The Foreign Service Journal, October 2023


THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2023 5 October 2023 Volume 100, No. 8 29 Our Foreign Service Adoption Journey By Clayton Bond 33 Cultural Identity Formation in Third Culture Kids By Lia Miller Cover Story 22 Crisis at the Russian White House, 1993 On the 30th anniversary of what Russians call the “October Coup,” a veteran FSO offers an inside view of the fateful standoff between the president and the legislature in Moscow. By Louis D. Sell Feature 48 Doggedly Pet transport is a daunting task. This semifictional account does not stray far from its absurdly exasperating reality. By Jean A. Monfort FS Heritage 52 U.S. Consul Thayer's Beethoven The best biography of the great Ludwig van Beethoven was written by a U.S. diplomat in the late 19th century. Here is the story. By Luciano Mangiafico 37 Resources for Raising Foreign Service Kids By John K. Naland 40 How One FS Kid Created a Human Rights Organization By Aidan Gorman 43 Third Culture Kids: The Enduring Effects of Formative Years in Cairo By Mary Mariko Muro, Jill P. Strachan, and John R. Whitman Focus on FS Families at Home

6 OCTOBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL 77 Reflections It Took Me 30 Years, but I Finally Put Down Roots By Louisa Rogers 78 Local Lens Vilnius, Lithuania By Susan Jorgensen On the Cover—Illustration by Davide Bonazzi. Marketplace 72 Real Estate 75 Classifieds 76 Index to Advertisers 7 President’s Views The Broken Nominations Process By Tom Yazdgerdi 9 Letter from the Editor FS Families ... at Home By Shawn Dorman 20 Speaking Out Go Ahead, Ask About My Accent By Nikolina Kulidzan Perspectives Departments 10 Letters 13 Talking Points 68 Books AFSA NEWS THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION 56 AFSA Hosts MED Town Halls on Mental Health Care 56 Announcing the 2023 AFSA Award Recipients 57 S tate VP Voice—Building a Culture of Belonging 58 U SAID VP Voice—A Case for Unions 59 FAS VP Voice—Small but Mighty, Not More with Less 60 FCS VP Voice—A Season of Newness 61 Retiree VP Voice—Safeguard Your Finances 61 2024 Directory of Retired Members: Update Your Information! 61 Another Clean Audit for AFSA 62 FSJ Wins Awards 62 AFSA Welcomes New Recruits 63 FSJ Editorial Board Welcomes New Members, Chair 64 Believe in Their Future: Support FS Youth 65 AFSA Celebrates Foreign Service Youth 65 AFSA Governing Board Meeting, August 16, 2023 66 AFSA Selects High School Essay Contest Winner 66

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2023 7 The Broken Nominations Process BY TOM YAZDGERDI Tom Yazdgerdi is the president of the American Foreign Service Association. PRESIDENT’S VIEWS Much has been written about the unwieldy process the U.S. has for nominating, confirming, and attesting not only ambassadorial positions but Senior Foreign Service (SFS) promotions and tenure lists, as well. And it is widely acknowledged that the dysfunction in the nomination and confirmation process has a big impact on morale for everyone in the Service, results in a loss of high-level talent, and, in leaving ambassadorships vacant for long periods, poses a risk to U.S. national security. Peculiar among major industrialized democracies, the U.S. selects many appointees from outside the career Foreign Service. AFSA’s Ambassador Tracker reveals that the percentage of political appointees averages 30 to 40 percent, with a low of 26 percent under President Jimmy Carter to a high of 44 percent under President Donald Trump. Under President Joe Biden, we are at 40 percent. While that won’t change anytime soon, it doesn’t mean nothing can be done to improve the process. First, AFSA is working to ensure that the parts of the process that the State Department controls move ahead expeditiously—namely, vetting nominees and getting the full package to the Secretary and then to the White House. Currently, that can take up two months. We appreciate the work that the Bureau of Global Talent Management’s Presidential Appointments Staff (GTM/PAS) does on vetting, including coordinating with other foreign affairs agencies to process their nominees. Those nominated have a responsibility, too, to provide all required information in a timely manner. Once tenure boards, SFS promotion panels, and the D Committee (for chief of mission positions) make their selections, there should be no delay. Yet today, when these lists reach the White House, it can take another two to three months for the names to be officially nominated and sent to the Senate for confirmation. Setting time limits at the department stage might make sense. AFSA has discussed with GTM/PAS ways in which we can work together to accelerate the process and is pleased they have established contacts with the White House. AFSA is also seeking contacts at the White House to push the lists along. Of course, the biggest delays usually take place at the Senate. Sometimes individual senators hold up confirmations for reasons having nothing to do with the nominees. Some insist on doing their own vetting. Sometimes entire promotion lists languish because of an alleged issue with just one or two names, even though in nearly every instance the issues were fully addressed by the department. After confirmation, these lists are sent back to the White House for attestation, which can take another month or two. In all, it is an extended grueling process for ambassadorial nominees, but those recommended for promotion and tenure suffer as well. The time between being notified of your promotion into or within the Senior Foreign Service and being nominated, confirmed, and attested has grown longer and longer. It is now not uncommon to wait nearly a year to actually get promoted. That happened to me. Everyone agrees that the system is broken—and the continuing sharp partisan divide in our country makes it worse. But this much is clear: Those at the highest levels of the State Department need to involve themselves even more to get nominees and promotees across the finish line. If we don’t succeed in making needed changes, we will continue to lose talent. We hear stories about highly qualified career candidates for ambassador who do not even want to start the process, given how long it takes, including the very real potential of having to be renominated and start all over again because of partisan gridlock. Most important, this puts our national security at risk. Countries feel slighted when there is no U.S. ambassador in their capitals—sometimes for years on end. AFSA will continue to advocate for a more efficient and fairer process at all points along the way. If you have a story that illustrates these problems or have any comments, please contact me at or We want to hear from you. n

