WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- The United States needs a larger and better-trained diplomatic corps, an academic study released Tuesday concluded.
"Forging a 21st-Century Diplomatic Service for the United States through Professional Education and Training" was prepared by the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Stimson Center.
The report made a number of recommendations, including requiring that all U.S. Foreign Service officers get a year of advanced training as a prerequisite for promotion to a senior post.
"Since at least 2001, America's 'smart power' equation has been out of balance," the report said. "Increasingly, under-investment in diplomacy and development has led to the US military taking on responsibilities traditionally met by diplomats and development experts. That under-investment has left the U.S. Foreign Service overstretched and under prepared."
Brent Scowcroft, who served as a national security adviser to two presidents -- Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush -- said in the report's introduction that on-the-job training is no longer adequate for Foreign Service officers, The Washington Post reported.
The report warned that disputes about government spending could thwart the State Department's plan to increase the number of Foreign Service officers by 50 percent by 2014. The U.S. Agency for International Development plans to double its staff by then.