Category Archives: Transition

Photo of the Day: 67 Says Goodbye to Foggy Bottom

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says farewell to State Department employees at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on February 1, 2013.

Clinton farewell

[State Department photo/ Public Domain]

 

With Secretary Clinton in the photo above is Deputy Secretary Tom Nides (who is reportedly leaving his D/MR post), career diplomat and Deputy Secretary Bill Burns (rumored to be going to the UN sometime), and career diplomat and permanent Foggy Bottom fixture, Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy (61st Secretary James Baker said recently that “Pat Kennedy was here way back in the dark ages when I was here. He’s been here ever since”). Remains to be seen if the 68th Secretary of State will keep Mr. Kennedy around or send him off to do an overseas tour.

Secretary Clinton’s farewell remarks before leaving Foggy Bottom is here.  Remember that as Hillaryland empties out the upper floors, there will be multiple vacancies for Secretary Kerry to fill.  Ditch usajobs.gov, get busy speed dialing!

sig4

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Filed under 67, FSOs, Hillary, Photo of the Day, Secretary of State, State Department, Transition

US Mission Iraq: Get ready for BLISS… no, not perfect happiness — just Baghdad Life Support Services

Bliss is an emotional state that is characterized by perfect happiness (feelings of enjoyment, pleasure, and satisfaction).

The State Dept announced last month that it intends to solicit replacement services that are currently being provided by KBR under the LOGCAP Program and services provided by DLA. The replacement services will be called Baghdad Life Support Services or BLISS for short.

Bliss in Iraq? Holy molly guacamole, who would come up with a name like that?

The selected contractor will be required to provide life support services to persons and organizations that are determined to be performing missions or functions in support of the Chief of Mission, including: COM personnel, selected civilian agencies, military units, and authorized contractors who directly support the COM.

Current life support for these sites is provided by the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s “LOGCAP IV” (Logistic Civil Augmentation Program), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and Army Sustainment Command (ASC) Green Equipment Maintenance contract. These contracts are due to end in December 2013. The State Dept’s intent is to award this contract prior to May 1, 2013 and transition to a new DoS contract no later than September 30, 2013.

According to supplemental documents, following the award, the incumbent will require a minimum of 60 days to demobilize. The transition off of the DLA supply chain contract for food will be addressed in the formal RFP.

Background: The mission of the United States Embassy in Baghdad is to represent the United States of America to the Government of Iraq (GOI). The U.S. Ambassador (Chief of Mission (COM)) is the President’s representation to the GOI. The Embassy is located in the International Zone (IZ) in Baghdad. The compound consists of 104 acres and is the largest U.S. Embassy in the world. The Embassy requires life, logistics, operations and maintenance services to support the Embassy, other locations within Baghdad and five or more diplomatic posts and facilities currently located in the provinces of Basrah, Diyala, Erbil, Ninewa and Tamim. This list may be modified during the life of this contract.

The Draft RFP Release dated November 16, and issued for information purposes only listed the following life support services requirements that may include services in the following areas to be specified under each individual task orders:

• Postal Services
• Food Services, to include, procurement of food and supplies, storage, preparation, serving, cleaning of facility
• Waste Management
• Laundry Services
• Fuel Services, to include Procurement and Delivery
• Recreation Services
• Airfield Services to include, air crash and rescue
• Transportation Services
• Warehouse Operations
• Supplemental Staffing and Maintenance Services to Regional Security Office (RSO)

A quick overview on the expected requirement on food services alone is mind boggling for an embassy operation (extracted from draft doc posted at fedbiz):

Baghdad Embassy Compound:

The main dining facility cafeteria area on the Embassy Compound is a 3,000 square meter facility that currently has a feeding and seating capacity of roughly 2,500 personnel. This area does not include the various refrigerated vans and containers used for storage of frozen, chilled and dry storage of food, or supplies. [...] Additional feeding capacity projects are being contemplated to accommodate personnel surges. The maximum occupancy on the BEC is 2600, while Camp Condor houses 1129 and has its own dining facility.

Local Nationals (LNs) are only entitled to lunch meals, not breakfast or dinner. The largest feeding requirement occurs during lunch time during week days as LN direct hire personnel are entitled to eat lunch meals. Three snack bar operations located on the Embassy compound (1 within Annex 1, 1 in Annex 2, and 1 in the Chancery) alleviate the feeding demand during the lunch meal at the cafeterias. Two of the snack bar operations serve only cold sandwiches and hot soup. The Annex 1 snack bar is equipped with a grill that provides a hot entre lunch item 5 days a week: Sunday through Thursday.

Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center (BDSC):

This is a 350-acre State Department-managed facility located next to the Baghdad International Airport (not within the IZ). BDSC houses 41 individual agencies or groups, totaling approximately 1600 personnel. The BDSC dining facility is a 2244 square meter facility that serves 1800* residents and transient personnel three meals per day. A grab-in-go (soup and sandwich bar) is open 14 hours daily (0830 – 2230). The dining area is 1182 m2, kitchen 531 m2 (warehouse 531 m2, which is connected to the kitchen) and serving lines 55 linear meter.

