Failing State

Michael Sheehan, Karen Greenberg


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced earlier this summer that the State Department will issue an inaugural “Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review,” or QDDR. Due out in its preliminary form this fall, the QDDR is modeled on the Defense Department’s “Quadrennial Defense Review” (QDR), the four-year planning exercise conducted by the Pentagon that outlines its broad goals and budgetary needs. Clinton has made strategic planning and interagency cooperation priorities for the QDDR. As she rightly put it, “we need to work better, work smarter, and work together with more partners in and beyond our government.” Indeed, the challenges the State Department will face over the coming decades require solutions that do not conform neatly to existing bureaucratic divisions, particularly countering the spread of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and managing climate change, pandemics, and regional conflicts. A smooth and efficient interagency process that optimizes the abilities and knowledge of key U.S. foreign-policy organs is essential to tackling these complex challenges that reach beyond the capabilities of any single department.


Excerpt reproduced with permission from Foreign Policy, Copyright 2009 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive LLC. Read the full article at  []

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