Thursday, January 18, 2007

Foreign Service Officers want to serve in Iraq, as a letter in the New York Post from Ambassador J. Anthony Holmes states:

"[It] is simply wrong when he decries the “failure . . . of the State Department (to) . . . get enough volunteers even for its 90-daystints in Iraq.” The fact is that over 1500 State Department employees have volunteered to serve, unarmed, in Iraq since 2003, a figure that represents about 15 percent of the total Foreign Service workforce. Over 300 of our employees are doing their patriotic duty in Iraq now, including dozens working on front-line Provincial Reconstruction Teams in extremely dangerous, “Red zone” combat areas outside of Baghdad. Thus far, despite legitimate concerns about theability of unarmed civilian diplomats to effectively carry outdemocracy-building and economic reconstruction activities in the middle of a war, virtually all of the diplomatic jobs in Iraq have been successfully filled with volunteers."

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