Foreign service volunteers fill Iraq/Afghanistan positions.

Author:Bullington, J.R.

Last year the U.S. Foreign Service suffered a public relations disaster because of the widely reported "town hall meeting" at the State Department in which some Foreign Service Officers protested the prospect of being required to serve in Iraq. Eventually, volunteers were found to fill all the positions opening in 2008, but as is usually the case, the good news never overtook the bad.

This year, there was no shortage of volunteers, even initially, to fill all the Iraq and Afghanistan positions opening in 2009. The "mainstream media" have not reported this, apparently considering it not newsworthy. Nonetheless, the American Foreign Service Association issued a press release on October 2, which we are pleased to publish here as a reminder that FSOs and other State Department civilians continue a tradition of voluntary service in some of the world's most difficult and dangerous places.

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) welcomes Secretary Rice's announcement that the Department of State has now filled all of its positions at the U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan for the summer 2009 assignment cycle with qualified, willing volunteers--as has been the case every year since those two diplomatic missions came into existence. It is a...

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