Presidential Candidate Sen. Warren’s Plan To ‘Rebuild’ State Department Should Focus On Training Career Diplomats, Policymaking, Opinion Piece Says
Foreign Policy: Warren’s Plan to Rebuild the State Department Doesn’t Go Far Enough
Dan Spokojny, doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley and former U.S. foreign service officer
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to ‘rebuild the State Department,’ released on June 28, is the boldest commitment to diplomacy by any U.S. presidential candidate so far. With the nation enthralled by the spectacle of career diplomats bravely standing up against corruption, Warren’s proposal to end the practice of appointing campaign donors to ambassadorships and double the size of the foreign service should be lauded. … Doubling the number of bureaucrats drafting cables, issuing demarches, and holding the door for political appointees will do little to empower U.S. diplomacy if their hard-earned expertise is not seen as valuable in the policy process. … There are three ways new diplomats should be utilized: Warren should invest in training, widely adopt state-of-the-art policymaking techniques, and reserve the majority of leadership positions for career diplomats. … Merely adding 8,000 new staff into a stale bureaucracy is insufficient. Instead, an influx of new staff must transform the State Department into a 21st-century organization capable of meeting the complex challenges of a rapidly changing world” (11/20).