In case you missed it department.
Tucked away beneath the fold on page 6 of today's (June 6) NYTimes was this little hiccup of a story from Agence France-Presse:
"Saddled by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the State Department faces a staff shortage crisis amid 'worsening morale,' according to an independent study that blames Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for the problem." Read on.
The highly-regarded Foreign Affairs Council, an organization of retired diplomats and ambassadors (ergo non-partisan) that monitors US diplomacy and State Department Management, reported that 200 existing jobs were unfilled and that the department needed an additional 900 training slots to provide essential language skills and other expertise.
According to the report, all 1,069 new positions and increases in financing between 2001 and 2005 had been absorbed by assignments in (are you sitting down?) Iraq, Afghanistan and other "difficult" posts.
Foreign Affairs Council president, Thomas D. Boyatt, said at a news conference, "My own view is that the Foreign Serivces is at the front edge of a personnel crisis, and if something isn't done about what we have identified here as job No. 1, we are going to be in a very serious situation a year or so from now." Boyatt added, "Morale, of course, is strongly impacted by the fact that we didn't have enough people-- which means that an awful lot of people are pushing it to the limit."
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack pooh-poohed the report as "armchair quarterbacking."
Funny how the Bush Cons set out to shrink the government so "you could drown it in the bathtub," as Grover Norquist famously put it, but instead bloated it and killed it with incompetence.
592 more days.