The Cable

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

Pentagon Latin America official to depart

One of the Pentagon’s top officials dealing with Latin America, Frank Mora, will leave government after next week, he told friends in an e-mail obtained by The Cable. “As many of you know, next Friday, January 25, will be my last day as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere (DASD-WHA),” Mora wrote ...

615019_130118_mora5.jpg
615019_130118_mora5.jpg

One of the Pentagon's top officials dealing with Latin America, Frank Mora, will leave government after next week, he told friends in an e-mail obtained by The Cable.

"As many of you know, next Friday, January 25, will be my last day as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere (DASD-WHA)," Mora wrote in the e-mail. "In June, my family and I will be heading to Miami where I've accepted the position of Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) and Professor of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University (FIU). My family and I looking forward to going back home and taking on this wonderful opportunity afforded to us by FIU."

Mora served as DASD-WHA for almost four years, under Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs led by Paul Stockton.  The joining of homeland security and Latin America never made sense to many when it was announced as part of a reorganization of the Pentagon's policy shop in 2009, but Mora's portfolio included defense cooperation with South and Latin American countries as well as coordination between U.S. Northern Command and Southern Command.

One of the Pentagon’s top officials dealing with Latin America, Frank Mora, will leave government after next week, he told friends in an e-mail obtained by The Cable.

“As many of you know, next Friday, January 25, will be my last day as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere (DASD-WHA),” Mora wrote in the e-mail. “In June, my family and I will be heading to Miami where I’ve accepted the position of Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) and Professor of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University (FIU). My family and I looking forward to going back home and taking on this wonderful opportunity afforded to us by FIU.”

Mora served as DASD-WHA for almost four years, under Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs led by Paul Stockton.  The joining of homeland security and Latin America never made sense to many when it was announced as part of a reorganization of the Pentagon’s policy shop in 2009, but Mora’s portfolio included defense cooperation with South and Latin American countries as well as coordination between U.S. Northern Command and Southern Command.

From 2004 to 2009 Mora was Professor of National Security Strategy and Latin American Studies at the National Defense University. He has also worked as a consultant to the Library of Congress, the Air Force, the Army, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the National Democratic Institute, the State Department, the Organization of American States, the Joint Staff, and U.S. Southern Command. 

Mora has also worked observing elections in several countries, including Paraguay, Peru and El Salvador, according to his Defense Department biography. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Miami Herald, La Tercera (Chile), Wall Street Journal, CNN, Los Angeles Times, El Tiempo (Colombia), National Public Radio, Voice of America, and USA Today. He is the author or editor of five books and holds a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University, as well as an M.A. in Inter-American Studies and a Ph.D. in International Affairs from the University of Miami 

No replacement for Mora at the Pentagon has yet been announced. In the meatime, Principal Director Walter Earle will serve as acting DASD-WHA.

In his e-mail, Mora thanked the White House, the Pentagon, the regional partners, and the OSD-WHA team for what he termed a “priceless” opportunity to serve.

“I can’t find the words to truly express how much I respect/admire all of you,” he said. “If I was in any way successful as a DASD, it was largely due to your hard work and commitment to public service. It was my honor.”

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

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.