Letters to the Editor

A thank you to all State Department employees

In a time when the Trump Administration has proposed cuts of 28 percent to the State Department, I’d like to take time to personally thank all of the brave, hardworking men and women at State — both the Foreign Service and civil service employees.

State Department employees serve in embassies across the world — making themselves subject to terrorist attacks. They work to achieve the goals of our foreign policy — increasing security by informing the publics of other countries on our foreign policy and also fostering conditions of stability and progress. Having a group of people who work for a more stable, peaceful and democratic world pays back the American taxpayer, as this puts less pressure to spend money on defense.

When the cuts were proposed, some senior military officers voiced opposition. Retired Gen. David Petraeus, a former CIA director, and retired Adm. James Stavridis, the former NATO supreme allied commander, are among the former officers who said that State Department funding is “critical to keeping America safe.” They also quoted a 2013 remark by former Marine general and current Defense Secretary James Mattis: “If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

Jason Sibert, Peace Economy Project