Building a New Architecture of Global Cooperation

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
December 8, 2009

Last night, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. The Secretary said:

"We have been talking a lot in the last months that we need to be committed to using American leadership to build a new architecture of global cooperation. And fundamental to that idea is that the 21st century not only presents many shared challenges, but also demands shared responsibility. No nation can meet today’s challenges – or seize its opportunities – alone. Leadership in this era means stepping up to the plate and galvanizing others to do the same.

That is the approach we are taking in the Obama Administration. We are pursuing broader and, we hope, more effective diplomacy that reaches beyond government. And we are committed to development that is delivered, as the President has said, through partnership, not patronage, that achieves meaningful, measurable, sustainable outcomes.

Last week, the President outlined our strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. And when he spoke at West Point he made very clear that we cannot finish the job on our own, or with military might alone. To take advantage of this window of opportunity – and I believe the beginning of President Karzai’s second term is such a window of opportunity – we will be sending 30,000 new American troops to Afghanistan and will be joined by 7,000 or more troops from our allies in NATO and the International Security Force, ISAF. But we are also tripling the number of civilians on the ground, and we are seeing other countries come forward with additional commitments of civilians and civilian aid. When I became Secretary of State, there were about 320 civilians in Afghanistan, and many of them were on six-month tours. And we have been on the path to more than tripling that number, and we have one-year tours and we have very specific assignments for the people who are being sent to Afghanistan. We have also begun expanding our civilian effort in Pakistan, whose stability is essential to the security of that region and beyond.

Now, like our troops, these civilians make huge sacrifices on behalf of our country, living and working in difficult and dangerous circumstances. Before I came to the dinner tonight, I hosted a reception at the State Department for family members of those who are serving in unaccompanied posts around the world, the bulk of whom are in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. I saw their wives and their husbands, their children, in some cases their parents. And it reminded me so forcefully that our civilians serve every single day in conflict areas, in places of great danger, and they come to these missions with a profound belief in the importance of their work.

When I was in Kabul several weeks ago, I sat around a table at our Embassy with some of the men and women who are part of our integrated civilian-military approach. And I listened to a colonel talk about how critical it had been to him and to his soldiers to have a USDA agriculture expert working with their brigade, and how a rule of law expert was working with JAG lawyers to extend a system of justice so that Afghans do not have to rely on the Taliban for legal matters in their communities. This is not a one-way street: our military creates space for our civilians to do their important work; and our civilians maximize the efforts of our troops in the field to bring stability and security.

By working together, as your honoree from last year, Secretary Gates, has stressed, our military and civilian personnel are poised to make real progress, not only in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq, but so many other places around the world. Ultimately, our goal is to prevent instability in the first place, to use our diplomatic and development tools to promote conditions that enhance peace and security, and make the need for military action more remote. It is far cheaper to pay for civilian efforts up front than to pay for any war over the long run.

Last year, Secretary Gates spoke to you about the importance of programs that amplify peace dividends that promote active citizenship, spur economic development, expand opportunity, and safeguard human rights. Now, it is rare – at least it was rare – for a Secretary of Defense to advocate for better civilian capabilities and stronger development program. But Secretary Gates and President Obama, all of you, and I know that it is only through this kind of approach to our foreign policy that we will be successful over the long run.

Now, today, we are still recovering from the deepest global economic shock in our lifetimes. We face environmental pressures, health pandemics, widespread poverty and hunger. And the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction remain a threat to every person on the planet.

Yet, even with these grave problems, our world is ripe with the potential for innovation and we are poised to solve a lot of what appears to be intractable today. Promising technologies are emerging, from vaccines to ever-shrinking and more powerful laptops to cloud computing. New tools empower and connect more people than ever before. With online networks, tens of thousands of miles are crossed at the click of a button. Never before have we had so much contact and exchange with people everywhere at one time.

So to meet these 21st century challenges, we need to use the tools, the new 21st century statecraft. And we’ve begun to do that. U.S. shipping companies are taking steps to defend their cargo ships and defeat piracy off the coast of Somalia. U.S. tech companies are working with the Mexican Government, telecom companies, and NGOs to reduce narco-violence. We’ve brought three tech delegations to Iraq, including a recent visit by Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, where he announced that Google would be digitizing the entire content of the Iraqi National Museum and launching an Iraqi Government YouTube channel to promote transparency and good governance.