8 OCTOBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY INITIATIVE SFI-01268 Certified Sourcing Editor in Chief, Director of Publications Shawn Dorman: Senior Editor Susan Brady Maitra: Managing Editor Kathryn Owens: Associate Editor Julia Wohlers: Publications Coordinator Hannah Harari: Business Development Manager— Advertising and Circulation Molly Long: Art Director Caryn Suko Smith Editorial Board Vivian Walker, Chair David Bargueño Hon. Robert M. Beecroft Lynette Behnke Jane Carpenter-Rock Gaïna Dávila Steven Hendrix Harry Kopp Aileen Nandi Dan Spokojny Hon. Laurence Wohlers THE MAGAZINE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS PROFESSIONALS The Foreign Service Journal (ISSN 0146-3543), 2101 E Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20037-2990 is published monthly, with combined January-February and July-August issues, by the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), a private, nonprofit organization. Material appearing herein represents the opinions of the writers and does not necessarily represent the views of the Journal, the Editorial Board, or AFSA. Writer queries and submissions are invited, preferably by email. The Journal is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos, or illustrations. Advertising inquiries are invited. All advertising is subject to the publisher’s approval. AFSA reserves the right to reject advertising that is not in keeping with its standards and objectives. The appearance of advertisements herein does not imply endorsement of goods or services offered. Opinions expressed in advertisements are the views of the advertisers and do not necessarily represent AFSA views or policy. Journal subscription: AFSA member–$20, included in annual dues; student–$30; others–$50; Single issue–$4.50. For foreign surface mail, add $18 per year; foreign airmail, $36 per year. Periodical postage paid at Washington, D.C., and at additional mailing offices. Indexed by the Public Affairs Information Services (PAIS). Email: Phone: (202) 338-4045 Fax: (202) 338-8244 Web: Address Changes: © American Foreign Service Association, 2023 PRINTED IN THE USA Postmaster: Send address changes to AFSA, Attn: Address Change 2101 E Street NW Washington DC 20037-2990 AFSA Headquarters: (202) 338-4045; Fax (202) 338-6820 State Department AFSA Office: (202) 647-8160; Fax (202) 647-0265 USAID AFSA Office: (202) 712-1941; Fax (202) 216-3710 FCS AFSA Office: (202) 482-9088; Fax (202) 482-9087 GOVERNING BOARD President Tom Yazdgerdi: Secretary Sue Saarnio: Treasurer Hon. John O’Keefe: State Vice President Hui Jun Tina Wong: USAID Vice President Randy Chester: FCS Vice President Joshua Burke: FAS Vice President Lisa Ahramjian: Retiree Vice President John K. Naland: Full-Time State Representative Gregory Floyd: State Representatives Lynette Behnke: Kimberly Harrington: David Josar: C. Logan Wheeler: Whitney Wiedeman: USAID Representative Christopher Saenger: FCS Alternate Representative Jay Carreiro: FAS Alternate Representative Zeke Spears: USAGM Representative Steve Herman: APHIS Representative Joe Ragole: Retiree Representatives Mary Daly: Edward Stafford: STAFF Executive Director Ásgeir Sigfússon: Executive Assistant to the President Maria Benincasa: Office Coordinator Therese Thomas: PROFESSIONAL POLICY ISSUES AND ADVOCACY Director of Professional Policy Issues Julie Nutter: Director of Advocacy Kim Greenplate: Policy Analyst Sean O’Gorman: FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION Director of Finance Femi Oshobukola: Director, HR and Operations Cory Nishi: Controller Kalpna Srimal: Member Accounts Specialist Ana Lopez: IT and Infrastructure Coordinator Aleksandar “Pav” Pavlovich: COMMUNICATIONS Director of Communications Ásgeir Sigfússon: Manager of Outreach and Internal Communications Allan Saunders: Online Communications Manager Jeff Lau: Awards and Scholarships Manager Theo Horn: Communication and Educational Outreach Coordinator Erin Oliver: MEMBERSHIP AND OUTREACH Director, Programs and Member Engagement Christine Miele: Manager, Outreach and Strategic Communications Nadja Ruzica: Membership Operations Coordinator Mouna Koubaa: Coordinator of Member Recruitment and Benefits Perri Green: Counselor for Retirees Dolores Brown: Member Events Coordinator Hannah Chapman: LABOR MANAGEMENT General Counsel Sharon Papp: Deputy General Counsel Raeka Safai: Senior Staff Attorneys Zlatana Badrich: Neera Parikh: Labor Management Counselor Colleen Fallon-Lenaghan: Senior Labor Management Adviser James Yorke: Labor Management Coordinator Patrick Bradley: Senior Grievance Counselor Heather Townsend: USAID Labor Management Adviser Sue Bremner: Grievance Counselors Erin Kate Brady: Benjamin Phillips: FOREIGN SERVICE CONTACTS

