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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
adherents of a faith. Our Constitution
forbids the establishment of any state
church, and so we ignore religion in the
workplace. Some of the predominantly
Muslim countries may in time become
secular states — or they may not.
We can continue to focus on the
Middle East as an area and Arabic as a
language, and we needmore specialists
in both. But I would like to see the Na-
tional Foreign Affairs Training Center
create a course in Islamic studies that
every officer would be required to take
—even Latin Americanists like myself.
(The population at my last Western
Hemisphere Affairs Bureau post was 9-
percent Muslim, and my wife and I
were the guests of honor at a Muslim
Security Threats
The major security threat to the
United States, and specifically to our
embassies and diplomats abroad, is ter-
rorism that is not state-sponsored, and
I think that will remain true as far as I
can see into the future. (No, I do not
think China is going to attack its best
customer and largest debtor, although
there are certainly some challenging
times ahead as it becomes a democracy
and our major economic competitor.)
Although last summer’s slaughter in
Norway proved that Muslim-haters can
also be terrorists, for the time being
most terrorist threats are related to the
U.S. military presence inMuslim coun-
tries, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
and to the number and influence of ex-
treme fundamentalists in Islam.
All of these factors may diminish
over time. The first certainly will; the
others I make no predictions about.
But in the meantime, we will have to
deal with terrorism, and not just as a se-
curity threat.
If that reality undermines our ability