Erbil Diplomatic Support Center (EDSC):

This is a 2760-acre compound with a an office building, gym, warehouse, motor vehicle center, 800-plus containerized housing units, a fire station and other facilities. The EDSC DFAC is a 915 square meter facility that serves 790 residents three meals per day.

U.S. Consulate General Basrah:

Located on 53 acres, with the Consulate General building occupying 119 acres and the Air Hub occupying 34 acres. The Basrah dining facility currently serves 790 residents three meals per day.

For those four posts alone, and those are not all the posts we have in country, the USG need to serve 17,640 meals day!  But they gotta eat.  We’re looking at the plan for local sourcing next but we’ll post that separately.

domani spero sig

 

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Filed under Food, Govt Reports/Documents, Iraq, State Department, Transition, U.S. Missions, US Embassy Baghdad

US Mission Iraq: Salad Bar Kerfuffle Due to 90% Drop in Daily Food Convoy Caused by “Regulatory Impediments”

Back in February, amidst the reported salad bar kerfuffle at the US Embassy in Baghdad, we asked a few questions, which obviously did not get any answer, good or bad (read Stop “whining” about the salad bar to the NYT, it’s “inappropriate”):

Did State anticipate that crossing the borders now manned by Iraqis would be messy? Did they anticipate that the Iraqis would want to approve/deny entry of supply convoys but that the government may have no process in place, but will never admit it?  Did State anticipate the multiple layers of bureaucracy required to approve entry of frozen chicken wings, and salad bar weeds trucked in from Kuwait? Is there a new SOP on what to do if the Iraqi guards do on chay break the rest of the day while supply trucks gets barbequed under the sun?

A U.S. Air Force airmen from the 70th Medium Truck Detachment lead a convoy through Iraq with a load of equipment and supplies Oct. 30, 2011. With less than five miles left before crossing the Iraqi border, the convoy of 43 vehicles traveled 1,100 miles in 7 days, hauling equipment out of the country as part of an effort to meet the deadline for the U.S. military to transition out of Iraq.
Photo by Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen

Now we know why they had no green weeds and went rationing the chicken wings. According to SIGIR:

“Earlier in the quarter, senior Embassy officials spent a significant amount of time working with the GOI to expedite the entry of U.S. food convoys from the Safwan border crossing, which lies just north of Kuwait. Reportedly, the number of trucks that entered Iraq through that crossing dropped for a time from 400–600 per day down to about 60 because of regulatory impediments imposed by the Ministry of Transportation.”

While the “impediments” imposed by the Iraqi Government hardly surprised us, we were quite stumped by the number of trucks running the food convoys.  Please note that we’re not saying our folks should not be feed.  It’s us — we just can’t begin to  imagine a hundred trucks end to end in a convoy, much more 600.  Every day.

Everything that has to do with our continuing project in Iraq is super-sized: the embassy is a giganotosaurus, the embassy staffing is over the top (no matter the “right-sizing”), the front office has one ambassador plus 5-6 assistant ambassadors, there are 350 police trainers, no 190, 100, 50, oh, who knows?

So 8,070 feet of food trucks lined up end to end should be a normal sight, considering the location, right?  Not that anyone would put them end to end, that would be much too tempting for the fireball guys. Except when the trucks are stuck end to end at the border crossing.

The report did not say if the “impediments” have been removed, or what other food sourcing options (MREs excepted) have been planned or implemented.

Domani Spero

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Filed under Countries 'n Regions, Food, Govt Reports/Documents, Iraq, State Department, Transition, U.S. Missions, US Embassy Baghdad

Iraq Transition: The Civilian Medical Support Services on Paper

I have posted previously about the transition to a civilian-led mission in Iraq. The planned 17,000 civilian personnel (including personal security contractors) will be a lot less than what DOD has in country right now, but it is larger than the entire Foreign Service which has approximately 6,500 Foreign Service Officers and 5,000 Foreign Service Specialists.

Think about it, a workforce larger than the entire Foreign Service, deployed to one country alone.

I’ve posted previously about the transition and the medical support function here, here, here and here.

U/S Patrick Kennedy during his appearance at the Commission on Wartime Contracting last June 6 states that “a medical contract was awarded to Medical Support Services – Iraq on May 15, 2011 for $132 million for five years.”

I don’t know why there is a discrepancy in the amount and the name of the contractor but according to FedBiz the medical support services contact number: SAQMMA11D0073 is in the amount of $61,427,699.00 and has been awarded to CHS Middle East LLC, a company based in Reston, Virginia on May 19, 2011.

