I'm amazed that this article got published, especially in an election year.
A reasonable discussion of risk-aversion and diplomatic missions? One that doesn't make ridiculous statements about the Benghazi attack? And, most of all, one that suggests Washington politics is to blame for hobbling our efforts to advance our national interests overseas?
Read it here: Benghazi chill ripples through State Department:
A survey of 1,600 active-duty State Department employees released in April by the American Foreign Service Association found that more than half believed that "post-Benghazi, it is now more difficult for employees to effectively engage overseas." Twenty-five percent of diplomatic security agents said the same thing.Hear a voice of reason:
The job “has always come with risk, which we are fully prepared to accept,” said Barbara Stephenson, the head of the American Foreign Service Association and a 30-year veteran of the Foreign Service.
“What we ask in return is a dedicated effort to mitigate danger where possible,” she added, “including through providing the resources needed to accomplish our mission safely while serving abroad.”
And the icing on the cake is a prediction by my favorite adult in the room, Ambassador Ronald Neumann:
“Rightly or wrongly, it has become a political issue for the Republicans,” said Neumann, the former ambassador to Afghanistan, who has been appointed to top posts by presidents of both parties.
“But I think it has made the issue of casualties so sensitive that that may carry over into the next administration — whichever party it is.”
Surely, the issue of casualties will remain sensitive. But, could this discussion be an indication that the political establishment is finally about to recover its equilibrium, and may be ready to once again accept the reality that diplomacy is an inherently risky enterprise?