Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 14, 2009

Yesterday, addressing the U.S. Agency for International Development, Secretary Clinton spoke about the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.

Yesterday, Secretary Clinton participated in a town hall meeting at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The Secretary spoke about a new enterprise, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR). The QDDR will help us create short-term and long-term blueprints for advancing our foreign policy objectives and enhancing coordination between USAID and the State Department, a crucial element of exercising smart power. Through this process, we will be working closely with the White House to harmonize the activities of USAID and the State Department with the goals and actions of the entire government. Secretary Clinton said:

"We see in the Obama Administration development as one of the most powerful tools we have for advancing global progress, peace, and prosperity. The President and I believe that it therefore must be a vital part of our country’s foreign policy. And when I became Secretary of State, here in this great space, I pledged to elevate development to its rightful place alongside diplomacy and defense as we tackle the many global challenges and seize the opportunities facing us.

We are committed to pursuing peace and prosperity in every corner, not only in the marble halls of government, but in rural villages, in distant cities, where people are striving to live and work and learn and raise families and grow old with dignity. These are universal dreams, and the United States seeks to make them a reality for more of the world’s people.

To that end, we have set the United States Government on a path to double foreign assistance with our 2010 budget request. We’ve made significant pledges of assistance for the West Bank and Gaza. We’ve made development an integral part of our approach in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq. And at last week’s G-8 meeting in Italy, the President announced our food security program that will come with a major increase in funding for food and sustainable agriculture. And again, when he was in Ghana, he focused on the importance of smart development.

So development stands on its own pillar of our foreign policy, as does diplomacy and defense. And at their best, they reinforce each other. When USAID and the State Department work in tandem, we achieve a multiplier effect, significantly increasing the scope and the impact of our programs and policies.

To deliver concrete results, we have to maximize our effectiveness. That’s why I’m excited to be here today to discuss a new enterprise, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which I announced at the State Department on Friday.

We are adopting this idea from the Pentagon. The Pentagon has successfully used this quadrennial review process to improve effectiveness and to establish a long-term vision. And I know from my time – about six years on the Senate Armed Services Committee – that the defense review helped convey the Department’s mission to all stakeholders, from members of Congress, to the members of the armed forces and their civilian colleagues, and to the rest of government, as well as to the American public.

Diplomacy and development deserve the same rigorous evaluation and strategic thinking. To protect our nation, advance our interests, and spread opportunity to more people in more places, we, of course, need more than a top-notch military. We need talented diplomats to foster partnerships and negotiate peace. We need experts in development, like all of you, to steer crucial investments and the material conditions of people’s lives, from strengthening health and education to improving agriculture and access to food and water.

We also need development experts to create the conditions for what President Obama described in Ghana as transformational change. So we rely on your expertise to promote and support good governance, fair and open access to global markets, strong political and economic institutions, and a thriving civil society.

As we’ve seen in many places around the world and most recently in Afghanistan, long-term stability depends not only on the defeat of violent extremists, but also on the construction of roads, the creation of jobs, and the strengthening of Afghan institutions to address the needs of the people.

For the past six months, I have fought on behalf of USAID and the State Department to get you the resources you deserve to do your jobs well. We’ve called for our government to increase its support of our work. But in return, we are also called to improve on that work. So this review comes at a critical time. We are facing an unprecedented set of challenges. And too often in the face of these challenges, USAID and the State Department are forced to play catch up when we should be taking the lead.

The truth is we know we can do better. We know that, those of us in this effort together, better than anyone. But it’s also true that in a time of economic recession in our own country, we owe it to our brothers and sisters and parents and friends and colleagues and classmates who are struggling to be able to put their own family’s future on a strong footing, to explain to them why at this time we are asking for significant increases in the work of diplomacy and development.

We therefore have to strengthen and streamline our organizations. And we have to be sure that we do so in a way that tells the story of the importance of the work that the State Department and USAID does for the citizens of the United States as well as for the people of the world.

So we’re going to launch this major reevaluation of how we set our priorities, organize our work, and allocate our resources to make sure that we start looking to the horizon; to plan, not just react. For the State Department and USAID to have the greatest impact, we cannot simply strengthen each agency on its own. We need to maximize the collaboration between us. We want to build on the existing partnerships and find new opportunities, to share knowledge, tackle common problems, and align our programs around the world."

