Canada’s foreign affairs department is reportedly taking steps to ensure its diplomats can really punch above their weight on the world stage. The Globe and Mail reports on its website that the department is looking for martial-arts instructors to train its envoys. A public tender says ambassadors sent to certain higher-risk countries must know rudimentary “reactive techniques to manage confrontations in potentially dangerous situations.”
An investigation into the State Department's preparations for and management of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has concluded that "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" within the department played a major role in the devastation that took place there last September.
If you want to join the State Department's Foreign Service, you need a solid resume, plenty of time on your hands and the patience of Job. When I joined the Foreign Service back in 2002, Colin Powell spearheaded the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative, which aimed to increase and streamline the hiring process. Ten years later, the Foreign Service selection process for generalists is even longer and more byzantine than it was before.
The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three colleagues in Benghazi highlights the dangers and hardships our Foreign Service personnel face every day as America’s first line of defense. Our nation’s diplomatic and development personnel are present overseas before the U.S. military is deployed, supports them if they are engaged in combat, and remains in place when the military returns to the United States.
The three controversies have exposed Uganda’s weak foreign policy and poorly articulated roles of cultural and military diplomacy in the conduct of our international relations. These diplomatic gaffes besides dirty cases of drugs trafficking and business deals have ruined our Foreign Service as the preserve for Uganda’s crème de la crème and relegated it to yahoos. I will focus on our cultural diplomacy on which Ugandans have knocked down Kagimu and have given big hugs to Kadaga as the ugly and the good cheeks of Uganda on the international stage.
Two weeks ago the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee warned that cuts of almost £40 million to the Foreign Office would lead to a "diminution of the UK's influence and soft power", leaving it with a budget smaller than that of Kent County Council.
Atim is a veteran practitioner in the field of public diplomacy as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) with posts in Nigeria, Ethopia, South Africa, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.