THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
half of them require joint involvement,
according to the report.
State calls such efforts “security assis-
tance” and DOD terms them “security
cooperation.” A cornerstone of U.S.
defense and foreign policy, such proj-
ects have been especially important in
the post-9/11 era. They aim to build the
security institutions of partner nations; in
turn, this promotes U.S. national security
interests by strengthening alliances and
preempting threats abroad.
Such activities can include exchange
visits, equipment sales and transfers,
joint exercises and training, to name a
few. Security cooperation is the pri-
mary mission of U.S. forces operating in
Afghanistan and Iraq as U.S. troops act
in an advise-and-assist capacity to better
enable Iraqi and Afghan security forces in
their ongoing conflicts against insurgents.
State and Defense interagency coop-
eration is essential. Of 143 projects at the
DOD, 87 of them require some level of
State Department involvement. Of State’s
52 projects, 30 require some level of DOD
Some high-profile efforts involving
collaboration between the two depart-
ments include “Assistance to Counter
the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,”
the “Afghanistan Security Forces Fund”
and “Assist in Accounting for Missing U.S.
Employee SurveyO n May 3, during an address to employees at the State Department
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson launched
a “listening tour,” asking members of the
Foreign Service and Civil Service for their
insights on how the agency could function
On the same day, employees at the
State Department and USAID, as well
as some contractors, employed fam-
ily members of State Department staff
and Locally Employed staff, received an
online survey aimed at identifying how
best to streamline the department, clarify
its mission and make it more efficient.
The Trump administration’s 2018
budget proposal calls for a 30-percent cut
to State’s budget, and Secretary Tillerson
has already indicated that some 2,300
jobs will be cut.
Open through May 12, the survey
asks Foreign Service and Civil Service
employees detailed questions about their
jobs, as well as open-ended questions
such as “What should the department
Among other things, the survey asks
employees to select six words to describe
the mission of the State Department,
which will then be used to create a
of State, by State
he Department of State is
working to help the U.S.
public understand the impor-
tance its work.
State’s Bureau of HumanResources has produced a video, showing the work A
can diplomats do overseas through the
eyes of 11 current employees. The video
follows members of the Foreign Service
stationed overseas fromKabul to Lon-
don, and shows how the work they do
contributes to America’s foreign policy
and protecting its interests.
The department is also focusing
attention on what the Foreign Service
does for U.S. citizens domestically. With
an investment of about one percent of
the federal budget, the State Departmentyields a large return. The Bureau for Public Affairs offers an interactive map
showing the impact the State Depart-
ment has in each state.
The website lists the ways the State
Department interacts with various
entities in each state on jobs and the
economy, partnerships with humanitar-
ian andmilitary organizations, education
(including the diplomats-in-residence
program) and travel and security.
By selecting a specific state, users
can see how the Department of State is
advancing U.S. national security, pro-
moting economic interests and provid-
ing services in that state. The interactive
map is a reminder that the Department
of State is not only advancing American
interests overseas, but is also providing
crucial services within the United States.
Such services include issuing U.S.
passports, facilitating international
adoptions and enabling collaborations
between U.S. universities and educa-
tion providers overseas, as well as
opening new export opportunities for
American businesses and bringing new
investment to the United States.