We have seen the possibilities of what can happen when ordinary citizens are empowered by Twitter and Facebook to organize political movements, or simply exchange ideas and information.

So we find ourselves living at a moment in human history when we have the potential to engage in these new and innovative forms of diplomacy and to also use them to help individuals be empowered for their own development.

As part of smart power, we are strengthening our bilateral relationships and our historic alliances, as well as our ties to emerging powers. In the first 11 months of the Administration, we have launched strategic dialogues with many countries, including China and India, that provide a foundation for partnership on a range of shared issues and give us a venue for discussion and conversation across the board on every single issue.

At the same time, we are working to engage leaders and governments with whom we don’t agree, just as we did throughout the Cold War. We never stopped talking to the Soviet Union leadership, even as we had missiles pointed at each other.

And we are broadening our outreach in other ways. We joined the Human Rights Council to participate in the often raucous international conversation on human rights. We have signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have fully embraced the Millennium Development goals. And this week, our Special Envoy Todd Stern will lead the U.S. delegation to the Copenhagen climate negotiations, where the United States will work to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive international framework agreement that will mitigate one of our world’s most pressing and pervasive problems."Full Text

Comments

Comments

Morgan
|
Texas, USA
December 8, 2009

Morgan in Texas writes:

Funny that the 21st century problems of piracy and narco-terrorism can be solved with 18th century instruments, a pen - to legalize the narcotics which are fueling drug wars around the world, and a gun - which in the hands of a cargo ship handler can be used to defend his vessel from a wooden pirate boat.

If these problems are so serious, why do we allow them to continue when we have the tools to stop them cheaply, effectively, and immediately?

Do we really need billion dollar satellites and fleets of aircraft for Mexico to do what one bic pen can do?

digitalvirtue
|
Nigeria
December 8, 2009

D.V. in Nigeria writes:

Good sense...as usual :-)

Ron
|
New York, USA
December 8, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Pretzel Logic....

Legalize drugs, arms, organ-trafficking, blood-diamonds, etc....and you get more terrorism....less human security....more global insecurity....less possibility for stable civil societies.....Blowing pirates off the seas does nothing to deal with the problem of Corruption and Poverty on the land.

If you want to make a real dent; seize the assets of the traffickers ad imprison the corrupt officials who empower them. Then, we will have trillions for a new Global Architecture.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
December 8, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Morgan in Texas,

(chuckle)...very well put.

My guess is you'd have to convince the fellow wielding the pen that legalization would have that effect.

As for recon, there's more than drug dealers to contend with.

Why spend the money? Because it will cost too much to pay for a mistake in underestimating the risk proliferation of WMD poses, or because of a simple failure of imagination.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
December 8, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

There used to be this concept called "the balance of power".

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome home to the "balance of responsibility".

My initial question is this;

Does this mean "plausable deniability" is a thing of the past?

Frank
|
Pennsylvania, USA
December 8, 2009

Frank in Pennsylvania writes:

Clinton's State Department should invite various news agencies and media to film and interview the other State Department employees behind the scenes who are helping the Secretary realize her vision and optimize the potential of Social Networking and other forms of electronic media to bring the world closer together. Might inspire youth throughout the world to demand the same from their own governments. Good stuff!

Morgan
|
Texas, USA
December 9, 2009

Morgan in Texas writes:

@ Ron in New York, Drug sponsored terrorism, civil and governmental instability, poverty, institutionalized corruption, paramilitary/fundametalist groups run wild, executions and beheadings - the worst case scenario isn't some potential outcome of legalization...it is already happening.

Ron
|
New York, USA
December 9, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

The Train has left the Station....

We are 1 decade into the New Millennium and 2 decades into the privatization/globalization of the world. The race for natural resources; is becoming a race to the bottom....Africa, for one large example, is rife with
trafficking of all kinds...feeding global crime, terrorism, addiction, HIV/AIDS, etc. I have been calling for Global Asset Forfeiture since 1988. As for legalization, I have come to believe it is a final solution for those who
have given up the fight for humanity; and wish to profit from their plight.

.

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