January 24, 2008

Things Are Falling Apart at the State Department

We've known for some time that State's employees have major problems with how the Department is being run, and that many have lost faith in Secretary Rice's leadership. But I was unaware of how badly the Department was serving its personnel (and presumably American interests) on some of these points.

Today, State is so short-staffed (between 1,000 and 2,000 position deficit depending on who’s counting) that it announced it will leave ten percent of its positions vacant next summer, and thus far it has not even given its employees bound for Iraq more than one week training overall including paramilitary. During the Vietnam era, the combined language, area studies and paramilitary training for Foreign Service employees being sent to Vietnam lasted six to eight months.

To make things worse, the salary gap between senior Foreign Service members and those in the rank-and-file has never been greater and the current quirks in the law worsen the discrepancy between the two for those rank-and-file members going over overseas. It’s no surprise that the AFSA survey results reflected this unfairness, among other issues that currently stalk the candy-colored halls of Foggy Bottom.

Posted by armand at January 24, 2008 01:31 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Politics


I mentioned and commented on your post at http://lifeafterjerusalem.blogspot.com/2008/01/driven-but-not-by-ambition.html.

Posted by: Schohn at January 25, 2008 02:38 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the linkage. We're a "we" not a "he," but the "he" you cite is Armand (to give credit where it's due).

Posted by: binky at January 25, 2008 04:49 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the comment - and nice post. Best of luck with your decision. It's good to know that people are fighting to improve the situation - though it's really a shame that doing that comes with such a high personal cost.

Posted by: Armand at January 25, 2008 05:32 PM | PERMALINK
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