

ence that EUCOM Commander General

Philip Breedlove and all his senior offi-

cers highly value the active role played

by State officers in virtually every aspect

of EUCOM operations, and I have heard

other COCOM commanders echo similar


We have come a long way in strength-

ening mutual respect and trust between

State and U.S. military colleagues, and

our close cooperation during the opera-

tions in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped

to strengthen this relationship.

The multifaceted national security

challenges the United States faces—and

will continue to face—require the high-

est level of State-DoD cooperation and a

commitment to real partnership. The U.S.

military and State Department cultures

will remain unique, but understanding

and respecting those differences will

yield better policy. Successfully address-

ing these challenges will require a strong

corps of FSOs who have worked closely

with our military colleagues.

Patrick S. Moon

Ambassador, retired

Reston, Virginia