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QDDR Sneak Peak

November 23, 2010

Just as Congress took off for the Thanksgiving recess, the administration leaked a draft summary of the long-awaited Quadrenniel Diplomacy and Development Review, or QDDR.  The State Department review, modeled on the Pentagon’s Quadrenniel Defense Review, is intended to provide a framework for improving US diplomatic and development capacities to better meet the needs of US foreign policy engagement in the world.  It is also likely to influence the administration’s future budget requests for diplomacy, development, and international cooperation – tools that, if crafted and resourced appropriately, can help peacefully prevent deadly conflict.

The QDDR summary offers some promising developments that demonstrate just how far FCNL’s work to advance the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict has come from those days when we couldn’t even find someone in the State Department to talk to about preventing, instead of fighting, wars.  For example, the QDDR:

  • Embraces “conflict prevention and response as a core mission”
  • Proposes a Bureau of Crises and Conflict Operations
  • Calls for making the Civilian Response Corps more flexible and cost-effective
  • Expands USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, which works in countries at risk of or in transition from violent conflict.
  • Elevates multilateral affairs within the State Department.

At the same time, the summary also points to some troubling trends that concern FCNL, such as increased linking of diplomacy and development with military operations (the so-called 3Ds), including through a “unified national security budget”. (See our August 12 post for more on our concerns with this approach.) And it leaves plenty of questions unanswered, like how State and USAID will divide up or share responsibilities in crisis situations, and where the money will come from to implement major reforms (especially with a new Congress determined to cut, cut, cut).

The full QDDR report is expected out sometime in December, and we’ll prepare an FCNL response once the details are in.  For now, we encourage you to take a look at the summary document and tell us your thoughts.



One Comment
  1. Ellen N. Duell permalink
    December 7, 2010 4:26 pm

    The power of fossil fuel corporations is threatening life on earth, which is truly in crisis due to climate change, due to human overuse of fossil fuels. Legislation must insist that these companies immediately turn to providing renewable fuel–especially solar, and we must make it possible for people to be employed at living wages in so doing.

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