The Foreign Service Journal, April 2020

10 APRIL 2020 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL An Inspiring Look at the U.S. The front section of the January-February Foreign Service Journal does a good job in reviewing the chal- lenges of recent months in the President’s Views, letters from readers and in excerpts from online post- ings, and I plan to keep this issue for its apt record of the important current events affecting our Service. But it was Alexis Ludwig’s “Outside Observers See the United States in Ways We Ourselves Cannot” that I found especially profound and uplifting. I recommend it to all who on occasion doubt the grandeur and endurance of the United States’ spirit. With close to 20 years in the Foreign Service now, I found Ludwig’s piece not only historically and intellectually well researched and written (as are many FSJ articles), but also simply—at the risk of sounding trite—good for my Foreign Service soul. Kristin M. Kane Deputy chief of mission U.S. Embassy Lisbon Thank You for Your Service Thank you to all members of the Foreign Service for your service to our country. I write this to pay tribute to what I believe is one of the greatest institutions in the world—the State Department—and to give thanks to all those who serve in this important institution and in the other U.S. foreign affairs agencies. I have spent half of my career in the State Department, most recently as a director and senior adviser within FSI’s Leadership and Management School, and I have worked hand-in-hand with many of you over these years. LETTERS Every day across the globe, you work on the front lines to prevent wars frombreaking out, protect American citizens, promote economic prosperity, defend democracy and prevent human rights abuses and atrocities. These are noble causes. Thank you all for your efforts to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Thank you for engaging in continuous dialogue with our allies and with our adversaries day in and day out, year after year and decade after decade. Your work to promote and demon- strate democratic values and advance a free, peaceful and prosperous world is largely unseen tomost Americans, yet you continue to serve with little praise or recognition. You serve in challenging environments, often risking your own lives in war zones, in regions where there are dangerous pub- lic health epidemics and where the rule of law is oftentimes very little rule at all. There are countless unsung heroes among you who devote time, energy and internal fortitude toward serving our country and promoting the security of Americans in large and small ways. Many of you spend years separated from family, often missing your children’s special milestones, such as graduations, performances and more. Sacrifice is required on a continuous basis to carry out the work that is required to help pro- tect America and our values. Even where the circumstances sometimes appear hopeless and where authoritarian regimes have been in power for many decades, you press on with the work at hand and challenge those seem- ingly overwhelming obstacles. You chal- lenge powerful dictators and entrenched authoritarian regimes, often in face-to- face encounters and on their home turfs. You press on. You are American diplomats and pub- lic servants who have brought American ideals and values to the rest of the world for decades—showcasing America as a powerful ideal and a counterweight to the allure of centralized authoritarian rule that has captured much of the world’s population for decades. You work in an organization that is not without its faults, and you face many of the same challenges that come with any large institution. You have no choice but to operate under conditions that are often constrained by regulations and layers of internal safeguards that have been put into place to help ensure the integrity of the organization and provide accountabil- ity to the American people. But you overcome these and other hurdles, and strive on a daily basis to deliver excellence in service to our great country and to all Americans. Thank you for doing all this andmore. Joseph Domask DoMar Learning & Leadership founder Potomac, Maryland Your Special Collection on McCarthyism and the China Hands I learned about your addition of a new special collection on McCarthyism from a recent AFSA Daily Media Digest. I applaud the timeliness of this initiative, and would respectfully suggest several additions for the sake of completeness. From the July-August 2008 FSJ , the following should also be on that list: the letter from Ambassador Robert Service, “Getting History Wrong”; the letter fromDana Deree, “Smearing the China