Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Transformational Diplomacy
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
Many foreign affairs experts believe that the international system is undergoing a momentous
transition affecting its very nature. Some, such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger,
compare the changes in the international system to those of a century ago. Secretary of State Rice
relates the changes to the period following the Second World War and the start of the Cold War.
At the same time, concerns are being raised about the need for major reform of the institutions
and tools of American diplomacy to meet the coming challenges. At issue is how the United st
States adjusts its diplomacy to address foreign policy demands in the 21 Century.
On January 18, 2006, in a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Secretary Rice
outlined her vision for diplomacy changes that she referred to as “transformational diplomacy” to st
meet this 21 Century world. The new diplomacy elevates democracy-promotion activities inside
countries. According to Secretary Rice in her February 14, 2006 testimony before Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, the objective of transformational diplomacy is: “to work with our many
partners around the world to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond
to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.”
Secretary Rice’s announcement included moving people and positions from Washington, D.C.,
and Europe to “strategic” countries; it also created a new position of Director of Foreign
Assistance, modified the tools of diplomacy, and changed U.S. foreign policy emphasis away
from relations among governments to one of supporting changes within countries.
Except for needed appropriations, Congressional involvement in the implementation of the
transformational diplomacy proposal appears to some observers to have been minimal. Changes
were made under existing authorities, and no legislation or new authority was requested from
Congress. In 2007, the State Department sought legislative authority (S. 613/H.R. 1084) to
authorize funding and personnel issues for some aspects of the plan. To date, Congress has not
considered the legislation.
As the transformational diplomacy proposal continues to be implemented, increased
transformational diplomacy-related appropriations may be requested. Congress may also exercise
its oversight responsibilities to monitor the effect that transformational diplomacy has on
achieving foreign policy goals, maintaining a top quality Foreign Service, and providing the best
possible representation around the world.
This report provides an overview of Secretary of State Rice’s transformational diplomacy plan. It
examines the calls for reform of America’s current diplomatic institutions, and the
Administration’s response—transformational diplomacy. The report also presents the concerns
many experts have expressed regarding specific elements of this proposal, and a sample of
reactions in other countries. Finally, the report discusses various issues that may be considered by
Congress. This report will be updated as warranted.
Introduc tion ..................................................................................................................................... 1
U.S. Diplomacy—Need for Change................................................................................................2
The Foreign Affairs Institutional Infrastructure..................................................................2
U.S. Foreign Assistance Programs......................................................................................3
U.S. Public Diplomacy.......................................................................................................3
State Department and DOD Roles......................................................................................4
Director of Foreign Assistance and the Integration of Foreign Assistance
Programs .......................................................................................................................... 5
The Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization and the
Civilian Reserve Corps....................................................................................................7
Repositioning of Foreign Service Personnel.....................................................................10
American Presence Posts...................................................................................................11
New Regionalization Efforts..............................................................................................11
Information Technology Strategies—Virtual Presence Posts and Digital Outreach
Teams .......................................................................................................................... .... 11
Support and Concerns About Transformational Diplomacy..........................................................12
Reconstruction and Stabilization.............................................................................................12
Overseas Reactions to Transformational Diplomacy....................................................................17
People’s Republic of China.....................................................................................................18
Is rael ........................................................................................................................................ 18
Mala ys ia .................................................................................................................................. 18
Indonesia ................................................................................................................................. 18
Possible Considerations for Congress...........................................................................................19
Appendix A. Transformational Diplomacy and Global Repositioning.........................................21
Appendix B. Foreign Assistance Framework................................................................................25
Author Contact Information..........................................................................................................26
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or
states. It usually refers to international diplomacy, the conduct of international relations through
professional diplomats with regard to issues of treaties, trade, war and peace, economics and
culture. According to Senator Hagel, “Diplomacy is not a weakness ... but rather an essential tool
in world affairs using it where possible to ratchet down the pressure of conflict and increase the 1
leverage of strength.”
Going back to Benjamin Franklin, America’s first diplomat, and Thomas Jefferson, America’s
first Secretary of State, the United States has engaged in diplomacy to represent America and
further its interests around the world. According to the Henry L. Stimson Center, “Since 1945, the
United States has conducted its foreign relations in the context of a world that practiced what can
be called Classic Diplomacy. It was a world in which government-to-government relations were
the principal activity. A world in which ambassadors and embassies were often a nation’s only
venue for expressing its national interests. A world in which heads of state met to discuss the
great questions of the day. It was a world, in short, in which nations were more sovereign and st2
independent actors than today’s environment allows them to be on the cusp of the 21 century.”
Many viewed the first term of the George W. Bush Administration as not engaging in diplomacy
often enough or as a first line of action in implementing its foreign policy. The Administration
gained the reputation in some quarters as conducting “cowboy diplomacy” or having a “go-it-
alone” approach to international relations. The Bush Administration has responded to its critics by th
saying that the world is a different place since September 11, and traditional diplomacy may not 3
always be the right strategy.
Diplomacy became a more visible option in December 2006 when the Iraq Study Group
highlighted diplomacy in its recommendations and urged the Administration to launch a 4
comprehensive “new diplomatic offensive” to deal with the problems of Iraq and the region. In
early 2007, Secretary Rice seemed to shift the Administration’s Iraq policy when she stated in 5
testimony that the Administration would engage in talks with Syria and Iran.
As transformational diplomacy continues to be implemented, Congress may opt to consider the
implications it has for future funding requests, changes to the Foreign Service system and its
representation of U.S. interests around the world, the nature of the U.S. foreign assistance
program, the reconstruction and stabilization initiative, and ultimately how the proposal in its
totality addresses U.S. interests. At issue is how the United States adjusts its diplomacy to address st
foreign policy demands for the 21 Century.
1 Senator Hagel, Speech on Iraq/Middle East at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS),
December 7, 2006.
2 Equipped for the Future, Managing U.S. Foreign Affairs in the 21st Century, The Henry L. Stimson Center,
Washington, D.C., October 1998, p. 3.
3 See Secretary Rice’s interview with the Financial Times, April 20, 2007, as she discusses that after September 11th,
the inadequacies of U.S. doctrines and policies with the new threats became very clear http://www.state.gov/secretary/
4 The Iraq Study Group Report, 2006, p. 45.
5 Secretary of State Rice testimony before Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on Supplemental War Funding,
February 27, 2007.
Many foreign affairs experts believe that the international system is undergoing a momentous
transition affecting its very nature. For indicators of this change, they point to the end of the
bipolar world of the Cold War, the changing nature of the nation state on which the existing
international system is based, the rise of new national power relationships, as well as the growth
in the number and the role of non-state participants in the international arena. These experts also
note the impact that the changes in worldwide communications, due to advances in technology,
have had on international relations. For the United States to continue to lead in this world, they
argue, it will have to make adjustments to how it operates and relates within the changing system 6
and the new, intense political aspirations causing these changes.
Even before the United States entered the 21st Century, however, foreign affairs officials and
experts were calling for reforms of the foreign affairs infrastructure, foreign assistance and public
diplomacy programs, as well as the need to address the changing roles between the Department of
State (State) and the Department of Defense (DOD) in foreign affairs. According to then
Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright in 1999,
The past decade has witnessed a transformation of the world political situation.... Challenges
such as transnational law enforcement, global terrorism, democracy building, protection of
the environment, refugee issues, and access to global markets and energy sources now
compete with traditional security and political issues for policymakers’ attention. These 7
changes demand that we reexamine the nature and basic structure of our overseas presence.
In the 1990s, several organizations and think tanks voiced concerns about the inadequacy of the
U.S. diplomatic infrastructure. The Department of State’s own report said that the United States 8
overseas presence “is near a state of crisis” and “perilously close to the point of system failure.”
