DOD’s Overseas Footprint Substantially Larger than State Dept’s Shoes

Shoes and toes 26Image by devilarts via Flickr

Last week, the smart folks over at the Stimson Center’s Budget Insight blog had this up: 
The size of the military, its budget, and its overseas footprint are all substantially larger than the US civilian foreign policy agencies, as the data below shows.

The defense budget is nearly 13 times bigger than all US civilian foreign policy budgets combined.  For Fiscal Year 2010, Congress has provided $636.3 billion for defense and $50.6 billion for diplomacy and foreign assistance.  Although the diplomacy and foreign assistance budget has grown faster since 9/11 than defense, this growth has not significantly changed this fiscal imbalance.[3]
The Defense Department (DOD) has the largest overseas presence of any federal agency, including the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID).  In November 2008, for every 1 USAID employee deployed overseas, there were 23 State Department employees deployed and 600 military/civilian personnel deployed overseas from DOD.[4] Increasingly US interests are represented by someone in uniform or working for the military, as contrasted with a diplomat or foreign assistance provider.
The overseas footprint of DOD is significantly larger than that of the civilian agencies. In November 2008, for every 1 USAID overseas mission, there were 3 embassies/consular posts, and 9 military bases.
A symbol of the imbalance between DOD and State − in 2008, DOD spent roughly $16 billion on fuel.  That is more than the entire cost of running the State Department, which was $13.5 billion.[5]
Read the whole thing here.


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Books on Life in the Diplomatic Fold

Lest you think that State’s internal culture is a new subject — you can read  A Theory of Public Bureaucracy: Politics, Personality, and Organization in the State Department by David Warwick from Harvard Press (1975).  There is also Managing Diplomacy (1984) where career diplomat, Harrison M. Holland writes about it at length (see pages 172-187). The surprising thing is how the organization has both changed and remained the same in so many ways. The most recent book about the service is Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service by former Foreign Service officer, Harry Kopp and the late Ambassador Charles Gillespie (former ambassador to Grenada, Colombia and Chile). The last one is a good read, although it does not go deep enough on the internal life of the organization: