Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Clinton Speech Signals Transformation at State

In Hillary Clinton’s first major foreign policy address as secretary of state, she made the case for changes in how the Obama administration’s national security agenda will be carried out.

Thomas Dixon
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jul 16, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (WDCpix)
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (WDCpix)

Over the last several days, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has quietly begun institutionalizing the Obama administration’s pledge to rebalance civilian and military elements of national security. Her speech to the Council on Foreign Relations Wednesday afternoon is her most visible attempt yet to make a case for transforming the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s place in the national-security pantheon in order to suit U.S. foreign policy goals.

Clinton’s speech, delivered to an audience of foreign-policy elites, didn’t announce any new policy or change of course. She made a case for administration priorities like multilateral reductions in nuclear arms and proliferation, engagement with adversarial nations like Iran, midwifing a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and promoting global human rights. Like most post-Cold War secretaries of state, she called America’s global leadership an enduring fact of the geopolitical landscape, and cast responsible U.S. foreign policy as shepherding a “global architecture” whereby states have “clear incentives to cooperate and live up to their responsibilities, as well as strong disincentives to sit on the sidelines or sow discord and division.”

Illustration by: Matt Mahurin
Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

But the speech itself was less a policy address than a platform to explain how changes that Clinton has recently initiated to prepare the State Department and USAID to shoulder more of a national security burden match the administration’s objectives. On Friday and again on Monday, Clinton held townhall meetings with foreign-service officers and development workers to unveil a new project, called the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. Modeled on one of the Pentagon’s most prominent reports, Clinton’s announced effort is designed to match the department’s missions with its resources and identify shortfalls in capacity, and will presumably recommend necessary institutional changes.

The study, led by Deputy Secretary Jack Lew and Policy Planning Director Anne-Marie Slaughter, will also address internal reform issues on core department and USAID tasks. It will “explore how to effectively design, fund, and implement development and foreign assistance as part of a broader foreign policy,” Clinton said, chiding U.S. foreign-aid money for insufficiently “contribut[ing] to genuine and lasting progress.”

For years, the State Department has lacked even the basis for understanding how underresourced it is. In October, a report by the American Academy of Diplomacy, a diplomatic advocacy group, assessed that the Secretary of State “lacks the tools — people, competencies, authorities, programs and funding — to execute the President’s foreign policies.” State did not even compile documents or reports designed to link resources to foreign-policy missions. The result was “the ‘militarization of diplomacy’ is noticeably expanding,” the study found.

The QDDR is “an intelligent measure” to begin reversing the trend, said retired Amb. Ronald Neumann. Clinton’s “focus on resources is important and has been too often neglected by secretariess of state who focused only on policy,” said Neumann, a former ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain and Afghanistan. “She understood she’s not going to manage effectively with a busted institution.”

One of the Obama administration’s earliest steps to bolster State Department capacity was to increase the State Department’s operating budget by $2 billion, mandating the hiring of over 700 new Foreign Service staff to meet worldwide shortages of diplomats, and to increase the foreign aid budget by nearly 10 percent to $51.7 billion. In an rare move, Defense Secretary Robert Gates lobbied Congress in favor of giving the State Department more money, on the grounds that an under-resourced department created a burden on the military to fill gaps in diplomatic positions. Similarly, prominent military leaders like Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in the Middle East and South Asia, have frequently advocated a “whole-of-government approach” to complex security problems like the Afghanistan war and related instability in Pakistan, urging robust diplomatic and development resources to be used to supplement military measures. Clinton used the phrase twice in her speech.

A core goal for Clinton will be “to ensure that our civilian and military efforts operate in a coordinated and complementary fashion where we are engaged in conflict,” she said. In places like Afghanistan, the department has pledged to bolster its civilian diplomatic and developments, but few diplomats have made the journey so far to dangerous regions like Helmand Province, where 4000 Marines are battling the Taliban to provide security and governance for Afghan civilians.

The QDDR will require the State Department and USAID “to think hard about whatever we want to achieve” and to “demonstrate results,” Clinton said. That process will position the civilian elements of foreign affairs to more effectively manage and reform global institutions. “We’ll use our power to convene, our ability to connect countries around the world, and sound foreign policy strategies to create partnerships aimed at solving problems,” Clinton vowed in her speech, saying that the U.S. needed to “create opportunities for non-state actors and individuals to contribute to solutions.”

Clinton’s focus on institutional reform is a welcome change, Neumann said, contributing to her emergence as a strong secretary of state. “Overall, it’s very hard to say she’s put a foot wrong anywhere in any significant way,” he said.

Thomas Dixon | He creates the ideal marketing experience by connecting online brands with their target audiences. He recently completed a research paper on consumer conversion and took part in a community project on SEO optimization. Thomas is working on his Bachelor of Arts in Communications and plans to intern in an online marketing department soon.

Related

$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV

The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.

Army Data Shows Constraints on Troop Increase Potential

If President Obama orders an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, he will be deploying practically every available U.S. Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve in case of an unforeseen emergency and further stressing a force that has seen repeated combat deployments since 2002.

1. Brian Schweitzer

As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this

$1.3 Million for Brown

The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul

$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds

Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal

#1 in Conspiracy Theories

Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy

1 Brigade and 1 Battalion

ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the

$1 Million for Toomey

Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the

1. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry

Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban

Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on

Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry

China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.