Austin Bay on Changing Organizational Culture at State
But on the other hand he recognizes the vast differences in the resources available to the Department of Defense and State -- a difference on the order of 12:1 and the gap in their organizational cultures. Both will take time to change, if change is considered desirable. The width of the gap was illustrated by absence of terminology to deal with involuntary diplomatic deployments. Words such as the "draft" or "volunteering", which have historical meanings in the military have no history in diplomacy. Just how do you compel a diplomat to go where he would rather not be posted? Austin Bay writes:
The State Department certainly isn't conducting a draft. Its diplomats and departmental specialists all accepted government jobs without coercion. "Call-up," however, doesn't really describe the situation, not with adequate precision. "Call-up" implies the use of reserves, of part-timers. Our diplomats aren't reserve "weekend warriors" leaving jobs and businesses to pick up rifles. They are full-time professionals who know –when they sign on—that they have duty stations world-wide.
What is it? A deployment. I don't see this as quibbling over words. Professional diplomats deploy. They aren't draftees and they aren't reservists.
That might seem self-evident to Austin Bay, but some diplomats may well have a different concept of their jobs. Whether or not the State Department changes under the crucible of circumstances remains to be seen. Nothing follows.