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PacNet #11 – Answering the Questions About Smart Power

The US State Department has put forth a strategic vision embodied in its first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR). Modeled after the Defense Department’s own four-year planning effort, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the QDDR describes the priorities of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). More importantly, it lays out an integrated strategy for achieving US diplomatic and development goals in concert with the Pentagon, while DOD’s QDR likewise advocates closer coordination with State and AID. The challenges are many and the ability to put this more integrated approach into practice remains to be seen, but the fact that key US national security agencies are taking a more holistic and coordinated approach to complex global problems signals that US national security strategy in the 21st century will be a whole-of-government effort.