I went digging for the solicitation in FedBiz to see what to expect. Excerpts below on what the medical support services look like on paper. Excerpted from the publicly available statement of work:


C.1 Purpose and Objectives

This is a non-personal services contract to provide for Health Service Support to U.S. personnel and authorized foreign nationals serving for the United States in Iraq. The Contractor will provide trained and certified health care professionals and administrative service support to U.S. and U.S. sponsored beneficiaries working and residing in Iraq. The Contractor will staff, operate, equip, and supply health care facilities in locations prescribed by the Department of State to meet operational requirements as identified in this Performance Work Statement. Mission capable status (all sites listed in table C.1) is 1 December 2011. Mission capable means able to perform all requirements under this PWS.

C.2 Background

The health care support mission will transition from the U. S. Department of Defense to the U. S. Department of State over a period of time as denoted in Attachment A. Transition Timeline, beginning on or about June 2011 with complete transfer completed by December 2011 coinciding with majority of the U.S. forces’ departure.

After the U.S. military forces withdraw from Iraq, the U.S. Embassy and constituent posts and sites will be comprised of approximately 14,000 to 17,000 U.S. Government personnel under the U.S. Ambassador which includes U.S.G. civilians, military and local national employees; and supporting Contractors (U.S. third country, and local national). All U.S. and third country personnel will require medical care (local nationals only in emergencies or work related injuries).

The Department of State will establish a network of Contractor operated facilities in three regional support areas (see Attachment B for map of the facility locations and support regions) consisting of seven Health Units (HU), one large Diplomatic Support Hospital (DSH), and three small DSHs that provide patient care. A description of the capabilities required of each of the three types of facilities may be found in the Scope of Work of this PWS.

Health care facilities will be in secure compounds within each of the three geographical support regions with general logistics, utilities, and housing support provided by separate contracts.

The Contractor will be responsible establishing facilities as indicated in Table C.1 below:
Table C.1 Facility Type, Locations, and Population Supported

C.3.2 Health Unit (HU) Capabilities.

The Contractor shall provide on-site primary, urgent and initial emergency care for general medical, surgical, orthopedic, gynecologic (GYN) and mental health conditions; triage, stabilize and evacuate patients to the next level of medical care; and keep up to two patients in the HU for up to 24 hours until stabilized or medically evacuated. Staffing shall be continuous and uninterrupted; coverage for illness and vacations shall be the
responsibility of the Contractor.

The Contractor shall designate a medical director for appropriate medical oversight at each facility. This medical director shall be named in the resultant task orders. Routine care shall be provided during regular working hours, and on an emergency basis after normal working hours based on COM requirements. At least one physician with expertise in all aspects of emergency care shall be available 24 hours daily. All providers shall be licensed to US or equivalent standards and physicians shall be qualified by US or  equivalent specialty boards. All primary care providers (Physician(s), Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners) shall hold current credentials in trauma care (e.g. ATLS, CALS or equivalent) and cardiac care (ACLS or equivalent).

The Contractor shall also provide the following supplies and services at each HU facility:

• Medical and medical emergency equipment.
• Basic formulary and vaccines to include, but not limited to:
• Thrombolytic therapy.
• Medical supplies.
• Laboratory equipment and supplies and maintenance thereof,
• Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) waived lab capabilities to include, but not limited to: basic hematology, blood chemistries, urine analysis, cardiac enzymes, d-dimer testing.

C.3.3 Small Diplomatic Support Hospital DSH Capabilities.

In addition to the capabilities outlined above for a HU facility, the Contractor shall establish a medical/trauma care hospital with the following capabilities:

• Basic x-ray, diagnostic ultrasound (to include Focused Abdominal Sonogram for Trauma (FAST) Right Upper Quadrant (RUQ), renal, OB (tubal pregnancy), GYN, testicular, and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) evaluations).
• Appropriate number of trauma bays in the emergency medical and trauma unit for care and stabilization.
• Overnight bed capabilities for up to four patients (8 beds total ( 4 ICU beds + 4 regular beds))
• Post operative / intensive care capabilities for up to four patients to be stabilized until medically evacuated
• One operating room table with anesthesia and supplies.
• Laboratory with blood bank.
• Computerized Tomography (CT) Scanner with the capability to conduct non-contrast, contrast (oral and IV), and the ability to do PA-grams (ideally with venous run-off).

Staffing shall reflect that necessary to manage a single surgical patient with the required operating room (OR) techs, nurses, anesthetists and the possibility of multiple injured or ill patients. The professional staff, when time permits, shall be integral to all aspects of the facility. Physicians, surgeons, anesthetists, OR tech, EMTs, laboratory technologist and nurses shall meet the requirements outlined below in the Staffing section.

C.3.4 Large Diplomatic Support Hospital (DSH) Capabilities.

