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Clinton reforms US diplomacy

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Clinton reforms US diplomacy

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today launched a reform of US diplomacy that will turn ambassadors into corporate-like CEOs tasked with helping a country develop and avoid armed conflict.
Wary of Republican calls for cost-cutting, Clinton promised that the reforms at the State Department and the US Agency for International Development, USAID, seek to “minimize costs and maximize impacts, avoid overlap and duplication.”
In a speech marking the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Clinton pledged to enhance America’s civilian power overseas, drawing from experts not only in the State Department but across the federal government.
Her speech was also a tribute to Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan who died on Monday from heart surgery, saying his work was a model for the reforms being undertaken.
“Professionals at the Department of Agriculture know how to boost crop yields and irrigate fields in Kansas and in Kandahar,” the chief US diplomat told State Department and USAID colleagues.
“Justice Department experts are adept at strengthening rule of law in countries whose democracies are young and vulnerable,” she said.
“To achieve our goals — for example, tipping a fragile state away from conflict and toward stability — all elements of America?s civilian power must be prepared to work together,” Clinton said.
“This is a program of reforms that will fundamentally change the way we do business,” she said.
In drawing on experts from across the government, the State Department and USAID will also work more closely with US government agencies which also work abroad, she said. (AP)