A Letter From Iraq to My Overwrought Colleagues

Posted by John Matel
November 7, 2007
PRT Activity in Baghdad, Iraq

In his first posting, John writes an open letter to his Foreign Service Officer colleagues about the controversial issue of directed assignments in Iraq. The issue raises an interesting question, "Should diplomats and other non-military personnel be forced to work in an active war zone"?

John Matel is a career Foreign Service Officer (FSO) who is currently serving as the team leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team embedded in Al Asad, Al Anbar Province.

I just finished reading a news article discussing some of my FSO colleagues' vehement and emotional response to the idea that a few of us might have directed assignments in Iraq . To my vexed and overwrought colleagues, I say take a deep breath and calm down. I have been here for a while now, and you may have been misinformed about life at a PRT.

I personally dislike the whole idea of forced assignments, but we do have to do our jobs. We signed up to be worldwide available. All of us volunteered for this kind of work and we have enjoyed a pretty sweet lifestyle most of our careers.

I will not repeat what the Marines say when I bring up this subject. I tell them that most FSOs are not wimps and weenies. I will not share this article with them and I hope they do not see it. How could I explain this wailing and gnashing of teeth? I just tried to explain it to one of my PRT members, a reserve LtCol called up to serve in Iraq . She asked me if all FSOs would get the R&R, extra pay etc. and if it was our job to do things like this. When I answered in the affirmative, she just rolled her eyes.

Calling Iraq a death sentence is just way over the top. I volunteered to come here aware of the risks but confident that I will come safely home, as do the vast majority of soldiers and Marines, who have a lot riskier jobs than we FSOs do.

I wrote a post a couple days ago where I said that perhaps everyone's talents are not best employed in Iraq . That is still true. But I find the sentiments expressed by some at the town hall meeting deeply offensive. What are they implying about me and my choice? And what do they say to our colleagues in the military, who left friends and family to come here and do their jobs? As diplomats, part of our work is to foster peace and understanding. We cannot always be assured that we will serve only in places where peace and understanding are already safely established.

If these guys at the town hall meeting do not want to come to Iraq , that is okay with. I would not want that sort out here with me anyway. We have enough trouble w/o having to baby sit. BUT they are not worldwide available and they might consider the type of job that does not require worldwide availability.

We all know that few FSOs will REALLY be forced to come to Iraq anyway. Our system really does not work like that. This sound and fury at Foggy Bottom truly signifies nothing. Get over it! I do not think many Americans feel sorry for us and it is embarrassing for people with our privileges to paint ourselves as victims.

Comments

Comments

AL
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 6, 2007

Al in Washington writes:

Thank you John for a very encouraging piece on the situation in Iraq. I am very much interested in pursuing a career as a FSO. Amongst the many reasons FSO work excites me is the worldwide availability, including Iraq, Darfur, Ulan Batar or anywhere I am needed. Having lived in D.C., I am not excited about exotic capitals (Moscow, London, Paris, etc) and I am looking forward to hardship assignments once I am selected after the publication of the September, '07 FSOT. Once again, thank you.

PS---- Does anyone know when the September exams result would be published?

mdaham
|
United Arab Emirates
November 6, 2007

Mdaham in U.A.E. writes:

Sometimes you feel alone. Sometimes you feel betrayed.
Remember that you are the only hope for freedom.
Is it something worth to lose your life for?
God Bless America.

Charles
|
Tennessee, USA
November 6, 2007

Charles in Tennessee writes:

Please correct these stats if they are incorrect:

60 deaths per 100,000 occupants per month in Washington, DC
40 deaths per 100,000 military per month in Iraq

Are these stats correct?

If so, perhaps the U.S. should pull out of Washington, DC.
Would all citizens be more safe if congress stayed home?

Stephen
|
Oregon, USA
November 6, 2007

Stephen in Oregon writes:

I left the Foreign Service in 1967 after serving a 2-year tour in Bamako, Mali. I am dismayed by the Foreign Service Officers that believe that they should be able to decide where and when they want to serve this nation as a preferred, and pampered, elite of this Nation. I hope that all of you that do not want to go to Iraq are assigned there, preferably in the provinces rather than at the main embassy. You make a mockery of all of the military personnel and diplomatic personnel that have, and will serve, there. Many of them making the ultimate sacrifice. Frankly, you are repugnant as a professional diplomat that has taken an oath to serve this great Nation.

