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16
F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 2
Building on the QDDR
Obviously, few of these proposed
reforms can be implemented rapidly,
even if there were the requisite polit-
ical and congressional interest and
approval. (Exporting COM authority
into the crisis management area
might require legislative action.)
However, they do constitute a spec-
trum of possible reform, with each
point on the spectrum worthwhile on
its own account and opening the way to
further reform in the future. (For a
fuller discussion, see “Expanding Chief
of Mission Authority to Produce Unity
of Effort,” by Edward Marks and
Christopher Lamb, Institute for Na-
tional Strategic Studies).
If the QDDR is to avoid the usual
fate of blue-ribbon organizational re-
views — filed away for the interest of
historians — then some movement is
required. As the report notes: “Ulti-
mately, however, the reforms and rec-
ommendations presented in the
QDDR are only as good as their im-
plementation.”
Edward Marks spent 40 years in the
U.S. Foreign Service, including an as-
signment as ambassador to Guinea-
Bissau and Cape Verde. After retiring
from the Service in 1995, Ambassador
Marks did consulting work with the
United Nations, private companies and
the Department of Defense, and con-
tinues as a senior mentor at various
military institutions. He is a retiree
representative on the AFSA Governing
Board, a member of the
American
Diplomacy
board and a Distinguished
Senior Fellow at George Mason Uni-
versity.
S
P E A K I N G
O
U T
Few of these proposed
reforms can be
implemented rapidly.
However, they do
constitute a spectrum
of possible reform.