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    There's always been a component of "shaping" to...

    There's always been a component of "shaping" to State Department work, it's just that until the last 15-20 years, the "target" of the shaping was different -- basically, it was other governments and...
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    Mars and Venus

    I thought the Mars-Venus discussion was useful, too (if one keeps in mind always that generalizations do not reflect the full diversity of an organization, of course). Clearly, the differences are...
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    Thoughts on the country team

    A few thoughts in response to the original question below, having served in several embassies:

    The country team SHOULD BE the mechanism that keeps all the disparate elements of an embassy in synch...
  4. It's a little ironic to read the last few posts,...

    It's a little ironic to read the last few posts, because more often than not State (my home for the last 20 years) is criticized for being TOO consistent in how it steers policy, and not responsive...
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    Not just a military problem

    In my 20 years in the Foreign Service, I had never had an overlap with my predecessor until I came out to my Iraq PRT assignment. The outgoing officer is usually desperate to get back to the US for...
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