Snapshot: State Dept’s Africa Bureau

Map from state.gov

All but seven of its 48 posts have hardship pay over 15 percent. Eight receive danger pay. AF posts are also home to many entry-level officers, whose mentoring often suffers in the absence of seasoned supervisors. AF posts share the Department-wide deficiency in mid-level staff and a world-wide deficiency in ICASS staffing in relationship to other agencies’ overseas growth. The problem is exacerbated in AF posts because career and financial rewards are reserved for service in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The difficulty of work was compounded by 76 evacuations due to actual or threatened outbreaks of violence in the last decade alone.

Excerpt from The Bureau of African Affairs: | OIG Report Number ISP-I-09-63
August 2009 | PDF

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Public Diplomacy: MIST has more Money than PAO

Here is one more stark reality when it comes to public diplomacy programs funded by DOD and by State:

“AFRICOM also provided military information support teams (MIST) to engage the public. MIST teams have exponentially more money to spend in a country than do embassy public affairs offices. In Somalia, for example, the Embassy had $30,000 to spend on public diplomacy while the MIST team had $600,000. Given the urgency of combating terrorism in Somalia, money was needed and the reported successes of MIST programs elsewhere served as a recommendation. Under MIST, AFRICOM inherited an established military practice of working closely with embassy public affairs officers to develop and fund effective programs.”