The US foreign service was a civilian process until the end of the Second World War. Since then, the armed forces have encroached on the State Department's diplomatic mission. The Goldwater‐Nichols Act of 1986 authorized worldwide “Commands” in the Department of Defense. This left to the uniformed heads of the Commands the latitude – and funds – to usurp more of the diplomats’ foreign‐affairs authority within their geographic areas. It is time to change this strategy.
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