The Foreign Service Journal

October 2014

The Foreign Service Journal covers foreign affairs from an insider's perspective, providing thought-provoking articles on international issues, the practice of diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. Including the AFSA News section, The Journal is published monthly (January-February and July-August issues combined) by the American Foreign Service Association.

The October Foreign Service Journal focuses on our Foreign Service Specialists, who today make up almost half of the Foreign Service at the Department of State. Foreign Service Specialists are responsible for all the work of the Foreign Service outside the work of a traditional diplomat, from diplomatic security agents and IT experts to librarians and medical officers. Their ever-expanding duties have rarely been more important to the success of American foreign policy abroad. We examine specialists through three separate articles - an overview, a compilation of views from the field, and what specialists want you to know.

Also in this issue, in Learning from Women’s Successes in Afghanistan, Sandya Das draws on women’s experiences in Afghanistan to discuss how sensitivity and technical skills are needed in insecure environments. Christopher Teal’s Flying Monkeys in the Embassy reflects humorously on the infiltration of Embassy Colombo’s fortified walls by a mischievous monkey. Diplomatic Security agent Tony Hornik-Tran reflects on his experience as a refugee and a diplomat and in this month’s FS Know-How column looks at the thorny issue of child custody in Foreign Service divorces.

USAID Vice President Sharon Wayne, in her bi-monthly column, wonders about the human cost of longer tours in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder. Elsewhere, AFSA President Bob Silverman shares two secrets of the Foreign Service.

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