The murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya is evidence not only of the sacrifices made by American diplomats around the globe but of the struggle for resources constantly faced by America's foreign service, according to former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.
"The work they do I wish you could show every taxpayer, because they would be completely impressed by what our men and women do behind those walls in those embassies and outside of those walls," said Huntsman in an interview on "Power Play with Chris Stirewalt." "Many of those stories will never be told, but it is extraordinary and it goes right to the heart and soul of protecting America's interests and expanding our position overseas."
Huntsman said that he appreciates the attention and honor paid to the uniformed military, including his two sons who serve in the Navy, but thinks that a lack of focus on the diplomatic corps has left civilian overseas outposts short of resources compared to their military counterparts.
In an interview after the show, Huntsman said that resources were often hard to come by even when he led the second-largest U.S. embassy in the world in Beijing. He said that 30 percent of diplomatic positions around the world remain unfilled and security improvements at embassies are often put on hold for budgetary reasons.
Even so, he said that the members of the diplomatic corps continue to press forward with their mission.
"I would call many of them the post 9/11 generation. They were on Wall Street working as lawyers and professionals we were hit, and they said to themselves I want to do something meaningful," Huntsman told Stirewalt during the show. "They went to the military, the went to the intelligence agencies, they went to the foreign service and said I want to sign up and help. We are now 10 years into this group and they are in their 30's and 40's and they are remarkable people."
*Senior Producer Lexi Stemple also contributed to this post