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somewhat as with apprenticeships

under a master in a medieval craft guild.

Perhaps the Foreign Service should

be considered as much a craft as a pro-

fession. Ray himself speaks of “the art

and craft of diplomacy.”

None of this is to say that the Foreign

Service is without difficulties, exacer-

bated no doubt by the politicization

which the July-August


so forthrightly

addresses and by other agencies’ intru-

sions into its domain.

But these difficulties should be

regarded as declines from its previous

standards rather than as evidence that

it is still on the way to professionalism.

Overcoming them requires looking

back to the Service’s own traditions, not

importing values from the outside.

The Rev. Theodore L. Lewis

FSO, retired

Germantown, Maryland

Out of the Shadows

Hats off to the


for bringing the

need for a professional Foreign Service

out of the shadows. For too long we

have ignored this issue, feeling smug in

having run and survived the gauntlet of

the highly selective FS examination and

selection process.

Ambassador Charles Ray’s article in the July-August issue points the wa


forward, but AFSA and its membership

need to continually advocate and press

for needed changes to transform the

Foreign Service into a true profession.

There will be little interest and no

support from the management of the

department in this effort. This is some-

thing we need to do ourselves, and AFSA

needs to lead the charge.

Ted Strickler

Senior FSO, retired

Kansas City, Missouri