Monday, June 13, 2011

Newtster News: Gingrich to move embassy to Jerusalem on 1st day in office; to restructure State Dept -- details in 392 words!

His political campaign may have imploded post-Greek isle cruise, donors may have deserted him and Callista, but Newt Gingrich promises to "endure the challenges" and slog on with his presidential campaign.

Over the weekend, he gave an address to a Jewish group, promising no less that he'd  move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on his first day in office, resurrecting USIA to fight the battle of ideas once more, and oh yeah, restructuring the U.S. Department of State, too.

Newt's Address to the Republican Jewish Coalition | Selected quips below:

#1. As a demonstration of this new resolve, the United States should move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Israel has every right as a sovereign free nation to choose its own capitol and we should respect that choice. As President, on my first day in office, I would issue an executive order directing the U.S. embassy in Israel to be moved to Jerusalem as provided for in the legislation I introduced in Congress in 1995.

#5. We must also re-establish the United States Information Agency as a robustly funded worldwide anti-terrorism and pro-freedom communications and advocacy system. The USIA fought for our side in the war of ideas during the Cold War and helped us win.
In 1999, this agency was dismantled because we thought the war of ideas was over. We discovered on 9/11 that it was not.
The USIA helped America win the Cold War and it can help us win the war against evil terrorist organizations and dictatorships. But to do this we must ensure that the USIA once again has independent board of governors reporting to the President and coordinating with the State Department but not controlled by the diplomats.

8. All of this will require a restructured State Department, a new level of training and management for Ambassadors, a new promotion system, and a profound shift in the culture of the Foreign Service.  The quickest way to change the culture at the State Department is to inject new blood into the system. We must engage in fundamental reform of the overly slow and bureaucratic security clearance system to raise the level of applicants to the Foreign Service.

Change on this scale will be bitterly fought by the old guard at State and their media allies. It will require a strong, experienced, and knowledgeable Secretary of State and a deeply committed team around him.

My campaign website contains a detailed document outlining the other changes that will be necessary to transform the State Department's historic aversion to moral clarity about the difference between terrorism and civilization, which have weakened both the United States and Israel.

I am, of course, a sucker for detailed documents that seek to transform the State Department. So I followed the link and here is what I found:

The Newtster's "detailed document" is a 392- word piece entitled: Newt: A Real Peace Process Requires Fundamental Reform of the State Department.

Not kidding, take a look.

Besides that weighty 392- word piece in what must be a Twitter version of restructuring a government agency, Mr. Gingrich's piece links to two additional info:

How to Block the Palestine Statehood Ploy: Congress can take a cue from Jim Baker in 1989 and threaten to cut U.S. money for the U.N.html]

That's an article by former UN Ambassador John Bolton in the WSJ  dated June 3, 2011. Oh, maaaan!

The second link in the Newtster's website is to the "Hart-Rudman Commission recommendations on State Department reform." The link takes you to a 10 years old document of the Commission titled  - "Volume V - Department of State"a 229 page long addendum on "structure and process analysis" which contains outdated org charts, stats and backgrounders dating back to the late 1990s. A quick scan does not indicate that this volume even contains the suggested reforms from 10 years ago, only "observations" of selected bureaus. Which by the way, does not have a separate section for "M" as in management.

Oh dear! Did anyone from the campaign actually read Volume V before they linked to it?

The report is titled, United States Commission on National Security/21st Century April 15, 2001 National Security Study Group assisted by Booz·Allen & Hamilton. Click on this for a Wikipedia description.

This strikes me as rather odd for someone of Gingrich's stature: The Newster calls for reforms in the State Department but has not bothered to look under the rocks?

Seriously. A 392-word "detailed document" which includes this:
The quickest way to change this culture is to inject new blood into the system.  The overly slow and bureaucratic security clearance system must be fixed to raise the level of applicants to the Foreign Service.  The promotion system of the State Department, which like in many bureaucracies, is known to favor mediocrity and discourage creative thinking, also requires fundamental reform.

Change on this scale will be bitterly fought by the old guard at State and their media allies. It will require a knowledgeable and strong Secretary of State and a deeply committed team around him.

The Newtster says, "security clearance system must be fixed to raise the level of applicants to the Foreign Service."

Holy mother of goat -- what the heck is he talking about?

Wait, wait, that preceding paragraph sounds a lot like his speech at the Jewish Coalition, too.

If that's not cut and paste, he must just really, really like that section. Or perhaps his speech writer quit, too?

Anyway, a strong Secretary of State?  Sounds like SoS John Bolton under a Gingrich Administration, you betcha!

Unless, of course, Mr. Bolton also runs for president. And he might yet do that, and then Mr. Gingrich would have to find another strong SoS. Or they could agree ahead of time that whoever loses the presidential run gets to restructure the State Department. Sounds only fair.

I have no objection to restructuring this agency or that, even the State Department, if it makes the organization works more effectively. But I'd like to know that the Newtster actually knows what he is talking about and not just engaging in political panhandling.


1 comment:

Z. Marie said...

I find the multiple "him" references to the Secretary of State to be interesting. Because, you know, there's never been a woman in that job. Oh, wait ...