Experts called for the enhancement of the security of U.S. posts and missions abroad, the right-
sizing of these posts based upon U.S. interests in a particular country and a continual
readjustment as policy needs changed, the improvement of training opportunities in terms of
foreign language skills and job-related training, and the modernization of
communications/information technology at the State Department and its posts and missions
abroad. Furthermore in 1999, Congress reorganized the U.S. foreign policy mechanism by
eliminating the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and the U.S. Information
6 See comments by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former National Security Advisors Zbigniew
Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies “New York Leadership Dinner
and Dialogue,” New York, June 14, 2007. See also Daniel W. Drezner, “The New New World Order,” Foreign Affairs,
New York, March/April 2007, pp. 34-46, which discusses changes in the international arena based upon the changing
economic strengths of countries such as China and India and the impact they could have unless their concerns and new
status are addressed.
7 Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the formation of the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel, Washington,
February 23, 1999.
8 The Report of the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel, America’s Overseas Presence in the 21st Century, the U.S.
Department of State, Washington, November 1999, p. 5. Also see Equipped for the Future: Managing U.S. Foreign st
Affairs in the 21 Century, by the Henry L. Stimson Center, October 1998; Independent Task Force Report on State
Department Reform, Cosponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International
Agency (USIA) and merging those functions into the Department of State. State, however, was
not fully reorganized to incorporate these functions.
Many foreign assistance experts have concluded that, after six decades, U.S. foreign assistance
lacks strategic coherence and accountability and needs major readjustments. Critics point out that
U.S. foreign assistance has been highly fragmented among the State Department, the U.S. Agency
for International Development (USAID), and approximately 20 other federal government 9
agencies that have their own assistance programs. In looking at U.S. foreign assistance
allocations, many observers conclude that application of U.S. foreign aid has been neither
strategic nor consistent.
Further as early as 2002, the President Bush called for a change in the methodology of foreign 10
assistance that looks not just at the resources spent but results achieved. Going beyond the use
of traditional foreign assistance programs, the Bush Administration began new initiatives such as
the Millennium Challenge Account, the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative (GHAI) and the President’s 11
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Due to a myriad of reasons, including the elimination of the United States Information Agency
(USIA) and the transfer of its functions to State, some have contended that public diplomacy has 13
become the weakest part of U.S. foreign policy and is in need of significant reform. However it
appears that while public diplomacy programs were becoming weaker, the importance of public
diplomacy quickly became apparent as the image and influence of the United States decreased
around much of the world. Questions were raised as to whether the United States is losing the
“war of ideas and inspiration.” The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and others
criticized State’s public diplomacy program for its general lack of strategic planning, inadequate
coordination of agency efforts, problems with measuring performance and results, and posts not
9 See CRS Report RL33420, Foreign Operations (House)/State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (Senate):
FY2007 Appropriations, by Connie Veillette, Susan B. Epstein, and Larry Nowels, for a discussion of the changing
nature of foreign assistance, pp. 7-11. Also refer to CRS Report RL33491, Restructuring U.S. Foreign Aid: The Role of
the Director of Foreign Assistance in Transformational Development, by Connie Veillette.
10 President George W. Bush, Remarks at the International Conference on Financing for Development, Monterrey,
Mexico, March 22, 2002. It was also at this time that President Bush announced the establishment of the Millennium
Challenge Account, and the importance of investing in better health care and increase efforts in the fight against AIDS.
Also see Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, “The New Approach to U.S. Foreign Assistance,” Keynote Address at the
Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars Gala, Washington, November 17, 2006 for additional remarks regarding the
Bush Administration’s views on the need to change thinking about foreign assistance.
11 See Dr. Lael Brianard’s response to Senator Lugar’s Question for the Record on New Institutions following her June
12, 2007 Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations http://www3.brookings.edu/global/
Brainard_QFR_response.pdf. Also see CRS Report RL32427, Millennium Challenge Account, by Curt Tarnoff; CRS
Report RL33771, Trends in U.S. Global AIDS Spending: FY2000-FY2008, by Tiaji Salaam-Blyther; and CRS Report
RL33396, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Progress Report and Issues for Congress, by
12 For a discussion of the development and changes in public diplomacy, see CRS Report RL32607, U.S. Public
Diplomacy: Background and the 9/11 Commission Recommendations, by Susan B. Epstein.
13 Foreign Affairs Council, Task Force Report: Managing Secretary Rice’s State Department: An Independent
Assessment, Washington, June 2007, p. 20.
pursuing a campaign-style approach to communications that incorporates best practices endorsed 14
by GAO and others.
Among many who have voiced similar concerns, the 9/11 Commission Report said that the role
of the Department of State has diminished somewhat over the decades following the 1960s. “State
came into the 1990s overmatched by the resources of other departments and with little support for
its budget either in Congress or in the President’s Office of Management and Budget....
Increasingly, the embassies themselves were overshadowed by powerful regional commanders in 15
chief reporting to the Pentagon.”
Since the 1990s with experience in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, some concluded that
calling on the military for nation-building placed a heavy burden on these forces that were neither 16
trained nor equipped for such assignments. Nevertheless, U.S. policy makers continued to turn
to the military because there was no civilian government organization with either the same
resources or on-going organizational and management experience required for complex
reconstruction and stabilization situations. Many experts suggested that a designated civilian
office was needed. Those calling for a new civilian organization believed winning a war as
opposed to winning the peace draws on different attitudes and training, and that State’s role in
nation-building needs to be more clearly defined.
On January 18, 2006, in a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Secretary Rice
outlined her vision for diplomacy that she referred to as “transformational diplomacy.” According
to Secretary Rice, the objective of transformational diplomacy is to “work with our many partners
around the world to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the 17
needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.” Her
proposal included moving people and positions from Washington, D.C., and Europe to “strategic
countries;” it also created a new position of Director of Foreign Assistance and changed U.S.
foreign policy emphasis away from relations among governments to one of supporting changes
within countries. The Administration did not request new authority from Congress for these
changes, but used existing authority. In 2007, the Administration sought legislative authority (S.
613/H.R. 1084) to authorize funding and personnel issues for some aspects of the plan. Congress
did not take up the legislation, so it is likely to be considered in 2008.
14 Jess T. Ford, Director, International Affairs and Trade, U.S. Public Diplomacy: Strategic Planning Efforts Have
improved, but Agencies Face Significant Implementation Challenges, Prepared testimony before the House
Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, U.S. Government Accountability Office,
GAO 07-795T, April 26, 2007, p. 8.
15 The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 94.
16 Many institutions and experts have recommended strengthening civilian capabilities for post-conflict response.
Among these are the U.S. Institute for Peace, Council on Foreign Relations, Center for Strategic and International
Studies, the Stimson Center, and the Gingrich-Mitchell task force on U.N. reform.
17 Testimony by Secretary Rice before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 14, 2006.
Implementing the transformational diplomacy proposal includes significant changes to the very
culture and view of diplomacy, as well as the structure of the foreign affairs institutions in
Washington and abroad; to diplomats’ post assignments and their roles at the post; and to the tools
of diplomacy, including reconstruction and stabilization efforts, foreign assistance, and public
diplomacy programs. Fully instituting transformational diplomacy is expected to take years,
beyond the Bush Administration’s second term.
