The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

44 MAY 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL 1991 1994 Embassy Moscow: On the Front Lines of History One of the many unfounded myths about the collapse of the Soviet Union is that the American government was taken by surprise. Not so! Embassy Moscow advised Washington 18 months before the Russian tricolor was raised over the Kremlin that contingency plans should be laid for that eventuality. And in the year and a half that followed that report—the July 1990 embassy cable, “Looking into the Abyss: The Possible Collapse of the Soviet Union and What We Should Be Doing About It”—the embassy carefully reported the stages of unraveling. —Jack F. Matlock Jr., FSO ambassador (ret.), December 2011 FSJ. 1992 AFSA wins election challenging AFGE’s representation of the Foreign Service in USIA. 1995 AFSA joins AFGE in a State-USAID-USIA rally protesting a government shutdown and furlough of employees. George H.W. Bush Reflects on 1991 I didn’t want us simply to react to Mikhail Gorbachev and his latest ideas, but rather I wanted something bold and innovative that would reaffirm the United States as the key player shaping the international agenda. … We face many difficult and even deadly challenges in our world today, but when I see the patriotism, courage and ability that our Foreign Service men and women demonstrate on a daily basis—well, let’s just say my optimism in our future is undiminished. —From an interview, “Charting a Path Through Global Change,” December 2011 FSJ. The U.S. Family Overseas U.S. embassy populations are more diverse than 20 years ago, with more single parents, tandem couples, male spouses and dependent parents. In response, additional programs ... have been developed. ... To mention just a few, the Overseas Briefing Center’s “SOS: Security Overseas Seminar” addresses the unique contingency planning needs of single parents; a composite report on child care at overseas posts is prepared each August; and the Employee Consultation Service has a staff social worker to help families with eldercare concerns. —From “A Chat with FLO” in the focus on families, September 1994 FSJ. 1994 AFSA wins uncontested representation elections in the Foreign Agricultural Service and the Foreign Commercial Service. 1997 Department of State employs about 7,000 Foreign Service members, down from 8,000 in 1992. Specialists account for more than half of decline. May 1991 FSJ.