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It was a sudden and unceremonious finish to 35 years as a overseas service officer, the last four months of it as the acting undersecretary for arms control and worldwide security. But Countryman was not alone. The Trump White House carried out an abrupt purge of the state division’s senior management final week, removing key officers from posts which can be important to the day-to-day working of the division and US missions overseas.
One reply to this problem is to not invade countries and try to remake their governing establishments—a task that is exceedingly tough and the State Department and USAID were not constructed to accomplish. But another resolution is to build out capacity to allow these agencies to conduct simpler expeditionary diplomacy, as … Read more