“You have one more test to pass.”
That’s what then–secretary of state George Shultz would tell newly appointed diplomats after they had finished the obligatory grip-and-grin. The guest in his office would look puzzled, and Shultz would instruct him or her, “You have to go over to the globe on my desk and identify your country.” Invariably, the statesman would point to New Zealand or Egypt or some other nation, to which Shultz would reply, “No, point to your country,” reminding him where his true loyalties lie.
“Originally,” Shultz says, “I thought of it as something fun.” But when it took several years for someone actually to spin the globe around and point to the United States, the exercise became a potent—and telling—display of the underlying problem of the State Department. Foggy Bottom’s inverted priorities—believing that the job of the diplomatic corps is to represent a foreign country’s interests in America, not America’s interests in the foreign country—can be seen in any number of examples, from easy visas to child abduction cases.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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