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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Message From the Secretary


In the years ahead, America's greatest opportunity is to utilize our position of strength to create a world that favors human freedom.  This world of growing freedom serves American long-term interests, reflects enduring American ideals, and unites American allies and partners. We strive to help preserve this peace by building good relations among nations around the world and we extend this peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.

In the current fight against terrorism, the United States ultimately defends this peace by opposing and preventing violence by terrorist and outlaw regimes. Our nation will not win it solely or even primarily through military might, but in using every instrument of national power, diplomatic, economic, law enforcement, financial, informational, intelligence, and military. Progress will come through the patient accumulation of successes, some seen, some unseen. The Department of State has been proud to contribute to several early successes. We provided the diplomatic tools that marshaled and maintain a global anti-terrorism coalition, established an interim governing authority in a liberated Afghanistan, and continue to act as a catalyst in its ongoing reconstruction and quest for stability.

As we continue to deny terrorists and their allies the means to enact their hatred, we have an unprecedented opportunity to help build the peace. In our broader foreign policy agenda, the Department seeks to foster democracy and human rights around the world.  We work to enact free trade agreements that can bring increased economic prosperity both at home and abroad.  The Department works to continuously support our allies in the Atlantic and the Pacific and strengthen our relationships with partners such as Russia while deepening the conversation with China and other nations that agree to promote a world that favors human freedom.  Through such means as the Millennium Challenge Account, the Department advances common global interests to ensure accountable humanitarian assistance, improved health, and a sustainable environment.

Continuing to meet our foreign policy priorities requires a Department that can look around the corner, anticipating the challenges ahead.  We must be able to plan for the next crisis rather than react to its impact.  This foresight requires a culture that values planning and an organization committed to its execution.  We must state our priorities and targets, being praised when we exceed our goals, and held accountable when we fall short. 

In the Fiscal Year 2004 Performance Plan, the Department of State describes its accomplishments to date and looks ahead to what we intend to achieve in the coming years.  As this document accompanies our Fiscal Year 2004 budget, we invite the American public's attention to understand the benefit the men and women of the Department strive each day to achieve on behalf of the American public.


Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State


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