Diplomacy Is Not Management, but the Buck Still Stops with Rice
Rice's Management at Issue Critics Cite Blackwater, Baghdad Embassy and Passports
By Glenn Kessler Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, November 10, 2007; A01
Shortly after Condoleezza Rice took charge of the 57,000-person State Department in 2005, she said she relished the challenge of "line responsibility" in leading a large organization. "I really enjoy that," she said in an interview. "Some of my favorite times here have been my budget and high-level management reviews."
Nearly three years later, Rice is under fire from inside and outside the State Department for a range of crises that are largely managerial in nature -- the failure to monitor private security guards in Iraq, the delays in opening the huge U.S. Embassy under construction in Baghdad and the resistance of some Foreign Service officers to being forced to serve there. Over the summer, the department also fell woefully short in processing passport applications, resulting in ruined vacation plans for many Americans.