Sunday, March 30, 2008

"The Way I See Things" comments on FSOs speaking out

The Way I See Things, which seems to be a new blog by an FSO, comments on Taking the King's Shilling.

...Today we have a professional civil service and foreign service. Foreign service officers serve for decades, building up experience and gaining real-world insight into diplomatic relations. We are experts on foreign affairs (much as military officers are experts on military tactics, operational art, and strategy). People who argue that we take the shilling, so we should shut up and do the bidding, correctly note that our job is to carry out the foreign policy of our elected leaders. They miss, however, the equally important point that our job is also to provide expertise and advice to that elected leadership, most of whom come to the job with a few foreign policy advisers who have outstanding academic and theoretical credentials, but precious little real-world experience.

Without getting into the minutae of why I think our Iraq policy is seriously flawed, I think telling foreign service officers that they are wrong to point out the flaws they see in this policy is dangerous and short-sighted.

You can read the entire post here.

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