printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

02. Diplomacy: The State Department At Work


There is no country on Earth that is not touched by America, for we have become the motive force for freedom and democracy in the world. And there is no country in the world that does not touch us.  We are a country of countries with a citizen in our ranks from every land.  We are attached by a thousand cords to the world at large, to its teeming cities, to its remotest regions, to its oldest civilizations, to its newest cries for freedom.  This means that we have an interest in every place on this Earth, that we need to lead, to guide, to help in every country that has a desire to be free, open and prosperous.

The Bush Administration came into office determined to strengthen our diplomatic capacities as an essential pillar of our national security. I pledged to do my utmost to use existing resources wisely and to work intensively with Congress to obtain the level of funding necessary to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.

In the first year of the new Administration, the United States rose to a host of international challenges, not least the worldwide challenge posed by terrorism.  Diplomatic tools have proved invaluable in helping President Bush marshal and maintain the global anti-terrorism coalition.  Adroit U.S. diplomacy helped a liberated Afghanistan establish an interim governing authority and an agreed path to a representative, stable government.   American diplomacy has been a critical component of humanitarian relief efforts and a crucial catalyst for the international reconstruction effort for Afghanistan.  Equally important, U.S. diplomacy has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in tightening the noose on terrorist organizations all around the world by helping to cut off their financial lifelines, denying them support and sanctuary and keeping weapons of mass destruction out of their hands.

While the global campaign against terrorism has been of the highest priority, the Department of State has helped the President advance a far broader foreign policy agenda.  We have fostered democracy and free trade in our Hemisphere and around the globe.  We spearheaded the successful launch of new global trade talks within the World Trade Organization.  We have worked with our partners in the Atlantic and Pacific to modernize our alliances.   We have begun to build a new strategic framework with Russia.  We have established a constructive, forward-looking relationship with China.  We have put our relationships with both India and Pakistan on a more positive footing. We have been at the forefront of international efforts

to stem the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  And we have worked to resolve conflicts in the Balkans, Africa, South Asia, South America, the Middle East and other troubled regions.  

In the years ahead, the anti-terrorism campaign will continue to place unprecedented demands on our diplomatic personnel and resources.  Yet, even as we press forward against terrorism, the men and women of the Department of State will continue to actively promote America's values and interests across the full range of international issues, from good governance to sustainable development and international stability.

Thanks to strong support from the President and broad bipartisan backing from Congress, we have begun to address the severe deficits in human and material resources that have impeded the conduct of our foreign policy mission in recent decades.  I am pleased to report that over the past year, we have made significant strides in the key areas of hiring, information technology and embassy construction and security.

The Fiscal Year 2002 budget request resulted in an increase in resources for State Department operations and we are applying it to meet priority needs.  We broke recruiting records and we are now busy training the new employees and putting them to work.  Our overseas building program has prospered under new management practices which have resulted in a more detailed and disciplined construction plan.  New construction proceeds at a brisk pace.  Our program to bring state-of-the-art information technology to the entire Department is moving forward. Security enhancement—including new security hiring—is also underway at our facilities at home and abroad.

Every day, the men and women of American diplomacy are working hard in often difficult and dangerous places to keep their fellow Americans safe and to shape a freer, more prosperous, peaceful world—a world where terrorism cannot thrive.

I invite your attention to this report.  I believe it shows that the Department of State has been a wise steward of the people's money.

Like the fine Americans who serve in our military, the men and women of the Department of State serve on the frontlines of freedom.  We will not send our military into action without the best support, equipment, and training in the world.  We must not give our diplomats any less.

Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State

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.