December 16, 2010

QDDR Release a Positive Step Forward but Execution is Critical

 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."

Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has conducted extensive research and
analysis on this topic through its Diplomacy
and Development
and Civilian
projects. This work includes two new reports released today: Managing
21st-Century Diplomacy: Lessons from Global Corporations
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.

Expert Commentary:

Nagl, President
“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.” 

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.”

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."

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.”

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.”


21st-Century Diplomacy: Lessons from Global Corporations
by Kristin Lord
and Richard Fontaine

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.

Borders: Developing Comprehensive National Security Policies to Address Complex
Regional Challenges
by Patrick Cronin and Brian Burton

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.



Center for a New American
 (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.