Thursday, January 19, 2006

I love the idea that Condi Rice has announced that she's moving diplomats from their cushy berths in Europe to hot spots already.
As part of the change in priorities, Rice announced that diplomats will not be promoted into the senior ranks unless they accept assignments in dangerous posts, gain expertise in at least two regions and are fluent in two foreign languages, citing Chinese, Urdu and Arabic as a few preferred examples.

Rice noted that the United States has nearly as many State Department personnel in Germany -- which has 82 million people -- as in India, with 1 billion people. As a first step, 100 jobs in Europe and Washington will be immediately shifted to expanded embassies in countries such as India, China and Lebanon. Many of these diplomats had been scheduled to rotate into coveted posts in European capitals this summer, and the sudden change in assignment has caused some distress, State Department officials said.
I bet it has caused "some distress." They thought they were going to be quaffing beer in Germany and now they have to decide if they truly want to move their families to Lebanon. I can relate. I wouldn't want to move there either. But then, I didn't sign up for work in the foreign service. As you read about the changes that Rice has planned, it's clear that she is shaping up to be one of the most important Secretaries of State as far as the impact that she will have had on the State Department.