The Foreign Service Journal - March 2017
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MARCH 2017


have to set priorities and make difficult trade-offs in determining

where and how our diplomats should engage.

For example, if you look at a map of our diplomatic posts,

Western and Central Europe are peppered with dozens upon

dozens of embassies, consulates general and consulates. These

are important nations, vital relationships. Many of these nations

are strong allies with centuries of diplomatic and cultural ties to

our nation. But the questions we face include: Do we continue

to engage with our closest friends at the expense of scaling back

our engagement with more distant, less stable nations? Or do

we cut back our presence among close friends to increase our

engagement in more difficult places? Our long-term partners are,

of course, the ones who traditionally stand with us as we engage

together in the world’s most difficult places. There are no easy


It is human nature to get caught up in the crisis du jour. But

at the strategic level, it is essential that we give our people the

resources, preparation and backing to handle the crises of tomor-

row and the years ahead.

Even as we resolve today’s emergencies, new problems are

emerging. And the factors I’ve outlined above almost guarantee

that we will face even more dangers to diplomacy in the years

ahead. This is not because we as a nation are failing or could do

better, but just the opposite. As we work in more and more high-

threat, high-risk locations, not only are we active participants in

global affairs, but we remain, and hope to remain, indispensable.

Because in the global community, global security means Ameri-

can security.


DS is the most widely

represented U.S. law

enforcement and security

organization overseas.