Organizational changes to the diplomatic infrastructure include efforts to (1) bring U.S. foreign
assistance programs more in line with foreign policy objectives through the creation of a new
Deputy Secretary-level Director of Foreign Assistance; (2) improve U.S. civilian capability to
assist countries and societies rebuild and stabilize themselves; (3) increase the effectiveness of
public diplomacy; and (4) renew efforts to expand long-needed Foreign Service training
On January 19, 2006, a day after she announced the concept of transformational diplomacy at
Georgetown University, Secretary of State Rice announced the creation of the position of the
Director of Foreign Assistance (DFA). The appointee holds a rank equivalent to a Deputy
Secretary (to denote the importance of the position, but does not confer any legal power or
increased salary, according to State’s Office of Legal Affairs) and serves concurrently as USAID
Administrator—a position that requires confirmation by the Senate.
The DFA, with offices and staff at both the State Department and USAID, has authority over most
but not all State Department and USAID foreign assistance funding, and is to provide improved
organizational structure and coordination of more than 18 federal foreign assistance funding
programs to bring this assistance into alignment with U.S. foreign policy objectives. The DFA has
direct jurisdiction over most of State’s and USAID’s approximately $20 billion in foreign
assistance funds. Foreign assistance programs, now under the DFA, accounted for about 53% of
the total calendar year 2005 U.S. development assistance disbursements. The DFA is to provide
guidance to the other agencies that control the remaining 47% of U.S. foreign assistance funds.
A starting point in understanding the reforms proposed for transformational development is the
new Foreign Assistance Framework developed by the DFA. (See Appendix B for the new
Foreign Assistance Framework matrix). The Foreign Assistance Framework is a tool to help
policy makers with strategic choices on the distribution of funds and to ensure that U.S. foreign 19
assistance advances the Administration’s foreign policy objectives. The Framework identifies as
the ultimate goal “to help build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that respond to the
needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty and conduct themselves responsibly in the
18 See CRS Report RL33491, Restructuring U.S. Foreign Aid: The Role of the Director of Foreign Assistance in
Transformational Development, by Connie Veillette.
19 Henrietta H. Fore, Acting Director of Foreign Assistance and Acting Administrator of the United States Agency for
International Development, Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, June 12, 2007.
international system.” Five transformational diplomacy objectives funnel funds and programs
toward that goal. The five objectives are
• Peace and Security,
• Governing Justly and Democratically,
• Investing in People,
• Economic Growth, and
• Humanitarian Assistance.
These five objectives are linked to the traditional account structure, such as Development
Assistance (DA), Child Survival and Health (CSH), or the Economic Support Funds (ESF). The
objectives are also linked to activities such as “Rule of Law and Human Rights programs” under
the “Governing Justly and Democratically” objective or “Health programs” under the “Investing
in People” objective.
Corresponding to the five foreign assistance objectives, the new Foreign Assistance Framework
also has five country categories, with countries in those categories sharing common development
challenges. The country categories are as follows:
• Rebuilding States—States in, or emerging from, and rebuilding after internal or
• Developing States—States with low or lower-middle income, not yet meeting 20
certain economic and political performance criteria.
• Transforming States—States with low or lower-middle income, meeting certain
economic and political performance criteria.
• Sustaining Partnership States—States with upper-middle income or greater for
which U.S. support is provided to sustain partnerships, progress, and peace.
• Restrictive States—Those States where the State Department or Congress has
determined that serious freedom and human rights issues are of concern.
• Global or Regional Programs—The category is for assistance programs that
extend beyond country boundaries.
An end goal for U.S. assistance is also designated for the countries in a particular country
category as well as what the next step would be for countries graduating from a particular country
category. For instance, those nations designated as “Developing States” would have as their end
goals the “continued progress in expanding and deepening democracy, strengthening public and
private institutions, and supporting policies that promote economic growth and poverty 21
reductions.” Country categories are also used to determine the distribution of funds among the
various five objectives to help those countries graduate. For example, large portions of the
assistance provided to the “Developing States” nations would be for the Peace and Security and
20 For both the Developing States category and the Transforming States category, the economic and political
performance criteria established by the DFA includes, but is not limited to, criteria similar to that used by the
Millennium Challenge Corporation.
21 U.S. Department of State, “Summary and Highlights International Affairs Function 150,” op. cit., p. 13.
Investing in People objectives. In explaining the funding distribution for the “Developing States”
category as proposed in the FY2008 Administration request, the DFA stated that the main 22
obstacles facing the countries in this category are poverty, governance, and human capacity.
Since the late 1990s, foreign affairs observers have recognized that, in lieu of what had become a
de facto military responsibility, a civilian capability needed to be established to provide large-
scale humanitarian assistance and nation-building following conflict and crisis situations.
However, despite the issuance of a Presidential Decision Directive and the interest of influential
Senators and Representatives in developing a civilian response capability, such an organization 24
has proved difficult to institutionalize.
In June 2004 while awaiting congressional action, Secretary of State Colin Powell created the
Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS), to serve directly under
and report to the Secretary of State. The military supported Secretary Powell’s action in creating
S/CRS. In February 17, 2005 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General
Richard B. Myers, then Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, said that the creation of S/CRS was
important to helping post-conflict countries by providing a synchronized, integrated U.S.
government approach to reconstruction and stability efforts. In her January 2006 transformational
diplomacy announcement, Secretary Rice included the office and its role as part of the proposal
as she discussed the linkage between struggling states to a growing global threat. The State
Department described the threat struggling states can pose as providing “breeding grounds for
terrorism, crime, trafficking, and humanitarian catastrophes, and can destabilize an entire 25
According to the State Department, S/CRS assists societies and countries in stabilizing and
rebuilding themselves as they emerge from conflict and crisis situations. The office, which has a
staff of about 70 people, is composed of 19 permanent State Department personnel, and others
detailed from USAID, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, Army
Corps of Engineers, Joint Forces Command, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Treasury Department,
which reflects the wide array of departments and agencies that have been involved in
reconstruction and stabilization efforts. S/CRS’s role is to coordinate U.S. civilian agencies and
the military, the United Nations, and other multilateral organizations; create plans for a unified
22 Ibid, p. 7.
23 For a full discussion of the developing role of the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization and
concerns that have been expressed about the concept, see CRS Report RL32862, Peacekeeping and Conflict
Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on Civilian Capabilities, by Nina M. Serafino and Martin A.
24 In 1997, President William Clinton issued Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 56, which though not fully
implemented sought to address interagency planning and coordination. Several bills, including S. 2127 by then-Senate
Foreign Relations Committee Chairperson Richard Lugar and Ranking Member Joseph Biden, were introduced to
authorize an organization to provide a civilian response to international stabilization and reconstruction efforts during thth
both the 108 and 109 Congress. None of these authorizing bills was enacted. Section 408 of the Department of State
and Related Agencies Appropriations Act , 2005 (Division B , Title IV of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of
FY2005, H.R. 4818, P.L. 108-447), endorsed the creation of S/CRS, and defined six responsibilities for the Office.
25 Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, “About S/CRS,” Department of State, May 18, 2006
response; develop training of civilian personnel; and manage an interagency response to deploy
civilians to peace operations in partnership with the military and other multilateral institutions.
Further, S/CRS monitors political and economic instability worldwide and anticipates needs to
prevent conflict when possible and provide a response when reconstruction and stabilization 26
Beyond the planning, training, and the development of links to the international community,
S/CRS is also in the process of creating integrated groups of crisis response personnel. An Active
Response Corps (ARC), was established in 2006 and as of August 2007 has 11 trained ARC staff.