Suzann
|
California, USA
November 6, 2007

Suzann in California writes:

Dear FS cowards, I am a mother whose son re-enlisted to return to Iraq. He didn't have to, he was out of the Army. But he felt a commitment to return with his fellow soldiers. He and his high Friends are going back together. Shame on you to be afraid when you have all the security and privileges. I know of many who have gone to Iraq, A friend's daughter a Marine reserve, closed up her private practice, to go to Iraq. If you don't have to backbone, resign now. God Bless those who serve in peace and in war.
You are not going over there to party; they need you more now than they will need you later.

ken
|
Alaska, USA
November 8, 2007

Ken in Alaska writes:

So, you don't want to go to Iraq. I don't blame you I guess. I probably wouldn't want to go either. The only problem is I don't have some cushy government job. I have my own profession which I do the best I can. I pay out the nose for health insurance. I am on my own for funding my retirement as well as funding yours too! I do my job because that’s what I signed up for. If you can’t do your job then just say so and quit. Maybe there might follow somebody who can do what they say they'll do and quit parasitic teat sucking at the trough of hard working American Patriots who despise you cowardly blowhards. I think I might have a future at this diplomatic stuff. A real American speaking the truth. How refreshing.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Ken in Alaska -- We do have pretty sweet jobs most of the time. Even Iraq is not that bad compared with some of the jobs some people do every day. I do feel lucky.

Abhishek
|
Maryland, USA
November 7, 2007

Abhishek in Maryland writes:

There are peace fanatics and there are war fanatics, but, in the culture of free society, we respect the views of both. In this exchange of ideas, it is the cowards who are universally denigrated. The FSOs have proved that it is nothing but a bunch of stool pigeons who write memos to Washington. When the greatest democracy in the world has to conduct its business abroad through such faint-of-hearts, one cannot but realize why democracy has made such little headway across the globe.

Steve S.
|
Nebraska, USA
November 8, 2007

Steve in Nebraska writes:

John,

Thank you for breathing fresh into the issue of the town hall meeting dispute that has plagued the news here recently. Having a number of diplomats complaining about serving overseas whether in a war zone or not is sickening to say the least. Very few people, whether soldiers or civilians "want" to serve in a hot zone, but when asked (or told) to do so, they go. It is sad to see and hear these gentlemen complaining about an assignment to Iraq. The word "pampered" comes to mind when I think of them.

I am a businessman in Nebraska and although I am as far away from what you are dealing with on a daily basis, please know I am so thankful for you, your colleagues, the soldiers, our leaders and of course our great nation for doing all that you can do while there. Take care and God Bless America.

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Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Steve in Nebraska -- Thanks.

Mary
|
Connecticut, USA
November 7, 2007

Mary in Connecticut writes:

I have read a number of times that the embassy in Iraq is or will be the U.S.'s largest embassy; while I have not read any specific rationale for its huge size, I presume security considerations may be a factor. Does the size of the embassy mean that a disproportionate number of diplomats are being assigned to this posting? Is that perhaps one of the reasons that Foreign Service officers are not enthusiastic about assignments there? Just what proportion of our foreign service is/has been assigned there? Is this the best use of our diplomat corps?

Marie
|
California, USA
November 8, 2007

Marie in California writes:

To those who serve in Foreign Service Office. Hearing about your complaining, crying and moaning about being told to serve in Iraq… I am greatly disappointed in you as I know that my fellow brothers in arms are too. You have let down hundreds and thousands of service men and women who are willing to give their lives for this country. You think you know the dangers or what it is like, but you don't. I've been to Iraq to serve my country and was nearly killed due to my vehicle being destroyed by an IED, served out the rest of my tour in Iraq and continued performing my duty with pride and honor. My husband and I also served in Afghanistan, not because we were told, but because of our duty to country. During our tour in Afghanistan my husband witnessed many friends wounded and killed in combat, but we all know the costs of combat, and we were willing to pay the price, so we went. We have answered the call to duty, so what are you waiting for? It’s not like you will be in combat, in the dirt with service men and women of our great nation. Now it is your turn to answer the call. Stop hiding behind your desks and perform your duty for your country.

