Ambassador Edward Marks (ret.), with more than 40 years as a Foreign Service Officer, offers a proposal for changing the State Department. Titled A “Next Generation” Department of State: A Proposal for the Consolidation of the Management of Foreign Affairs, the whole article is article is available at AmericanDiplomacy.org.
[I]nternational relations used to concern essentially relations between governments, largely conducted by ministries of foreign affairs (except for occasionally breaks where ministries of war took over) by a process usually referred to as diplomacy. Increasingly, however, government-to-government relations involve the whole spectrum of government activities —now including inter alia education, environmental questions, human rights, the internet — and ministries of foreign affairs have great difficulty in holding on to even a minimal gatekeeper role.
…National governments may remain the biggest gorillas on the scene, but no longer are they alone. …
[T]he whole Department would be organized as a multi-agency “National Team” where policy and resource integration would take place at three formally designated levels (in addition to informal coordination at all levels): at the Secretarial or Cabinet level, at the Regional Assistant Secretary level, and at the Country Team level plus in special teams or missions for emergencies. It would be an attempt, at a higher level and much more ambitious, to duplicate the success of the DoD’s joint combatant commands by creating a joint “Department of Foreign Affairs”.
Read the whole article here.
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- Recalling History: the rising importance of people and public opinion - “There was a time when foreign affairs were ruler-to-ruler relations, when the rulers dealt privately and secretly with one another through their ambassadors…”