Page 9 - Foreign Service Journal - May 2013

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MAY 2013
long lines and have just minutes to make
the critical decision of whether to issue or
deny a visa. Tey need all their senses to
judge applicants and their veracity.
Similarly, the installation of bul-
letproof glass turned consular ofcers
into almost literally faceless bureaucrats
when dealing with their fellow citizens.
My own recent visit to a consular section
with those abominable windows was a
cold, impersonal encounter. Surely that is
hardly the image we would like to project
to our citizens.
Security is extremely important, of
course, but it must not be the only factor
considered. We go abroad to accomplish
a mission, and we must carry it out even
if it entails some unavoidable risk.
Robert W. Maule
Senior FSO, retired
Poulsbo, Wash
Thanks for the Insights
Susan Johnson’s February President’s
Views column, “Institutional Restructur-
ing and Reform: A Strategic Perspective,”
was terrifc and insightful, delivering a
message that needs to be heard. I hope
that our “strategic” thinkers read it and
work toward appropriate change.
While I am at it, I also appreciate
the February Talking Points item,
“Learning from Benghazi.” Tank you
for your service to us.
Tim Bashor
Zabul Province, Qalat Provincial
Reconstruction Team
Beware of Private Clubs
For nearly 20 years, I was a proud
member of Diplomats and Consular
Ofcers, Retired, a private club of our
profession. Ten on June 21, 2012, my
membership was terminated by the
unanimous vote of the DACOR Executive
In seeking to rectify the situation, I
sought a hearing, at the very least, to
ascertain the reason for such adverse
action. Alas, even that request was
denied, leaving me without even a shred
of my civil rights.
As I approach the frst anniversary of
my expulsion, I want to caution other col-
leagues about the perils of private clubs.
Once you are a member, forget about due
process, not to mention your civil rights.
I am ashamed and shamed beyond grief.
Tomas R. Hutson
FSO, retired
Red Cloud, Neb
Is Outsourcing Bad?
I was disappointed in the article
on outsourcing in your February 2013
issue (“Te Hidden Costs of Outsourc-
ing Diplomacy and Development,” by
Allison Stanger). Ms.
Stanger makes a lot of
assumptions without
providing any expla-
nations or justifca-
tions for them.
First, she states
that both State and
USAID have expanded
the use of outsourcing
as a response to “a decade of opera-
tions in post-confict environments.” But
when comparing 2000 and 2010 contract
levels, she does not distinguish between
outsourcing activities in normal versus
confict environments. So it is impossible
to know whether the increases refect
“surge” responses to the conficts or a
broader trend.
Per the table provided, USAID
increased its contracts from $535.8
million to $5.6 billion over that period.
But how much of the increase related to