You may read the Secretary's full remarks here.



Janet W.
Michigan, USA
July 14, 2009

Janet W. in Michigan writes:

I know you are working hard and I know there are those all over the world that need good food and clean water, but I just hope we start at home first. There are so many here at home that need good food and clean water too!

South Korea
July 15, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

betray is death..

New Mexico, USA
September 3, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

To Sec. Clinton,

Referencing the daily briefing of Sept. 2nd:


First, as a U.S. citizen I want to commend Ian Kelly for the way he came charging into this briefing with candor up front and forthrightly addressing what I can only describe as an abysmal dereliction of duty, and grave endangerment to not only embassy security, but to the overall mission we as a nation are embarked upon in Afghanistan.

Ian's comments on the level of security did not address the parameter I am most concerned with as a potential Foreign Service Officer candidate. No fault of Ian's , he was having a really challenging day at the podium, and doing his best to address the questions put to him. And a fine job he did, to be sure.

Yes, technicly no post was left unmanned, filled by embassy staff when the contractor could not fulfill their contractual obligations due to lack of manpower. I can accept that oversight was present, but in a tight knit community like an Embassy, yes indeed folks should have known what was going on.

What we have here is as bad as Abu Graib.

Wait for it. Within a few days, the Taliban or al-quaida will come out with a statement explaining why abu graib happened was simply because Americans in general are sado- masochistic perverts that torture each other for grins and giggles and they'll use the POGO photo's as their proof.

If it shocks us, what do you think it will do to shock the average Afghan who would otherwise see us as friends when he feels compelled to hide his women and children?

Loss of trust among the Afghan people for our moral dicipline feeds the Taliban's propoganda machine and creates conditions that deteriorate security in general, for everyone. Lives put at risk by terminal stupidity.

If it was left up to me to solve this problem, I'd do the following:

I'd have every employee of the contractor on a plane out of Afghanistan no later than Fri. this week. having called General McCrystal and informing him I needed 500 extra Marines at Embassy Kabul ASAP to fill the posts vacated and to prepare for riots.

( if I were acting Ambassador)

I'd do this in anticipation of President Karzai's imminent phone call informing me that these idiots were persona non grata in his country. So I could tell him it was already done because we won't tolorate this anymore than the average Afghan would.

That's for starters. Assuming the action taken would mitigate long term damage to U.S. reputation in the eyes of the Afghan people, and I'd just avoided a riot on my doorstep and kept the peace, I'd then get my staff back to work and let the investigative process do it's thing without too much interferance in the critical functioning of the embassy at such a critical time. Like we all really need this distraction to ongoing efforts. There's a job to do, and if this detracts from that, the damage is only compounded.

I can only think that this issue will be the undoing of outsourcing our Embassy security to private firms via the quadrenial review process, which I have all ways felt was inherantly risky from one single security standpoint.

It is my understanding that no foreign national may carry a weapon on U.S. soil unless that foreign national has joined the ranks of the U.S. military and taken the oath.

Instead, we have allowed private firms to vette foreign nationals to carry weapons on the soverieign U.S. territory of U.S. Embassies in many countries. I don't trust Wackenhut or it's subsidiaries to do that job any more effectively than Bozo the Clown, based upon Wackenht's record here in New Mexico running our state's privatized prison system.

This is where the real security breach lies:

If I were a terrorist, I'd do everything I could to get hired by a private security contractor, and eventually I'd get in to an embassy, be armed, and lay waste to the unsuspecting.

As I see the situation currently, it is only a matter of time before something like that happens.

Forunately, I'm not a terrorist, I only think like one, as a process of "red team thinking" on behalf of creating a stronger, more effective "blue team", and saving lives.

Madam Secretary, I believe it is possible if you, the President and Sec. Gates put your heads together, to come up with 30,000 U.S. troops to replace every private security contractor employee now manning posts at US embassies, and I don't care if you'all have to create a shortage of potatoe peelers in mess halls to do it, or strip marching bands of every musician. This situation is flat unacceptable to this U.S. citizen, and I'm probably expressing the disgust shared by millions of us, not just that which I share with Ian.

How this gets handled will have great impact on Congress' willingness to entertain your budget requests, so I hope you'll consider what I've had to say here, most seriously.

Godspeed in diplomacy,



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