Washington, D.C., December 16, 2010 — America's most pressing national security challenges cannot be solved with military force alone. Secretary Clinton embraced this view at yesterday's unveiling of the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which emphasizes "leading through civilian power."
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has conducted extensive research and analysis on this topic through its Diplomacy and Development and Civilian Capacity projects. This work includes two new reports released today: Managing 21st-Century Diplomacy: Lessons from Global Corporations and Beyond Borders: Developing Comprehensive National Security Policies to Address Complex Regional Challenges. These reports provide specific policy recommendations that, if implemented, would better leverage diplomacy and development to advance U.S. national security interests.
CNAS Expert Commentary:
“The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review marks another step in the
development of the foreign policy tools America needs for this century's
complex challenges. In an era of new threats and new opportunities, we
need smart power overseen and implemented by diplomats and aid workers who are
integrated with defense professionals to win wars and keep the peace.”
Kristin Lord, Vice President and Director of Studies: “With the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Secretary Clinton has issued a sweeping call for State Department reform. The review calls for a major investment in civilian-led conflict prevention and response, elevates the importance of economics and energy in U.S. foreign policy, and directs the Department to engage foreign publics as a core diplomatic mission. But one question looms: What now? If the QDDR is to have the impact its drafters seek, Secretary Clinton must turn immediately to implementing it. The real measure of success is what happens tomorrow and in the months and years that follow.”
Patrick Cronin, Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow: "A world filled with war, terrorism, poverty, disease and humanitarian disaster will demand more civilian power to defend and advance America's interests and values. The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review is a necessary first step toward overhauling our diplomatic corps and development expertise for the 21st Century. Some will say the report does not go far enough, but it begins an all-important process that allows the State Department and USAID to continuously assess ends and means."
Richard Fontaine, Senior Fellow: “Today’s release of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review has a number of positive elements. Consolidating offices and bureaus, further empowering ambassadors overseas, and establishing regional hubs for experts on particular issues are moves in the right direction. But some key questions remain unanswered. What are the key priorities for the State Department over the next four years? Is our foreign aid to be used as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy or as a disinterested exercise in international development – or both? Is the traditional way of hiring and training foreign services officers appropriate for 21st-century diplomacy? Even for those questions the QDDR does answer, implementation will be difficult. A raft of reports and studies about reform of the State Department have come and gone over the decades, and the building has remained resistant to major change. It will require high-level, sustained leadership to turn the QDDR’s recommendations into concrete results.”
Brian Burton, Fellow: “The QDDR is long on good ideas about how to reform and enhance U.S. diplomacy and development, but rather short on clues about how they will be implemented. In particular, it is unclear whether the QDDR’s recommendations will pass muster with Congress, whose approval will be required to enact many of the review’s measures and to provide more of the additional funding to truly empower State and USAID’s ‘civilian power.’ That would be tough even in the best of times, but the increasing strains on America’s finances may prevent proposed reforms from becoming reality. Nevertheless, Secretary Clinton must be commended for initiating the QDDR in the first place. Despite all of its well-publicized trials and tribulations, the process is worth having in order to compel America’s leading foreign policy agencies to regularly reexamine their strategies and resources. Hopefully future secretaries of state will continue what she started.”
Managing 21st-Century Diplomacy: Lessons from Global Corporations by Kristin Lord and Richard Fontaine
This report examines the management strategies of four global corporations and identifies concrete lessons that are applicable to the U.S. Department of State. The findings emphasize the need for the State Department to balance local flexibility with unity of effort; align strategy formulation with execution; and place a heavier emphasis on developing human capital.
Beyond Borders: Developing Comprehensive National Security Policies to Address Complex Regional Challenges by Patrick Cronin and Brian Burton
The U.S. government must adopt new comprehensive approaches that transcend borders and government agencies. These comprehensive approaches require four major changes from the U.S. government: think beyond borders to develop coordinated regional strategies across government agencies; develop more effective means of implementing these coordinated regional strategies through the military’s combatant commands; strengthen the role of country teams within individual countries; and strengthen U.S. capacity for security sector assistance and conflict prevention.
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.