For a long time, the Department of State has played a crucial role in ensuring that the affairs of the country and its neighbors are adequately addressed. Formed in 1789, the departments focus has been on overseeing the foreign policy of the United States in addition to making consultations with the Congress and the Head of State on global diplomatic issues and policies. The Department of State is viewed to have been the first executive department which was formed after the last endorsement of the constitution of the United States. Its role is significant in ensuring that the Congress and the President perform as per the expectations of the American public. The departments mission is to To advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system. The basic roles of the department include; providing security and support to the American citizens who live or travel to other nations and providing assistance to the United States industries and other economic ventures which are located in the international marketplace. The department also manages and offers support to the global activities done by other American agencies, making official visits both in the U.S. and other countries and engages in other diplomacy activities. It also engages in communicating to the U.S. public on the countrys foreign policy and its association with other countries and providing feedback to the government officials which is obtained from the public.
Be that as it may, the current situation in the State Department is alarming. It is acceptable for the head of state to come up with improvement strategies that may shape up his or her legacy. However, it becomes a critical issue when the new policies negatively impact the organization of a department. The environment in the State Department is currently unappealing with respect to the changes taking place in its organization. The first action that the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, employed was to expand the department by adding more aides who would assist in advising the secretary. The nations diplomatic corps veterans view the expansion as an unparalleled attack on the Department of State whereby the aggressive White House is viewed to slash the departments budget and to cut off from file and rack from an isolated leader in addition to resulting in an immense decrease in the morale of workers. The new administration is perceived to undermine, neglect and look down on the role played by the State Department with the view that the changes pose a risk to the legacy developed by the U.S. on global diplomacy.
The new administration is also viewed to undercut the nations diplomacy and to put at risk the nations leadership duty towards the world by not filling most of the important positions in the department, putting aside the officers associated with foreign career services when making decisions and enacting policies which are incoherent. Also, most of the officials in the department feel demoralized with the view that the new administration has shuttered the vision that drives the whole department. The isolation of the new secretary is viewed to infuriate the diplomats whereby he does not align with the hopes that the diplomats had expected from his position in the new administration. Measures that may assist in handling the crisis include filling the empty senior positions, increasing the departments funds, and including all members of staff in the decision-making process.
Why I am suggesting these measures
As the President, there is need to manage the problem in the department to ensure that it continues playing its role in the internal and external affairs of the state. One measure includes filling the empty seats of the officials who were fired when the administration gain the leadership position. It is perceived that the absence of senior officials has decreased the morale of the members of staff in addition to grounding the gears which are associated with the decision-making process. There is the need to fill up the position to ensure that the department continues with its role. Furthermore, it creates certainty that just in case a problem arises, there are people to handle the issue. There is also the need of considering the re-hiring of the officials who were sacked. Considerations might be made on their merits and the roles that they played in the department if there lack people with the skills to occupy their positions. The idea is to have a staff that includes both new and old members to improve the functions of the department.
Another measure is to increase the funds set aside for the functions of the department. Cutting its funding limits its functions in addition to demonstrating that the white house does not highly regard the presence of the department in the U.S. administration. Furthermore, the expansion in terms of staff implies that adequate funding is necessary to ensure that the needs of the staff are met and that the department has sufficient support to perform its activities.
There is also need to include the career officers in the decision-making process as every idea counts when it comes to achieving the departments goals. Isolation some employees may result in demoralization which in return results in poor performance. Therefore, it becomes inevitable to view the all the sections in the department as a single unit rather than a division of offices. As the executive agent, there is need to consider these measures to ensure that the U.S. maintains its leadership role from a global perspective.
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