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2023 9 Shawn Dorman is the editor of The Foreign Service Journal. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to the second half of our two-month focus on Foreign Service families. Last month, we looked at FS family issues related to work. This month, we put the spotlight on the kids and the home (abroad) front. FS kids, also known as third culture kids (TCKs), have a global childhood and get to—have to—transition from country to country as their parents serve in embassies, consulates, and USAID missions worldwide. Former FSO Clayton Bond kicks off the Focus with his story of becoming an adoptive parent, including lessons learned, in “Our Foreign Service Adoption Journey.” FSO Lia Miller explores “Cultural Identity Formation in Third Culture Kids,” offering ideas and resources to help families embrace their global lives while holding on to their American identities. FS parent and AFSA Retiree VP John Naland lays out “Resources for Raising Foreign Service Kids.” FS college student Aidan Gorman tells us how he came to establish and run a pro-bono human rights research group staffed by students around the world. Finally, a group of retiree TCKs who all attended grammar school together in Egypt tell us how they reconnected decades after that formative experience in “TCKs: Enduring Effects of Formative Years in Cairo.” In the cover story, “Crisis at the Russian White House, 1993,” veteran diplomat Louis Sell brings us a riveting personal account of the constitutional crisis and “October Coup” in Moscow 30 years ago this month. In the Speaking Out, FSO and president of the employee organization Americans by Choice, Nikolina Kulidzan, writes on how she found her way to a satisfactory reaction when asked where she’s from in “Go Ahead, Ask About My Accent.” This month’s Feature, “Doggedly” by Office Management Specialist Jean A. Monfort, is a (somewhat) fictional account of arranging pet travel that captures the sometimes-surreal nature of this daunting task. In FS Heritage, retired diplomat and frequent contributor Luciano Mangiafico tells the tale of “U.S. Consul Thayer’s Beethoven.” The Local Lens from FS family member Susan Jorgensen is a striking image from Vilnius, illustrating solidarity with Ukraine. In his President’s Views column, “The Broken Nominations Process,” Tom Yazdgerdi spells out problems with the nomination, confirmation, and attestation process, and he makes the case for all parties involved to do their part to improve it. I sign off here with a pitch to Foreign Service AFSA members to participate in the FSJ’s Centennial Writing Competition. The topic: Looking ahead to the next century, describe the ideal Foreign Service—as an institution and a profession. Cash prizes for the top three essays. Submit your 800- to 1,000-word essay to by Dec. 15. Be well, and be in touch. n FS Families … at Home BY SHAWN DORMAN

10 OCTOBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL LETTERS The DETO Landscape: An Optimistic Caution As Amelia Shaw noted in “Making Overseas Telework Better” (September 2023 FSJ), Executive Order 14100 (“Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors”), signed by the president in June, includes a small section on the domestic employee teleworking overseas (DETO) program. Specifically, the executive order directs the Secretaries of State and Defense to enter into a memorandum of understanding to pave the way for more military spouses to secure DETOs. It also provides that executive branch agencies develop common standards for DETOs, improve the DETO application system, and establish timeframes for application processing and approvals. This is just the latest development in the DETO program in recent years. The Foreign Service Families Act of 2021 provided some clarity about who might qualify for a DETO and directed the Secretary of State to strengthen the program for Foreign Service family members. And the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provided that Civil Service employees who are approved for DETOs retain their locality pay (or at least receive overseas comparability pay, or OCP) while accompanying their FS spouses overseas. These are generally commendable initiatives to improve the program for dual-service families. Gaps remain, however, and Foreign Service families should be mindful that some of the updates may make it more difficult to secure a coveted DETO position. For instance, the NDAA’s pay parity provision makes it that much harder on agencies from a fiscal perspective to support DETOs, especially for jobs that require classified access and where ICASS costs are high. Approving one DETO (even if just to show support for the program) might be a drop in the bucket, but the numbers compound quickly, and proposed budget cuts will only make the issue of financing DETOs even more treacherous. As for the executive order, its DETOrelated provisions are vague and openended about how—or whether—to consider Foreign Service and other nonmilitary spouses in the standards and guidelines to be developed. It does not specify a lead or even a coordinating agency for a major effort that supposedly will span the entire executive branch; it only provides that “common standards for DETO policies” shall be developed. (That responsibility could fall on any of the following: the Office of Personnel Management in light of its responsibility for governmentwide personnel policy; the State Department because of its role in determining and protecting the status of family members overseas under the agreements it negotiates with host countries; or the Defense Department, since the executive order focuses on a matter it ties to military personnel and readiness.) Beyond that, it appears that each agency is to establish its own application system and approval timeframes, taking into account unspecified “factors unique to military families.” It also does not specify criteria for approving a DETO application: Is it implied that DETO approval is becoming an entitlement, rather than an investment in workforce retention? If so, for whom, and under what circumstances? We don’t know, but it is not hard to imagine a scenario in which nominally robust DETO policies end up lacking sufficient funding to carry out, potentially even disincentivizing agencies from hiring military or Foreign Service spouses in the first place. The core problem with this vague directive—which carries the weight and authority of law in the executive branch— is that measuring agency compliance is nearly impossible. But there is also a practical matter that is reasonably concerning to Foreign Service families—namely, that the context of the ordered improvements to the DETO program is an exclusive concern with military families. Certainly, military spouses merit just as much consideration and opportunity to participate in the DETO program as Foreign Service and other nonmilitary spouses, and there are certain factors unique to military families, especially enlisted families, that ought to be accounted for in this next round of DETO policy amendments and improvements. The concern, however, lies in who gets a seat at the table in developing these executive-branch-wide policies, and whether new policies will be adopted with only military families in mind, or will families of nonmilitary public servants be considered and included. Unfortunately, neither the text nor context of the order itself offers any incentive for the inclusion of Foreign Service and other nonmilitary families, and that presents a serious risk that those policies might inadvertently disadvantage them. The State Department and other foreign affairs agencies should pay close attention as this process unfolds, and advocate strongly for consideration and

