THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Diplomats Need to Connect with
the American Public
ne of the reasons the position of the United States
in the world is now being challenged is that the role
of its military establishment has become unjustifiably
large in comparison with the other instrumentalities of a
successful foreign policy.
In its relationship with Congress, the Department of State has been
handicapped by the doctrine of separation of powers which denies an active
role to the legislature, thereby enabling it to sit back and criticize irrespon-
sibly. Many Senators and Representatives still have a tendency to speak
extemporaneously on certain key issues, an aspect of our national life which
will probably continue to be true since it is rooted in constitutional practice. …
A final word might be appropriate on what the U.S. diplomatic establish-
ment can do to improve its domestic image. Most importantly, the Depart-
ment of State, under the guidance of the White House, should exercise greater
initiative and competence in explaining to the American people the issues of
which it has the best understanding and is most capable of offering a convinc-
ing and effective presentation.
—James A. Ramsey, from his article, “The Strengths and Weaknesses of
American Foreign Policy,” in the October 1965
50 Years Ago
tor General found that the government
“cannot demonstrate that the program is
improving the U.S. economy and creating
jobs for U.S. citizens.”
Others argue that DHS is not qualified
to assess business plans and the finan-
cial backgrounds of investors and those
seeking funding, and point out that there
is very little regulation of the regional
centers handling the EB-5 cases.
—Shannon Mizzi, Editorial Intern
Hostage PolicyR eactions were mixed to President Barack Obama’s June 24 announce- ment of a change in how the govern- ment interprets its “no concessions to terrorists” policy, which dates back to
the 1970s when President Richard Nixon
refused to give in to the demands of the
terrorist organization Black September.
Nixon’s refusal to release Palestin-
ians in all foreign jails resulted in the
death of two senior U.S. diplomats and
three other hostages in Khartoum.
It also cemented the government’s
approach to dealing with terrorists and
dramatically limited what private citi-
zens could legally do in such cases.
Fear is a bad adviser.
—German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at
the University of Bern, Sept. 3, in response
to an individual who expressed fear that
refugees would bring more Islamist terror