Daybrook’s tweet about the job opening prompted mocking on the platform, with comments ranging from “Job Postings with Threatening Auras” to “I don’t suppose this is a remote work opportunity.”
According to the listing, the public engagement assistant is responsible for advising the embassy on media trends, media climate, and dealing with the media on a variety of bilateral and multilateral issues. The assistant will also monitor print and broadcast media to understand how the U.S. is perceived and portrayed in Afghanistan and the goals of the country’s political parties. At least three years of experience in journalism or communications is required.
President Joe Biden announced in April that the U.S. would withdraw all forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Biden’s decision marked an end to America’s longest war.
As far as the embassy’s evacuation goes, the U.S. has sent 3,000 troops to the country to help evacuate diplomats and some civilians, NPR reported. The troops will be stationed at the Kabul airport and tasked with providing security to U.S. diplomats flying out of the country. In addition, the troops will also help evacuate Afghan interpreters who have worked with the U.S. over the years.
Not all employees at the embassy will be evacuated, though. Friday’s memo stated that a small consular staff will work in Kabul. This will presumably include the public engagement assistant the embassy is hoping to hire.
In the end, the embassy was probably going to be criticized no matter when it posted the job opening. I get that there are many people who work in dangerous places throughout the world, so this isn’t exactly an outlier. However, given the situation, it seems like it would have helped to include more details on the embassy’s plan to ensure employee safety in the long-term.