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2023 11 inclusion of their families in whatever policies and regulations come out of this executive order. Adam Pearlman FS family member, attorney Lexpat Global Services, LLC Lisbon, Portugal The Reappointment Process Sonnet Frisbie’s “Boomerang Diplomats? Another Look at Reappointment” (Speaking Out in the July-August 2023 FSJ) raises very important issues that need to be addressed. I am a Foreign Service officer (currently on leave without pay) whose spouse is going through the reappointment process. The lack of communication about basic procedures has been consistent and demoralizing. My career development officer has not been able to identify a point of contact for the process (other than the collective email, to which messages go unanswered); and a query to DG Direct has produced no results. I am unable to take any steps toward my next assignment with this complete lack of information. I strongly support continued advocacy from AFSA on this matter. Nina Murray FSO Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom Dissent in Dublin In a letter in the July-August 2023 FSJ (“Good Friday Agreement at 25”), Larry Butler tosses a barb at the “righteously wrong” Dublin dissenters who opposed issuing a visa for Gerry Adams in 1994. For Ambassador Butler, granting the visa was an important contribution to the Good Friday agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland. As the author of the July 1996 FSJ article, “Dissent in Dublin,” which “celebrated” the dissenters and stirred Butler’s dig, let me recall once again my admiration for the FSOs who remained constant with U.S. policy toward Sinn Féin and dared take a lonely stand against a powerful ambassador and her most influential Irish American family. The fact that, in retrospect, granting the visa may (or may not) have been an important factor in the ultimate Belfast settlement ought not to diminish the courage of the Dublin embassy dissenters. Richard Gilbert USIA FSO, retired Rhinebeck, New York Keeping Our Pensions Thank you for Tom Yazdgerdi’s AFSA News column in the June 2023 FSJ, “Your Pension Should Be Your Pension, Period.” I am facing mandatory retirement in a couple of years, so this is a very timely topic for me. I have been contemplating the kind of job I could do to make the money needed to make up for the Social Security gap, since State’s mandatory retirement age is 65, but Social Security’s full retirement age (FRA) is 67. Years ago I suggested to a State management official that State should change its mandatory retirement age to automatically match Social Security’s FRA. He cautioned that opening up the Foreign Service Act, which this would require, when you had a generally hostile Congress could lead to many negative consequences. Working as a rehired annuitant (REA, formerly called WAE, while actually employed) is an attractive option, but the limit on hours because of a possible impact on the pension is inhibiting. So I thought: What about working for another federal agency that doesn’t have that mandatory retirement age? I have very relevant skills and abilities, and I know a ton of acronyms! I learned that if I take a direct-hire job at a federal agency, my entire pension is put on hold—that is, I don’t get it at all during the time of that employment. What? That is nonsensical and a disincentive for retired State Department federal employees to bring their years of experience to other agencies. As Mr. Yazdgerdi pointed out, the Defense Department (DoD) does not have those limits on their pensions, which explains why so many of my State colleagues were retired military with great skills and experience ... and received their DoD pension on top of their State salary. It’s not just unfair. It’s bad for business by freezing out a pool of skilled workers. I appreciate and strongly support AFSA’s efforts to remove the hour and salary caps in working after retirement. Otherwise, I will have to look for something that’s outside government but more rewarding than being a Walmart greeter. Curt Whittaker FSO Embassy Lima

12 OCTOBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL The Case for Entry-Level Rotations As a former head of training assignments in what was then the Bureau of Personnel (now Global Talent Management), I can only applaud the continuing effort to establish a State Department training complement. And prodded by Beatrice Camp’s March 2023 FSJ article, “Learning the Ropes Through Rotations,” I can also vouch for the benefits of rotational assignments for new officers. I benefited enormously from a year’s rotation in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) as a member of the U.S. Information Agency’s very first junior officer program in 1954-1955, which qualified me to Share your thoughts about this month’s issue. Submit letters to the editor: The experience greatly facilitated learning what other officers do, and I subsequently specialized in political affairs and eventually served as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at other posts. George Lambrakis Senior FSO Paris, France n open two new one-man field posts in Laos in 1955-1956. Interestingly, my first assignments after I switched from USIA to State in 1957 taught me political and economic writing in what was then called intelligence-research on Africa, which by chance was broadened when I accompanied the first chargé d’affaires to open our embassy in Conakry and took on all the administrative work as well as my assigned consular duties.

