THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
issue that causes DS to be undervalued and frequently unrec-
ognized within the broader interagency community for its work
to protect the integrity of the global visa security program. The
department’s response highlighted DS-specific initiatives within
the context of what DS is trying to achieve as a single bureau
negotiating and competing with large domestic agencies.
Unlike other bureaus, DS does not wield influential com-
mand of the department, especially pertaining to visa security
and law enforcement matters within the interagency commu-
nity. DS strategic initiatives in terms of visa and passport security
measures and law enforcement action have not been fully
adopted, understood or supported by the State Department.
The point of my dissent was to show that the department does
not empower or promote DS to achieve its Visa and Passport
Security Strategic Plan. In responding, the department sup-
ported my overall belief that it appreciates the contributions DS
makes to the U.S. government’s visa and passport security and
law enforcement programs, and will approve the expansion of
the ARSO-I program in support of these initiatives.
However, it seems that the State Department is still not ready
to use its influence to raise DS’s stature within the law enforce-
ment community. The idea of promoting DS to the interagency
community as the lead for overseas visa passport security is still
a bridge too far, and may result in overseas visa and passport
security initiatives being completely outsourced to a third-party
Perception and perspective are critical components to
consciously weigh when forming and distributing an opinion.
Everyone handles contradictory information differently, and
possesses an instinctive and often emotional bias that can
distort the way an author’s message is received. In addition, the
importance of “framing,” and the effect it has on how a message
is interpreted, cannot be overstated.
The idea of promoting DS to the
interagency community as the
lead for overseas visa passport
security is still a bridge too far.