But that’s easily fixed: Give State Department employees who serve in dangerous places overseas the same benefits military members get when serving in a war or combat zone. Those volunteering to serve in dangerous jobs deserve all the protection Uncle Sam can give them.
It’s also time to update the way we train and deploy diplomats, especially the sort of multi-talented policy officers we want in conflict zones. They shouldn’t be completely defenseless. They wouldn’t be soldiers, but rather professionals with rudimentary training in self-defense and in operating in a combat or high-intensity conflict situation.
To succeed in linking all the elements of our National Security Strategy -- including defense, diplomacy and aid -- into a coherent program, the U.S. needs more volunteer diplomats who want to serve overseas, not fewer. Our Foreign Service officers took an oath to go where they’re sent, and we could force them to go into dangerous areas. But we’ll be more effective if they are well-trained volunteers, showing America at its best.