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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > July
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 29, 2005


Beginning To Transform the State Department to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century

Today’s action:

  • Today, Secretary Rice announced her intention to reorganize the State Department’s Arms Control and International Security bureaus to better address the modern threat from weapons of mass destruction.
  • The Secretary also announced intended changes to refocus the Department on the President’s mission to promote democracy.

Arms Control, International Security and the Changing Threat

The existing structure of the Department’s international security bureaus reflects another time, a time when our nation concentrated on negotiating strategic arms control agreements, often over the course of many years, and focused almost exclusively on the Soviet Union as the greatest threat to our security. At that time, the U.S. and our allies faced an enemy that possessed thousands of nuclear weapons and a large and powerful conventional threat that divided Europe between democratic and authoritarian countries. Today, as President Bush has said, the threat to our nation has changed. Instead of a single predictable adversary to deter, we face shadowy non-state networks, such as the A.Q. Khan network, that could seek to help terrorist organizations and rogue states acquire weapons of mass destruction.

The reorganization of the International Security and Arms Control bureaus will focus the Department’s national security efforts on combating weapons of mass destruction through both effective counter and nonproliferation efforts. We must change the focus of our diplomacy by concentrating the efforts of the many professionals in these bureaus on preventing the spread of WMD and missile capabilities and on protecting against WMD threats from hostile states and terrorists. Some of the most important changes include:

  • Creation of the Bureau for International Security and Nonproliferation. The merger of the Arms Control (AC) and Nonproliferation (NP) bureaus into a new bureau to be called the Bureau for International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN). This bureau will take the lead in counter and nonproliferation initiatives and negotiations. It also will feature a new office to focus on the nexus between WMD and terrorism, the preeminent threat we face as a nation. It will be the principal focal point in the Department for promoting the President’s agenda, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Global Partnership Against Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, UN Security Council Resolution 1540, and efforts to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime including: IAEA, Additional Protocol, enrichment of uranium, reprocessing of plutonium, and nonproliferation assistance as envisioned in the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Initiative Program.

  • Verification, Compliance, and Implementation Bureau. The mandate of the Department’s Verification and Compliance Bureau will be expanded and it will be renamed the Verification, Compliance, and Implementation Bureau. This bureau will assume responsibility for the implementation and verification of important treaties that protect American security, such as the START, INF, Open Skies, and other arms control treaties.

  • Strengthening the Political-Military Affairs Bureau. We will add additional personnel freed up by the AC-NP merger to the Political-Military Affairs Bureau (PM) to employ against urgent security issues such as MANPADS and defense trade controls.

Institutionalizing Democracy Promotion

The United States supports the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world. Functioning representative governments with the rule of law, economic opportunity and other tenets of a free society do not make fertile recruiting grounds for terrorists, do not produce massive outflows of refugees, do not cause famine, and do not war with other democracies. Advancing freedom requires comprehensive and tailored strategies to ensure that we are analyzing each unique situation, learning from successful—and unsuccessful—transitions to democracy, and using all of the tools at our disposal to address the many facets of democratization.

The Department is taking a range of steps to institutionalize its democracy promotion efforts at a high level, through the launching of several initiatives, which will result in the strengthening of the Department's assets from within. Some changes include:

  • Rename the Under Secretary for Global Affairs, the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs. This name change underscores the importance the Secretary places in advancing the President's Freedom Agenda.
  • Launch a comprehensive review of the United States' democracy promotion strategies and the associated funding with the goal of enhancing and intensifying our activities in this area.
  • Create a new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor will get a new Deputy Assistant Secretary to streamline and centralize our democracy promotion efforts.
  • Create a new Advisory Committee for the Secretary to get the best expert advice on democracy promotion. Often, NGOs, Civil Society and experts outside the government from academia and other areas have invaluable, on the ground experience that we need to tap into.
  • Transfer reporting responsibilities of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. This transfer will forge a closer link between INL and regional bureaus, while allowing the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs to focus more intensively on her expanded democracy promotion responsibilities. The Under Secretary’s responsibilities for programs related to democracy and human rights, including the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center, will remain unchanged.

2005/738


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