Sather Air Base will have the same common items as the Small DSH facilities and Health Units, but will have:

• staffing that reflects the requirements to manage two surgical patients and the possibility of multiple injured or ill patients
• staffing to include competency in performing and interpreting ECG stress tests
• possess a total of 2 OR tables with anesthesia and supplies
• overnight bed capabilities for up to six patients (12 beds total (6 ICU beds + 6 regular beds))
• post operative / intensive care capabilities for up to six patients to be stabilized until medically evacuated
• It is anticipated that full occupancy would be a rare occurrence.

According to the solicitation, which has now been awarded, the US Government estimates the following staffing: Health Units-5, Small District Support Hospitals-16, Large District Support Hospitals -31.

If I got my math right, and I’m atrocious at math — this comes out to 1 medical support provider for every 326 of the deployed population.

Related info:

1-21-2011 PRE-SOLICITATION CONFERENCE final.pptx (1,054.90 Kb)
January 21, 2011 slides from Presolicitation Conference(FedBiz)

 

 

 
 
 

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Filed under Iraq, MED, State Department, Transition

Iraq Transition: One of the Biggest Risks? Contractor-Led and Run Medical Supply Chain

In March, during the telconference with prospective bidders for the medical support services in Iraq, prospective bidders and DOD/State representatives had a Q&A. The transcript of that telcon was posted at FedBiz as part of the solicitation package.  The excerpts I selected below includes what the Army considers one of the biggest risks during the transition (medical supply chain), right of refusal by the contractor (DOD-left equipment), credentialing and vetting of personnel, and the challenges of the blood supply chain from the transhipment site in Qatar to various sites in Iraq.

As to how many DOD medical providers/medical support staff is currently in theater, apparently, according to the govt reps in this telcon, “There is not a way to answer that.”

INDUSTRY:  [...] In the Army’s mind, what are the biggest risks that the contractor will face during transition?
      
GOVERNMENT:  Lieutenant Colonel [...], CENTCOM.  I think one of the biggest risks are the transition to a contractor-led and run medical supply chain.  With that, I think they need to do a comprehensive study or analysis, if you will, of the transportation piece, and we will have to — and issues, and things like that that are involved with that.

INDUSTRY:  Question number six.  How many medical providers — physicians’ assistance, nurse practitioners, medical doctors, medics, and corpsmen — does the Department of Defense currently have at each site?
       
GOVERNMENT:  Yes.  Each of those sites, at this moment in time, serves a different purpose, and will not be analogous to our population at risk and the size of our missions. 
       
There is not a way to answer that.  There are some sites that have a troop medical clinic with one mid-level provider, and there are, of course, hospitals that, of course, have full staff.  So there is not really an answer that is suitable for this question.  It just can’t be compared to what we will have standing up.

INDUSTRY:  [...] Question 11, does the awarded contractor have the right of refusal on all items left behind by the Department of Defense?  For example, medical equipment.

GOVERNMENT:  [...] I think it would be the contractor’s call, whether to accept the equipment or not.  And if not, then the contractor would have to provide replacement equipment that we would have to agree to.  So
       
GOVERNMENT:  And this is [snip] in Baghdad.  I would agree.  There should be a compelling reason that the contractor would decline the use of equipment offered under this arrangement, and incur further expense to the U.S. Government.

INDUSTRY:  Question 16, will the transition period allow for proper credentialing, security vetting, redeployment training, and administrative processing?

GOVERNMENT:  Yes, I can.  The short answer is we are really uncertain at this point in time of the time frame that is going to be required for credentialing, security vetting, predeployment training, and the administrative processing.
       
The contractor, however, will not be penalized for delays due to the Department of State processes.

INDUSTRY:  Okay.  Question number 12.  What kind of support will DoD provide during the transition and full operating status of the following:  A, equipment, i.e. size, weight, and transportation issues; B, blood, critical resupply time, governing body for access, space to acquire blood supplies, transportation to Qatar; C, pharmaceuticals and vaccines, ministry of health regulations at each country; D, medical gases, hazmat issues, anesthesia and transportation?

GOVERNMENT:  This is [snip].  For A, USF-I will — we will go ahead and set up each of the locations’ equipment — medical supplies, minus pharmaceuticals.  And basically, we will set up each location ready for them to come in and go to work.  And that is portion A.

INDUSTRY:  Okay.  Major [....], on the blood?
       
GOVERNMENT:  All right, Major [...] on blood.  I know blood will be supplied through the Armed Services Blood Program System, and this will be done via coordination through the blood program officer forward, and the blood transshipment center at Qatar.

Inventory levels will be communicated via an Excel spreadsheet, and this is going to be submitted daily to the blood transshipment center, just with general inventory numbers for the blood products, so that the BTC can generate the orders required to fill the inventory levels.

There should be a centralized person from the civilian locations that will consolidate the Department of State blood inventory information from the multiple facilities, and then this will be submitted in the report.  This individual will work directly with the blood program officer forward, and the transshipment center office or staff, for ordering the inventory to include the critical resupply need.
       
