The Foreign Service Journal - July/August 2014 - page 22

22
JULY-AUGUST 2014
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Despite the challenges, reporting from
the field—in whatever form it takes—
is still the indispensable ingredient of any
meaningful foreign policy discussion.
BY DAN LAWTON
FOCUS
EMBASSY REPORTING
THEARTOF
POLITICAL
REPORTING
Dan Lawton, deputy director of the Office of Southern European Affairs
in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, served as political
counselor in Athens from 2010 to 2013. Since joining the Foreign Service
in 1990, he has also served in Caracas, Copenhagen, Lima, Karachi and
Mexico City. The views expressed in this article are his personal opinions
and are not intended to represent U.S. government policy.
O
ur official diplomatic corre-
spondence has changed con-
siderably since the days of the
quill pen, and even since the
not as distant period of typed
dispatches. But as much as the
forms may change, the need for
insightful analysis from abroad
has not.
Foreign policy should be informed and guided by the
insights discerned by our diplomats posted overseas, who
inject local perspectives into policy debates and decision-
making—not made in a vacuum.
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