printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Major Crosscutting Efforts

FY 2005 Performance Summary (The Plan)
Bureau of Resource Management
February 2004

Major Crosscutting Efforts

Challenges to U.S. and global security, freedom and prosperity often transcend the bounds of a single geographic or functional bureau. The Department addresses such crosscutting issues through effective collaboration among its bureaus and/or other USG agencies.

The War on Terrorism

The events of 9/11 have made combating international terrorism a key U.S. priority. The Department pursues multifaceted efforts to prosecute the global war on terror. Under the President's and the Secretary's leadership, the Bureau of Counterterrorism (S/CT), Diplomatic Security (DS), Consular Affairs (CA), the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB), the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO), the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the regional bureaus, are reorienting their priorities to fit new realities. USAID has also focused its efforts on the underlying causes of extremism in frontline states in the war on terrorism. In the countries of the former Soviet Union, the Bureau of Arms Control and the Bureau of Nonproliferation have worked with the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs to focus attention on controlling nuclear material.

On a broader scale, the Department has also cooperated with other agencies to combat terrorism. Coordinating with the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, the FBI, CA has worked to strengthen its visa screening to prevent terrorists from entering the United States. EB and S/CT have worked closely with the Treasury Department to combat terrorist financing, leading efforts to build an international coalition. The Department also has combined its efforts with those of the military to establish key bases and build essential alliances. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Bureau of South Asian Affairs has led Department-wide and interagency efforts to support Operation Enduring Freedom, promote accountable democratic governance, establish security forces in Afghanistan, and promote economic recovery and growth to combat extremism and instability.

Public Diplomacy

The Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and related bureaus are working to ensure understanding and a gain in acceptance of U.S. values and polices. In the wake of the events of 9/11, the need for a unified and positive American message has never been as critical.

The Department is therefore expanding the scope of public diplomacy by identifying younger and broader audiences, especially youth in Arab and Muslim environments and broader audiences; tailoring programs and messages to reach these targets; using all available channels of communication to expand our reach; maximizing resources among the Department's domestic bureaus and overseas posts; and coordinating interagency communication activities for the development and dissemination of the President's USG messages across the globe. To this end, the Department coordinates closely with the White House, Department of Defense and other USG agencies.

Under a joint five-year strategy with the Agency for International Development, Department public diplomacy activities focus more on bringing attention to U.S. assistance activities, showing how these programs offer hope for a brighter future.

Homeland Security

The Department works on the frontlines to provide homeland security. Since the events of 9/11, the Department has taken steps to coordinate more effectively with other USG agencies on improving overall U.S. border security. Department consular officers at more than 200 overseas posts adjudicate the majority of visa applications of those who seek entry into the United States. Among these applicants are those who wish to harm the United States, as shown by the events of 9/11. The Department strengthened its visa screening system by vastly increasing the size of its name check database, conducting more visa interviews, and instituting interagency clearances for additional categories of applicants from specific countries.

The Department has provided U.S. ports of entry with real-time access to visa issuance data and has worked closely with the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, the intelligence community, the FBI, and other USG agencies on other border-security issues.

The Department works closely with specialized USG and international agencies such as the FAA and the International Maritime Organization, and with elements of the private sector such as the telecom industry to strengthen the security of transportation and communication infrastructure and networks both domestically and internationally.

The Department also works with domestic and international law enforcement organizations to minimize the negative impact of drugs and crime on American citizens. The Bureaus of Consular Affairs and Diplomatic Security play a critical role in homeland security efforts to control visa and passport fraud. The Department is intent upon ensuring that its visa system is strong and secure, while allowing and encouraging qualified applicants to come to the United States. Finally, the Department works with other U.S government agencies to strengthen foreign governments' capability for screening people and goods at key entry and exit points.

State and USAID Coordination and Collaboration

To help achieve the diplomatic, development, and management priorities of the President, Secretary of State, and USAID Administrator, the Department and USAID have established joint policy and management councils.

The Joint Policy Council is ensuring that development programs are fully aligned with, and fully inform, foreign policy goals. The Deputy Secretary and USAID Administrator co-chair the Executive Committee, which also includes: the Under Secretaries for Political Affairs (as overall coordinator), Global Affairs, and Economic, Agricultural and Business Affairs; the Director of Policy Planning; and USAID's policy leadership. Twelve regional and functional policy groups, led by senior Department and USAID officials, are addressing ways to improve coordination on key policy and program issues. A Directors' Office, co-led by Ambassador Donald Steinberg and assisted by the Office of Strategic and Performance Planning (RM/SPP), serves as a liaison between the Executive Committee and policy groups and helps to address crosscutting issues.

The Joint Management Council is overseeing efforts to create more integrated structures to advance the goals of both institutions, support employees, and reduce costs to the taxpayer. The Under Secretary for Management and USAID's Deputy Administrator co-chair the Executive Committee, which also includes the Assistant Secretary for Resource Management and Assistant Administrator for Management. Seven senior-level working groups are implementing joint business plans that are addressing the following issues: resource management; management processes; information and communication technology; E-government, facilities, security, and human capital. Examples of specific collaborative issues include: budget and planning cycles; common financial management systems; shared administrative support services; long-range overseas building plans; cross training and assignments; and communication networks. A Secretariat, composed of the Department's Office of Management Policy (M/P) and RM/SPP, assists the working groups to frame key issues for Executive Committee consideration.

Iraq Reconstruction

The challenge of helping Iraqis liberated from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein to build the unified, stable and prosperous country that they deserve is one of the Department's highest priorities. The Department supports reconstruction efforts inside Iraq, and through diplomacy, is assisting Iraqis to make clear and strong progress toward economic reconstruction to ensure a free, sovereign, and democratic Iraq.

The Bureaus of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), Economic and Business Affairs (EB), Oceans Environment and Science (OES), and Non-Proliferation (NP will work with the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Agriculture, and the Environment Protection Agency to help build Iraq's agribusiness, develop its scientific capacity, rehabilitate its oil production, telecommunications system and export capacity, and restore its marshlands.

The Department (NEA, DRL and L) will work with USAID to assist Iraqis develop pluralistic and democratic government institutions framed by rule of law and based on guaranteed civil liberties, including a free press and equal rights for all Iraqis without regard to ethnicity, religion or gender. Joint State (NEA and EB) and USAID efforts will help award Iraqi firms subcontracts as well as provide Iraqis with short and long-term job programs. Our efforts are aimed at building political institutions and transforming Iraq's centralized economic system to a market-based economy, benefiting the Iraqi people, setting an example for the region and providing increased opportunities for American exporters and businesses. EB will play a leading role in successfully mobilizing substantial foreign participation through grants and loans to aid in Iraq's reconstruction and recovery of its economy. NEA, INL and Justice will continue to work with the Iraqi people to build police forces that will protect the people and respect the democratic system and the people's human rights.

The Department will play a leading role in working closely with Iraq's transitional government by working with the Transitional National Authority to support a process of national reconciliation, including an effort to hold Saddam and his regime accountable for their crimes against the Iraqi people and their neighbors. The Department will work with the international community to ensure that the country receives the maximum feasible international debt relief. Coordinated efforts with the Bureaus of Near Eastern Affairs, Diplomatic Security, and Overseas Buildings Operation will result in the construction of a new embassy. Through the U.S. mission, the Department and other agencies will work with Iraq's transitional government to establish strong and lasting relationships with Iraq's new generation of free leaders, promoting tolerance, freedom, and hope in the region.

Back to Top

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.