The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2024 41 1976 FSO Alison Palmer refiles antidiscrimination lawsuit against State as a class action suit; AFSA does not join. AFSA and State reach agreement on regulations to implement grievance legislation passed in 1975. USIA rejects AFSA in favor of AFGE in a second representation election. 1979 Iranian revolutionaries seize U.S. Embassy Tehran, taking more than 60 members of the Foreign Service and armed services hostage. 1979-1980 Congressional action and administrative reorganization lead to the transfer of commercial functions and 129 overseas positions from State to the Department of Commerce. 1980 The Foreign Service Act of 1980, which AFSA was involved in shaping, replaces the Foreign Service Act of 1946. Interstellar Negotiation Given a potential threat resulting from the detection of extraterrestrials or the receipt of a signal from them, our realistic alternatives are to (1) maintain silence; or (2) respond with a planned attempt to identify the interests and concerns of the other side, communicate our interests as necessary, and outline areas of potential agreement and cooperation. In short, begin the process of interstellar negotiation. Interstellar negotiation would be the most difficult diplomacy Earthmen have ever attempted. —FSO Michael A.G. Michaud, December 1972 FSJ. China After 35 Years In mid-1944, while World War II was still raging, a group of Foreign Service officers was assigned to Yenan, the “capital” of the area in China then controlled by communists. … Our responsibilities included assessment of the contribution the Chinese communists were making to the war against Japan and some analysis of their political potential for the future. Long before Teng Hsiao-ping and his “four modernizations,” Mao … saw his country’s future as a progress toward industrialization and a place in the world of advanced nations. He told us he would look to the United States, not to the Soviet Union, for needed help to modernize China. Statements, slogans and wall posters in China in late 1978 and 1979 strike one who remembers 1944 as echoes of that past. —John K. Emmerson, FSO (ret.), March 1979 FSJ. April 1958 FSJ. Cover photo by Paul Child shows full-scale model of a rocket at the 1956 West Berlin industrial fair. 1979