Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Congress left our embassies exposed

Salon explores how tax policy decisions contributed to under-protected U.S. embassies:

Among the worst trends in U.S. foreign-policy making in recent decades is the decline of the State Department and the corresponding rise of the Defense Department. State is responsible for American diplomacy — the hard work of negotiating and maintaining relations with other countries; Defense (formerly the Department of War, a more honest designation) looks after war-making and protecting national security. Few things reflect America’s skewed foreign-policy priorities more than the funding discrepancies between the two departments. Consider the numbers:

  • ...The State Department’s funding request for 2013 was $51.6 billion, $300 million less than 2012, because, it said, “this is a time of fiscal restraint.”
  • The Pentagon’s 2012 budget? $614 billion. Mitt Romney promises to increase defense spending dramatically.

More discussion at the link.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe I am being harsh but I have always thought the US Consulate in Toronto is particularily ratty and beat up. On the otherhand the Canadian Consulate in Boston is in the snazzy Copley Place Shopping Center right above Tiffany's and Louis Vuitton. Of course disproving the rule is the Canadian NYC Consulate in the basement basically of the McGraw Hill building in Rockefeller Center. (I believe a Canadian Auditor General's report put the NYC Consulate and Canadian Embassy in Havana in the worst of the worst).

    Back to the US I have heard that Consular Services is basically starved to the death of funding and it is actually a good thing when people renounce their citizenship because its "money" for consular services and fewer US Citizens to serve abroad.

    Rick Mercer on Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC


    I idea I suppose is to go to a more "user fee" model like Canada does in theory through the Passport Canada as a standalonge agency model.


    Of course Rick Mercer might have something to say about that too: