The Foreign Service Journal - December 2013 - page 8

8
DECEMBER 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
tation of the law into
line with that of U.S.
Citizenship and Immi-
gration Services.
From now on,
parents applying for
a passport for their
children must furnish
proof that they are,
in fact, “residing in”
the United States. The
guidance also explicitly prohibits posts
from recommending to parents that they
“apply for an immigrant visa for the child
solely for the purpose of the child enter-
ing, but not residing in, the United States
and then simply return to post to apply
for a U.S. passport for the child pursuant
to [the Immigration and Naturalization
Act Section] 320.”
The process of publishing the article
reminded us that
The Foreign Service
Journal
is perhaps the most effective
venue for expressing constructive dissent
and connecting with colleagues all over
the world on key issues that affect us all. I
encourage everyone to continue to read it
and contribute to it.
James Rider
FSO
Embassy Tel Aviv
Shane Myers
FSO
Washington, D.C.
More than a Photo Op
I know Spike Stephenson, respect his
work in Iraq and agree with most of
the mark when he describes the mission
of the group that was attacked in Zabul,
Afghanistan, this past April as “essentially
a photo op.”
LETTERS
Dissent Leads to
Change
Thanks to the
FSJ
for publish-
ue
honoring the AFSA dissent and
performance award recipients.
Not only did we receive
encouraging e-mails from col-
leagues all over the world dealing
with the same issue, but the article’s pub-
lication undoubtedly helped us achieve
our main goal.
Not long after the issue came out,
State sent a cable (13 State 140282) to
all posts offering clear guidance on how
to implement the Child Citizenship Act,
bringing the State Department interpre-
Yes, this visit to Zabul was part of a
larger public affairs initiative involving
outreach associated with the distribu-
tion of high-quality Pashto- and Dari-
language books across Afghanistan. And
yes, it involved local Afghan journalists
and included a press conference aimed at
a national audience.
But the schedule that day also entailed
meetings with teachers and students, as
well as lunch with a provincial governor
who, over the past several years, has
demonstrated a strong commitment to
education in a part of the country that
previously had almost no schools.
As Stephenson points out, we “cannot
lock ourselves in bunkers.” In some cir-
cumstances, Foreign Service officers take
on difficult assignments that inevitably
place them in harm’s way. But rightly
or wrongly, our country made a policy
decision to deploy embassy staff for
direct engagement with local communi-
ties on a face-to-face basis, including in
remote parts of Afghanistan. Those of us
who volunteered to carry out that policy
undertook such trips many times over
the course of a year.
As Stephenson surely knows from his
own experience in Iraq, it is not unusual
to include “photo ops” as part of any out-
reach effort—but this does not necessar-
ily mean that they are the only, or even
most important, part.
Jonathan Addleton
USAID FSO
Embassy Almaty
n
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