Saturday, October 27, 2007

Department of State Stepping Up to the Iraq Needs?

Small Wars Journal has a discussion of the move to force diplomatic corps involvement increases in Iraq.
Karen DeYoung, Washington Post, reports on a new US State Department intitiative; nay, order; that will see additional diplomats taking posts in Iraq next year because of expected shortfalls in filling openings, the first such large-scale forced assignment since the Vietnam War. As far as we are concerned this is a long overdue move by State to fulfill its end of the 80% political, 20% military counterinsurgency (COIN) fight in Iraq.
I guess my take on it is that forcing diplomats into the theater isn't going to be an effective strategy. I don't think it quite gets to the level of a military draft in the effect, but I can't see those members of an already very liberal department being any help there, especially if forced. I think the volunteer service has been doing the job best. Unfortunately I'd also say they've been understaffing in an arena that really needs the political involvement.

I do have to say though, that those that volunteer for this service should get advantages in their careers over those that don't. Taking on an assignment that is more dangerous should be awarded and not just be left at the same level as those performing service in some place nice and quiet.

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