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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate assessment of the Dept of State, September 20, 2012
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I work for the State Department. As I read this book I kept thinking "Yes, that is exactly what is happening..." The book is honest. And because of that, people in the Department don't like. They don't like to talk about it - they get nervous when you mention it. But this is the sort of assessment that the Department desperately needs so that it can improve. It is an quick read. Deeply insightful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A call for reform that minces no words, September 16, 2013
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This review is from: State of Disrepair: Fixing the Culture and Practices of the State Department (Hoover Institution Press Publication) (Hardcover)
According to author Kori Schake of the Hoover Institution, the "culture shock of working in the Department of State for someone who'd professionally grown up in the Pentagon is difficult to overstate." In this book she argues that the Department is in "disrepair" and needs "fixing."

Schake's diagnosis and the strong medicine she prescribes largely stem from the Department's shortcomings in Iraq and Afghanistan. "State has not been able to provide the personnel, readiness, flexibility, agility, and funding to support and shape reconstruction programs." The Department "fails to foster the talent it possesses." "The 'whole of government operations' mantra chanted by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mullen should be understood as a plea by the Department of Defense for State to better do its job." To Schake, these organizational shortcomings have "atrophied" the Department, and they have become excuses for failure. Now is the time, she argues, to address training, education, and planning deficits, and to untangle the confusion of executive authorities that hobbled America's response after 9/11.

Fine people in the Department of State have brilliant insights on every regional and functional issue in foreign policy, but without a management and professional upgrade, the Department and the Foreign Service will fall short. Foreign policy specialists must consider this sweeping, brief, and direct call for action.

-30-
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This Old House" Fix for the DOS., April 10, 2012
This review is from: State of Disrepair: Fixing the Culture and Practices of the State Department (Hoover Institution Press Publication) (Hardcover)
This is a book that (finally) is devoid of meaningless blabber and tells why, cogently and without histrionics, what is wrong with the DOS, and how to fix it.
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