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F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / M A R C H 2 0 1 2
College in Quantico, Va., and as an ad-
junct professor at George Mason Uni-
versity. As an FSO, I led a Provincial
Reconstruction Team in Iraq for 13
months, and as a member of a Joint
Defense/State inspection team I in-
spected eight PRTs in Afghanistan.
In each instance where Foreign
Service officers were deployed, I de-
tected conflicts between their assigned
roles and the roles they were forced to
play in the interagency setting. I found
this to be particularly true with PRTs
where the military, nongovernment or-
ganizations and contractors proscribed
the roles that FSOs could perform.
The issue of interagency coordina-
tion is a major discussion point in all of
the classes at NFATC, Quantico and
George Mason where cooperation be-
tween agencies is needed to accom-
plish an overall mission. Classroom
discussions focus on the various cul-
tures found inside government agen-
cies and how the agencies often work
at cross-purposes because of their cul-
tures and leadership. If the conflicts
are not rectified, it could lead to diffi-
cult and dangerous situations in the
Last May, I was an adviser to the
graduating class at the Marine Corps
University Command and Staff Col-
lege. The graduation exercise involved
the fictitious deployment of a Marine
force to assist a foreign nation in stabi-
lizing its internal governmental func-
tions and to recover from a natural
disaster. I was struck by the total lack of
understanding, on the part of the civil-
ian and military students, about the
roles FSOs and the State Department
should play in these types of situations.
As the U.S. role in the world
changes to meet current and future
emergencies and conflicts, the indis-
pensable role of the Foreign Service
must be better explained to the other
agencies. In addition, employees of
other governmental agencies must be
better educated about the roles and ca-
pabilities their own agencies offer in
these situations.
John M. Jones
Ambassador, retired
Alexandria, Va.
The FS Profile
As a former FSO currently working
with a private foundation at Fort Leav-
enworth, I found that George Lam-
brakis’ letter in the December issue,
“Organizational Personality and Man-
agement,” reflects many of my own ex-
periences in bridging the cultural gap
that often divides FSOs andmilitary of-
As a political adviser at U.S. Strate-
gic Command, I was amused by the
rigidity of rank that extended to by-
name, rank-based seating assignments
at staff meetings. Then, after retiring,
I spent several years working intera-
gency issues at Fort McNair in Wash-
ington, D.C. There I saw how the
military’s precise planning culture often
collided with the more relaxed ap-
proach practiced at many civilian agen-
Years earlier, while a student at the
National War College, I had attempted
to describe the differences in organiza-
tional personality between the Foreign
Service and the military in a paper I
wrote using the Myers-Briggs Type In-
dicator as the basis for my analysis.
Based on data furnished by the
State Department, I was able to de-
scribe an MBTI profile of the Foreign
Service that was different, not better,
than that of our military colleagues.
The Foreign Service Institute found
the paper worthwhile enough to use in
its classrooms for a number of years.
Recently, I sought the department’s
assistance in obtaining current MBTI
data to update the now 25-year-old
paper, but was rebuffed. I was told that
the State Department no longer main-
tains the basic data and that it would
not share them with me in any event.
I have long suspected that the
MBTI profile of the Foreign Service
has changed over the intervening years.
The fact that the department seems
disinterested in introspection and self-
analysis seems to prove the point.
Ted Strickler
FSO, retired
Simons Center for the
Study of Interagency
Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Beirut, 1983
Marvin Kalb was incorrect to assert
before an AFSA audience that Presi-
dent Ronald Reagan “did nothing”
after Islamic fanatics blew up the U.S.
Marine barracks in Beirut in October
1983 (January
, p. 58).
In fact, Reagan immediately au-
thorized a contingency plan to inter-
vene on the island of Grenada, where a
rival faction of the radical New Jewel
Movement had just staged a sanguinary
coup, seemingly thereby endangering
a number of American students. The
successful intervention took place on
Oct. 25, 1983, against token resistance
by some Grenadians, and more serious
opposition from armed Cuban work-
men engaged in construction of a
strategically useful airport.
The result was establishment of a
more representative government on
the island and the expulsion of the
Cubans, including a military contingent
inserted by Fidel Castro, who had cor-
rectly anticipated Reagan’s response.
In truth, Pres. Reagan didn’t want