A proud service woman

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Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Marie in California -- Please see above.

Gari
|
New York, USA
November 8, 2007

Gari in New York writes:

Thank you John, for your honesty, courage and conviction. As far as some of your colleagues... Anyone who signs a worldwide availability agreement and has a problem with fulfilling their commitment a)lied about their willingness and I don't want them working for me (the people) and b)obviously took a job for the money (when convenient). My husband, retired Army, took a job and signed an availability agreement. He has been in Iraq twice and Afghanistan once... and will be back in the Middle East again. Do we like it? No. Is it fun? No. Is it dangerous? Yes. Does he (and I) believe in what he (and you and many others) are doing? Yes... He feels if he does his job with the result of even one fewer of our brave soldiers dying, it is worth it.
Honesty... Courage... Conviction... Priceless.

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Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Gari in New York -- Thanks.

John
|
Texas, USA
November 7, 2007

John in Texas writes:

Thanks for the comments. My son served fifteen months in Iraq with the 2nd ACR, BA (Before air-conditioning) and ended his tour in 2004 in Najaf. To the bozo who spouted off, I have one word to say: Retire!

Vince P.
|
Illinois, USA
November 8, 2007

Vince in Illinois writes:

I want to thank that arrogant FSO who spoke at the meeting with the microphone for exposing just how rotten the State Department is to the country.

I'm just a normal 33 year old guy in Chicago who is absolutely convinced that the State Department has no freaking idea how to do anything right. Has absolutely no respect for the voters of this country and arrogantly thinks that the nation exists to suffer the decisions that State makes, instead of State recognizing that it's job is to do what the President wants.

That you collective fools are putting together another Israel - Palestinian conference in Annapolis is a testament to your inability to recognize the world in which we're all living.

The Palestinians have been indoctrinating their children into a cult of death worship ever since Arafat entered the West Bank in the 90s.

Hamas has been shelling Israel ever since the Gaza pullout.

How stupid do you all have to be to think anything except war is on the horizon?

This is worse than the Munich Pact. At Munich, they didn't know Hitler was going to take all of CS.

Who can honestly say they don't know the Arabs are determined to wipe out every last Jew.

And you people in my government are going to facilitate it.

I am so distraught by all of you.

You cowards who won't go to Iraq yet are endangering all of us because of your fantasies.

Great job... All of you!

(To those of you who don’t fit these descriptions, I sincerely thank you for what must seem like a thankless job... putting up with your petty coworkers and the ideological war they probably wage against you)

- A disgusted American

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Vince in Illinois -- Most FSOs are dedicated and sincere. Diplomacy is a hard thing to get right. When you get it right, everybody just thinks it was luck and when you get it wrong they think you are an idiot.

Deborah
|
United States
November 8, 2007

Deborah in U.S.A. writes:

Thank you. You are a credit to the Foreign Service and this needed to be said by someone like you. It is embarrassing to read what those folks at the town hall meeting said. I personally would fire them on the spot if it was possible. Ridiculous. Thanks for what you do and stay safe!

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Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Deborah in U.S.A -- Thanks.

James
|
South Korea
November 8, 2007

James in South Korea writes:

What I'm about to say isn't very helpful but I'm not feeling particularly charitable right now. Maybe you guys should just stay home. After all, the goons from the Army and Marines have been picking up your slack for a couple years now, sometimes doing a better job than you anyways. They can probably do it for a couple more. Of course, if you're not going overseas then you don't need quite so much in your budget do you. DoD is always asking for more money. I know just where they can get it.

P.S. John Matel, if the FSO losers that are sniveling about a tour in Iraq are at all typical, you might want to think about a job with someone else. You don't want to get lumped in with them. The State Dept. doesn't deserve you.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ James in South Korea -- Please see my response to Jonathan. The Marines, BTW, have done an excellent job here in Anbar. They have big boots to fill, but we of the soft hands also have jobs to do.

