The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

34 MAY 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL 1941 1942 1945 In Tokyo Due partially to inhibitions over message security, the State Department limited its communications with the Tokyo Embassy. During all of 1941 the problem of peace or war between Japan and the United States was ever uppermost in our minds. We in the Embassy were convinced that a Japanese-American war was unnecessary and that enough common points of national interest existed to make mutual accommodation possible. Yet as observers on the spot, we also watched close-up Japan’s progressive enmeshment in a New Order she could not successfully construct and in frustrations the depth of which the United States was not prepared to understand. On January 27 the Peruvian Ambassador, Ricardo Rivera Schreiber, whispered to an Embassy officer that he had picked up a rumor that Japan had planned a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor in case of “trouble” between Japan and the United States. This sounded fantastic to all of us, but [Ambassador Joseph] Grew took it seriously enough to telegraph to Washington. —FSO John K. Emmerson, April 1976 FSJ. Success of the North Africa Landing Though the chief credit for the success of our action in North Africa naturally belongs to the armed forces, American diplomacy may claim a substantial share in this brilliant operation. The political preparations which preceded the maneuver, both in our relations with the Vichy government and in the careful spadework performed by our consular staff in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, have been recognized everywhere as a complete vindication of the Department’s policy and a cause for justifiable pride in what has occurred. In the press, on the air, and in the street widespread tribute has been paid, where only a short time ago there was much unfounded and unreasoning criticism. —Editor’s Column, December 1942 AFSJ. From Pearl Harbor to Potsdam I have given earlier my impressions of Stalin, Churchill and Truman at the [Potsdam] conference. Stalin certainly overshadowed the other two in confidence, competence and cunning. He also completely dominated, indeed presumably, though not visibly, terrified, his own subordinates. While Churchill rambled on about history, justice and future generations, Stalin leaned back in his chair and watched the smoke of his cigarette curling lazily to the ceiling. He was never angry or impatient, as Truman and Bevin sometimes were. I recall the last night of the conference, almost midnight, the three great men tired but jovial, their work almost complete, in a few minutes tying up the loose ends, offhandedly confirming the fate of populations and principalities. —Charles W. Yost, FSO and ambassador (ret.), September 1980 FSJ. 1941 State Department suspends recruitment into the regular Foreign Service. Congress creates the Foreign Service Auxiliary, which outnumbers regular Foreign Service personnel by the end of the war. 1945 The Office of War Information (propaganda) and Office of Strategic Services (intelligence operations) are closed, and their functions and personnel transferred to the Department of State.