Diplomatic Professionals’ Exodus From U.S. State Department Is National Security Emergency

Washington Post: The national security emergency we’re not talking about
Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. secretary of state

“…It is simply a fact that the United States relies on diplomacy as our first line of defense — to cement alliances, build coalitions, address global problems, and find ways to protect our interests without resorting to military force. … There is nothing normal about the current exodus [of diplomatic professionals from the State Department]. … Sadly, the official who should be highlighting the State Department’s vital role has not done so. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied that the department is being hollowed out even while defending the president’s plan for a massive reduction in his agency’s budget. … According to [the American Foreign Service Association], the number of individuals taking the Foreign Service exam this year is on track to plummet by more than 50 percent. If the U.S. military were facing a recruitment and retention crisis of this magnitude, few would hesitate to call it a national security emergency. Well, that is what we are facing. And while it saddens me to criticize one of my successors, I have to speak out because the stakes are so high. … The government is us, and public service is both a great privilege and a shared responsibility. This is our republic. We must do all we can to keep it strong” (11/29).