The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2023 13 The State Department isn’t [the Department of Defense]: ‘We don’t have weapon systems; we have diplomats, armed with experience and hard-won expertise. Not having Senate-vetted and -confirmed ambassadors in the field during a crisis is like fighting a battle with needed weaponry sitting in storage.’ —Senior FSO (ret.) Alan Eyre, quoted in Robbie Gramer, “There’s No American Ambassador in Israel,” Foreign Policy, Oct. 9. Contemporary Quote domestic and foreign policies and building strong alliances. Read the entire speech here: Blinken-SAIS-speech. FSO Mark Lambert New Head of “China House” at State Foreign Service Officer Mark Lambert has been selected as the department’s next head of the Office of China Coordination, known informally as China House. The office was formed in December 2022 to “responsibly manage our competition with the People’s Republic of China” by bringing together experts in international security, technology, and strategic communications. In a press release announcing its creation, the Office of the Spokesperson wrote that the Secretary and the department are “committed to ensuring we have the talent, tools, and resources to successfully execute U.S. policy and strategy towards the PRC as the most complex and consequential geopolitical challenge we face.” Lambert has served as deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs since 2021. He previously served as special envoy for North Korean affairs and as director of the Office of Korean Affairs. Lambert has served in Hanoi, Beijing (twice), Bangkok, Tokyo, Iraq, and Bogotá. Foreign Policy calls to cultivating relationships—with other governments or agencies, the private sector, or civil society—there’s no substitute for engaging face-to-face. And in-office interactions—collaborating on a memo, mentoring a new employee, bumping into a coworker in the cafeteria—help strengthen our culture and creativity, especially for those who have joined State in the past two years and lack a common baseline for understanding department norms.” “Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach,” he wrote, “we’ll continue to make decisions about telework eligibility based on individual positions and circumstances, using our Mobility Assessment Tool. Ultimately, we expect most full-time employees will physically be in the office three to four times per week.” Secretary Blinken on American Diplomacy in a New Era On Sept. 13, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was invited to deliver remarks at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The Secretary talked about his formative years as a practitioner of diplomacy and compared that period to today, which he calls “another hinge moment in history.” “What we’re experiencing now is more than a test of the post–Cold War order,” said Blinken. “It’s the end of it.” He talked about the movement toward autocracy by Russia, China, and others; the potentially negative influence of corporations on diplomacy; and the lack of trust citizens have in their governments all across the globe, including in the United States. He also outlined an American vision for the future, which requires linking our Secretary Blinken delivers remarks at SAIS, Sept. 13. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE