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Politico: U.S. Must Deloy More Foreign Diplomacy Personnel

Authors: Henry A. Kissinger, George Shultz, James A. Baker, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group LLC, Colin L. Powell, United States Army (Ret.), and Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University
June 25, 2009


Eight former Secretaries of State jointly argue that national security requires more sufficient personnel in this article on funding for development and diplomacy.

Excerpt: National security is about more than bullets. "Smart power," "soft power" and the "Three D's"-- development, diplomacy and defense--are widely accepted as important and effective foreign policy principles. Unfortunately, when it comes to the federal budget, diplomacy, development and democratic governance too often get short shrift.

The American military fully understands the issue. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have called repeatedly for more robust civilian resources. New U.S. Army manuals for counterinsurgency and stability operations recognize that civilians must take the lead on critical issues such as refugees, humanitarian assistance and governance. "Where are State and AID?" remains a frequent cry from officers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The answer is that sufficient personnel to undertake these duties does not exist at the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, because the budget has not been there for recruitment and training.

A recent report--"Foreign Affairs Budget of the Future," by the American Academy of Diplomacy, in cooperation with the Stimson Center--has documented the problem and the need.

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