Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Global Civilian Service

I’ve been meaning to do this – and since I just posted “Hillary Clinton Says No White House Run – And No TSA Pat-Downs!” – what the heck?

From Foreign Affairs, “Leading Through Civilian Power: Redefining American Diplomacy and Development.” The word “staid” comes to mind, but interesting nevertheless:

Diplomacy has long been the backbone of U.S. foreign policy. It remains so today. The vast majority of my work at the State Department consists of engaging in diplomacy to address major global and regional challenges, such as confronting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, facilitating negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, enhancing stability on the Korean Peninsula, and working with other governments to bring emergency relief to Haiti. And President Barack Obama and I certainly relied on old-fashioned diplomatic elbow grease to hammer out a last-minute accord at the Copenhagen conference on climate change last December.

In annual strategic dialogues with a range of key partners — including China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa — the United States aims to deepen and broaden its relationships and to establish a stronger foundation for addressing shared problems, advancing shared interests, and managing differences. The United States is investing in strengthening global structures such as the G-20 and regional institutions such as the Organization of American States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This is part of a commitment to building a new global architecture of cooperation that includes not only the East and the West but also the North and the South.

Although traditional diplomacy will always be critical to advancing the United States’ agenda, it is not enough. The State Department must expand its engagement to reach and influence wider and more diverse groups using new skills, strategies, and tools. To that end, the department is broadening the way it conceives of diplomacy as well as the roles and responsibilities of its practitioners.

The original Foreign Service, as its name implies, consisted of people trained to manage U.S. relations with foreign states, principally through consultations with their counterparts in government. This has been the main function of U.S. ambassadors and embassies, as well as the staff at the State Department. But increasing global interconnectedness now necessitates reaching beyond governments to citizens directly and broadening the U.S. foreign policy portfolio to include issues once confined to the domestic sphere, such as economic and environmental regulation, drugs and disease, organized crime, and world hunger. As those issues spill across borders, the domestic agencies addressing them must now do more of their work overseas, operating out of embassies and consulates. A U.S. ambassador in 2010 is thus responsible not only for managing civilians from the State Department and USAID but also for operating as the CEO of a multiagency mission. And he or she must also be adept at connecting with audiences outside of government, such as the private sector and civil society.

More at the link.

Cross-posted from American Power.

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