The Foreign Service Journal - April 2014 - page 16

16
APRIL 2014
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
29 even though its score fell more than
three points from last year, from 81.5
to 78.2 percent. And among agency
subcomponents, job satisfaction at the
Foreign Agricultural Service rose from
45.7 to 48.3 percent.
As a whole, just 57.8 percent of
federal government employees said they
were satisfied with their jobs. Reflecting
a three-point drop since the year before,
that is the lowest level since PPS began
reporting the rankings in 2003.
The survey indicates that workers’
perceptions of their leaders are key
to their job satisfaction, as shown by
significant drops in satisfaction with
agency management. Other factors
leading to the overall decline in rank-
ings include the federal pay freeze,
constraints on opportunities for
advancement and fewer rewards for
good performance.
Max Stier, president and chief execu-
tive of the Partnership for Public Service,
uncertainty, furloughs and poor com-
munication from management. “In an
environment where you’re calling for
more from your employees, leadership
has to do a better job of sharing infor-
mation, recognizing good work and
empowering the workforce to succeed in
a challenging environment.”
Steven Alan Honley,
Contributing Editor
Killing Several Birds
with One Leak
U
krainian President Viktor Yanu-
kovych’s Nov. 21 decision to
abandon a proposed free trade agree-
ment with the European Union, under
heavy pressure from Russian President
Vladimir Putin, immediately sparked
mass protests and civil unrest in much
of the country that led to his ouster in
late February.
European and American officials,
led respectively by High Representative
Catherine Ashton and Victoria Nuland,
assistant secretary of State for European
and Eurasian affairs, joined forces at the
negotiating table in an attempt to end
the conflict, but have made no headway
as we go to press in mid-March, just
after the Russian annexation of Crimea.
One problem is that Europe and the
U.S. do not see eye to eye on the best
way forward in Kyiv. That disagreement
became public in early February, when
a recording of a private conversation
between Assistant Secretary Nuland and
Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to
Ukraine, went viral on YouTube.
In
Nuland
notes approvingly that United Nations
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is about
to appoint a former Dutch ambassador
to Ukraine, Robert Serry, as his personal
representative in Kyiv. She then adds,
“F--- the E.U.,” in reference to its less
than helpful role in the peacemaking
process.
Presciently, Amb. Pyatt replies:
“We’ve got to do something to make it
stick together, because you can be pretty
sure that if it does start to gain altitude,
the Russians will be working behind the
scenes to try to torpedo it.”
to her
European colleagues for the comment
and reiterated her personal commit-
ment to working closely with them.
(Sportingly, she even described the leak
as “pretty impressive tradecraft. [The]
audio quality was very good.”)
State Department spokeswoman
Jen Psaki was less diplomatic, however,
denouncing the leak as “a new low
in Russian tradecraft.” White House
spokesman Jay Carney went further,
alleging that because the video had been
“tweeted out by the Russian govern-
ment, it says something about Russia’s
role.”
Though Moscow was careful to
disavow any role in the leak, the episode
promoted several of its foreign policy
objectives. It publicly embarrassed
Nuland, already a bête noire of the Rus-
sian president long before December,
when she went to Independence Square
in Kyiv to support the demonstrators.
And it also made it harder for the West
to maintain a united front against Yanu-
kovych.
Der Spiegel
notes that the leak stirred
up simmering German anger over
Edward Snowden’s disclosure last year
that the United States has been eaves-
dropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel.
That, in turn, strengthened opponents of
closer Euro-American ties.
—Bret Matera, Editorial Intern
n
There are moments in the course of meetings over a year where
you may be able to laugh at something, and there are moments
where you disagree and disagree very strongly.
We work professionally, both of us, to represent our countries,
represent our points of view and try to get the work of diplomacy
done.
—Secretary of State John Kerry, discussing his relationship
with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on March 6.
Contemporary Quote
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