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2023 13 TALKING POINTS Filling the Front Office in Niger The new U.S. ambassador to Niger, Kathleen FitzGibbon, arrived in Niamey on Aug 19. A career Foreign Service officer with extensive experience in West Africa, FitzGibbon was confirmed by the Senate on July 27—one day after the coup that ousted Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum. Her nomination had been held up by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for a full year as part of an unrelated political battle. The State Department said on Aug. 19 that there are no plans for FitzGibbon to present her credentials to coup leaders. “Her arrival does not reflect any change in our policy position, but responds to the need for senior leadership of our mission at a challenging time,” the statement read. “Her diplomatic focus will be to advocate for a diplomatic solution that preserves constitutional order in Niger and for the immediate release of President Bazoum.” When a military junta toppled Niger’s U.S.-backed leader on July 26, there was no American chief of mission in the country; the embassy had been run by a chargé d’affaires since December 2021. The Biden administration did not nominate an ambassador to the post until 18 months into its tenure and still has not named a new envoy to Africa’s Sahel region. That position was created during the Trump administration and has been vacant for nearly two years, NBC reported. In an effort to revitalize relations with the region, the White House released its strategy toward sub-Saharan Africa in August 2022—the first U.S. administration to release one. Secretary of State Antony Blinken then visited Niger on March 16 of this year, a “first” by a U.S. Secretary of State. Niger was the sixth country in the Sahel—which reaches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea—to experience a coup since 2020. The region is also grappling with the rise of jihadist insurgencies. Afghanistan, Two Years Later On Aug. 15, the Taliban celebrated the second anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan, congratulating the country on “this great victory” in a statement. In an interview that day with the Associated Press, the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said restrictions on girls and women—including the ban on girls attending school beyond sixth grade and working for assistance organizations, including the United Nations—will remain in place. He also said that there is no fixed term for Taliban rule, which “will serve for as long as it can.” Despite assurances of general amnesty from the Taliban, in the two years of their rule, hundreds of soldiers, police, and other officials from the former U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan have been subjected to extrajudicial executions, torture, disappearances, and arbitrary arrests, according to a United Nations investigation. For Afghans who worked with the U.S. but remain trapped in Afghanistan, the slow pace of Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) processing is practically a death sentence. No One Left Behind, an advocacy organization for Afghan SIV recipients, reports that it has documented hundreds of SIV applicants who were killed by the Taliban while awaiting their visas. In June, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introduced the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2023 (S.1786), and a companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. This legislation would authorize an additional 20,000 SIVs for the Afghan program and extend it by five years, replacing the current system of year-to-year authorizations. It would also require a strategy for more efficient visa processing in an effort to reduce the backlog of applications. In July, Sen. Shaheen added similar language to the State Department’s appropriation bill, adding 20,000 more visas and extending the program through 2029. But that bill remains in limbo. Even those who didn’t work with the U.S. face immense hardship; aid agencies and human rights groups warn of the humanitarian crisis gripping the Afghan population. The EU has … draft legislation on artificial intelligence. In the U.S., basically we’re flailing. Part of that is [due to] lobbying from Silicon Valley, and part of it is because we are much more fiercely committed to free speech. And the U.S. Congress doesn’t seem to ‘get’ technology. I don’t think that we’re going to do anything as organized as the Europeans have. They’ve got a lot of experience already, and Americans are going to be watching [EU tech regulators] very, very closely. —Carla Anne Robbins, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, in an Aug. 24 episode of “The World Next Week” podcast. Contemporary Quote (Continued on page 16)

