State Dept Management Tutorial

Knight-Ridder “reported yesterday”: on “this article”: by Dean Rust.

Read the whole thing, but I think this excerpt give some idea of his conclusion:

Yet, the botched implementation has already led many experienced career officers to leave the newly constituted ISN bureau, with others closely on their heels. This resource of knowledge, experience, and advice was consciously built up over the past 30 years in the State Department and the former Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), which was merged into the State Department in 1999 to strengthen its ability to address weapons proliferation. The dissipation of this resource will hamper the State Department’s role at home and abroad for years to come.

Frankly, one could argue that this reduction in the State Department’s role is precisely the outcome some were seeking. It is no secret that some in the administration have little faith in treaties and institutional approaches to arms control and nonproliferation. What better way to strip the State Department of its capabilities in these areas, including its experienced officers, than under the guise of reorganization?

Wade and Miles “asked”: Joseph whether “the reorganization was politically motivated and will weaken U.S. efforts to address global weapons dangers.”

Joseph: The reorganization was not politically motivated. The call for the merger of the arms control and nonproliferation bureaus surfaced for the first time in a review by the [State Department Inspector General (IG)]. The objective of the merger was, and remains, to restructure these two bureaus so that they and the very talented people that reside in them can make the greatest contribution to dealing with today’s national security threats. I would start from the basic question: how can the State Department and, specifically, how can the bureaus [under the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security] make the greatest contribution to our national security? At the top of the list of the threats we face is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, whether it is Iran, North Korea, other rogue states, or terrorists. We have restructured these two bureaus. We have created new offices in these bureaus to deal with the new threats that we face today to ensure, with regard to our traditional tools of nonproliferation, that we are making the greatest contribution. Whether that is in terms of strengthening the treaty regimes, or improving our export control assistance to other countries, or in the context of new missions promoting the effectiveness of the Proliferation Security Initiative, or implementing Security Council Resolution 1540, or expanding programs that will help to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

ACT: You mentioned the IG report. Why were the responsibilities of the Verification and Compliance Bureau increased while the IG report recommended that the bureau should have its functions and role narrowed?

Joseph: We looked at the issue across the bureaus and it seemed to me and to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the best approach was to create a new bureau that focused on proliferation threats. This is the International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau. The traditional arms control implementation functions we believed fit more appropriately with the verification bureau. It was those offices that were transferred into that bureau.

That interview has a bunch of other interesting items. Take a look.

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