The President’s FY2008 Budget request sought to increase the ARC to 33 people. The ARC is
composed of current State Department employees who volunteer for one-year tours. Secretary
Rice described ARCs as an “expeditionary arm of the Department of State” that could be
immediately deployed to a failed or failing state, anywhere in the world, possibly embedded with
the military, to begin the assessments and arrangements that would accommodate larger follow-up
teams of civilians who are expert in law enforcement and justice administration, soil experts, 27
urban planning and infrastructure repair, and other skills required to rebuild a nation. The larger
follow-up groups referred to by the Secretary include a second tier, the Stand-by Reserve Corps
(SRC), composed of active duty and retired Foreign Service personnel. About 300 people are on
the SRC roster and have identified themselves are willing to be deployed. SRC personnel would
be deployed within 30-60 days after call-up, and would serve up to six months. President George
W. Bush, in his 2007 State of the Union address, discussed a third tier, Civilian Reserve Corps
(CRC). The CRC would be composed of, at least, 350 individuals from a variety of sources and
professions needed to help nations stabilize and rebuild. The CRC, not yet implemented, would
be deployed as security conditions allow.
Currently, ARC teams of one-five people are working in Sudan, Kosovo, Liberia, and
Afghanistan. The ARC deployments to Nepal, Haiti, Iraq, and Chad are completed.
Public diplomacy is a multi-faceted effort extending beyond the government and official channels
in a host country to influence the people’s views about U.S. policies, culture, society, and values.
There is, however, a new dynamic in the public diplomacy world that is the result of the
information/communications technology revolution. Then-Under Secretary of State for Public
Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes has said that, unlike the era of the Cold War, today,
“there is an information explosion and no one is hungry for information. We are now competing
for attention and for credibility in a time when rumors can spark riots, and information, whether 28
it’s true or false, quickly spreads across the world, across the internet, in literally instants.”
After USIA’s elimination in 1999, public diplomacy activities were merged into the State
Department. Since then, public diplomacy has been viewed by many at State as less important
than political-military functions. Under Secretary Rice’s plan, however, public diplomacy is
elevated to be an integral component of transformational diplomacy, and part of every diplomats’
26 United States Institute of Peace News Release, “New USG Office to Address Need for Coordination of Post-conflict
Civilian Resources,” Washington, August 10, 2004.
27 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, State Department Town Hall Meeting, East Auditorium, February 23, 2007.
28 Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes, “Remarks at the Council on
Foreign Relations,” New York City, May 10, 2006.
job description. According to the Department of State, the strategic framework for U.S. public
diplomacy now consists of three goals:
• foster a sense of common interests and values with the people of other countries;
• isolate, marginalize, and discredit violent extremists; and
• foster a positive vision of hope and opportunity that is rooted in U.S. values (i.e.,
a belief in freedom, equality, the dignity and worth of every human being).
Several new programs were created to advance the transformational public diplomacy agenda in
today’s communications environment.
• Rapid Response Unit—The Bureau of Public Affairs now monitors foreign
broadcasts and blogs and produces a daily one-to-two page report on stories and
issues that are discussed. It also provides a U.S. position on those issues. This
daily report, which is sent to an e-mail list of several thousand senior officials
from Cabinet secretaries to ambassadors and military commanders, serves to
provide a common “American message.”
• “Echo Chamber” Technique—Policy statements are posted on the State
Department Intranet to present a unified message on key issues attracting
attention in the international media. This provides a common position for those
who need to write speeches, draft editorials, and prepare responses to inquiries. A
common message is “echoed” instead of several different messages.
• “Unleashing” ambassadors—Under Secretary Hughes eliminated former pre-
clearance rules so that ambassadors or senior embassy officers can engage the
media in their host countries without permission from Washington. Ambassadors
and senior embassy officers are expected to speak out, and the ability to engage
in public diplomacy is now part of their rating system.
Further, transformational diplomacy also treats public diplomacy on a regional basis by
establishing three new regional public diplomacy hubs—in London, Dubai, and Brussels—to
focus on regional news outlets, such as Al-Jazeera, instead of focusing on the bilateral relations
with those countries. Reporting an approximate 25% rise in broadcast media appearances in
Europe and the Middle East, the State Department says that these hubs “are having a tremendous
impact, helping to make U.S. officials a regular on TV and radio news programs, as well as talk 29
shows in Europe and the Middle East.”
Inadequate training opportunities for the Foreign Service was one of the major criticisms in the
1990s. Former Secretary Powell had made expanded training one of his priorities under the
Diplomatic Readiness Initiative (DRI) designed to increase State Department hiring, training, and
technology funding. Today, enrollment in State’s training classes at the Foreign Service Institute
(FSI) has increased by 62% above the FY2000 level, the year prior to the DRI-related hiring
increases. Enrollment in the critical needs languages has more than doubled since FY2002 from
29 “Regional Media Hubs are Amplifying U.S. Voice Abroad,” Public Diplomacy UpDate, Office of Public Diplomacy
and Public Affairs, Department of State, May 2007, p. 5.
569 students to 1,277 students, and training in Arabic has increased from 173 students in FY2002
to 468 students in FY2006.
Secretary Rice, in her announcement on transformational diplomacy, indicated that enhanced
training would be available to Foreign Service Officers to improve skills in public diplomacy,
technology, languages, and administering programs “to help foreign citizens strengthen the rule of 30
law, start businesses, improve health, and reform education.”
To meet the increased language and new trade craft training needs of transformational diplomacy,
FSI developed a new series of transformational diplomacy training seminars in such topics as
Democracy Building and Rule of Law that bring together leaders from across the government.
FSI also developed new curricula on Reconstruction and Stabilization, Foreign Assistance and
Development, and Public Diplomacy and the Media. The Long Term Economic Training course is
being revised. FSI is also placing a greater emphasis on Distance Learning (DL) programs so
personnel can study at their posts instead of returning to Washington. Currently about 90 in-house
developed DL products are being offered including language courses in Russian, Japanese,
Chinese, Arabic, Pashto, Korean, French, Polish, and Spanish; as well as courses in Asset 31
Management; Grants and Cooperative Agreements and an Intellectual Property Curriculum.
Providing individuals the opportunity to take training at FSI, however, requires the State
Department to have sufficient personnel so that some can take training without leaving a post
empty. The Department requested $20.8 million for FY2008 for 104 additional training positions.
The Foreign Affairs Council estimated that the State Department needs an additional 900 32
positions beyond its current training complement.
Secretary Rice has stated that she believes the current use of resources no longer reflects 21st
Century diplomacy demands to meet U.S. foreign policy objectives. Therefore, she is shifting the
Department’s resources to begin (1) a global repositioning of the Foreign Service by moving
diplomatic assignments to different countries and new types of postings such as the use of
American Presence Posts (APP), (2) a new emphasis on regionalization, and (3) more effective
use of technology with Virtual Presence Posts (VPP) and a Digital Outreach Team.
Secretary Rice has stated that many U.S. diplomatic personnel, responsible for implementing U.S.
foreign policy on a day-to-day basis, are in the wrong place and need to be repositioned globally.
Under the Global Repositioning Initiative, several hundred positions—primarily political,
economic, and public diplomacy diplomats—are being transferred largely out of Washington and
Europe often to more difficult “strategic” posts in the Near East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America
viewed, according to Secretary Rice, as either “emerging” influential nations, or countries critical
to U.S. interests. In these new positions, U.S. diplomats are called upon to do more than manage
the relations between United States and the host government; they will be called upon to manage
30 Transformational Diplomacy: Remarks at Georgetown School of Foreign Service, Secretary Condoleezza Rice,
January 18, 2006.
31 “The Foreign Service Institute,” Department of State, Washington, January 2007, pp. 6-7.
32 Foreign Affairs Council, Task Force Report, op. cit., p. 4.
programs and build institutions to help these nations move toward a more democratic and
prosperous world, according to the Secretary. The plan is to reposition several hundred positions,
a total of about 200 of which will be filled by Fall 2007, with the exception of those requiring
skills in the hardest languages. Appendix A shows the movement of diplomatic personnel in
Phases 1 and 2 of the Secretary’s transformational diplomacy initiative. Phase 3, affecting 93
positions, was part of the FY2008 State Department budget request.
