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A
POWERFUL
VOICE
FOR
LIFESAVING
ACTION


For
Immediate
Release:

September
23,
2009

Contact:

Vanessa
Parra,
202‐904‐0319;

vanessa@refugeesinternational.org

Imbalance
Between
Departments
of
Defense
and
State
Dangerous
for
U.S.

Foreign
Policy

A
new
report
by
Refugees
International
highlights
urgent
need
to
build
up
U.S.

civilian
agencies


Washington,
DC
‐
A
shortage
of
qualified
and
available
U.S.
Foreign
Service
Officers

and
other
personnel
has
created
a
vacuum
that
the
U.S.
is
forced
to
fill
with
military

personnel,
said
a
new
report
by
Refugees
International
released
today.
Drawing
on

the
Full
Strength
of
America:
Seeking
Greater
Civilian
Capacity
in
U.S.
Foreign
Affairs

highlights
the
urgent
need
to
build
up
U.S.
civilian
agencies
in
light
of
the
severe

inequity
between
the
Department
of
Defense
and
the
State
Department.
One

example
lies
across
the
Sahel
and
Maghreb,
where
soldiers
are
conducting

development
and
public
diplomacy
tasks
because
there
aren't
enough
civilians.

"The
notion
that
American
military
power
alone
is
enough
to
keep
America
secure

has
been
completely
discredited,"
said
Refugees
International
Peacekeeping

Manager
Ron
Capps,
author
of
the
report.
"America's
foreign
policy
would
be
far

more
effective
if
the
State
Department
and
USAID
received
the
resources
they
need

to
do
their
jobs.
Congress
and
the
Obama
administration
must
begin
by
hiring
the

nearly
5,000
Foreign
Service
Officers
the
State
Department
and
USAID
require
to
do

their
essential
work."

The
report
explains
the
history
and
magnitude
of
the
disproportionate
funding

between
the
Departments
of
Defense
and
State.
For
example,
USAID
has
lost
75

percent
of
its
staffing
since
1975.
Key
steps
are
also
outlined
to
restore
U.S.
civilian

agencies'
capacity
and
re‐assert
the
U.S.
position
as
a
global
diplomatic
leader.
In

addition
to
increasing
the
size
of
the
Foreign
Service,
other
steps
include
increasing

U.S.
Ambassadors'
authority
over
personnel
and
funding
and
ending
the
use
of

Department
of
Defense
Civil
Affairs
activities
as
cover
for
intelligence
operations

because
of
the
risk
they
produce
for
legitimate
humanitarian
workers.
However,

until
the
Department
of
State
and
USAID
have
the
resources
they
need
to
manage

security
and
development
assistance,
the
Department
of
Defense
must
maintain

some
limited
authorities
in
these
areas.

"We
believe
that
the
atrophy
of
civilian
capacity,
and
the
resultant
inability
of
the

U.S.
government
to
globally
project
elements
of
soft
power,
place
an
unfair
burden

on
our
military,
present
the
wrong
image
of
America
to
the
world,
and
reduce
our

effectiveness
in
promoting
international
security,
thus
making
America
and
the

world
less
secure,"
says
the
report.


"American
foreign
policy
should
fully
reflect
our
society
and
should
give
the
world

the
best
America
has
to
offer,
both
in
its
civilian
and
military
capacity,"
added
Mr.

Capps.
"The
disparity
between
the
Departments
of
Defense
and
State
is
not

insurmountable.
With
the
right
kind
of
leadership
from
the
Obama
administration

and
Congress
we
can
correct
the
imbalance."


Refugees
International
is
an
independent,
non‐profit
humanitarian
advocacy

organization
based
in
Washington,
DC.
We
do
not
accept
government
or
United

Nations
funding,
relying
instead
on
contributions
from
individuals,
foundations
and

corporations.
Download
a
copy
of
the
report
at

www.refugeesinternational.org/policy/in‐depth‐report/drawing‐full‐strength‐
america.