Condi Rice’s tenure as SecState has been competent, if lackluster. Until now. Last week, Condi announced some sweeping changes at State:
* Diplomats can no longer build careers by hiding behind desks in comfy capitals. They’ll have to accept dangerous assignments and serve in hardship posts; develop regional expertise in at least two areas; and speak at least two relevant foreign languages (French waiters need not apply). That ain’t going to make Rice popular with diplos accustomed to rotating between Rome and Northwest D.C. on their way to ambassadorships. Yet, it’s vital if we’re going to convert our failed, 19th-century- model State Department into a useful tool for the 21st century.
* Ouch! Condi really put Paris and Berlin in their places