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Video: An Introduction to the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations


Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations
February 8, 2013

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Assistant Secretary Barton: I'm Rick Barton. I'm the Assistant Secretary of State for the new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. It's a bureau that was created by Secretary of State, Clinton, a little more than a year ago, to improve the way the U.S. works in conflict and crisis countries. We try to work in places of priority to the United States where we feel there is an opportunity to make a difference and we try to do that with a real sense of urgency.

 


 

Assistant Secretary Barton:  Well, we have a lot of work still to do in Syria, Honduras, Burma and Kenya, so 2013 is full but we also recognize that there are a number of other crisis spots on Earth that matter a great deal to the United States where we need to focus our effort better, so we are taking a look at other places. At the same time, we are also considering issues such as religion in conflict, youth in conflict and trying to see if that's another way that we should be addressing these problems.


 

Assistant Secretary Barton: The concept of a civilian response corps is that when you have a problem you often times want to surge assistance in to the place and one good way to surge assistance is to have experts or people who are familiar with the problems that are being encountered. What we are trying to do is to build a global network of talent that can be alerted whenever we are looking for a particular kind of person or a group of people and that they will be essentially tested and we will be able to send the right people to the right place at the right time. So that's the new model we are pursuing and that's one of the things we were talking to people here is, we know for example we know that the Swiss have a good model, the Canadians have an interesting model. We had one that was, perhaps excessively, grounded in just U.S. federal government employees and we found that by being able to pursue a prosecutor from Philadelphia or a homicide investigator from Dallas that it's a must broader market of talent and that's really what we are trying to bring to these kinds of problems, but people are not always the answer, just like money isn't always the answer. A lot of time it's something that is local and that we want to help strengthen.



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