The blood transshipment center keeps the red cell products and the frozen products on hand for re-order and any re-supply that is needed.
       
As far as critical resupply times, this is going to vary.  From experience, this is usually dependent on the transportation available.  And for those, it’s my understanding that there will not be military transportation, that this will have to be a civilian-provided transport.
       
From our experience, you know, we can usually get blood products out to theater within a day.  If there is transport delays or storms or anything, it could get up to 48 to 72 hours.
       
Let’s see.  Once the actual transportation method has been chosen and coordinated, I recommend working directly with the transshipment center officer and staff for any final coordination details. 
       
Pick-up, if it should occur directly from the BTC location, that civilian transportation will need to gain access to the base.  I have communicated with our transshipment center officer, and she has the initial contact information for the POC at Qatar who would arrange any base access, be it via flight or ground transport to get there.  It’s just recommended that documentation for access to the base has to be started as soon as possible, due to the time of processing.  Over.

Active links added above. Almost all the moving parts above will now be taken over by different contractors – medical support, air transport, site access, security, etc. And that’s what worries me, frankly.

Read the MSSI transcript, edited 3-15-11.docx (35.38 Kb)

Also below is a diagram that represents how blood (red solid lines), pre-positioned frozen blood (red dotted lines), and reports (blue dotted lines) flow within the Armed Services system and demonstrates areas where efforts are coordinated (gray dashed lines).

Does the State Department or its contractors even have half a comparable system to this by end of 2011?
 
 
 
 

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Filed under Iraq, MED, State Department, Transition

What’s Going to Happen to USAID? Jack Lew?

I got this as a top search item in this blog –
“what’s going to happen to USAID jack lew”
I just made it look pretty …

Last month, The Cable wrote about the anxiety surrounding the appointment of the next USAID Director: “The international development community is very upset and nervous on why it is taking so long for a USAID head to be named,” said one Hill aide. “They fear it bespeaks a lack of prioritization in the new administration. Hillary Clinton’s visit to USAID last Friday helped a little. They’re also nervous that [deputy secretary of state] Jack Lew will be the unofficial development czar.”

Which probably did not help USAID folks feel any better.

Then there’s this one from the Stimson Center:

To implement “smart power” Secretary of State Clinton needs to strengthen the State Department and reassert civilian control over U.S. foreign policy. She has already taken a major step in this direction with the nomination of Jack Lew as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources – a position that has gone unfilled since Congress authorized it in 2000. As Deputy, Lew will be responsible for all foreign assistance within the State Department and USAID, as well as the operational management of the State Department. This significant appointment and span of authority allows the State Department to undertake the human resources reforms necessary to rebuild its capacity. This includes reformed career-long training for Foreign Service officers, cross-discipline and cross-agency assignments, and greater emphasis on long-term strategic planning for both diplomacy and foreign assistance within the State Department and USAID.


On January 28, t
he U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) did announce that Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Executive Secretary (ES) Alonzo L. Fulgham has been designated by the White House as Acting Administrator of the agency. Fulgham also serves as Coordinator of the Agency’s Transition Efforts. He has served as the COO and ES since August 2006. A member of the Senior Foreign Service, Fulgham served as Mission Director in Afghanistan from June 2005 to July 2006. Prior to that, he served as the Director for South Asian Affairs in the Bureau for Asia and the Near East (ANE).


Queried about appointments recently, the Acting Deputy Spokesman had this to say:
“The Secretary and the President have moved forward on making those nominations and appointing those people that they feel are necessary to move and get the State Department working at the moment. […] You’ve seen a fully engaged State Department. As for other appointments that may be coming, those are the prerogative of the Secretary and the President. They will make those appointments as and when they feel that those positions are critical to moving forward further with other initiatives.”

Well now, we know that, I think …


During her first remarks at USAID Secretary Clinton did say this:
I believe in development, and I believe with all my heart that it truly is an equal partner, along with defense and diplomacy, in the furtherance of America’s national security.” Earlier, at the State Department, she talked about the three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development. “And we will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States. And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America’s future.”


So what do we make of all these?


Secretary Clinton has talked a bunch about “smart power,” so I imagine that she had read the report of the Smart Power Commission. The commission report has also cited Global Development as part of the smart power strategy and provided some recommendations: “As this report previously discussed, there are more than 50 separate, uncoordinated programs administered by the federal government that undertake economic and technical assistance. These programs are fractured, lack coordination, and are not aligned to achieve strategic goals. This represents a major impediment. The next president should task the deputy for smart power to work with the cabinet secretaries to develop a coherent management structure and an institutional plan within the first three months of office.”


It seems to me that Jack Lew’s job description might include the removal of this “major impediment.So three months – give it until around April. By then we should have a clearer view of how our development world is going to get realigned under the Obama Administration and who will lead the charge.

