How to trick Congress into spending more on diplomacy (07:35)
Let's see - you don't really want to trick Congress, but the idea these guys talked about here is not such a bad idea (you need money, of course). But how about regional training centers instead of training centers sprinkled across the United States or one concentrated at FSI in Virginia?
This would be at least four states, with at least eight senators and some congressional reps. And since it's regional, the number of employees would be higher than it would be if they were simply training centers. Instead of possibly 20 employees at some center in Oklahoma, perhaps you might have 300 workers in Florida or Texas as hub for those heading to the Western Hemisphere. Put one in Seattle for those heading to the East Asian regions. Multiply that by four - those employees would mean more to the congressional representatives than a mere 20, wouldn't it? The higher the numbers, the merrier of course, and the more votes, too. And hey! we can talk other agencies to sending their staff to these training centers and DOD into sending their soldiers over for language training to these satellite regional branches of FSI. May even open up the courses to federal contractors for a fee.
Except, of course, that with DOD's budget, they can actually expand DLI, their language school in Monterrey or build more foreign language schools across the country if they want. Or DOD can just hire non-U.S. citizens as language and cultural specialists, so no need for training schools.
But look - if we really think about it, wouldn't it be a good idea not to get everything concentrated in one place like DC? It made sense then, but not in this day and age. I think the regional centers would be useful not only in recalibrating the organizational structure into a starfish-like entity for security purposes but also in building up a natural constituency in the process. Is that really crazy?
Links to other segments in this Foreign Policy Forecast
Note that if you click on the links to the other segments, it will take you to the bloggingheads.tv website.
Can candidates discuss foreign policy in a non-stupid way? (07:35)
The future of the Iraq debate (10:17)
Talking foreign policy without losing the average Joe (06:27)
Heather on why Democrats are getting stronger on defense (08:40)
Dan defends Bush’s diplomatic skills (07:35)