The Foreign Service Journal - October 2017

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2017 11 policy challenges and opportunities. In his keynote to the Atlantic Council event, Rep. Royce welcomed the Coun- cil’s professional guidance and made an impassioned pitch for a strong Foreign Service and State Department. “America needs an effective Depart- ment of State, we need an effective USAID to confront the national security threats and to promote our U.S. interests. We clearly need a strong military; but diplo- macy matters, too,” Rep. Royce stated. “It helps keep America strong,” he added. “It helps keep our troops out of combat. Simply put, defeating ISIS and other threats require a strong State Department and Foreign Service. That is what the generals say.” The report was prepared by a core group of 10 retired professional dip- lomats with many years of experience working for the State Department, led by Ambassadors Chester A. Crocker, David C. Miller andThomas Pickering. Setting the stage for a detailed discus- sion of the report, Amb. Miller explained the origins of the Council’s effort to evaluate and reform the civilian side of foreign and security policy management. Amb. Crocker reminded the audience of the State Department’s pivotal, leading The lessons-learned since September 11, 2001, include the reality that defense alone does not provide for American strength and resolve abroad. Battlefield technology and firepower cannot replace diplomacy and development. The administration’s apparent doctrine of retreat, which also includes distancing the United States from collective and multilateral dispute resolution frameworks, serves only to weaken America’s standing in the world. —From the Introduction to the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriation Bill, 2018, submitted by the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee. On Sept. 7 the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved this and other parts of the 2018 appropriations bill by a 31 to 0 (bipartisan) roll call vote, sending the measure to the floor of the Senate. Contemporary Quote role in the development and execution of U.S. foreign policy. “We cannot afford a weakened State Department. We can- not afford an underfunded, poorly-led, inadequately trained and bureaucratically muscle-bound State Department. We need to strengthen it, restore it and empower it to do better,” Crocker concluded. Focused in five areas—structure and process, personnel, budget, congressional relations and USAID—the recommen- dations are intended to serve as “a road map for recognizing and implementing reforms,” the report’s preface states. The main recommendations are to reduce the number of bureaus and offices reporting to the Secretary by consolidat- ing and eliminating functions; reduce the number of layers of clearance, review and approval to three and push decision-mak- ing downward to assure timely delivery of essential documents to key players; and carry out a “top-to-bottom” redesign of the intake, assignment and promotion processes. Also recommended is implementa- tion of mandatory mid- and senior-level training; restoration of the budget as a management tool and consideration of a cross-agency “National Security Bud- get”; rebuilding relations with Congress; and maintaining USAID as a standalone agency, reporting to the Secretary of State, with greater control over all U.S. foreign assistance efforts. This report is the second from the Scowcroft Center on this subject. The first, “A Foundational Proposal for Reforming the National Security Coun- cil,” published in June 2016, argued for a return of the NSC to its original mission and smaller size. To view the entire discussion, go to FS Applications Drop in June J une 2017 saw the lowest number of applicants taking the Foreign Service exam in nearly a decade, a drop of 26 percent from the same month a year ago, according to data obtained by Politico . This has triggered concern among some former officials about the long- term risks to U.S. diplomatic power. “The Foreign Service is like the military—if you don’t bring in lieuten- ants now, you don’t have the majors you need in 10 years and don’t have the colonels you need in 20,” said Ambassa- dor (ret.) Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy. Devika Ranjan, president of the stu- dent Academic Council of the George- town School of Foreign Service this past year, says many recent graduates who had been considering careers at the Department of State were choosing to focus their attention instead on think tanks, nonprofits or further education. Ranjan cited the proposed cutbacks at the State Department and a percep- tion that the new president is less inter- ested in diplomacy as the reason. The suspension of several fellowship programs has added to the uncertainty