Yesterday, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released three papers offering policy recommendations for the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) team as the State Department and other agencies gear up to rollout the findings.
The first paper in the series, “Planning Diplomacy and Development: Force Planning Applications for the State Department,” looks to the Pentagon’s experience in formulating its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and presents lessons learned for State and for U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) officials as they allocate resources to effectively manage their programs. CNAS expert Brian Burton puts forward the concept of force planning as a way for State and USAID to link strategy and policy objectives to its resource base.
Brian Burton co-authors another paper with Richard Fontaine, “Eye to the Future: Refocusing State Department Policy Planning,” in which they argue that the QDDR offers an opportunity for State to improve its capacity for medium- to long-term policy planning. By looking back on the history of the Policy Planning Staff, Burton and Fontaine articulate the need for nimble decision-making and stress the importance of tying policy to action in order to confront today’s challenges.
In the final paper of the series, “Rebuilding Diplomacy: A Survey of Past Calls for State Department Transformation,” Richard Weitz and Eugene Chow highlight themes of past State Department attempts to implement reform that should be used to inform this QDDR process.
With the QDDR rumored to be released next month, these papers offer insightful recommendations, while illustrating that the QDDR process should remain fluid and flexible to have the greatest impact.