The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

14 MAY 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL administration to visit leaders of the Heritage Foundation, which has developed Project 2025 for the next Republican administration. The project aims to reshape the executive branch and, among other things, reinstate Schedule F, a controversial measure that would make certain civil servants in policymaking positions at-will employees and strip them of labor protections. Orbán also visited presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Havana Syndrome: Link to Russia? On March 31, 60 Minutes, The Insider, and Der Spiegel released a report and a 60 Minutes broadcast based on a five-year collaboration that has now seemingly uncovered evidence that the Russian government was likely behind the attacks that cause anomalous health incidents (AHI), also known as Havana syndrome. Evidence includes cell phone records, eyewitness testimony, and even a copy of an award given to a Russian military officer for his work on the “potential capabilities of non-lethal acoustic weapons during combat activities in urban settings.” C ouldn’t get enough of Arthur Brooks’ talk on happiness at the State Department on Feb. 23? You’re in luck: Mr. Brooks also made a recent appearance on the Prof G Show, where he talked about “the pillars of happiness” more generally. The popular Prof G Show is hosted by NYU professor, bestselling author, and entrepreneur Scott Galloway, who covers tech, business, and artificial intelligence in an engaging manner that has won him almost 200,000 YouTube subscribers. Past guests have included Admiral James Stavridis on the state of global affairs and journalist David Leonhardt on the state of the U.S. economy. Podcast of the Month: The Prof G Show (https://profgmedia/the-pod/) The appearance of a particular site or podcast is for information only and does not constitute an endorsement. The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) on April 1 released a detailed report on both AHI and previous incidents, including microwave bombardment on the U.S. embassy and ambassador’s residence in Moscow dating back to the 1950s. The State Department, the Pentagon, and the White House are all standing by their 2023 assessment that it is “very unlikely” the symptoms were caused by a foreign adversary. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence told 60 Minutes, in part: “Most IC agencies have concluded that it is very unlikely a foreign adversary is responsible for the reported AHIs.” But FPRI reminds readers that “the historical record is clear—at one time during the Cold War, something very similar was done against American facilities and diplomats overseas. The Soviets weaponized the use of microwaves against American officials, which led to debilitating illnesses, and some US officials hid this truth for decades.” The FPRI report also links to the JanuaryFebruary 2022 FSJ article “Before Havana Syndrome, There Was Moscow Signal.” Meanwhile, two medical studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published on March 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at more than 80 individuals who claim to have fallen victim to AHI, comparing their brains to those of healthy people. The studies found no clinical signs or brain image indications to explain their symptoms, though Dr. Leighton Chan, who led one of the NIH studies, said despite the lack of clinical findings, “these individuals have real symptoms and are going through a very tough time.” Chan added: “Individuals with functional neurological disorders of any cause have symptoms that are real, distressing, and very difficult to treat.” The new studies contradict a 2018 JAMA study that found signs of “possible acquired brain injury from a directional exposure of undetermined etiology” in U.S. government personnel who had served in Havana. In a March 18 JAMA editorial, Dr. David Relman, co-chair of a panel of experts convened by the intelligence community in 2020, details “multiple problems” with the new NIH studies, arguing that the way they were conducted was “simply asking for trouble.” AFSA continues to advocate for those affected by the mysterious illness and has urged the State Department to investigate the claims in the 60 Minutes broadcast. More Diplomats to Kyiv On March 8, Foreign Policy reported that “up to 30 to 40 additional staff” would be assigned to the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to help oversee military aid and other forms of assistance that have been flowing into Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022. Diplomats will also be allowed to travel freely throughout the region, from the cap-