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ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I began this book for two reasons. First, I had some ideas on doing political analysis as a diplomat that I wanted to share with others. I spent a lot of my diplomatic career either doing political analysis or overseeing it, and I think that is the aspect of the profession that I was best at. Second, I think the public impression of the Foreign Service in particular and the diplomatic profession in general is rather negative. I hoped that providing some actual examples of Foreign Service political reporting, along with some background about how it is done, would contribute to a better understanding of at least this aspect of Foreign Service work. I have dedicated this book to the men and women of the United States Foreign Service, as well as to their colleagues in other countries , because they are trying to make things better and because their efforts are often unappreciated. An abbreviated version of some of the ideas in this book, presented from the perspective of intelligence reform, appeared in the journal Intelligence and National Security (volume 24, December 2009) under the title “Is It a Pearl or a Kidney Stone? Intelligence Reform and Embassy Reporting, from Moscow to Baghdad.” I had the benefit of comments and suggestions on an earlier draft from several former Foreign Service officers: Richard Combs, Mark Foulon, Jack Zetkulic, and an anonymous reader from the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. They helped to improve both the content and the tone of the final manuscript, although I am entirely responsible for the flaws that remain. I would like to thank ADST for accepting my manuscript into its publishing program and its editor, Margery Boichel x ———— ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thompson, for her editorial suggestions, her help in placing this work with Potomac Books, and her positive outlook. My brother, Joseph Smith, who is a State Department information management officer, helped update my understanding of the Department’s communication and distribution system and policies. My wife, Ann Miller, is a good friend and a great partner. She makes my life better in many ways. ...


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