Why the State Department Needs More — and Better — Training
As Nigeria, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, and a host of other countries struggle with growing internal unrest, the State Department is taking important steps to re-organize itself in support of people — not just governments. Most recently, State rolled out its new Office of Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, which will house all civilian protection, conflict prevention and rule of law priorities within President Obama’s larger foreign policy agenda. It is an office comprised of bureaus that dealt previously with traditional human rights and humanitarian issues, but lacked a coordinated mandate.
Now, however, the administration has explicitly linked them under one umbrella and elevated their mission — a step that illustrates President Obama’s interest centralizing these principles within the policy arena. He is also making clear that a critical, common thread runs between them. In order to be more effective, they need to be more coherent.
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