Related Items (added on 2/20):

CRS: Foreign Aid Reform: Studies and Recommendation (Dec 2008)
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R40102.pdf

CRS: Restructuring Foreign Aid: The Role of the Director of Foreign Assistance (Jun 2006)
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33491.pdf

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Filed under 67, Secretary of State, Transition, USAID

What’s Going to Happen to USAID? Jack Lew?

I got this as a top search item in this blog –
“what’s going to happen to USAID jack lew”
I just made it look pretty …

Last month, The Cable wrote about the anxiety surrounding the appointment of the next USAID Director: “The international development community is very upset and nervous on why it is taking so long for a USAID head to be named,” said one Hill aide. “They fear it bespeaks a lack of prioritization in the new administration. Hillary Clinton’s visit to USAID last Friday helped a little. They’re also nervous that [deputy secretary of state] Jack Lew will be the unofficial development czar.”

Which probably did not help USAID folks feel any better.

Then there’s this one from the Stimson Center:

To implement “smart power” Secretary of State Clinton needs to strengthen the State Department and reassert civilian control over U.S. foreign policy. She has already taken a major step in this direction with the nomination of Jack Lew as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources – a position that has gone unfilled since Congress authorized it in 2000. As Deputy, Lew will be responsible for all foreign assistance within the State Department and USAID, as well as the operational management of the State Department. This significant appointment and span of authority allows the State Department to undertake the human resources reforms necessary to rebuild its capacity. This includes reformed career-long training for Foreign Service officers, cross-discipline and cross-agency assignments, and greater emphasis on long-term strategic planning for both diplomacy and foreign assistance within the State Department and USAID.


On January 28, t
he U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) did announce that Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Executive Secretary (ES) Alonzo L. Fulgham has been designated by the White House as Acting Administrator of the agency. Fulgham also serves as Coordinator of the Agency’s Transition Efforts. He has served as the COO and ES since August 2006. A member of the Senior Foreign Service, Fulgham served as Mission Director in Afghanistan from June 2005 to July 2006. Prior to that, he served as the Director for South Asian Affairs in the Bureau for Asia and the Near East (ANE).


Queried about appointments recently, the Acting Deputy Spokesman had this to say:
“The Secretary and the President have moved forward on making those nominations and appointing those people that they feel are necessary to move and get the State Department working at the moment. […] You’ve seen a fully engaged State Department. As for other appointments that may be coming, those are the prerogative of the Secretary and the President. They will make those appointments as and when they feel that those positions are critical to moving forward further with other initiatives.”

Well now, we know that, I think …


During her first remarks at USAID Secretary Clinton did say this:
I believe in development, and I believe with all my heart that it truly is an equal partner, along with defense and diplomacy, in the furtherance of America’s national security.” Earlier, at the State Department, she talked about the three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development. “And we will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States. And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America’s future.”


So what do we make of all these?


Secretary Clinton has talked a bunch about “smart power,” so I imagine that she had read the report of the Smart Power Commission. The commission report has also cited Global Development as part of the smart power strategy and provided some recommendations: “As this report previously discussed, there are more than 50 separate, uncoordinated programs administered by the federal government that undertake economic and technical assistance. These programs are fractured, lack coordination, and are not aligned to achieve strategic goals. This represents a major impediment. The next president should task the deputy for smart power to work with the cabinet secretaries to develop a coherent management structure and an institutional plan within the first three months of office.”


It seems to me that Jack Lew’s job description might include the removal of this “major impediment.So three months – give it until around April. By then we should have a clearer view of how our development world is going to get realigned under the Obama Administration and who will lead the charge.

Related Items (added on 2/20):

CRS: Foreign Aid Reform: Studies and Recommendation (Dec 2008)
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R40102.pdf

CRS: Restructuring Foreign Aid: The Role of the Director of Foreign Assistance (Jun 2006)
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33491.pdf

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Filed under 67, Secretary of State, Transition, USAID

Bosworth – The New Six-Party Talks Guy?

The IHT is reporting that Stephen Bosworth, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, is expected to be named as the U.S. envoy to six-party talks on curbing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Bosworth has served three times as U.S. Ambassador, most recently to the Republic of Korea (1997-2000), previously to the Philippines (1984-1987), and initially as Ambassador to Tunisia (1979-1981). He has been the Dean of the The Fletcher School at Tufts University since 2001.

Ambassador Bosworth was the guy who delivered President Reagan’s call for a “peaceful transition to a new government” to Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos during the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Gosh, that is 23 years ago this year!

According to one account in Time magazine, one of Marcos’ men went to see Michael Armacost, who was then “P” and was given a blunt message: Marcos had lost control of his army, the troops under General Ver were ineffectual, and if Marcos did not step down, the country could be heading for civil war. A similar statement was sent to the U.S. Ambassador in Manila, Stephen Bosworth, who took it to Marcos.

Last year, Bosworth co-wrote with Morton Abramowitz (former assistant secretary of State) a piece on North Korea for Newsweek, Reaching Out To Pyongyang urging on a strategy toward Pyongyang that addresses both the nuclear program and the long-term question of how to deal with the weak but dangerous nation.

