The Foreign Service Journal - June 2017
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JUNE 2017



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.

Government Personnel.”

—Dmitry Filipoff,

Publications Coordinator

Department of

State Launches

Employee Survey

O 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

stop doing?”

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

The Department

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 Human

Resources 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 Department

yields 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.

—Gemma Dvorak,

Associate Editor