I hope that in the light of the killing of Amb. Christopher Stevens and the attacks on the American diplomatic missions in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, you will stand up for the Foreign Service. Gov. Romney and the Republicans have been very critical of the Foreign Service, and actually seemed to imply that Foreign Service officers deserve to die because they are wimps. This attitude was illustrated by former Sen. Norm Coleman, Romney’s surrogate on the PBS NewsHour last night, who strongly criticized the statement issued by Embassy Cairo, which PBS said, “appeared aimed at calming tensions in Egypt over an anti-Muslim film made in California.” Fortunately Amb. Nicolas Burns defended the Foreign Service, saying that Romney should not have attacked Embassy Cairo for “the actions of an embassy under siege, under great tension.” (See PBS report at – http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/09/candidates-spar-over-foreign-policy-following-attacks-in-libya-egypt.html)
When I was in the Foreign Service many years ago, Republican Sen. Jesse Helms hated it, and would have done almost anything to eliminate it, starting with cutting the State Department budget as deeply as possible. I worry that this same attitude persists in Washington today.
I hope that you will stand up for the Foreign Service and not put the lives of Foreign Service officers needlessly at risk. The Foreign Service was already under great stress because of the burden of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; now the general increase of tensions in Middle East appears likely to increase that burden and the dangers that FSOs face. Please support them.