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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 > December
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 14, 2005


President Issues Directive to Improve the United States' Capacity to Manage Reconstruction and Stabilization Efforts

Special Briefing with Ambassador Carlos Pascual, Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization

On December 7, President Bush issued a new Directive to empower the Secretary of State to improve coordination, planning, and implementation for reconstruction and stabilization (R&S) assistance for foreign states and regions at risk of, in, or in transition from conflict or civil strife. These improved capabilities should enable the U.S. to help governments abroad exercise sovereignty over their own territories and to prevent those territories from being used as a base of operations or safe haven for extremists, terrorists, organized crime groups, or others who pose a threat to U.S. foreign policy, security, or economic interests.

The Presidential Directive establishes that the Secretary of State shall coordinate and lead integrated United States Government efforts, involving all U.S. Departments and Agencies with relevant capabilities, to prepare, plan for, and conduct stabilization and reconstruction activities. Depending on the situation, these operations can be conducted with or without U.S. military engagement. When the U.S. military is involved, the Secretary of State shall coordinate such efforts with the Secretary of Defense to ensure harmonization with any planned or ongoing U.S. military operations across the spectrum of conflict. The United States shall work with other countries and organizations, to anticipate state failure, avoid it whenever possible, and respond quickly and effectively when necessary and appropriate to promote peace, security, development, democratic practices, market economies, and the rule of law.

State Departmentís Role Ė Supporting Transformational Diplomacy
The Presidential Directive establishes that the Secretary of State will be supported by a Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization to:

  • Develop strategies for reconstruction and stabilization activities; provide U.S. decision makers with detailed options for R&S operations; ensure program and policy coordination among U.S. Departments and Agencies; lead coordination of reconstruction and stabilization activities and preventative strategies with bilateral partners, international and regional organizations, and nongovernmental and private sector entities.

  • Coordinate interagency processes to identify states at risk of instability, lead interagency planning to prevent or mitigate conflict, develop detailed contingency plans for integrated U.S. reconstruction and stabilization, and provide U.S. decision makers with detailed options for an integrated U.S. response.

  • Lead U.S. development of a strong civilian response capability; analyze, formulate and recommend authorities, mechanisms and resources for civilian responses in coordination with key interagency implementers such as AID; coordinate R&S budgets among Departments and Agencies; identify lessons learned and integrate them into operational planning by responsible agencies.

Civilian-Military Coordination:   The Secretaries of State and Defense will integrate stabilization and reconstruction contingency plans with military contingency plans, when relevant and appropriate. The Presidential Directive creates the framework to integrate these planning responsibilities. DOD Directive 3000.05 establishes how Defense will address and develop its functions for stability, security, transition and reconstruction and commits the Defense Department to supporting U.S. reconstruction and stabilization efforts.

Harnessing the Skills and Expertise Throughout the U.S. Government:   Conflict transformation requires a broad range of expertise from multiple agencies, particularly those with operational experience in post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. The Presidential Directive calls on each agency to strengthen its capacity to respond to crises; mobilize expert staff; participate in deployed teams; and assist with planning, policy exercises, and training.

Building Global Capacity:   There is unprecedented collaboration among international and non-governmental partners to build global capacity for conflict management. The Presidential Directive instructs U.S. agencies, with the State Department in the coordination lead, to work with these key partners on early warning, prevention, and conflict response.

Making Progress Towards the Presidentís Goals

  • Building on Current Efforts:   The State Department, USAID and other U.S. agencies, have a base of experience assisting countries to move from conflict toward sustainable peace. The U.S. is actively engaged in defense cooperation, regional security, humanitarian assistance, job creation, economic cooperation, rule of law, democratic governance, human rights, and other important initiatives. This Presidential Directive strengthens U.S. capacity to develop and implement integrated U.S. responses, coordinated with international and non-governmental partners. 

  • Planning Process:   S/CRS is developing a common planning framework, to provide the blueprints for a U.S. response to conflict. The framework has been used for civilian planning in a variety of countries. With further development and experimentation, it can also form the basis for integrated civilian-military planning. The planning process allows for a unified national strategy for conflict transformation, rather than a collection of agency responses.

  • Country Engagement:   S/CRS has coordinated strategic planning for U.S. efforts in Sudan and Haiti in concert with Regional Bureaus in the State Department, the NSC and interagency partners. Using tools such as the planning framework, the coordinated process has brought together strategic guidance and resources to address conflict transformation goals.

  • Civilian Response Capabilities: Over a decade of operational experience has underscored the need for a civilian field presence in the very first stages of a stabilization and reconstruction mission. S/CRS has been working with civilian agencies and the military to develop concepts for providing the U.S. with deployable civilian teams for reconstruction and stabilization that can embed with the military or operate independently. The State Department has begun a Response Corps of diplomatic first responders and standby personnel, who can augment or provide the U.S. diplomatic platform on the ground. S/CRS is developing models for teams of civilian technical experts who can be deployed immediately with or without the military to jumpstart activities critical to a transition. To facilitate long-term implementation of assistance programs, S/CRS is developing a comprehensive network of skills available through contracts and rosters.

  • Early Warning and Prevention: Closing the gap between early warning and early response is a key challenge. S/CRS is working to inject conflict prevention and mitigation into mainstream foreign policy processes. The National Intelligence Council now bi-annually prepares a list of countries at risk of instability. It is reviewed within the policy community to identify countries where early policy attention could help prevent or mitigate a crisis. S/CRS is also using policy exercises, roundtables, and simulations to bring together U.S., international and non-governmental experts to consult and foster consensus on policy approaches for prevention.

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