David
|
Japan
November 8, 2007

David in Japan writes:

Mr. Matel, good for you. You are man of character. I have a DOD job that requires I travel to and work in combat zones.I knew this when I took the job as you and your colleagues did. You're right, nobody feels sorry for them. Most feel disgust that while things are fine the have no problem eating at the public trough but when asked to step up as you have done they whine.Keep up the good work and know there are many of us that support the work you and our military are doing.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ David in Japan -- Thanks.

Jonathan
|
Texas, USA
November 8, 2007

Jonathan in Texas writes:

Dear Mr. Matel:

Given that the conduct of your co-workers brings shame upon themselves, the Foreign Service and America generally, I am curious to know your thoughts regarding:

1) Whether you see the Foreign Service generally as a net supporter of American goals abroad, with the assumption that America should not seek to become more socialistic/atheistic/corrupt/UN-like;

2) What (beyond vigorously pursuing a policy of directed assignments) could be done to shake these children loose from the Foreign Service so they can be replaced by people willing to meaningfully support American and American ideas of human rights, and;

3) In your experience, were the whining FSOs always petulant, or did the Foreign Service rot them?

I would say that you have single-handedly restored some of my faith in your institution, but it would be more accurate to say you've created faith where none had ever been before.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Jonathan in Texas -- I am proud to be FS and proud of most of my colleagues most of the time. We do serve our country and most of us are willing to serve in hard or difficult places. Please see what I wrote to Don above.

TRO
November 8, 2007

TRO writes:

Good on ya, man. It takes a lot for any guy to stand up to those lesser-performing employees in an organization and tell them to get off their butts and do their jobs. And it is heartening to know that there are some FSOs who aren't whiney babies out there.

You're also right in not wanting the whiners to join you. They would be a dangerous distraction and do more harm than good. They should resign, but won't, because that would take courage that they do not possess.

Keep up the good work and God bless and keep you.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ TRO -- Thanks.

Tom
|
Ecuador
November 7, 2007

Tom in Ecuador writes:

@ Suzann in California -- Suzann you said it all. God Bless your son.
What a bunch of privaleged cry babies.

Neil
|
North Carolina, USA
November 7, 2007

Neil in North Carolina writes:

I've been catching some of this story and decided to find the Foreign Service Officer’s oath and read if for myself. It seems pretty straight forward to me but let's have a look at it.

"I ________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,"

The United States and all western culture are in a global struggle against Jihadism. These people have vowed to kill us and destroy our way of life. If you don't agree, then resign.

"That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same,"

If you do not agree that the Jihadist want to replace the Constitution with Sharia Law and they will continue to sow derision and death wherever they can, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Philippines, Algeria, Pakistan, etc, and you can not do your job to help stop it, then resign.

"That I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion,"

Hey, look, times change, I meant it when I took the oath but, you see, the kids are in school, my spouse will be upset, I was going to paint the inside of the house this winter and all this is just more important than the 3850+ US soldiers and many more thousands of Iraqi's that have given their lives. OK - Resign.

"And I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."

Model the behavior you want from you kids, family, co-workers and community. It's not about you. It's about them. You walk away from your commitments then don't be surprised when they do the same. If it's too much - resign.

"So help me God."

I'm surprised this is still part of the oath. This country and this world is a gift. An opportunity to use your free will to make it better for others. Whether you call it sin or evil or poverty or whatever, there is suffering all around us. As Foreign Service Officers of the United States of America you are in a unique position to make a tremendous positive difference in the lives of millions of people. Don't succumb to slavery of selfishness. Make the most of your opportunity. We're counting on you and so are they.

Sharon
|
United States
November 7, 2007

Sharon in U.S. writes:

Thank you, John Matel, for this post and for this opportunity for a fellow American to respond to your FSO collegues.

I'm a 48 year old grandmother who has co-owned a small business (a machine shop) for twenty-two years. I'm currently also employed as a business development manager for a Fortune 100 company. Inspired by the embarrassing outburst at the town hall meeting, I went to the Department of State's job site and applied for a position in Iraq. If the professionals in the Foreign Service are unwilling to help, then I will happily take one of their spots.