The Secretary’s plan “localizes” U.S. diplomacy by establishing small offices called American
Presence Posts (APP) outside of the world’s capitals to a host country’s provincial, trade, and
opinion centers. There are currently eight APPs in four countries.
APPs, which were first established in France in 1999, are generally staffed by one or two Foreign
Service Officers with support from a few locally hired staff. The office space is generally rented,
classified material is not kept in an APP, and the diplomats assigned there are to engage in public
diplomacy, outreach, and the promotion of American commercial and strategic interests. The
APPs maintain a working liaison with local government, labor, and commercial officials, the
media, civic organizations, opinion leaders, American businesses in the area, and the resident
Under the plans for transformational diplomacy, regional and transnational strategies are taking a
higher profile. State Department officials believe this is necessary because of the changing nature
of the nation-state, and the growth of non-state and regional actors such as the European Union,
the African Union or the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and the growing number of
transnational issues including international terrorism, international criminal syndicates,
trafficking of people, environmental, and global health concerns. For example, the plan calls for
deploying rapid response teams (small, transnational networks of diplomats) to monitor and
combat the regional spread of pandemics, rather than having experts in every embassy. As noted
earlier, the plan also establishes public diplomacy hubs to promote understanding of U.S. culture
and policies in a regional effort.
A major effort behind the implementation of transformational diplomacy is to go beyond the
traditional diplomacy of relations between governments to engage the people in “localized
diplomacy.” American Presence Posts are one part of this localization effort. Another approach is
to utilize new opportunities presented by changes in information technology with the
development of Virtual Presence Posts (VPP) and Digital Outreach Teams.
VPPs are one or two officers at an embassy managing an internet site explaining U.S. policy,
providing news of U.S. relations with the host country, answering questions, and providing
requested material. As of July 2007, there were 40 VPPs worldwide with more planned. One
example is the VPP in Davao, the second largest city in the Philippines. The Davao VPP website
provides news pertinent to U.S.-Philippines relations such as an article on “USAID Helps Former
Moro Rebels Diversify into Banana Production.” It also has hyperlinks for “Residents of Davao,”
“Americans in Davao,” “Students,” and “Business Info.” The virtual aspect of the VPP is
augmented with many other programs including frequent travel to Davao, outreach programs, 33
cultural and commercial exchanges, and regular chat sessions.
Digital Outreach Teams, started in November 2006, are based in the State Department and engage
Arabic language blogs and forums to provide information about U.S. policies and to counter
misinformation and myths posted on the blogs. The team members identify themselves as
employees of the State Department. The Department reports that “the tenor of the views on these
blogs and forums is decidedly unfavorable to the United States and often exhibits a virulent strain
of elaborate conspiracy theories.” The State Department estimates that on average, a few hundred 34
to several thousand people see the team’s postings on each site.
Many view a shake up of U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid mechanisms as necessary in this era of
transboundary issues and actors. Retired Ambassador Robert P. Finn said, “Secretary Rice ...
outlined a vision for a refocusing of United States diplomatic efforts to make them conform to the
realities of politics and population in the twenty-first century.... Her admirable vision for making
our diplomats be in touch with the real world, both physically and virtually, is an inescapable 35
imperative.” Likewise, the American Foreign Service Association, while expressing concern for
certain aspects, stated, “The American Foreign Service Association strongly supports Secretary of
State Rice’s proposals to adapt the Foreign Service and the foreign affairs institutions to meet the 36
foreign policy challenges of the new world that began to come into being....”
There have also been important criticisms of specific aspects of the transformational diplomacy
plan and how it is being carried out. Observers believe that many of the criticisms could have
been avoided if there had been greater transparency as well as inclusion of diplomats, Congress,
and other stakeholders in the planning stages.
While there is support for a civilian capability to provide reconstruction and stabilization
assistance, some question whether a small office has the “clout” to fulfill this responsibility.
S/CRS is given the responsibility to lead, coordinate and institutionalize the U.S. government
reconstruction and stabilization response. To do so, it must work with several Departments and
agencies throughout the government, as well as several bureaus in its own Department. However,
33 See “U.S. Virtual Consulate, Davao,” for an example of a Virtual Presence Post
34 “Digital Outreach Team Created to Counter Misinformation about the U.S. in the Blogosphere,” Public Diplomacy
UpDate, Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Department of State, February 2007, p. 4.
35 Ambassador Robert P. Finn (Ret.), “Transformational Diplomacy,” presented at Princeton University Celebrations
for the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and international Affairs, Princeton, N.J.,
June 3, 2006.
36 American Foreign Service Association position paper, “The American Foreign Service Association on Secretary of
State Rice’s ‘Transformational Diplomacy’ Proposal,” Washington, D.C., January 19, 2006.
while S/CRS has been given an extremely large mandate, many supporters are concerned that it
has not been given the authority to compel cooperation. Some have suggested that what is really
needed is a new cabinet-level Department that encompasses parts of State and the other federal 37
Departments as well as the entire USAID.
Further, supporters are concerned as to S/CRS having an adequate level of funding to meet its
mandate. Beyond the operating expenses portion of S/CRS, the Bush Administration requested
$100 million in FY2006 and $75 million in FY2007 for a new Conflict Response Fund to be
available to accelerate delivery of critical expertise and resources to address post-conflict
situations. Congress is hesitant to provide funding as a “blank check,” and did not appropriate
funding for a new Conflict Response Fund for either fiscal year. Instead in 2006, appropriators
requested a “... comprehensive, disciplined and coherent strategy detailing how the Office of the
Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization will coordinate United States Government-wide 38
efforts to respond to international post-conflict contingencies.”
To provide financial support to the work of S/CRS, the Department of Defense was authorized,
through September 30, 2007, to transfer up to $100 million to the Secretary of State in FY2006
and in FY2007 for services, defense articles, and funding for reconstruction, security, and
stabilization assistance if required. It was also clear that such funding is considered a temporary 39
authority until S/CRS has adequate resources. The National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 2008, (H.R. 4986) extends the transfer authority to September 30, 2008. The
accompanying Senate Committee Report of an earlier version of the legislation (S. 1547),
describes the transfer authority as a “pilot program,” and expresses the Committee’s intention to
review the implementation of the authority carefully to determine if and in what manner it might 40
be reauthorized. The measure requires final congressional action.
In its Fiscal Year 2008 budget request, the Administration requested $14.6 million for S/CRS to
fund an additional 57 positions for the S/CRS office and the Active Response Corps. Congress
already provided $50 million, contingent upon specific authorization, for the Civilian Reserve 41
Corps in the FY2007 supplemental appropriation (H.R. 2206/P.L. 110-28). The State
Department sought authorizing legislation to fully implement and fund the Civilian Reserve
Corps. The “Reconstruction and Stabilization Civilian Management Act of 2007” (S. 613/H.R.
1084), introduced by Senator Lugar and Representative Sam Farr, respectively, and still awaits
action, would provide necessary authority for personnel and expenditure of funds for S/CRS and
the Civilian Reserve Corps.
37 Peter H. Gantz, “Peacebuilding: A New National Security Imperative,” Foreign Service Journal, February 2006, pp.
38 “Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2006,” H.R. 3057/ P.L. 109-102,
Conference Report H.Rept. 109-265, p. 101.
39 Sec. 1207 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (H.R. 1815, P.L. 109-163, signed January
40 Sec. 1202 of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, (S. 1547, with accompanying Committee
Report S.Rept. 110-77) placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders, June 29, 2007.
41 Sec. 3810 of “U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act,
2007” (H.R. 2206/P.L. 110-28).
