Diary

Hillary Calls All US Ambassadors Together - Why?

Maybe I’m being paranoid, but this strikes me as strange. Granted, the meetings took place 2 weeks ago, but I don’t recall hearing anything in the media about it.

From Politico:

Hillary Clinton calls historic meeting of ambassadors

Ambassadors from almost all 260 U.S. embassies, consulates and other posts in more than 180 countries are expected to convene at the State Department for what’s being billed as the first meeting of its kind.

Officials say the meeting will include discussion of foreign policy priorities for 2011, The Associated Press reported, as well as an assessment of the fallout from the release of secret diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. Clinton will meet individually with diplomats working in unstable countries.

…The ambassadors hold meetings with their regional bureaus Monday and Tuesday. Clinton is set to address the ambassadors Wednesday about “leading through civilian power,” after a welcome from her chief of staff and counselor, Cheryl Mills. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice will then forecast the year ahead at the United Nations, and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns will do the same for the year ahead in foreign policy.

The ambassadors will also hear from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen on civilian-military operations in the 21st century, and USAID chief Raj Shah will speak on results-based development.

After doing a little further digging I found this on the State Department’s website.

Secretary Clinton Convenes the Inaugural Global Chiefs of Mission Conference in Washington D.C. Media Coverage Opportunities on February 2

On January 31, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton convened the first ever Global Chiefs of Mission Conference. This will be the first time U.S. Ambassadors will gather from around the world simultaneously. The Conference, which runs through February 4, presents an unprecedented opportunity to mobilize and coordinate the work of America’s Ambassadors overseas.

A principal aim of the conference will be to prepare for the implementation of the recommendations in the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which Secretary Clinton announced last month.

According to the State Department’s website, Clinton said this about the QDDR:

“How can we do better?…we will build up our civilian power: the combined force of civilians working together across the U.S. government to practice diplomacy, carry out development projects, and prevent and respond to crises. Many different agencies contribute to these efforts today. But their work can be more unified, more focused, and more efficient.

The State Department and USAID will take a lead role in making that happen.”

The QDDR provides a blueprint for elevating American “civilian power” to better advance our national interests and to be a better partner to the U.S. military.

Some of the objectives of the QDDR

* Creating an Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment
* Establishing a new Bureau for Energy Resources
* Creating an Under Secretary for Civilian Security
* Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs
* Establish a Bureau for Counterterrorism
* Establishing a Coordinator for Cyber Issues

As I said before, I may be paranoid, but whenever I hear anyone from this administration talking about “civilian security” or “civilian military”, I get a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.