Rice Seeks To Transform Diplomacy

A few years ago, I happened to be looking at the CIA World Factbook (probably specifically at Seychelles) and ended up looking at job descriptions for the Consular Officer (now apparently a Passport and Visa Specialist). At the time, I thought it was be an ideal job. Go live in a country for a few years helping people out of jams, see the country on my days off, and hopefully stay out of trouble.

That was before the US invaded, Iraq, I am pretty sure. Now, Condoleeza is Secretary of State. In a way, I am glad that I never really followed up on pursing that.

CBS News | Rice Seeks To Transform Diplomacy | January 20, 2006 18:25:40

Rice’s objective, she told students and faculty at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, is to forge a new way to work with other countries “…to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system. Let me be clear,” Rice continued, “transformational diplomacy is rooted in partnership; not paternalism. In doing things with people, not for them; we seek to use America’s diplomatic power to help foreign citizens better their own lives and to build their own nations and to transform their own futures.” [Bold added.]

This Secretary of State sees the early years of the 21st century as a period during which dramatic and innovative policy changes are called for and in fact are overdue in the aftermath of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union. Rice often cites the bold changes made after World War II by her predecessors, Secretaries George C. Marshall and Dean Acheson, which led to the formation of NATO and, ultimately, as she said to her Georgetown audience, “…..a Europe whole and free and at peace.” If viewed simply in that historical light, we should not be too surprised at the steps announced this week.