“What North Korea wants more than anything is “political compensation,” a relationship with Washington, in which the United States would stop making threats, drop all sanctions and start treating North Korea as a friendly country. As Pyongyang sees it, such moves would finally allow it to join the global economic community—key to its survival. Until then, North Korea will hold on to its nuclear weapons as an insurance policy against a U.S. attack and, more important, the threat that Washington will simply ignore North Korea and allow it to starve in the dark. What this means in practical terms is that Pyongyang won’t give up its nukes until it’s sure Washington has permanently abandoned its “hostile policies,” and “mutual trust” has been established. This will require, among other things, establishing diplomatic relations and striking a peace agreement that formally ends the Korean War. […] There are no guarantees, but this approach would be far better than waiting around and hoping North Korea will collapse. That is no real policy at all, and rest assured North Korea knows how to get our attention.”

The appointment has not been officially announced but AP is reporting that officials said Secretary Clinton would like to name Bosworth before her departure Sunday for Asia. Ambassador Bosworth would replace Ambassador Christopher Hill as chief U.S. envoy to the Six-Party talks with North Korea. Click here to read about Ambassador Hill’s talk on North Korea at Harvard earlier this month.


Update: 2/14:
The Secretary asked about the appointment of the U.S. envoy had this to say yesterday: “As to the envoy, we’ll be ready to announce our envoy to North Korea soon. But again, I think you’ll understand that we would like to consult with our partners in the Six-Party Talks before we do so.”

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Bosworth – The New Six-Party Talks Guy?

The IHT is reporting that Stephen Bosworth, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, is expected to be named as the U.S. envoy to six-party talks on curbing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Bosworth has served three times as U.S. Ambassador, most recently to the Republic of Korea (1997-2000), previously to the Philippines (1984-1987), and initially as Ambassador to Tunisia (1979-1981). He has been the Dean of the The Fletcher School at Tufts University since 2001.

Ambassador Bosworth was the guy who delivered President Reagan’s call for a “peaceful transition to a new government” to Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos during the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Gosh, that is 23 years ago this year!

According to one account in Time magazine, one of Marcos’ men went to see Michael Armacost, who was then “P” and was given a blunt message: Marcos had lost control of his army, the troops under General Ver were ineffectual, and if Marcos did not step down, the country could be heading for civil war. A similar statement was sent to the U.S. Ambassador in Manila, Stephen Bosworth, who took it to Marcos.

Last year, Bosworth co-wrote with Morton Abramowitz (former assistant secretary of State) a piece on North Korea for Newsweek, Reaching Out To Pyongyang urging on a strategy toward Pyongyang that addresses both the nuclear program and the long-term question of how to deal with the weak but dangerous nation.

“What North Korea wants more than anything is “political compensation,” a relationship with Washington, in which the United States would stop making threats, drop all sanctions and start treating North Korea as a friendly country. As Pyongyang sees it, such moves would finally allow it to join the global economic community—key to its survival. Until then, North Korea will hold on to its nuclear weapons as an insurance policy against a U.S. attack and, more important, the threat that Washington will simply ignore North Korea and allow it to starve in the dark. What this means in practical terms is that Pyongyang won’t give up its nukes until it’s sure Washington has permanently abandoned its “hostile policies,” and “mutual trust” has been established. This will require, among other things, establishing diplomatic relations and striking a peace agreement that formally ends the Korean War. […] There are no guarantees, but this approach would be far better than waiting around and hoping North Korea will collapse. That is no real policy at all, and rest assured North Korea knows how to get our attention.”

The appointment has not been officially announced but AP is reporting that officials said Secretary Clinton would like to name Bosworth before her departure Sunday for Asia. Ambassador Bosworth would replace Ambassador Christopher Hill as chief U.S. envoy to the Six-Party talks with North Korea. Click here to read about Ambassador Hill’s talk on North Korea at Harvard earlier this month.


Update: 2/14:
The Secretary asked about the appointment of the U.S. envoy had this to say yesterday: “As to the envoy, we’ll be ready to announce our envoy to North Korea soon. But again, I think you’ll understand that we would like to consult with our partners in the Six-Party Talks before we do so.”

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Richard Holbrooke: Our AfPak Man and Diplomatic H-bomb

Jodi Kantor published this weekend (NYT, February 7, 2009), Back on World Stage, a Larger-Than-Life Holbrooke. A must read if you’re in the short-list as ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan, or an officer heading that way. BAGnewsNotes dissects the photo that accompanied the Kantor article and is reminded of John Wayne. But that squint is unmistakably Clint Eastwoody; can’t you imagine him saying – go ahead, make my day?

Kantor has quite a collection of quotable quotes:

From Christopher Hill:

“You have a problem that is larger than life,” said Christopher R. Hill, a longtime colleague expected to be named as the new ambassador to Iraq. “To deal with it you need someone who’s larger than life.”

