The Cable
The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

Names: Masiello, McCormick to State’s PM bureau

What’s the best way to increase the military IQ of the State Department’s political-military affairs bureau? Bring in a general. That’s the thinking behind the soon-to-be-announced appointment of Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Masiello (left) as the newest deputy assistant secretary (DAS) under Assistant Secretary Andrew Shapiro and Principal DAS Thomas Countryman, administration sources confirmed ...

574100_100125_masiello2002.jpg
574100_100125_masiello2002.jpg

What's the best way to increase the military IQ of the State Department's political-military affairs bureau? Bring in a general.

What’s the best way to increase the military IQ of the State Department’s political-military affairs bureau? Bring in a general.

That’s the thinking behind the soon-to-be-announced appointment of Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Masiello (left) as the newest deputy assistant secretary (DAS) under Assistant Secretary Andrew Shapiro and Principal DAS Thomas Countryman, administration sources confirmed to The Cable.

Masiello will join the bureau around the same time as fellow new DAS Beth McCormick, rounding out the front office at PM, which is still staffing up due to Shapiro’s late confirmation. McCormick will start next week.

Rumors of McCormick’s appointment were first reported by Politico. She was last the deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and will be in charge of PM’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls as well as the Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers. She’ll have oversight of defense trade licensing and Foreign Military Sales arms transfers.

Masiello will be the DAS for plans, programs, and operations. As far as anyone can remember, he’ll be the first active general officer to serve as a DAS in more than 20 years. He’s on the way back from Baghdad, where he was most recently deputy director for strategic effects. Bush-era assistant secretary for PM Mark Kimmitt was a retired brigadier general when he moved over to State.

Masiello will be responsible for the more than $6 billion of security assistance programs that flow through State each year, and he’ll be the main point of contact day to day regarding these programs. He is due to start in early March.

As The Cable reported last week, State and DOD are going at each other hard over which security assistance funding authorities will be moved over to State. We reported that one tranche of funding, the “1206” funds, will stay in DOD’s coffers when the budget request comes out next week.

But that’s only a small part of the overall accounts in play and State could come out the net victor in the bureaucratic turf battles when it all shakes out. Stay tuned…

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

More from Foreign Policy

Residents evacuated from Shebekino and other Russian towns near the border with Ukraine are seen in a temporary shelter in Belgorod, Russia, on June 2.
Residents evacuated from Shebekino and other Russian towns near the border with Ukraine are seen in a temporary shelter in Belgorod, Russia, on June 2.

Russians Are Unraveling Before Our Eyes

A wave of fresh humiliations has the Kremlin struggling to control the narrative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva shake hands in Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva shake hands in Beijing.

A BRICS Currency Could Shake the Dollar’s Dominance

De-dollarization’s moment might finally be here.

Keri Russell as Kate Wyler in an episode of The Diplomat
Keri Russell as Kate Wyler in an episode of The Diplomat

Is Netflix’s ‘The Diplomat’ Factual or Farcical?

A former U.S. ambassador, an Iran expert, a Libya expert, and a former U.K. Conservative Party advisor weigh in.

An illustration shows the faces of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin interrupted by wavy lines of a fragmented map of Europe and Asia.
An illustration shows the faces of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin interrupted by wavy lines of a fragmented map of Europe and Asia.

The Battle for Eurasia

China, Russia, and their autocratic friends are leading another epic clash over the world’s largest landmass.