Tuesday, April 22, 2003

# Posted 9:24 AM by Patrick Belton  

SHOTS ACROSS THE BOW OF STATE: Newt Gingrich, who currently serves on the Defense Policy Board, will apparently make a speech this morning at AEI to promote State Department reform. (See this story from the morning's WaPo.)

In the past, I've considered criticisms of the State Department here, because like any human institution, the State Department is inherently in continual need of reform. I simply happen, as a foreign policy hand, to know State best. (Incidentally, the idea of institutional sin, which received a compelling formulation in the anthropological assumptions of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, has been very influential in forming the intellectual worldview of most post-WWII foreign policy realists, from Kennan and Morgenthau to Kissinger).

What's needed, however, are creative ideas about how to reform and revive a human institution that's inescapably in need of continual reform, rather than merely another inning in the traditional Republican pastime of State-bashing. Hopefully the former Speaker will begin a process that will produce such needed creative ideas; we'll be looking on attentively, and eagerly.
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