“First, we will remember. Then we will talk about resilience,” said Molly Phee, assistant secretary of State for African affairs, offering the first words from the podium at a somber event at the State Department on Aug. 7. Inside the National Museum of American Diplomacy, participants had filled in rows of seats marked “Dar es Salaam, Tanzania” on one side, and “Nairobi, Kenya” on the other. Between them was a narrow aisle, but since this day 25 years ago, the two groups have been bonded by their shared loss and trauma. In near-simultaneous truck bomb explosions carried out by al-Qaida in Tanzania and Kenya on Aug. 7, 1998, the U.S. embassy communities in those countries were shattered. More than 250 people were killed (56 of them U.S. government employees, contractors, and family members; 12 of them were Americans), and more than 5,000 were wounded. Next to speak was Ambassador (ret.) Prudence Bushnell, chief of mission in Nairobi at the time of the attack. She described the victims as “loved ones of many here … who were trying to make a positive difference when they were cut down.” She recounted how, in the months leading up to the bombing, she had repeatedly asked State Department leadership to relocate the embassy due to security concerns. She was told to stop. “I would never have been able to face the people I face today, to have seen the pain, sorrow, and righteous anger of the families, survivors, victims, and citizens in Nairobi had I not known that I did my leadership best,” she said. Bushnell praised her colleagues for their actions in the aftermath: “They dug themselves out of the rubble, they re-created their organizations, they assisted others, they helped one another to heal, and they created the August 7th Memorial Park,” she said, where the names of those who were lost are etched in stone. “The mission purpose, because of those who died, is to be a symbol of hope, peace, and reconciliation,” she added. Ambassador John Lange, the former chargé d’affaires in Dar es Salaam, then took the stage. He described watching, as if in slow motion, as the glass from a window behind him blew over his head and landed, in mylar film sheets, on the people sitting across from him. Miraculously, none of them were seriously injured. Lange praised survivors for the duties they took on, consoling families, setting up airport operations, and reestablishing the embassy. He also emphasized the importance of providing mental health care for those who may suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. “I would hope that [the Bureau of Medical Services] would do a mental health survey of current and retired employees and dependents who went through traumatic situations in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere,” he said. “For the victims of the 1998 bombings, it’s never been done.” Edith Bartley, chief advocate and spokesperson for survivors and families affected by the bombings, spoke next. She recalled her father and brother, both of whom were killed in Nairobi, and renewed calls for security at posts overseas. “As long as there is instability in the world, the dangers remain,” she said. “Foreign Service officers and embassy personnel need to know their families will be taken care of and never forgotten if tragedy strikes. The most precious asset of our U.S. embassies and consulates are the human personnel.” Finally, Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered remarks. Behind the numbers and statistics of the day, he said, “there was a father, a son, a brother, a mother, a daughter, a sister. Some of us in this life are somehow called upon to make a lifetime’s worth of difference in a period that is far shorter than what we consider a full life. Your loved ones did exactly that, and that’s an incredibly powerful, beautiful legacy to carry forward.” Commemoration: 25th Anniversary of the East Africa Bombings Secretary Blinken delivers remarks at the commemoration ceremony at the National Museum of American Diplomacy on Aug. 7, with Edith Bartley, left, John Lange, and Prudence Bushnell. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 14 OCTOBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

He summarized security measures now in place for U.S. embassy facilities and discussed the challenge of balancing safety with the field work of diplomacy. “We send people around the world so that they can engage, so that they can represent us. Making sure that they’re able to do that, while ensuring that they do so in safety and security, is the work we do every single day,” he said. He also highlighted the department’s efforts to improve care for survivors and family members, such as staffing a corps of psychiatrists to provide crisis response, one-on-one counseling, and other direct services. The Care Coordination Team, he said, assists in case of physical health incidents and helps to secure workers’ compensation and benefits. The Office of Casualty Assistance serves as a single point of contact for bereaved families and those who have experienced critical incidents like a terrorist attack. In closing, he said, “I can’t think of a better way to honor the scars, the sacrifices of that day than to carry forward the work that those we lost were engaged in—the work of diplomacy, the work of the United States, the work of connecting our country with other countries.” After observing a moment of silence, the Secretary worked his way through the audience, speaking with family members and survivors, offering embraces to some, and allowing others to cry on his shoulder. A brief panel discussion followed. Edith Bartley, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard Verma, Under Secretary for Management John Bass, AFSA President Tom Yazdgerdi, and event participants shared thoughts on how to care for embassy communities, and then many proceeded to Arlington National Cemetery for a memorial ceremony. Memorial Event at U.S. Embassy Dar es Salaam Nearly 100 people gathered on Aug. 7 at the Hope Out of Sorrow memorial at the Tanzania National Museum and House of Culture to remember the victims of the 1998 bombing. Survivors, victims’ family members, members of the diplomatic community, and leaders from the Interfaith Peace Committee attended, alongside eight employees who worked for the embassy in 1998 and remain on staff today. In his remarks, Ambassador Michael Battle commented that although the attacks that day were meant to divide the partnerships between nations, relations between the U.S. and Tanzania are stronger than ever. They are, he said, “as powerful a repudiation of the violence and hate on display that day as I can imagine.” The Hope Out of Sorrow memorial was inaugurated in 2018 on the 20th anniversary of the attacks. Vice President Kamala Harris paid her respects and laid a wreath during her visit to Tanzania in March 2023. Mohamed Ahmed, a Somali American who grew up in nearby Mombasa, Kenya, also spoke to commend the interfaith dialogue in Tanzania and its role in countering violent extremism (CVE). Ahmed was in the country as a participant of an embassy-organized U.S. speaker program on CVE. He noted that the cultural and religious diversity in the U.S. and Tanzania serves as common ground for the countries’ strong partnership. Later that day, embassy employees gathered with Amb. Battle at a small memorial on the mission compound to place a wreath and share a moment of silence in remembrance of their fallen colleagues. At the Hope Out of Sorrow memorial in Dar es Salaam on Aug. 7, 2023, Ambassador Michael Battle (center, in suit) stands with former embassy employees who survived the bombing. U.S. EMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM The second event was a commemoration at the August 7th Memorial Park, the former site of the U.S. embassy, where American and Kenyan officials, including members of parliament, victims support organizations and religious leaders, offered remarks and members of the public laid white roses and wreaths at the plaque bearing the names of the 218 victims. Locally employed (LE) staff spoke of the significance of the park to survivors and what it represents to the city. In a testament to their dedication, 71 LE staff colleagues who served at the embassy during the attack 25 years ago continue to serve there today. U.S. Embassy Nairobi Remembers The 25th anniversary of the embassy bombing was marked by two events in Nairobi. Internally, the mission community gathered at the embassy to commemorate the sacrifices of those who lost their lives during the attack. As part of the ceremony, staff laid flowers at the memorial that honors the 46 American and Kenyan employees who died in the bombing. Former ambassadors to Kenya including Prudence Bushnell, Johnnie Carson, and Robert Godec joined Ambassador Meg Whitman in offering reflections via video. THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2023 15

