THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Congratulations on making the entire
issues available online.
This will make a valuable asset easily
accessible for academicians and for any-
one interested in exploring the history of
our profession and our country.
I sincerely hope, however, that you
will not follow the example of
and replace the print edition
with an online one.
I used to read
every month, always wanting to know,
even in retirement, what my colleagues
were doing to advance our interests at
home and abroad. Alas, I have not read
a single issue since the magazine aban-
doned its print edition. The monthly
email link goes unopened.
The cold light of my computer is no
equal to my comfortable reading chair in
our sun room, where I hold each month’s
in my lap, leaning back, not forward,
turning the pages as I read in the soft
light coming through our windows.
Please stick with print. The
is a wonderful magazine. My wife and I
look forward to reading it every month.
Charles O. Cecil
Global Health Includes
I want to thank
The Foreign Service
for focusing theMay 2017 issue
on global health diplomacy. Having
previously worked at USAID, I read the
magazine diligently and was pleased to
see global health featured.
I wish, however, that the
noted that May is mental health month.
It was a missed opportunity to highlight
the fact that mental health issues asso-
ciated with famine, refugees, natural
disasters and communicable diseases
are often overlooked.
I hope the
will consider publish-
ing a follow-up article
on the need to include
mental health in our
discussions on global
Mental health truly
knows no boundaries.
Executive Director, Anxiety and
Depression Association of America
Silver Spring, Maryland
A Strong Image
The comments by Thomas Hutson in
his letter in the May
cover of the March issue, which focused
on diplomatic security, took me aback—
more than just a bit.The “On the Cover” explanation on page 6 of the March FSJ describes the
roles of the individuals in the photo,
raising questions for me about Mr.
Hutson’s characterization of the image
as demonstrating “the folly of our cas-
trated foreign policy mechanisms.”
The outskirts of Kabul constitute
dangerous territory. In the photo are
an armed contractor supporting the DS
contingent at post, a USAID specialist,
the USAID mission director for Afghani-
stan and the embassy’s deputy chief of
mission. The two women stepping off
the helicopter are not identified, but
might well be State officers accompany-
ing the group. An eighth person stands
behind the security contractor.
Mr. Hutson’s critical, gratuitous and
disrespectful comment on the “diplo-
mats” and “development specialists”
(his quotation marks) are beneath the
standards of the
, especially at
a time when AFSA is making the case
in defense of all members of the U.S.
foreign policy community,
especially FSOs from State,
USAID and associated organi-
To answer Mr. Hutson’s
question—“I wonder whether
this image [the cover photo]
bothers anyone else?”—I offer a
A multiagency mission includ-
ing six men (one with a loaded assault
rifle), three women and a third-country
helicopter and crew in a rugged landing
zone reinforces my pride in what we
are trying to accomplish in a very harsh
environment. This is a key reality of the
Foreign Service mission in 2017.
A more positive approach to the photo
might highlight the factors above to sup-
port the best in us as a nation seeking
to operate in areas where our presence
might be controversial, but where our
principles require the kind of commit-
ment that I would call exceptional.
No Place for Derision
I was shocked that the
publish the letter fromThomas Hutson,“The Wrong Image,” in its May issue.
Did the editorial team not consider his
mocking reference to female FSOs as
“fluttering female officers” or his implica-
tion that the lives of female officers in
Afghanistan are not worthy of protection?
With sadness I reflect on Anne
Smedinghoff, who sacrificed her life
engaging in the courageous work of
public diplomacy in Afghanistan. For-
eign Service women and men continue
to put their lives at risk in support of the
U.S. mission to Afghanistan, and their
efforts should not be disparaged.
I am consoled by the fact that Mr.