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December 2014

Volume 91, No. 12




Call for Nominations: 2015-2017 AFSA Governing Board / 41 Proposed BylawAmendment to Rightsize AFSAGoverning Board / 42 State VPVoice: Mental Health and the Foreign Service / 44 USAIDVPVoice: Promotions, ‘Promo-gate’ and Progress on Transparency / 45 Retiree VPVoice: It’s That Gift-Giving Time of Year / 46 AFSA on the Hill: Advocacy Builds Relationships / 47 Reflecting on Good Stewardship / 48 Pres. Silverman Addresses Local Groups / 49 AFSAActs to Protect Integrity of FSAssignments System / 50 Why Ethics Matter / 55


President’s Views / 7 The Departed BY ROBERT J . S I LVERMAN Letter from the Editor / 8 Engagement BY SHAWN DORMAN Speaking Out / 17 Twitter Is a Cocktail Party, Not a Press Conference (or, Social Media for Reporting Oœcers) BY WREN ELHAI Reflections / 101 Unpacking Memories BY DOUGLAS E . MORR I S


Letters / 10 Talking Points / 12 Books / 90 Local Lens / 102


Classifieds / 94 Real Estate / 97 Index to Advertisers / 100

On the cover:

Some of the 6,000 spectators who filled the newly built Afghanistan Football

Federation stadium to watch the home side defeat Pakistan 3-0 on Aug. 20, 2013. Less than

a month later, the national team defeated India to capture the 2013 South Asia Football

Federation Championship. The success of the soccer team has been one of the bright spots

and a point of pride and national unity for the country. Credit: Casey Garret Johnson. More of

his photos are at


Will History Repeat Itself? / 20 Afghanistan is at another turning point. Though the challenges are great, the nation cannot a¢ord to cycle back into civil war. BY EDMUND MCWI L L I AMS Five Things We Can Still Get Right / 26 E¢ective U.S. leadership is more important than ever in Afghanistan. What policies should we adopt to help as Afghans take the reins of their own country? BY DAV I D SEDNEY What U.S. Policymakers Should Know About Afghanistan Today / 33 Afghanistan’s emergence as a modern nation will involve negotiating a cultural transition that integrates enduring traditions with viable change. BY SCOTT SM I TH


American College Rankings: How They Work and What They Mean / 56 This in-depth look at U.S. college rankings o¢ers a fresh perspective on the high school student’s college search and a wealth of resources to help find the “right” school. BY FRANCESCA KE L LY Have You Considered Boarding School? / 80 The boarding school option has much to o¢er Foreign Service kids. BY LAWRENCE J ENSEN Schools at a Glance / 74, 76, 78