American Diplomacy

Following the life and times of U.S. diplomacy and international relations.
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Real life diplomacy is like the board game, but less violent.

Real life diplomacy is like the board game, but less violent.

That’s right, this post marks the big 1-0-0 for the site. It’s quite an achievement, if I say so myself.

When I began this blog, I knew I wanted to keep the site pretty much focused on how to best prepare for the Foreign Service exam with the occasional tidbit about what to expect in the Foreign Service lifestyle. There are tons of…

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It’s funny to watch the traffic on the site wax and wane. Usually whenever it is time to register, I get a little surge then it goes back down. Next, I get a big wave of traffic when people find out they have passed the written portion of the Foreign Service Officer Test. Oddly enough, a big dip in traffic tends to happen after the results of the Qualifications Evaluation Panel are released. Why?…

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Life at U.S. Embassy Kabul #foreignservice cc: @AFSAtweets

Daily life at every U.S. Embassy around the world varies in flavor. Some are sleepy, backwater posts where the work quietly chugs along with little notice from Washington. Others are constantly in the spotlight and received a steady flow of VIP visitors, each eager to be where the action is. Then there are the war zones. Your Afghanistans, Iraqs, Yemens, and Sudans. These posts are a world unto…

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New FS blogger Scott has offered up some great tips that allowed him to excel on the FSOT. He hasn’t actually started with State yet, but he is on the home stretch and should be joining the team soon. You can follow his blog at Flickomat.

Many of his suggestions are ones you have probably heard before, but it is always good to get a fresh perspective from someone recently through the process. In…

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Welcome to the 179th! #foreignservice

Welcome to our newest group of Junior Entry Level Officers, the 179th A-100 class!

That’s right, I didn’t forget this time. No hate mail this time.

Here is my normal A-100 advice:

  • Enjoy it. It’s a ton of fun.
  • Learn from it. You’ll hear from many experts in their field.
  • Appreciate it. There are countless others who would gladly trade places with you.
  • Go to the happy hour events. Besides being fun,…

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Feathered and Furry in the Foreign Service #foreignservice

You think it will be tough to move you and your belongings half way around the world for your Foreign Service assignment? Often, yes. Is it even more difficult with kids? I imagine so. Throw in a dog and a cat and that must be the ultimate in the relocation nightmare, right? Not quite.

Digger over at “Life After Jerusalem” not only has to move a dog and two cats around the world, she has a…

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Those Pesky Personal Narratives #foreignservice

As always when people find out they’ve successfully passed the written portion of the Foreign Service Office Test, I receive a little spike in traffic. Everyone desparately wants to know how to craft a masterful personal narrative that will blow away the Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP). Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The Good News

This step in the process of becoming a Foreign…

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VIP Visits and You - A Guide to the Insanity #foreignservice

The blog has been a bit quiet lately. Not because nothing has been going on. Quite the contrary. Too much was going on. We had an S visit.

John Kerry

This guy showed up with around 80 of his buddies.




If there is one event that truly pushes an embassy close to its breaking point, it’s a VIP visit. I’ve had the chance to survive several through my career thus far and here is a taste of what to…

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