Apparently a cable, titled Diplomacy 3.0: Diplomacy, Development, and Defense about just that came out on Thursday. It says, among other things:
Although final budget numbers are still being determined, we expect that the Department will be able to hire approximately 2,300 employees this year -- 1,200-1,500 new career Foreign Service and Civil Service employees above attrition. Known as Diplomacy 3.0: Diplomacy, Development, and Defense, this hiring represents the first significant infusion of positions since the end of the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative (DRI) in 2004 and is an important first step in President Obama and Secretary Clinton's plan to put diplomacy front and center as the key tool in achieving U.S. foreign policy goals. With these resources, we will be able to address chronic staffing gaps that developed after the DRI and be better positioned to handle the challenges of today's increasingly complex world.
As we fill our gaps, we will also begin to create a much-needed "training complement" so that language training and critical skills development no longer create domestic or overseas vacancies. We also expect to be able to add to a program of interagency exchanges and cooperation with our partners in the Department of Defense. Although we have crossed an important hurdle, much work remains to be done.
There are many moving parts in the process of recruiting, hiring, training, and deploying such a large number of personnel. An inter-bureau team has been meeting regularly to develop the necessary plans, and we are ready to begin. We are building the registers with highly qualified applicants, have streamlined our processes, and increased the number of A-100 and specialist entry-level classes. We have also brought on retired Senior Foreign Service Officer Nick Williams who is tasked with making sure that the process stays on track according to plan. Nick will be reporting regularly, so look for his blog, which is currently under development.