THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
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
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
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.
Senior FSO, retired
Kansas City, Missouri