The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2016

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2016 9 LETTERS Who We Are In her President’s Views column in the November Journal , “Opening the Conversation,” Ambassador Barbara Stephenson sets forth a well-reasoned vision for our country’s Foreign Service given the ever more rapidly changing context in which it operates. She asks for readers’ “thoughts, using action verbs” on how the work of the Foreign Service can be better explained. The verb I find myself compelled to offer, with all due respect, is remember . Let us remember that the work of the Foreign Service is not just about diplomacy, as important as that is, but rather diplomacy and devel- opment , as usually linked in the same breath by former Secretary of State (and pos- sible future president) Hill- ary Clinton in her public utterances and speeches on foreign affairs. Let us also remember that the “New Threat Set” of climate change, immigra- tion, rising oceans, declining fisheries, pandemics, cyberattacks, food and water security described by Amb. Stephen- son represents challenges that are best addressed by employing the specialized expertise of not only USAID, but also the Foreign Agricultural and Commercial Services, as well as other U.S. govern- ment departments and agencies. That said, I heartily second Amb. Stephenson’s exhortation that “we need to be able to speak and write articulately about what the Foreign Service actually does and why that matters to the Ameri- can people,” remembering all the while that “we” implies many more than those engaged in the work of diplomacy per se. A more inclusive understanding of what we all do and why it all matters on the part of our fellow citizens will admittedly require greater and more coordinated efforts, but the importance of achieving this objective cannot be overestimated. Fred Kalhammer SFSO USAID, retired Sun City Center, Florida The Importance of Civ-Mil Relations Having served much of my Foreign Service career working on political- military issues, including my most recent tour as the civilian deputy and foreign policy adviser (POLAD) to the commander of U.S. European Command, I was pleased to see the Octo- ber issue focus on “civ-mil” relations. These FSJ articles highlight the growing impor- tance of State’s POLADs serving with U.S. military organizations worldwide. I was especially impressed with Ted Strickler’s article, “Working with the Military: 10 Things the Foreign Service Needs to Know.” Ted does an excellent job of summarizing key areas of the “civ-mil” relationship that every FSO should understand, whether or not he or she works directly with our military colleagues. It is particularly relevant for FSOs who work closely with the U.S. military, and especially those serving in POLAD positions. When I sent Ted’s article to the military deputy commander of EUCOM, he immediately forwarded it to his senior officers so they, too, would better understand the State-DoD relationship, demonstrating the high value the U.S. military places on the role of State offi- cers serving alongside them. In Number 6, Ted highlights the tension between State and the Special Operations Command. While past prac- tices did hurt the relationship between State and SOCOM, more recent com- manders—in particular, Admiral William McRaven (now retired) and his succes- sor, General Joseph Votel—realized the importance of building trust between SOCOM and State. Though the tension has not com- pletely dissipated, there is currently a strong commitment from SOCOM and its regional COCOM elements to operate with full transparency and only with the approval of chiefs of mission. I would add frommy personal experi- ence that EUCOM Commander General Philip Breedlove and all his senior offi- cers highly value the active role played by State officers in virtually every aspect of EUCOM operations, and I have heard other COCOM commanders echo similar sentiments. We have come a long way in strength- ening mutual respect and trust between State and U.S. military colleagues, and our close cooperation during the opera- tions in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped to strengthen this relationship. The multifaceted national security challenges the United States faces—and will continue to face—require the high- est level of State-DoD cooperation and a commitment to real partnership. The U.S. military and State Department cultures will remain unique, but understanding and respecting those differences will yield better policy. Successfully address- ing these challenges will require a strong corps of FSOs who have worked closely with our military colleagues. Patrick S. Moon Ambassador, retired Reston, Virginia