16 OCTOBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL World Vision said 15 million people in the country will face acute levels of food insecurity this year, with 2.8 million of those in the “emergency” category— one step away from famine. The World Health Organization also expressed concern about Afghans’ lack of access to basic health services. ADST Launches Afghanistan Project Two years after the evacuation of Kabul began, the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) hosted a fireside chat with eight former Afghanistan USAID mission directors at DACOR Bacon House in Washington, D.C. During the Aug. 16 discussion, participants shared powerful insights and reflections on their times in Afghanistan, comparing their experiences and lessons learned. Panelists included Bambi Arellano, Jim Bever, Craig Buck, Tina DooleyJones, Earl Gast, Herbie Smith, and Ken Yamashita, with Bill Hammink as moderator. The event was co-sponsored by the USAID Alumni Association. In opening remarks, Hammink praised USAID Afghanistan mission leadership for “delivering enduring development results in a war zone” amid “ever-changing priorities” over the course of America’s longest-running war. Bever described the experience of achieving one critical goal from his tenure: construction of a 300-mile highway between Kabul and Kandahar through terrain overrun by al-Qaida and Taliban operatives and replete with landmines. In 2003 his team completed the road two weeks ahead of schedule and under budget, significantly bolstering not only infrastructure but also health programs. “Afghan women were dying in droves during childbirth,” he recounted. “Our standard was: can we get a woman who is bleeding to a place within four hours—generally the time it takes to bleed to death—[where she can] get the right treatment?” The new road, known as Highway 1, made this possible. A panel of USAID mission directors participates in ADST’s fireside chat on Aug. 16. ADST (Continued from page 13) AFSPA Clements Worldwide FEDS Protection McEnearney Associates Property Specialists, Inc. Richey Property Management State Department Federal Credit Union WJD Management

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2023 17 The fireside chat marked the launch of ADST’s new oral history project, an electronic collection of interviews with more than 30 diplomatic leaders, Oral Histories of U.S. Diplomacy in Afghanistan 2001–2021. Supported by philanthropic grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the project aims to capture valuable firsthand accounts of the U.S. intervention in and withdrawal from Afghanistan. New Munitions for Ukraine Ukraine observed its national day— the second since the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion 18 months earlier— with subdued celebrations on Aug. 24. In a video address marking the occasion, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Ukrainians for their contributions to the nation’s defense. That defense effort provoked controversy earlier this summer, however, when the U.S. pledged to provide cluster munitions to the Ukrainian counteroffensive to help it overcome its disadvantage in manpower and artillery. That decision was announced by the White House in early July as part of a new $800 million package of military aid to Ukraine. Cluster munitions include rockets, bombs, missiles, and artillery projectiles that break apart midair, scattering smaller bomblets over a large area. They are banned by most NATO members and more than 120 countries— though not the U.S., Russia, or Ukraine— for the harm unexploded ordnance poses to civilians even after a conflict is over. According to The New York Times, since their first use during World War II, these munitions have killed an estimated

