The Foreign Service Journal - November 2017

14 NOVEMBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL As you guys are looking at diplomatic outposts to consolidate or shut down, I think it’s important to remember we didn’t have a diplomatic post in Afghani- stan pre-9/11. So when we look around the world … [we should look] not in terms of the conflict today, but in terms of what could be a conflict tomorrow and the benefit of having a presence there, again for conflict mitigation, which we can’t quantify—how many conflicts we’ve stopped with State or USAID. But, again, I want to thank you and the people who work for you for your hard work for the American people. —Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on State Department Redesign, Sept. 26. I remain deeply concerned that the administration’s approach to reorganization of the State Department is a solution in search of a problem. It has the appearance of a pre-cooked and ideologically driven exercise. Both this Committee and the Appropriations Committee have expressed our concerns, and made it clear that the road to reorganization runs through Congress. I also want to flag a couple of issues where we have had concerns over the past fewmonths, including the way the department has handled the Rangel and Pickering Fellows; the suggestion that Consular Affairs and the Population, Refugee, and Migration Bureau be moved wholesale from the State Department to the Department of Homeland Security; and the apparent lack of urgency in filling critical positions like the assistant secretary for Diplomatic Security. I do this not to re-litigate concerns with you, but rather to suggest the real pressing need for proper management guidance at the department. When we see things like the depart- ment seeking to reduce its workforce through attrition —where critical func- tions and expertise are lost—it suggests an operation that either does not understand or does not care about using proper man- agement tools to steer that process. … My over-riding concern is that with- out proper management and leadership at the department, the United States is at risk of effectively leaving the stage as a global leader. The Department of State plays a vital role at the heart of our nation’s foreign policy by maintaining our global stature, ensuring the security of our citizens, enhancing our prosperity, and supporting our allies and partners around the globe who share the ideals and values that are at the heart of what makes America a unique and exceptional nation. I trust that you would agree that if the department does not function properly the United States’ role in the world, and our national security, is at risk. —Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on State Department Redesign, Sept. 26. We have a troubled world that we live in and at this time, we are the greatest superpower, the only super- power in the world. But superpower means more than having super military might, it means having super diplo- matic might also. —Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), at the Senate Commit- tee on Foreign Relations nominations hearing for Hon. Jon Huntsman Jr. to be U.S. ambassador to Russia, Sept. 19. JOSH Heard on the Hill seven years of collaborative posts have now been lost. The forum was created in 2009 by the State Department’s Office of eDiplomacy as a way for employees to exchange information and submit ideas directly to the Secretary of State. A State Department official told Government Executive that “the Sound- ing Board is in need of a technology upgrade. As part of the redesign process a new portal will be built. In the mean- time, the redesign portal and other existing engagement tools … will serve as platforms for employee engagement and idea generation.” However, the anonymous blogger- commentator who goes by the pseudo- nym Domani Spero echoed the con- cerns of many State Department employees: “You cannot say that the