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The case leaves behind some disturbing questions about how a diplomat with nearly 40 years' experience became the focus of a career-shattering investigation – apparently without anyone seeking clarification from knowledgeable State Department officials about her assignment to open alternative channels to repair the badly strained relationship with Pakistan.Three of Raphel's supervisors at State's office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, known as SRAP, explained Raphel's mission when she became a special adviser in 2011 after leaving a post in Islamabad overseeing U.S. assistance there.Dan Feldman, Raphel's last boss at SRAP, says the case shows that other agencies need to better understand diplomacy: "I wish there had been better and more coordinated knowledge about the nature and importance of diplomatic channels, and what it entails for diplomats to be effective in pursuing critical national security priorities".The case had a "chilling effect" on other diplomats who feared they might be next, a half-dozen State Department officials told me. But Raphel's colleagues stood behind her, even when the investigation was still active.
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