Department of State: Persistent Staffing and Foreign Language Gaps Compromise Diplomatic Readiness

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses U.S. diplomatic readiness, and in particular the staffing and foreign language challenges facing the Foreign Service. The Department of State (State) faces an ongoing challenge of ensuring it has the right people, with the right skills, in the right places overseas to carry out the department's priorities. In particular, State has long had difficulty staffing its hardship posts overseas, which are places like Beruit and Lagos, where conditions are difficult and sometimes dangerous due to harsh environmental and extreme living conditions that often entail pervasive ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 24, 2009.

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Description

Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses U.S. diplomatic readiness, and in particular the staffing and foreign language challenges facing the Foreign Service. The Department of State (State) faces an ongoing challenge of ensuring it has the right people, with the right skills, in the right places overseas to carry out the department's priorities. In particular, State has long had difficulty staffing its hardship posts overseas, which are places like Beruit and Lagos, where conditions are difficult and sometimes dangerous due to harsh environmental and extreme living conditions that often entail pervasive crime or war, but are nonetheless integral to foreign policy priorities and need a full complement of qualified staff. State has also faced persistent shortages of staff with critical language skills, despite the importance of foreign language proficiency in advancing U.S. foreign policy and economic interests overseas. In recent years GAO has issued a number of reports on human capital issues that have hampered State's ability to carry out the President's foreign policy objectives. This testimony discusses (1) State's progress in addressing staffing gaps at hardship posts, and (2) State's efforts to meet its foreign language requirements."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 24, 2009

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Department of State: Persistent Staffing and Foreign Language Gaps Compromise Diplomatic Readiness, text, September 24, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293877/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.