THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
ability to distill his decades of work in Russia into a new doctrine
that guided the country through the Cold War. There are similarly
talented individuals in State today whose deep experience abroad
is matched by analytical capacity and who could be uniquely
qualified to help develop your new strategy.
Eyes and Ears on the Ground:
State Department reporting
provides the broader context to round out the more targeted
reporting you will get from the intelligence community and the
military. It is often the most complete and clearest reporting you
will receive on a situation. This reporting can especially provide
warning signs when things are about to go sideways. The Foreign
Service will need top-level cover to take the inherent risks to
Your Personal Representatives:
Ambassadors abroad are your
personal representatives, and their credibility becomes your cred-
ibility. You can enhance their effectiveness by choosing those with
a clear capacity for complex interagency leadership, appropriate
language and cross-cultural skills, and the ability to clearly convey
our values and positions to a foreign audience. These traits are
found across the career Foreign Service, and on limited occasions
outside of the Foreign Service.
Getting to Yes:
While there is a temptation to bring in the big
names for negotiations, don’t forget that Foreign Service officers
have conducted foreign negotiations for their entire careers. It is
second nature to them, and they are very good at it.
Experts for Niche Issues:
Today’s State Department is very
different fromwhat it was 30 years ago, with experts on health,
energy, arms control, oceans, biotech and a host of other issues. It
can deliver the expertise to manage the increasing complexity of
your global agenda.
Connecting with the Heartland:
Your diplomats know their
overseas beats well, but they also all come fromall over the United
States.They can help build grassroots U.S. support for your interna-
tional agenda through speaking tours and op-eds in local media.
We are here for you, Mr. President, and we are in this together.
We will often be the first ones to see the opportunities and help
you avert the risks as we re-hinge the world, and re-establish our
nation’s place in it.