Jun1520097:56 am

A hardship post is different than a dangerous one

James Fallows ponders the seeming incongruity of an FSO post in Shanghai warranting nearly half as much hardship pay as posts in cities like Kabul and Baghdad. Doesn’t seem like serving in a major, booming city like Shanghai is quite as “hard” as serving in a war zone, Fallows thinks. A commenter writes in, though, to inform him that hardship doesn’t mean danger:

I’d like to point out that the hardship differential is not designed to compensate Foreign Service Officers for dangerous duty. The hardship differential is paid for a variety of reasons: if the duty location is heavily polluted, or if it is very isolated, or if it is in a very poor area and amenities are hard to come by, and so forth…

Hardship pay is separate from danger pay, which is paid for tours where life and limb are risked.


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