18 OCTOBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL It is clear that there is a group [of women] that should be respected who oft-repeat, “But I didn’t join the Foreign Service. My husband did.” Everyone who has had several posts in the Foreign Service knows that the quality of life at the posts depends on the women and the extent to which they organize themselves to keep it high. Doubtless we still have enough wives at each post who are willing and able to undertake the responsibility so that no one need participate who prefers another occupation. What is important is that we somehow revive the system for having their enormous contribution recognized for what it really is: an essential ingredient in the smooth functioning of all our overseas missions. —Carroll Russell Sherer, wife of career FSO Ambassador Albert Sherer Jr., in an excerpt from her proposal for a new system that allows wives to opt in or out of Foreign Service responsibilities at post under the “Sherer Plan,” from the October 1973 FSJ. 50 Years Ago Resolution of the Wives’ Dilemma 56,500 to 86,500 civilians and killed and wounded dozens of U.S. servicemembers. Representative Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) denounced the decision, saying: “We’ve seen Russia’s horrific use of cluster munitions in Ukraine, and we shouldn’t cede the moral high ground by criticizing their actions and then sending cluster munitions ourselves. … [They] prevent the successful economic rebuilding and recovery that’s needed to ensure a prosperous Ukraine and maintain anticorruption gains.” Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) praised the announcement: “For Ukrainian forces to defeat Putin’s invasion, Ukraine needs at least equal access to the weapons Russia already uses against them, like cluster munitions. Providing this new capability is the right decision.” U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the U.S. will send a version of the munition that has a reduced “dud rate,” meaning fewer of the smaller bomblets fail to explode, wrote the Associated Press. At an Aug. 17 press conference, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel reiterated that “the U.S. will continue to support to Ukraine for as long as it takes so Ukraine can defend itself from Russian aggression and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table when the time comes.” Wagner Group Leader Dies in Plane Crash Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the mercenary Wagner Group, died on Aug. 23 when the private jet on which he was traveling crashed north of Moscow. All 10 people on board were killed, including two other senior Wagner figures, Prigozhin’s four bodyguards, and a crew of three. The crash occurred exactly two months after Prigozhin and his paramilitary forces staged an armed rebellion against the Russian defense establishment, taking control of the city of Rostov in late June. The event ended with an ambiguous arrangement in which Prigozhin received immunity from prosecution in return for leaving for Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the uprising “treason” and said that those who organized it would “face unavoidable punishment.” Based on preliminary intelligence reports, U.S. and European officials believe an explosion on board brought down the aircraft rather than a mechanical failure, The New York Times reported. At the Aspen Security Forum on July 20, CIA Director William Burns, a former Deputy Secretary of State and former ambassador to Russia, had predicted that Putin would bide his time, NBC News reported. “I would be surprised if Prigozhin escapes further retribution for this,” he added. Shadow Diplomacy with Iran On Aug. 22, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing that a deal is in the works with Iran to secure the release of five American citizens who have been detained in the country. In exchange, $6 billion in Iranian oil revenue stuck in South Korea would be unfrozen to use for humanitarian purposes, and the U.S. would release some Iranian nationals from American prisons, according to Reuters. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Aug. 15 that the deal would not lead to sanctions relief. “Nothing about our overall approach to Iran has changed. We continue to pursue a strategy of deterrence, of pressure and diplomacy,” he said.

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2023 19 The deal’s very existence demonstrates that the two countries are engaged in shadow diplomacy— conducted through intermediaries including Oman and Qatar—to reach agreements on a range of issues while avoiding open deals that could be undermined by opponents on both sides, Bloomberg wrote. The U.S. and Iran remain at odds over the Iranian nuclear program, Tehran’s support for regional Shi’ite militias, its provision of drones and other weapons to Russia for the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, and the government’s broad crackdown on women’s rights. The backchannel negotiations may offer an avenue to deescalate tensions in the Middle East over Iran’s nuclear gains, keep oil prices low, and secure the release of U.S. hostages. AI-Assisted Declassification As hundreds of thousands of 25-year-old State Department cables reach the declassification stage, the onerous task of manually reviewing each one may soon be offset by artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Through a small-scale AI pilot, the department is automating the review process in preparation for the large volume of electronic records that will need to be reviewed in the next few years. The pilot was developed in a collaboration across three offices, according to FedScoop. Historically, manual page-by- page review, conducted year-round by a team of six, has been the only way to determine if information can be declassified for public release or is exempt from declassification to protect national security. L aunched in May, this weekly podcast is hosted by the journalist who nabbed the first TV interview with Osama bin Laden in a cave in Afghanistan in 1997. CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen invites listeners to sit in on his conversations with important figures in geopolitics. Self-described as the antidote to “conflicting narratives and sensationalism” in the news, Bergen’s program delivers objective analysis on current events and narrative storytelling that makes each episode an easy listen. Previous episodes have covered Havana syndrome, the fentanyl epidemic, and UFOs. A noteworthy two-part episode released in August on the anniversary of the Kabul airlift revisits the final days of the U.S. presence in the country, interviewing Ross Wilson, chargé d’affaires in Afghanistan during the evacuation, as well as Afghan national security adviser Matin Bek, and Breshna Musazai, a young survivor of a Taliban attack. Podcast of the Month: In the Room with Peter Bergen ( The appearance of a particular site or podcast is for information only and does not constitute an endorsement. The rapidly increasing volume of documents, however, renders the manual review process unsustainable. Around 100,000 classified cables were created each year between 1995 and 2003. The number of classified emails doubles every two years after 2001, rising to more than 12 million emails in 2018. The Bureau of Administration’s Office of Global Information Services (A/GIS), the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions’ Center for Analytics (M/SS CfA), and the Bureau of Information Resource Management’s (IRM) Messaging Systems Office are now moving toward production-scale deployment of AI to augment the procedure. With AI assistance, the workload stands to be reduced by more than 65 percent, according to the results of a three-month pilot program in which a model was trained using human decisions made for more than 300,000 cables in previous years. The AI’s document review matched previous human declassification decisions at a rate of more than 97 percent. The AI tool will not replace jobs, because it requires human reviewers to participate in the decision-making process and conduct quality control. Nevertheless, the project significantly reduces personnel hours and should save almost $8 million in labor costs over the next 10 years of reviews, according to Matthew Graviss, chief data and AI officer at the State Department and director of the agency’s Center for Analytics; Samuel Stehle, data scientist in the Center for Analytics; and Eric Stein, the deputy assistant Secretary for Global Information Services. n This edition of Talking Points was compiled by Julia Wohlers.