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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

JUNE 2015

57

AFSA NEWS

adheres to the Fiscal Year

2016 post-sequester Budget

Control Act discretionary

spending cap.

According to the U.S.

Global Leadership Coalition,

the resolution, while bringing

the budget into balance in

FY2024, would also reduce

the overall international

affairs budget by 16 percent

and its base funding by 7

percent. (To see the FPC

letter, please visit www.bit.ly/ FPCletter.)

Meanwhile, the Senate

passed its budget resolution

(S.Con.Res. 11) on March

27, but not without a con-

siderable joint effort by

the Department of State’s

Bureau of Legislative Affairs

and the USGLC—of which

AFSA is a member—to defeat

a problematic amendment by

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Paul’s proposal, which

sought to increase defense

spending by $190 billion by

cutting foreign assistance

by 50 percent in addition

to reducing several other

domestic agency budgets,

surprised even Washington

insiders. Senators voting

in favor of the defeated

amendment included Mitch

McConnell (R-Ky.), Mike Enzi

(R-Wyo.) and David Vitter

(R-La.).

Now that both chambers

have approved their respec-

tive budget resolutions, they

are engaged in conference

committee negotiations

to reconcile the two ver-

sions. Once an agreement,

also known as a conference

report, is approved, each

chamber’s appropriations

committees will set the FY16

302(b) allocations for each

of the 12 subcommittee

appropriations bills, including

the State-Foreign Operations

Appropriations Bill.

AFSA Needs Your

Support

What we must do now is

provide SFRC members with

tangible support, particularly

Chairman Corker, who has

been an ally of the Foreign

Service even before taking

the reins of the committee.

AFSA has launched

several additional advocacy

initiatives aimed at educat-

ing members and staff about

our issues and reminding

them that you, your families

and your communities are

paying close attention to this

process.

We ask you to stay tuned

for our calls to action and

our regular AFSAnet updates

on the budget, authorization

and appropriations process.

AFSA reminds active-duty

Foreign Service employees

that it is illegal to lobby

Congress using official time

or government resources

including your .gov email

account. Please make sure

to read up on the

Hatch Act

(rules governing political

activity by federal employ-

ees) and the regulations in

the

Anti-Lobbying Act

before

acting.

n

—Javier Cuebas,

Director of Advocacy

COURTESYOFMICHAELHACKER

On April 9, DACOR hosted a Vietnam post reunion at Bacon

House. The reunion was open to all who had served in Viet-

nam at any time.

The crowd of more than 60 diplomatic veterans was a

mix of those who had been in Vietnam during the war years

and those who served after relations were restored. One

attendee had served there as early as 1952.

Following a welcome from DACOR member Bruce Kinsey,

Scott Kofmehl, the State Department’s Vietnam desk officer,

gave a brief update on current relations between the United

States and Vietnam. Much younger than most of the attend-

ees, he expressed awe to be in the company of so many

Vietnam hands, and recognized the historic role many of

them played at the time.

DACOR Executive Director Susan Cimburek called the

event a great success. “The strong bonds that united the

attendees were evident and there was a great sense of

camaraderie,” she said.

“We often think of Vietnam as such a defining point for

those who served there militarily,” Cimburek added. “The

reunion shows that those who served there diplomatically

had equally profound experiences.”

—Debra Blome, Associate Editor

DACORHostsVietnamHands

Rufus Phillips (left), Michael Hacker (center) and Anton “Tony” Cistaro

(right) were among those who attended DACOR’s Vietnam post

reunion. Phillips served in Vietnam from 1954 to 1968 in a number of

capacities: as a U.S. Army officer, CIA case officer, USAID official and

consultant to the Department of State (he wrote “Counterinsurgency in Vietnam: Lessons for Today” for the April 2015 FSJ ). USAID FSOs

Hacker and Cistaro met in the summer of 1967, when Cistaro recruited

Hacker to serve with CORDS (Civil Operations and Rural Development

Support) in Vietnam. The reunion at DACOR was the first time the men

had seen each other in 45 years.