Beyond the concerns that only a small group within the new DFA office had input on the
formation of the transformational development program and the lack of transparency and
consultation involved, some proponents of development assistance have concerns about the
proposal. For example, some are questioning whether the DFA has sufficient authority to truly
coordinate all U.S. foreign assistance, noting that DFA authority extends to only about 53% of the 43
total, government-wide foreign aid funds.
Among the greatest concerns expressed by traditional supporters of development assistance is the
continued importance of U.S. development and humanitarian programs. They ask about the
meaning of a phrase stated by Acting DFA Henrietta Fore and others in the Administration: 44
“foreign assistance ... advances our foreign policy objectives.” These supporters of traditional
development assistance question whether sustainable development and poverty alleviation as
rationales for U.S. foreign assistance are being replaced by national security and democracy
promotion considerations. As evidence, those concerned point to the fact that earlier versions of
the Foreign Assistance Framework had no reference to “poverty alleviation,” the shifting of a
large amount of foreign assistance funds from Development Assistance (DA) to the Economic
Support Fund (ESF) in the Administration’s FY2008 budget request, and the “overwhelming
focus on the capacity of states and little reference to the well being of the poorest,” as evidence 45
that long-term development was being subordinated to short-term strategic, diplomatic goals.
Furthermore, physically locating the DFA in the State Department adds to their concerns of
potential politicization of foreign assistance and a diminishing of USAID’s role.
The Administration counters that the emphasis on development continues and the changes in
funding for DA and ESF was to make the distribution of these funds more easily identified in
terms of the funding the needs of each country categories. Acknowledging criticism by the
Congress, non-governmental organizations, and from USAID personnel in the field regarding the
lack of transparency and consultation in developing these plans, Acting DFA Fore said, “We are at
the beginning of this important reform process, not the end. We must continually work to improve
our reform,” and she expressed her commitment to an increased spirit of consultation and 46
42 For a full discussion of the Secretary’s Transformational Development approach, see CRS Report RL33491,
Restructuring U.S. Foreign Aid: The Role of the Director of Foreign Assistance in Transformational Development, by
43 CRS Report RL33491, Restructuring U.S. Foreign Aid: The Role of the Director of Foreign Assistance in
Transformational Development, by Connie Veillette, op. cit., p. 3.
44 Henrietta H. Fore, Testimony, June 12, 2007, op cit.
45 Dr. Lael Brainard, Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, The Brookings Institution,
Washington, June 12, 2007. Traditionally, the Development Assistance account (DA) focused on long-term sustainable
development progress and poverty alleviation while Economic Support Funds (ESF) provided assistance to strategic
allies based upon geo-political concerns. Also see Samuel A. Worthington, Testimony before the Senate Committee on
Foreign Relations, InterAction, Washington, June 12, 2007, pp. 5-6, for his discussion regarding what he believes is
politicization in the distribution of U.S. foreign assistance and his concerns regarding the use of ESF funding.
46 Henrietta H. Fore, Testimony, June 12, 2007, op. cit.
Dr. James Zogby, a noted pollster and President of the Arab American Institute, testified in early
2007 before two House Foreign Affairs Subcommittees that Arabs generally have a favorable
view of Americans, their values, culture and products. More often now, though, according to
Zogby, it is Bush Administration policies that are negatively influencing their opinions of the
United States. He reports that while they express positive views regarding Americans, they
overwhelmingly assert that they do not want U.S. help in dealing with matters of internal reform 47
or the propagation of American-style democracy in their countries.
Organizational and structural difficulties continue to impede the full implementation of public
diplomacy within transformational diplomacy. The Government Accountability Office (GAO)
reports that there are too few public diplomacy officers, they have insufficient time to do their 48
work, and many positions are filled by officers without the requisite language skills. Further,
questions continue as to the appropriate balance between Foreign Service personnel posted
abroad and limitations, largely due to security concerns, that impede them getting out to talk to
local officials and citizens. GAO reports that, in many cases, the security requirements at
overseas posts send an “ancillary message that the United States is unapproachable and 49
Another concern developed with the establishment of the public diplomacy strategic framework.
The framework and the new implementing programs resulted in a single message being provided
to U.S. officials, as well as foreign audiences. Some public diplomacy experts are concerned that
the “top down” approach is reflective of a public relations-style approach to public diplomacy 50
more suited to politics than foreign affairs. Some also raise the concern that public diplomacy is
a matter of persuasion and not one-sided propaganda. When the United States Information
Agency existed, there were on-going debates between public diplomacy officers and political
officers as to whether official speakers and official events should support only the “party line” or
incorporate opposing ideas, as well. Two retired, USIA Public Diplomacy Foreign Service
Officers explained the reaction to the USIA approach of providing a diversity of views:
In our experience, when foreign audiences heard U.S. officials discussing policy, they were
attentive. When USIA-sponsored academics respectfully differed with current policy, the
result from the audiences was unalloyed admiration for the courage of the U.S. in
showcasing free and open discussion. Some report that this showcasing of a diversity of 51
opinion is no longer allowed.
47 James Zogby, “Arab Opinion on American Policies, Values and People,” Testimony before the House Foreign
Affairs Subcommittees on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight, and on Middle East and South
Asia, Washington, May 3, 2007.
48 Jess T. Ford, Director of International Affairs and Trade, “U.S. Public Diplomacy: State Department Efforts Lack
Certain Communications Elements and Face Persistent Challenges,” Testimony before the Subcommittee on Science,
the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies, House Committee on Appropriations, General
Accounting Office, Washington, May 3, 2006, pp. 9-10.
49 Ibid, pp. 11-12. Also see Richard Feinberg, “Get Out of Our Garrisons—Fortress Embassies Damage Diplomacy,”
Washington Post, Washington, May 24, 2007, p. A 31.
50 Shawn Zeller, “Damage Control: Karen Hughes Does PD,” Foreign Service Journal, October 2006, p. 23.
51 Patricia H. Kushlis and Patricia Lee Sharpe, Foreign Service Journal, October 2006, p. 32.
In January 2006, AFSA expressed its concerns to both the Administration and Congress regarding
the security of U.S. diplomats as more are deployed to more dangerous posts under
transformational diplomacy. Service in the APPs is of particular concern because Foreign Service
personnel are working away from host country capitals, in rented offices, and without Marine
Guard security. Following the February 15, 2006, testimony by Secretary Rice before the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Paul Sarbanes expressed similar concerns when he asked,
as part of the Questions for the Record, about the security studies being done prior to the opening
The Department of State, in response to Senator Sarbanes question, explained that State’s Bureau
of Diplomatic Security, working with an inter-departmental working group, studies the security
needs of APPs. Once a post has identified a potential site for an APP and before it can be
occupied, State’s Diplomatic Security Bureau will examine whether the proposed site meets
security standards or is being modified and will soon meet security requirements. If a waiver of
certain requirements is found to be necessary so that an APP can be opened and staffed, the
Secretary may make such a waiver in compliance with the Secure Embassy Construction and 52
Counterterrorism Act (P.L. 106-113).
Staffing shortfalls, the increasing amounts of time spent at unaccompanied and hardship posts,
and the perception of increased pressure to volunteer for these posts could have a negative impact
on Foreign Service morale. Reports of Foreign Service personnel assigned to extremely difficult
postings developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) add additional concerns about the
relationship between staffing and morale. The Foreign Affairs Council states in discussing the
issue of staffing shortages and morale:
... under existing conditions morale is increasingly precarious even though current attrition
rates are close to normal except for senior officers. This was the lesson of the 1990s
cutbacks. Personnel shortages cause lengthy staffing gaps, particularly overseas, and,
eventually, burnout for those at posts.... Danger and turmoil have increased as well at many
posts. The number of positions at overseas posts where families may not go is up, adding 53
more stress.... The world of transformational diplomacy is not easy.