From Strobe Talbott:

“Richard C. Holbrooke is the diplomatic equivalent of a hydrogen bomb,” said Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state and a friend.

From General Wesley Clark:

“Richard Holbrooke sees power the way an artist sees color,” General Clark said.

From his new boss:

“Asked about Mr. Holbrooke’s sometimes overbearing qualities, Mrs. Clinton replied with mock innocence. “Gee, I’d never heard that he could be any of those things before,” she said. Then she turned serious. “Occasionally he has to be, you know, brought down to earth and reined in.”

From his wife:

“Ms. Marton, in defending her hard-driving husband, said, “Richard is all about outcome.”

Ms. Kantor writes that “And even friends acknowledge that Mr. Holbrooke is intently focused on his own legend. (Many people have personal trainers; Mr. Holbrooke has a personal archivist.)”

It’s no wonder that his return to Foggy Bottom has “caused tremors.” Ms. Kantor explains that “His arrival at the State Department has rattled colleagues who remember him as someone who cultivates the powerful and tramples those with less to offer. Others worry about his assiduous courtship of the news media.”

He may have been gone for eight years but I’ve seen that style imitated by some up and comers at Foggy Bottom. But what’s he really like in a negotiating environment? Here is a view from the other side of the pond.


Ambassador Charles Crawford
, an FCO diplomat who later became British Ambassador to Sarajevo, Belgrade and Warsaw, recollects a meeting attended by Richard Holbrooke during the Contact Group meeting in Moscow prior to the Dayton Peace Conference negotiations in November 1995:

The amazing thing was that the Americans looked twice as big as the Europeans! The US military team of course were bulked up by camouflage jackets, but they looked pretty damn big to start with. Plus Holbrooke is a larger than life character in all senses. So when everyone sat down in the tiny room I had a feeling that already the Americans had an advantage of some hard to define but real sort.

Soon the European side of the table started to make its elegant, firm and reasoned case for starting Dayton rather later.

Dick Holbrooke looked across the table in a friendly way and said something to the effect of, “Well, I’ve talked to the President. Our dates are in his diary. If you are there for the start, that will be fine. And if you’re not, that will be fine too.”

That salvo effectively ended the battle, the ‘European’ position flicked off the table like a wearying crumb.

(Read his entire post “It’s not Fair. He’s Bigger than Me”)

In another post, Ambassador Crawford writes about a later meeting in 1999:

I attended a meeting with him at the FCO in 1999 to discuss Balkan issues. Some of his US colleagues sitting next to him were literally twitching with anxiety, lest he turn on them for some mistake and flick them into professional oblivion.

His negotiating style is uniquely aggressive, but with deft and penetrating psychological thrusts. […] At the London meeting he started to open his briefcase, then rudely took a mobile phone call (“sorry, that was President Obasanjo”) to put us in our place.

Continuing with the briefcase he laboriously started to pull out some papers, then began in a deeply phoney woeful tone :

“I’m disappointed. I’m very disappointed. Really. I am. You people are not helping us here. We thought you’d be with us, and you’re not…”

You needed nerves of steel to hit back hard and well against this sort of thing, which (it must be said) most UK diplomats did and do not possess.
[…]
I have often wondered why precisely we Europeans cannot produce anyone like Holbrooke to lead our diplomatic effort with bravura and amusing confidence, plus ruthless bullying/intimidation.
[…]
Anyway, two people to pity are the US Ambassadors in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They know what is going to hit them.

(Read his entire post “Holbrooke Returns”)


Methinks that the tricky part is how the reporting lines and authority will be redrawn with Holbrooke’s inclusion into the picture. Sure, everybody reports to Secretary Clinton, but there are regional bureaus and functional bureaus. There are assistant secretaries of every stripe. Then there are the American Embassies in Afghanistan and Pakistan – will they be under Ambassador Holbrooke’s control? If so, how will that impact the role of the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) and others? If not – well, frankly I can’t imagine that the org boxes will stay the same with him on the scene.

It’ll probably be hazy for awhile and there probably will be bruised egos along the way… but my sense is that redrawing the org chart must be done now rather than later. That would help assuage uncertainties, minimize anxieties among the career employees within that impact circle and help everyone adapt to a new reality.

I don’t work for the Secretary or any of these folks, so I don’t have a dog in this fight. But from an organizational effectiveness perspective, redrawing the org chart and making sure folks are aware of the changes would make the operation function better and perhaps more importantly, help avoid the unnecessary turf battles that are bound to erupt. Our folks may be all talented and alpha this or that, but they are only human. And human behavior in organizations can take some strange turns.

The sooner this process of adaptation starts, the sooner folks can start concentrating on playing for the American team instead of working in their own silos. And they can’t start that process until they know where they sit in the white space on the organizational chart.


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