The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2024 51 From the War on Terror to Strategic Competition Twenty years ago, jetliners crashing into New York City’s twin towers and the Pentagon shocked America out of its post– Cold War complacency, ushering in the global war on terror (GWOT) and a surge in international support for the United States. … This summer’s withdrawal of American and NATO forces from Afghanistan after 20 years is a controversial coda to two decades of GWOT-dominated foreign policy that fundamentally changed American diplomatic practice and arguably left a trail of collateral damage to America’s standing in the world and readiness for future challenges. —Larry Butler, a career ambassador, from “The Global War on Terror and Diplomatic Practice,” September 2021 FSJ. Perspectives on Ukraine Though the war remains far from over, the scale and complexity of the Ukraine reconstruction effort require stakeholders to plan now. ... The oft-quoted $750 billion price tag to rebuild Ukraine will dwarf the reconstruction budgets of the Marshall Plan, Iraq, and Afghanistan combined. —Michael L. Lally, in “Ukraine Reconstruction: Priorities, Institutions, and the Private Sector,” October 2022 FSJ. June 2021 FSJ. 2021 Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act incorporates long-sought AFSA goals, including: family leave, in-state college tuition for FS families overseas, and parity with military in financial protection during transfers. 2022 AFSA restarts inperson recruitment lunches for incoming FS personnel. AFSA win: Revised language in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) clarified Special Needs Education Allowance (SNEA) eligibility and the approval process and incorporated an appeal mechanism. 2024 AFSA’s overall membership remains steady at just over 16,600, more than 80 percent of active-duty members of the Foreign Service. 2023 DEIA: Foundations for Progress We need to face difficult truths by holding more uncomfortable conversations and dedicating sufficient resources both human and financial. … Most of all, we need to accelerate the consideration of diverse identities, backgrounds, and experiences as our workforce’s superpowers. —Marianne Scott, Senior Foreign Service retiree, from “Advancing Racial Equity and DEIA: Ten Truths of Implementation,” July-August 2023 FSJ. FS Reform: Outlook and Considerations Our Blueprints for a More Modern U.S. Diplomatic Service are detailed plans, drafted by retired ambassadors with decades of experience, ready to be implemented as specific reforms. Each one includes proposed legislative or regulatory language. —Ambassadors Marc Grossman and Marcie Ries, from “Toward a More Modern Foreign Service: Next Steps,” March 2023 FSJ. n 2023 As the CDC “dog ban” makes pet transport more difficult, AFSA is instrumental in pushing State to create a new pet transport allowance. AFSA advocates for FS victims of AHI, also known as Havana syndrome. September 2020 FSJ. October 2020 FSJ. 2022 Interior art by Ukrainian artist Maria Primachenko.