Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hosted a town hall meeting today to discuss the release of the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, "Leading Through Civilian Power," with Department of State employees.
Secretary Clinton said, "...I am proud today to unveil the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the QDDR. This is a sweeping effort that asks a simple question: How can we do better? How can we adapt to a world of rising powers, changing global architecture, evolving threats, and new opportunities? How can we look ahead, prepare for, and help shape the world of tomorrow?
"The QDDR is a blueprint for how we can make the State Department and USAID more nimble, more effective, and more accountable, a blueprint for how our country can lead in a changing world through the use of what I call 'civilian power' -- the combined force of all of the civilians across the United States government who practice diplomacy, carry out development projects, and act to prevent and respond to crisis and conflict.
"Leading through civilian power saves lives and money. With the right tools, training, and leadership, our diplomats and development experts can defuse crises before they explode and create new opportunities for economic growth. We can find new partners to share burdens and new solutions to problems that might otherwise require military action. And where we must work side by side with our military partners in places like Afghanistan and Iraq and in other fragile states around the world, we can be the partner that our military needs and deserves.
"Now, as you dig into this report, you'll see that it is driven by two overarching factors. First is President Obama's emphasis on fiscal responsibility and efficiency throughout the federal government. Through the QDDR, we have tried to minimize costs and maximize impacts, avoid overlap and duplication, and focus on delivering results. Across our programs, we are redefining success based on results achieved rather than dollars spent. And this will help us make the case that bolstering U.S. civilian power is a wise investment for American taxpayers that will pay off by averting conflicts, opening markets, and reducing threats.
"The second factor is a rapidly shifting global landscape. Once, only a handful of great powers had the clout to shape international affairs. Now, power is shared by a wide array of states, institutions, and non-state actors. The information revolution has brought millions of people all over the world into an ongoing global debate -- and they, too, can influence events, unleash new threats, or devise new solutions to global problems.
"As you see at State and USAID and across our government every day, today's challenges and opportunities spill over borders and they blur traditional bureaucratic divides. They are complex and interconnected. For example, advancing democracy, promoting sustainable economic growth, and strengthening the rule of law in fragile states are all overlapping and mutually reinforcing endeavors. They cut across bureaus and offices and agencies. They demand not just the skills of our State Department diplomats and USAID development experts, but also the expertise of civilian specialists across the U.S. government.
"...The QDDR will help the State Department and USAID adapt to, shape, and stay ahead of these trends. This is a program of reforms that will fundamentally change the way we do business."
You can read the complete transcript here. A special briefing on the QDDR by State Department Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter and USAID Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg is available here. Additional information about the Report, including links to download the complete text, is available here.