Of the 7,500 State Department Foreign Service positions around the world, about 750 positions
(250 of which are in Iraq) are designated as unaccompanied or limited-accompanied-by-family-
members assignments because of the difficult and dangerous situation in those countries. Most of
these unaccompanied tours are one year in duration as opposed to the two or three years for a
52 Response to Questions for the Record submitted to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, February 15, 2006.
53 Foreign Affairs Council, Task Force Report, op cit., p. 1. Also see, Shawn Dorman, “New Hires and the Foreign
Service,” Foreign Service Journal, June 2004, pp. 33-51. This article discusses “generational” differences between
current Junior Officers and their predecessors, where the concerns of the spouse and the family now have become
important factors in a decision to remain the Foreign Service.
normal tour. Because of the nature and short term of the unaccompanied tours, new personnel
need to be found to staff those positions every year.
The Secretary of State has the authority to assign a qualified member of the Foreign Service to 54
any position classified as a Foreign Service position as the needs of the Service may require.
She says, however, that she prefers to staff the positions on a voluntary basis, and currently both
the hardship positions and other regular positions around the world are being filled, with growing
difficulty, by Foreign Service personnel bidding for these positions.
Since January 2005, the State Department has made several changes to the personnel and
assignment bidding systems. Changes include requiring a hardship tour before a person can be
considered for promotion to the Senior Foreign Service and changing the bidding system itself so
that hardship/danger posts would have to be filled first. However, indicative of the difficulty of
staffing posts, especially in Iraq, the State Department announced further changes to the bidding 55
system in June 2007—an unprecedented country-specific assignment cycle for Iraq. The Iraq
assignments would have to be filled before any of the other positions, including other
hardship/danger posts, for the 2008 assignment cycle. The announcement further stated that if
Iraq was not fully staffed, State’s Human Resources Bureau would hold the assignments of highly 56
qualified individuals until the Iraq staffing issue was resolved.
In addition, staffing became stretched when Congress did not provide the Administration-
requested appropriations to fund additional generalist staffing positions in Fiscal Years 2006 and
2007. Some also believe increased staffing levels called for by the global repositioning of the
Foreign Service and transferring personnel slots to an increasing number of hardship assignments 57
will only aggravate the staffing situation further.
Transformational diplomacy is about the nature of political regimes in other countries, and it
promotes the United States “working with partners to build and sustain democratic, well-58
governed, responsible states that will respond to the needs of their people.” The views of other
nations then become important as to whether sovereign governments accept this agenda of the
United States. For instance, will other governments take issue with Secretary Rice’s January 2006
speech on transformational diplomacy in which she stated that U.S. diplomats will be “helping
foreign citizens to promote democracy building, fight corruption, start businesses, improve
healthcare, and reform education?” Will other governments allow the expansion of U.S.
representation to American Presence Posts around their countries? And how receptive will people
in other countries be to the new U.S. initiatives?
54 See Section 502 of the Foreign Service Act of 19980, as amended (P.L. 96-465; 22 U.S.C. 3982).
55 Director General George M. Staples, “Announcing a Special Iraq Assignment Cycle for 2008,” Department of State,
Unclassified ALDAC 85014, Washington, June 2007.
57 John K. Naland, “The New Foreign Service,” The Foreign Service Journal, Washington, February 2007, p. 41.
58 “Transformational Diplomacy Fact Sheet,” Department of State, Washington, January 18, 2006.
The following are examples of international reactions to the Administration’s transformational
diplomacy plan. The State Department intends to increase U.S. representation through the Global
Repositioning initiative in three of these countries, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
“Many people think the logic in transformation of diplomacy [sic] is wrong because it thinks the
character of a regime is the fundamental issue of the current international politics.... As long as
the supreme state characterized by the disappearance of the borders of states has not come, it is
reasonable to protect a country’s sovereignty. Therefore, the theory that in order to protect the
U.S. national security, it denies other country’s sovereignty is an arbitrary logic as if it only let
itself live, but not others.... U.S. democracy is not necessarily the prioritized choice for every
country. Under the pretext of promoting democracy to intervene in other country’s domestic 59
affairs, U.S. action will surely inflict boycott from various nations and peoples.”
“Where the Middle East is concerned, the plan signifies a change in attitude, not in policy. Its call
for many more Middle East specialists and Arabic-speakers in the Foreign Service and for greater
openness to the people will not affect American policy in terms of the region’s conflicts. But it 60
might help ease some of the tension—... a positive step in the Middle East.”
“The U.S. Secretary of State Rice has recently elaborated on her transformational diplomacy
strategy in an effort to transform the posture of U.S. diplomacy to focus more on promoting
democratic and economic changes. Washington has apparently recognized the rapid changes in
the global political environment and is now making preparations to cope with these changes. But
we are afraid that this U.S.-style democracy may not be applicable in the present day emerging
world environment.... If this U.S.-style democracy cannot improve the lives of people of other
countries, this transformational diplomacy can only remain a political slogan of U.S. politicians.
It is only when the United States is able to reduce the 30 percent high unemployment rate in Iraq, 61
we can see a successful model of U.S. democracy taking shape in the Middle East.”
“[Indonesia] is receiving extraordinary attention in Secretary Rice’s vision of ‘Transformational
Diplomacy.’ Five new positions have been added to American posts in Indonesia—second only to
China in the number of new positions created in Asia. As a convert to the democratic system,
Indonesia seeks to improve its bonds with the birthplace of modern democracy. This, however,
does not mean that we agree with Washington’s unilateralist view of the world... . We end in the
59 Wang Honggang of the China Modern International Relations Research Institute, “What does the US
transformational diplomacy imply,” People’s Daily Online http://english.people.com.cn/, June 2, 2006.
60 Nathan Guttman, “Showdown at the State Department,” The Jerusalem Post, February 24, 2006.
61 “US—Style Democracy Not Applicable in Present World Environment,” Nanyang Siang Pau, Malaysia, February 7,
same way that we began. By exchanging views on how to emancipate the world via democratic
processes (sic). And by being honest about our views and the fact that we cannot condone many 62
of her country’s international exploits nor the way in which it is seeking to reshape the world.”
Except for needed appropriations, congressional involvement in the implementation of the
transformational diplomacy proposal appears to some observers to have been minimal. Changes
were made under existing authorities, and no legislation or new authority was requested from
Congress. In 2007, at the State Department’s request, Congress considered but did not move
forward, bills to authorize the full implementation of the Civilian Response Corps in the
“Reconstruction and Stabilization Civilian Management Act of 2007 (S. 613/H.R. 1084).”
As the proposal continues to be implemented, increased transformational diplomacy-related
appropriations may be requested. Congress may also exercise its oversight responsibilities to
monitor the effect that transformational diplomacy has on achieving foreign policy goals,
maintaining a top quality Foreign Service, and providing the best possible representation around
the world. Some areas of consideration may include the following:
• Foreign Service Personnel and Security Issues—Reports of personnel shortfalls
at the Department of State, because of the staffing effects of Iraq, Afghanistan,
and the new transformational diplomacy proposal, and the lack of authority to
expand the number of positions may need to be addressed in future
appropriations and authorizations. Concern about adequate security may also
need to be monitored as Foreign Service personnel are regularly posted to more
difficult and dangerous assignments. Monitoring the impact of transformational
diplomacy on Foreign Service morale, recruitment, and attrition may be required
to maintain a strong and effective diplomatic representation of America overseas
in the future.
• Funding—While the 110th Congress passed the FY2007 Continuing
Appropriations (P.L. 110-5), which included funding for the Department of State,
no FY2007 money was provided specifically to implement transformational 63
diplomacy as requested by the Administration. Instead, funds were
reprogrammed from other accounts within State to handle early implementation.
