The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2020 13 Lawmakers Form Diplomacy Caucus F our members of Congress—two Dem- ocrats and two Republicans—plan to announce the creation of a Diplomacy Caucus that will bring together House members interested in promoting legisla- tion to strengthen U.S. diplomatic institu- tions and showcase bipartisan support for diplomacy, Foreign Policy magazine reported on Dec. 3. The Trump administration has repeat- edly proposed slashing the budget for diplomacy and foreign aid over the past few years. “With America’s diplomacy and Ameri- can diplomats at the center of a lot of the Ukraine scandal [and] the public getting a sense of what these people do in terms 50 Years Ago Secretary of State Rogers Comes to AFSA S ecretary [of State William] Rogers spoke to the monthly AFSA luncheon on December 18, 1969. Most of the Secretary’s remarks were devoted to a review of the international situation. He referred to three developments which are having and will over the next few years continue to have a major effect on the international scene: the Sino-Soviet split, the war in Vietnam and the growing strength of Germany and Japan. These three developments, the Secretary noted, are interrelated. Soviet policies in Europe and Vietnam are affected by their problems with Communist China. The American presence throughout the world is affected by our involvement in Vietnam. All nations have to take into consideration the vitality and potential of Germany and Japan. The Secretary said that although we are reducing our presence abroad, we can’t become an isolationist nation. He said we will continue to pursue negotiations: as we have been doing on disarmament matters and SALT, on the Middle East, on Vietnam, and now with Communist China. Our aim in these negotiations is to reduce tensions. Secondly, he said we will be less strident, believing as we do that we don’t have to try to solve all the problems of the world and that our presence overseas has been too pervasive. Thirdly, the Secretary said we are encouraging our friends and allies to solve more of their problems without our assis- tance. We are encouraging the development of regional organizations. In particular, other nations will have to take care of their own insurgencies. We will assist in providing equip- ment and training, but not with our own troops when other major powers are not involved. —Excerpted from“Secretary of State Speaks to AFSA Members,” an AFSA News article in the February 1970 Foreign Service Journal . of serving the country, we thought this would be an optimal time to start a bipar- tisan group that could support Ameri- can foreign policy,” said Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), one of the founding members of the new caucus. “Since the beginning of our country’s history, thousands of Americans have put their lives on the line in the name of furthering our nation’s diplomatic mission and hundreds have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), another co-founder. “This caucus will provide a stronger voice for themwithin Congress and help to make the challenges they and their families face a little bit easier,” he said. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), a former ambassador, and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) are the other two co-founders. Foreign Policy reports that the new caucus is entertaining several possible projects to strengthen and modernize the State Department, including “initiatives to help recruit and retain top talent” and “legislation to better support the spouses and family of diplomats serving overseas.” “With the State Department under attack and in crisis, our diplomatic profes- sionals—both civil service and foreign ser- vice—need to know there is broad support for their mission on Capitol Hill as well as an appreciation for the sacrifices they make in order to keep our country strong and secure,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Foreign Policy . “I hope the Diplomacy Caucus will help reassure them of the support they have.”