My son was deployed in Iraq for a year, was wounded (he's fine now) and reenlisted on his way out.

I would imagine there are plenty of Americans who believe in the wisdom of helping the Iraqi people through this critical period. Our family is one of them.

Don
|
Illinois, USA
November 8, 2007

Don in Illinois writes:

Thank you, John, for making it clear that not all Foreign Service Officers fall into the "spoiled brat" category. I'm an old, retired military type and am quite familiar with those few who would rather gripe about a situation than accept the responsibility for improving it.

Thanks for renewing my faith in the Department of State.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Don in Illinois -- Most of us are okay. The asses just bray the loudest. Thanks.

Marine M.
|
Virginia, USA
November 8, 2007

Marine Mom in Virginia writes:

As a very proud mom of a 19-year-old U.S. Marine turret-gunner serving in Anbar Province, I will tell FSOs the same thing I tell other moms who express contrived horror at my son's enlistment during wartime, "Good thing your son chose an easier path than serving his country. I wouldn't want that little coward in my son's unit anyway." If you only signed up for the cushy posts in London and Stockholm, we Americans don't want you in Baghdad. Consider early retirement.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Marine Mom in Virginia -- Maybe rode with your son in Anbar. The young men and women in the Marines are great. You are justifiably proud.

Karl
|
Florida, USA
November 7, 2007

Karl in Tampa writes:

@ Suzann in California -- My thanks and appreciation to your son and your family. Thank you also for your comment.

You need to know this: I'm in the Foreign Service and I'm not a coward.

I've volunteered repeatedly for Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places, but the State Department Medical bureaucracy has proven itself incapable of even examining me to see if it's possible to make that happen. [Seriously.]

I just spent over four years in Vienna, Austria, doing arms control at OSCE. I bid on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Khartoum [the latter 3 with medical approval] and the State Department, in its wisdom, sent me to Florida. [Also seriously.]

A legitimate question to ask of the State Department is why I'm not in Iraq. I couldn't get an answer so I've stopped asking.

Joe D.
|
Alaska, USA
November 8, 2007

Joe in Alaska writes:

Wow...this reads like a section cut by Graham Greene out of "The Quiet American", only with worse grammar.

During the 2+ decades I spent in west and southern Africa, I spent a lot of time around FSOs: I would not have described their lifestyle as 'sweet'. Sending FSOs into war zones in non-diplomatic roles (such as the role Matel holds) is just plain stupid.

Our nation's reputation is in tatters; and the last think State should be doing is sending seasoned career diplomats into zones where their skills are thrown away.

Diplomats are -not-soldiers. To compare them to Marines is absurd. Our marines and soldiers have done their duty, but does any serious thinker believe that a bunch of guys in desert cammo will solve our problems in the middle east and elsewhere?

The desperation shown in Matel's propaganda message is obvious. Forcing U.S. diplomats to serve in Iraq is counterproductive and underscores what we all know: that the mess we made in Iraq is unsolvable without diplomatically engaging Iraq's neighbors.

While Kool-Aid drinkers like Matel might shudder at the thought of actually engaging in diplomacy, here's a constructive proposal: reopen our embassy in Iran and beef up our presence in Syria. Finally, a mission our career diplomats can accomplish.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Joe in Alaska -- I have experienced "actual diplomacy" for 23 years. I am a member of the career Foreign Service and was promoted to the senior FS for work I did before Iraq. I will not cast any more pearls before you.

Bob R.
|
El Salvador
November 8, 2007

Bob in El Salvador writes:

John,

You make some very good points but I have to disagree with your suggestion that our agreement to worldwide availability means "anywhere regardless of the risk and circumstances", and that "we all agreed to this type of work."

First, by agreeing to worldwide availability, none of us has agreed to simply turn over the question of our personal security to the best judgment of the State Department in all cases. If the State Department were to order unarmed Foreign Service Officers to serve in a combat zone with no protection whatsoever, "for the needs of the service," would you say you had agreed to that kind of "worldwide availability"? Of course not. There are reasonable risks and ureasonable risks for unarmed civilians. Some of the Foreign Service Officers who disagree with forced assignments to Iraq are simply saying the risks in Iraq are not reasonable for unarmed civilians. And those FSOs are not willing to leave it up to current occupants of the Secretary of State's or Director General's offices to decide what risk is reasonable for them in every imaginable case, including active combat zones like Iraq.