In order to implement transformational diplomacy changes in FY2008, the
Department of State is requesting a total of $124.8 million: $20.8 million for
training, $14.6 million for Reconstruction and Stabilization, $39.9 million for
global repositioning, $34.5 million for Foreign Service Modernization, and $15
62 Editorial, “Friends, not allies,” The Jakarta Post, Indonesia, March 13, 2006.
63 The Continuing Appropriations for FY2007 (P.L. 110-5) provided increased funding for certain portions of the
accounts. Examples of the subaccounts funded include exchanges, and the Emergencies in the Diplomatic and Consular
Service, that are directly related to the State Department. Certain international activities such as the Contributions for
International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) also received specific appropriated amounts. However, the majority of
the appropriations for the Department of State, including those accounts requested for transformational diplomacy,
were limited by Section 101 of P.L. 110-5 to the FY2006 level adjusted for certain rescissions. Subsequently $50
million was appropriated in the FY2007 emergency supplemental (P.L. 110-28) for the Civilian Response Corps
(CRC). The appropriated funds cannot be used until the CRC receives an authorization.
million for public diplomacy. Through the appropriation and authorization
process, Congress will likely provide oversight and funding for the plan.
• Foreign Assistance in the Future—The Administration’s foreign assistance
reform proposals appear to some as already being amended by Congress. The
Administration requested an increase in Economic Support Funds (ESF) and a
decrease in Development Assistance (DA) funds in FY2008. According to the
House Appropriations Committee’s summary, the House shifted $365 million in
requested ESF and International Disaster and Famine Assistance (IDFA) accounts
to the DA account to “reassert the role of USAID as the primary development
agency of the U.S. Government.” The enacted law (P.L. 110-161) did not include
the shift in funds.
• The Future of the Reconstruction and Stabilization Initiative—Congress may
consider whether to codify the existence S/CRS by adding its authorization to the
State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956, and to increase S/CRS authority
to lead and coordinate a government-wide response to international
reconstruction and stabilization. Further, there continues to be a question of
providing an authorization and funding for a Conflict Response Fund. Some
supporters have suggested that such a fund might be created as a no-year
revolving fund similar to the Emergency Refugee Migration Assistance (ERMA)
fund. Also, the State Department requested authorizing legislation for the CRC.
• The Future of Transformational Diplomacy—While many foreign policy experts
generally agree that the world has changed and diplomacy must change with it,
experts and foreign governments have raised concerns about specific aspects of
the Administration’s proposal. Secretary Rice said that “Transforming our 64
diplomacy and transforming the State Department is the work of a generation.”
If transformational diplomacy is perceived as negatively affecting U.S. interests
around the world, the next administration may rethink or replace it. It is unclear
how flexible the plan is and how difficult, in terms of financial and human
resource costs, this plan may be to adjust or replace.
• Transformational diplomacy still does not address State’s organizational
structure, which was never fully reorganized when the U.S. foreign policy
mechanism was reformed, merging new functions into the Department. Some,
including the former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, have said the Department is 65
“broken” and needs to be overhauled.
• State and Defense Departments’ roles in some activities, and division of labor
between the two, continue to be unclear. According to former USAID
Administrator, Andrew Natsios, “If State doesn’t become more operational, it’s
going to be overwhelmed by the Defense Department.” Retired Ambassador
Prudence Bushnell said: “To implement transformational diplomacy you need a
clear chain of command and accountability. This is lacking. We don’t seem to 66
have settled the role of the military and the role of the career diplomat.”
64 Transformational Diplomacy: Remarks at Georgetown School of Foreign Service, January 18, 2006, op.cit.
65 “Gingrich Again Assails State Department, Calling It ‘Broken,’” by Eric Schmitt, New York Times, June 18, 2003.
66 “New Order,” by Shane Harris, GOVEXEC.Com, August 1, 2006, at http://www.govexec.com/features/0806-01/
Phase I (2006) Phase II (2007) Phase I and Net Gains/
Lost Slots Lost Slots II Gains Losses
Angola 1 +1
Cote D’Ivoire 1 -1
Kenya 4 +4
Liberia 2 +2
Mali 1 +1
Nigeria 3 +3
Senegal 1 +1
South Africa 2 +2
Tanzania 1 +1
Subtotal Africa 1 1 19 +17
EAST ASIA and PACIFIC (EAP)
Burma (Myanmar) 1 +1
Cambodia 1 -1
China 24 +24
China (Hong Kong) 2 1 -3
Fiji 1 +1
Indonesia 5 +5
Japan 3 1 -4
Korea 1 2 1 -2
Malaysia 1 3 +2
Philippines 1 2 +1
Singapore 1 -1
Thailand 2 1 -3
Vietnam 4 +4
Subtotal EAP 11 6 41 +24
Phase I (2006) Phase II (2007) Phase I and Net Gains/
Lost Slots Lost Slots II Gains Losses
Armenia 1 1 0
Austria 1 -1
Azerbaijan 1 +1
Belgium 3 2 -1
Czech Republic 1 -1
France 2 -2
Germany 7 4 1 -10
Greece 1 -1
Hungary 2 -2
Ireland 1 -1
Italy 2 1 -3
Lithuania 1 -1
Moldova 1 +1
Norway 1 -1
Poland 3 -4
Portugal 1 -1
Russia 10 3 -13
Serbia (Kosovo) 1 1 1 -1
Spain 2 -2
Turkey 1 2 +1
Ukraine 2 -2
United Kingdom 1 3 2 -2
USEU (Belgium) 1 -1
Subtotal EUR 39 22 12 -49
NEAR EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Algeria 1 2 +1
Jerusalem 3 +3
Jordan 1 2 +1
Phase I (2006) Phase II (2007) Phase I and Net Gains/
Lost Slots Lost Slots II Gains Losses
Lebanon 3 +3
Libya 1 +1
Morocco 3 +3
Saudi Arabia 4 +4
Syria 1 -1
United Arab Emirates (UAE) 6 +6
Subtotal NEA 1 3 25 +21
Afghanistan (Bagram) 1 +1
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
Afghanistan 8 +8
Bangladesh 1 1 -2
India 17 +17
Kazakhstan 1 +1
Kyrgystan 2 +2
Pakistan 2 +2
Sri Lanka 1 -1
Tajikstan 3 +3
Turkmenistan 2 +2
Uzbekistan 1 -1
Subtotal SCA 2 2 37 +33
WESTERN HEMISPHERE (WHA)
Argentina 1 -1
Bolivia 4 +4
Brazil 3 2 3 +1
Canada 1 -1
Colombia 1 -1
Equador 3 +3
Guatemala 1 +1
Guyana 1 -1
Haiti 4 +4
Jamaica 1 -1
Phase I (2006) Phase II (2007) Phase I and Net Gains/
Lost Slots Lost Slots II Gains Losses
Nicaragua 4 +4
Panama 1 -1
Venezuela 6 +6
Subtotal WHA 8 5 25 +12
Regional Overseas Subtotal 62 39 160 59
U.S. Mission/Geneva 1 -1
UNESCO Paris 1 -1
Subtotal IO Overseas 2 -2
DOMESTIC (FS & CS)a
Subtotal Domestic 39 84 17 -106
Global Repositioning Positions
Reserve 0 0 23
POSITIONS 101 125 200
Source: The Department of State.
a. Specific numbers of domestic slots that would be lost by each State Department bureau were not provided.
(Prepared by the Department of State)
Kennon H. Nakamura Susan B. Epstein
Analyst in Foreign Affairs Specialist in Foreign Policy
firstname.lastname@example.org, 7-9514 email@example.com, 7-6678