The Foreign Service Journal, May 2018

20 MAY 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL ■ Draw on the talents of State’s professionals. They are as capable, determined and mission-driven as their colleagues at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense and other national security agencies. ■ Fill under secretary, assistant secretary and ambassador posi- tions on the basis of qualifications. Judgment, initiative, curiosity and experience count; amateurism has consequences. ■ Establish strategic priorities: sustain the budget, suspend the hiring freeze and hire to at least attrition until results are in. ■ Create investment funds for human capital training and development and a new information technology architecture; these are multiyear outlays that need dedicated long-term resources. ■ Staff and empower a change management team that will oversee and implement the back-office reforms now underway; devise solutions to structural and systemic rigidities, anomalies and misalignments; and communicate continuously with employ- ees and stakeholders. Viewing the Deconstruction In 1969 Dean Acheson published his seminal, Pulitzer prize- winning book, Present at the Creation . It covered the extraordinary time in the late 1940s when clear-eyed, hard-headed, tough- minded Americans reshaped the world, creating new organiza- tions and institutions to establish a stable system of international relations. Seared by the events of the 1930s and 1940s—world economic stagnation/depression, ethno-nationalist jingoism, fascism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, civil wars, foreign aggressions and a global conflagration in which America fought a two-front war—they were determined to found a new economic, political and security architecture. Through it, for the next 70 years the United States led the world in extending liberty, democracy, prosperity and justice; drew in allies and partners; and created conditions for peace and human dignity unparalleled in human history. Today it appears to many that the Trump administration is equally determined to deconstruct that system—as it looks