We have also not "agreed to this type of work," as you assert. In fact, when I joined the Foreign Service in 1995, no post was even close to the 70% hardship and danger differential now assigned by the State Department to Iraq. Moreover, at that time, FSOs were not serving in active combat zones anywhere in the world. It can hardly be said, then, that I agreed to this type of work when I joined, given that nothing even close to "this type of work" existed then.

Finally, I disagree with FSOs who say we should be expected to Iraq if they agree with the work the U.S. government is doing there. We cannot pick and choose our assignments based upon our personal agreement with US policies, in Iraq or anywhere else in the world. But the State Department, the President, the Pentagon, you name it, should not seek to compel Foreign Service Officers, unarmed civilians, to serve side-by-side with the military in an active combat zone. The risk to Foreign Service Officers is unreasonable in those cases, and that is why in any other country in the world besides Iraq, our embassy would be on draw-down, operating on a skeletal staff, if at all.

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Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Bob in El Salvador -- The Marines take care of me. There is not much fighting left here anyway. I cannot speak for everywhere in the country, but the war in Anbar is mostly finished. Besides, with all the precautions, I think we are probably safer here than in some other posts around the world.

I also do not like forced assignments. I made my choice based on my circumstances that might not apply to all. However, I think we should all be available in theory at least and we really have not call to complain.

Walt
|
California, USA
November 7, 2007

Walt in California writes:

John,
Thank you for your loyal dedication to your country. And thank you to the whiners that complained. We now know how stressful going to such a demanding post can be for some individuals. I hope that the leadership at State can help these folks transition to a position that suits their level of motivation.

William
|
Dominican Republic
November 8, 2007

William in Dominican Republic writes:

This situation is really getting blown out of proportion, as anyone who has seen the tape of the infamous town hall meeting knows. The majority of the meeting was very calm, and only degenerated when one person -- one officer who is about to retire -- gave his very strongly held viewpoints. The media has run with this story, somehow suggesting that there is a revolt going on at State. It's just not true. Readers should also be aware that thousands of FS Officers have already served in Iraq. Thousands more are currently serving at hardship posts throughout the world. Let's keep things in perspective.

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Dipnote Bloger John Matel writes:

@ William in Dominican Republic -- Yes. I hear from my friends that it was not a general problem.

Albert
|
Oklahoma, USA
November 8, 2007

Albert in Oklahoma writes:

@ Joe in Alaska -- Joe in Alaska wrote: "...does any serious thinker believe that a bunch of guys in desert cammo will solve our problems in the middle east and elsewhere?"

Exactly. That's why we need the Brooks Brothers set to get onboard for the big win instead of wanking like a bunch of spoiled teenagers. Particularly at this critical juncture when the situation in Iraq is starting to turn and your country needs you now more than ever.

Sadly, too many at DoS have decided their hatred for the current administration trumps the oath they swore.

---
Dipnote Blogger John Matel writes:

@ Albert in Oklahoma -- Exactly. Although here in Anbar I tuck my Brooks Brothers shirts into Cabella's pants.

Paul
|
Virginia, USA
November 7, 2007

Paul in Virginia writes:

@ Bob in El Salvador -- I am an FSO and when I signed up my understanding was that I go where I am ordered, regardless of my desire to be there or the situation on the ground. Even if we question our personal security, even if it is a war zone, even if we question the work. If an officer does not want an assignment I don't want that person working beside me, and if someone wants to take themselves out of the picture, that is fine by me. I want someone I can trust, someone willing to work, by my side in a tough situation. I have nothing but admiration for the men and women in our Armed Forces. We FSOs may not carry guns but we have a role to play in advancing the goals of the U.S., sometimes in very difficult situations. I really don't think we can pick and choose the type of situation we would like to be in. Iraq is tough, yes, but we have a job to do and if we are told to go we should go.

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