Page 25 - FSJ - 070812

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J U LY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
responsibilities are most welcome.
However, the increase in language
training positions in no way obvi-
ates the need for increased posi-
tions to deal with other require-
ments for long-term professional
education and training.
Taking a Fresh Approach
In addition, the Department
of State needs an educational vi-
sion for staff development that
goes beyond short-term training
and language instruction. Realizing the vision may take
years, but that is what vision is for.
We will be attempting to come to grips with some dif-
ficult issues in the new study. One is whether State and
USAID can expect to recapture significant staff from an-
ticipated changes in the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan
over the next several years. The shifting of resources be-
tween the base international af-
fairs budget (known as the 150
Account) and the OCO budget
complicates analysis but, as
noted earlier, there may not be
many positions to “recapture”
for other needs.
The biggest challenge ahead
for State and USAID is coping
with the additional funding cuts
that are certainly coming. Even
after making a strong case for
diplomacy’s role as part of na-
tional security, the Foreign Service cannot expect to be
exempted from the sacrifices every part of the federal gov-
ernment will be called on to make.
The question is what will be cut. State must launch a
major educational effort with the administration, Con-
gress and the American people to ensure that such cuts
are taken primarily in programs rather than staff. Pro-
Programs can be
rebuilt relatively rapidly,
but institutional and
personnel structures take
decades to rebuild if they
are not properly maintained.