The Foreign Service Journal, November 2019

10 NOVEMBER 2019 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Being There I am not sure if it was intentional, but the pairing of Ambassador Anne Woods Patterson’s excellent article, “We Have to BeThere,” with Ray Walser’s historical loo k at our presence in Warsaw in September 1939 in the September issue was classic. Closing the mission in Warsaw, Walser recounts, “was considered a last resort,” with a vice consul telling the press he would stay “until 136 American citizens are able to leave Warsaw.” It is, indeed, a far cry from today’s world where, as Amb. Patterson suggests, “staying safe” is often our highest priority. Surely there is a middle ground. Keith W. Mines FSO Washington, D.C. Religion in the Workplace I was distressed to read in Talking Points (September Journal) of the formation of a Chris- tian affinity group: “GRAC E works to prompt the ability of employees to manifest religious beliefs in general, and Christianity specifically , in the workplace” (my italics). This is, to my mind, another instance of puncturing the already porous wall between church and state and will, I believe, lead to dividing, not uniting people. What individuals choose to do outside the office is their business, but injecting parochial beliefs into the workplace is not. The result will, all too often, be a breakdown within the post of the believers and the non-believers, the Christians and the non-Christians, into separate cliques. The rationale for supporting such groups is, I believe, misguided. The State LETTERS Department should not be supporting sectarian divisions in the workplace. Robert H. Stern FSO, retired Chantilly, Virginia Remembering Leslie Gelb On Sept. 1 The New York Times reported that Leslie Gelb had died two days earlier. Mr. Gelb was a premier example of how U.S. diplomacy can benefit from qualified non-career participants. As assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs from 1977 to 1979, he presided over the golden age of arms control (in which I took part as a minor player). The bureau was then State’s focal point in negotiating strategic nuclear arms treaties with the Soviet Union, in particular the Salt II Treaty. Though never ratified by Congress, that treaty was observed for decades by the two superpowers, to our mutual benefit and the world’s. Mr. Gelb was very young (about 40) for such a position, but he was knowl- edgeable and sharply “on point,” and his youth translated into a dynamism and enthusiasm that galvanized the bureau. He was also a pragmatist in the best Foreign Service tradition, who believed without ideological blinders in “what” It was a joy and a privilege to serve under him. Leslie Gelb had a long and productive life, so there should be no regrets now— only appreciation for that life and for his service to our country. Marc E. Nicholson FSO, retired Washington, D.C. n AFSPA BMT Hirshorn Foreign Service (BMT) Clements Worldwide Chambers Theory Federal Employees Defense Services Georgetown Univ. Walsh School/ISD Jack Realty Property Specialists, Inc. Richey Property Management WJD Management