Task Force Urges State Dept Reform, Bipartisan Group Led by Carlucci Lays Out Action Plan

Task Force Urges State Dept Reform, Bipartisan Group Led by Carlucci Lays Out Action Plan

January 8, 2003 11:12 am (EST)

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January 29, 2001, Washington, D.C. - A report by a high-level, independent task force finds the Department of State to be "in a serious state of disrepair" and suffering from "long-term mismanagement, antiquated equipment, and dilapidated and insecure facilities." To correct this, the Task Force recommends a strategy of reforms from the State Department and resources from the Congress. Former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, who chaired the task force, and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) President Leslie H. Gelb presented the report, an action plan for State Department reform, last Monday to Secretary of State Colin Powell who welcomed it and reiterated his commitment to revitalize the Department.

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The Task Force was sponsored jointly by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). John J. Hamre, the President of CSIS, was a member of the Task Force. The list of additional Task Force members is attached.

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Mr. Carlucci stated that the task force report constitutes a "much needed, concrete plan of action for reform based on the recognition that while resources will be necessary to reform the Department of State, reform within the department will be necessary to obtain those resources from Congress. If serious reform is undertaken, and I know the new Secretary is serious about this, Congress will be more willing to provide the resources required to modernize and renew the department and its role in U.S. national security policy."

The Task Force report is unique in that it articulates a strategy to reform the Department of State. The Task Force did not aim to reinvent the many constructive findings and recommendations of the plenitude of blue ribbon commissions that have tackled this subject. Rather, its purpose was both to synthesize all the good previous and copious work and to reduce it to a workable and concrete plan of action for the new administration.

Another powerful virtue of the Task Force plan is that it distinguishes between actions the President and Secretary of State can and should undertake right away in order to bring about reform and those whose implementation require more time. Thus, it avoids the usual pitfalls of trying to do too much too quickly.

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It should also be noted that the Task Force decided to make its report in the form of two related documents. The first is a brief memorandum to the President that outlines a basic "resources-for-reform" plan and other first-priority actions. The second and longer memorandum to the Secretary of State explains and defines in greater detail the rationale for reform and the elements of the action plan.

Task Force chair Frank Carlucci has served as National Security Adviser and Secretary of Defense and was a career Foreign Service Officer. The project coordinator was Ian Brzezinski, a CFR term member. Paula Dobriansky, Council Vice President and Washington Director, served as the overall project adviser.

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(Co-sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic & International Studies)


David M. Abshire, Center for the Study of the Presidency

Marshall P. Adair, American Foreign Service Association

Barry M. Blechman, DFI International

Charles G. Boyd, U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century

Ian J. Brzezinski, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Frank C. Carlucci, The Carlyle Group

William J. Crowe, Jr., Global Options

Paula J. Dobriansky, Council on Foreign Relations

Thomas E. Donilon, Fannie Mae

Kenneth M. Duberstein, The Duberstein Group, Inc.

Richard N. Gardner, Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius

Toby Trister Gati, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld

Lee H. Hamilton, Woodrow Wilson International Center, for Scholars

John J. Hamre, Center for Strategic & International Studies

William C. Harrop, American Academy of Diplomacy

Arthur A. Hartman, APCO Associates

Carla A. Hills, Hills & Company

Robert E. Hunter, RAND Corporation

Kenneth I. Juster, Arnold & Porter

Lewis B. Kaden, Davis Polk & Wardwell

Zalmay M. Khalilzad, RAND Corporation

James V. Kimsey, America Online

Jessica T. Mathews, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Patricia McNerney, U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee

Jamie F. Metzl, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Phyllis E. Oakley, The Johns Hopkins University

Peter W. Rodman, The Nixon Center

Felix G. Rohatyn, U.S. Embassy - Paris

Stephen J. Solarz, Solarz Associates

Daniel L. Spiegel, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld

R. James Woolsey, Shea & Gardner

Casimir A. Yost, Georgetown University


Richard Douglas, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Marc Grossman, U.S. Department of State

Marek Michalewski, Council on Foreign Relations

Pat W. Nash, Council on Foreign Relations


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