The Foreign Service Journal, February 2011

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 1 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 9 QDDR Release: Into the Dustbin of History? On Dec. 15 the Department of State finally released the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, an 18-month study it conducted with the U.S. Agency for International De- velopment as an answer to the Penta- gon’s venerable Quadrennial Defense Review. Titled “Leading Through Civilian Power,” the report is dedicated to the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who began his Foreign Service career with USAID in Vietnam and died just days before the document went to press. The full text of the report and an ex- ecutive summary are both available on the department’s home page ( www. ), bu t here are some highlights: The State Department must reor- ganize to address transnational issues more effectively. Among other changes, State should create under secretariats for economic growth, energy and the environment, and for civilian security, democracy and human rights, as well as a coordinator for cyberissues. USAID should be rebuilt to serve as the pre-eminent global development in- stitution. As the lead agency for the presidential initiatives on food security and global health, it should focus on six areas: sustainable economic growth, food security, global health, climate change, democracy and governance, and humanitarian assistance. For its part, State should commit more of its senior diplomats’ time to advancing development issues, and promote “de- velopment diplomacy” as a discipline that recognizes the interdependence of the two missions and offers best prac- tices for managing foreign assistance. State must embrace conflict preven- tion and response as a core mission, both in Washington and in the field. Among other changes, the current Civilian Response Corps should be re- placed with a more flexible and cost- effective Expert Corps that can deploy nongovernmental personnel overseas. Both agencies should “work smart- er” by reforming personnel, procure- ment and planning capabilities. Spe- cific steps the report advocates include: allowing more State civil servants to serve overseas and expanding oppor- tunities for them to convert to the For- eign Service; using limited-term ap- pointments to put outside experts in the field; tripling mid-level hiring at USAID and expanding interagency ro- tations; and establishing multiyear stra- tegic plans for State and USAID that bring together all country-level plan- ning for diplomacy, development and broader foreign assistance into a single, overarching strategy. (As of Fiscal Year 2013, USAID’s budget proposal will be included in the broader State foreign assistance request.) There was virtually no media cover- age of the document’s release, other than a handful of Washington Post ar- ticles ( ) and a single passing reference in an op- C YBERNOTES 50 Years Ago... T he modern diplomat finds himself drawing upon almost every field of human knowledge, using information about people and events in even the remotest areas, and employing skills which were seldom needed by his professional forebears. He is called upon to struggle with facts that can never be quite complete, with situations which cannot be com- pressed into simple generalizations, with a future which, though dimly seen, is upon him before he is satisfied that he sees the present. The common myth that a diplomat’s role at the end of a cable or a telephone is of decreasing importance is simply nonsense. The daily cables underscore the critical role being played by those who are remote from Washington. — Secretary of State Dean Rusk, “Greetings from the New Secretary,” FSJ , February 1961.