The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2021

10 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL LETTERS Mike Mansfield and Mongolia After 27 years of fits and starts, in Janu- ary 1987 the United States established diplomatic relations withMongolia, then one of the most isolated countries in the world. This accomplishment was the culmination of efforts by multiple Foreign Service officers over many years, repeat- edly frustrated by Soviet and Chinese efforts to prevent recognition, each for their own reasons. Did you work with Ambassador Mike Mansfield in contacting the govern- ment of Mongolia in the 1980s? If so, we would love to hear from you; we want to ensure this piece of diplomatic history is not forgotten. We have written an article that will be published in the upcoming book Socialist and Post-Socialist Mongolia: Nation, Identity, and Culture (due out in March 2021). Our article frames the establishment of diplomatic relations alongside the beginning of Mongolia’s transition from the world’s second-oldest communist country to the first attempt to create a democracy and free market economy in Central Asia. In researching the article, we found that there is an overlooked aspect of the road to recognition—the role of Ambas- sador Mansfield in Tokyo. His activities are not reflected in declassified files from that period, and the memories of those we have spoken to suggest that other senior U.S. officials may have been involved in 1985 to 1986, and possibly earlier. If you were one of the those who worked with Amb. Mansfield in this effort in Washington, Tokyo or elsewhere, or if you know of someone who was, we would love to hear from you. You could help shed light on a the Calacoto neighborhood of La Paz. The trip fromEl Alto was all downhill, andmy Chevy moved along just fine. The problem came when I arrived at the house, which was on level ground. The six-cyl- inder engine, coupled with an automatic transmission, was insufficiently powerful for the car to surmount the tiny ramp lead- ing over the curb and ontomy driveway. After several attempts, by putting the car in low-low gear and flooring the accel- erator, I succeeded in getting it onto the carport, just barely. An embassy-recommended local mechanic removed enough emission- control equipment from the car’s engine to add a modicum of horsepower, sufficient for me to drive around town the rest of my tour—mostly in second gear. T.J. Morgan FSO, retired Asheville, North Carolina History Repeats Itself When I read the October Reflection— “Nixon inMoscow, March 1967” by retired SFSO Jonathan Rickert—I had to pinch myself to see if I hadn’t dozed off. The reason: In the spring of 1965 I was vice consul in Helsinki. The embassy received a message fromWashington that former Vice President Richard Nixon would be arriving soon with a delegation from Newfoundland, Canada. “Please extend courtesies, etc.” Ambassador Tyler Thompson was not what you would call a big Nixon fan. He appointed his lowest-ranking FSO (me) as control officer, instructing me to keep an eye on them. But as this was a Canadian show, I was not to extend any invita- tions to visit the embassy. footnote to U.S. diplomatic history that looms large in the history of a country that became the first Asian communist country to build a democracy. Please contact us by email at lake.joe. Joseph E. Lake Ambassador, retired Portland, Oregon and Michael Allen Lake Alexandria, Virginia Car Tales in Bolivia On reading the November Reflection ( “The Fastest Car in All Bolivia, ” by George Herrmann), it occurred to me that the Plurinational State of Bolivia would be thrilled to learn that they have a “port on the Pacific Coast,” some- thing successive Boliv- ian governments have sought ever since they lost their coastline to Chile during the late-1800s War of the Pacific. Though Bolivia is one of just two landlocked South American countries, the other being Paraguay, it has negotiated access to and use of ports in Chile and Peru at various times over the years. When I served in La Paz from 1980 to 1982, our personal vehicles were shipped to post by air. Some weeks after arriving, I picked up my 1980 Chevy at La Paz’s airport in El Alto. A crew from the embassy’s general services section dismantled the large wooden crate in which my car had been shipped, and supplied a little gas and a jump-start to enable me to drive it to my house in PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION OCTOBER 2020 McCARTHYISM REVISITED MAKING INCLUSION REAL