POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Hillary … excellent new approaches at State

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 23, 2008

Mark Landler and Helene Cooper write in the New York Times …

  • Even before taking office, Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking to build a more powerful State Department, with a bigger budget, high-profile special envoys to trouble spots and an expanded role in dealing with global economic issues at a time of crisis.
  • As Mrs. Clinton puts together her senior team, officials said, she is also trying to carve out a bigger role for the State Department in economic affairs, where the Treasury has dominated during the Bush years.
  • The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private, said Mrs. Clinton was being supported in her push for more resources by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Mr. Obama’s incoming national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones Jr.
  • For years, some Pentagon officials have complained that jobs like the economic reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq have been added to the military’s burden when they could have been handled by a robust Foreign Service.
  • “The Pentagon would like to turn functionality over to civilian resources, but the resources are not there,” the official said. “We’re looking to have a State Department that has what it needs.”
  • Mrs. Clinton’s push for a more vigorous economic team, one of her advisers said, stems from her conviction that the State Department needs to play a part in the recovery from the global financial crisis. Economic issues also underpin some of the most important diplomatic relationships, notably with China.

LMW COMMENT … This is change we need. The State Department has been too much a weak sister to Treasury and Defense. Mrs. Clinton, surely with Barack Obama’s concurrence, is setting out to redefine State’s role in managing the international implications of U.S. economic and military policy. This is a balance that has been long lacking. I think Hillary will be a brilliant Secretary of State; this article points out some excellent first thoughts.

Read the entire article athttp://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/us/politics/23diplo.html?hp

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One Response to “* Hillary … excellent new approaches at State”

  1. Kerry said

    Today’s NYT Headline:
    NYT: Clinton moves to widen role of State Dept.

    Fasten your seatbelts kids, this is going to be a wild ride!!

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