“Our Armed Forces will always be a cornerstone of our security, but they must be complemented. Our security also depends upon diplomats who can act in every corner of the world, from grand capitals to dangerous outposts [and] development experts who can strengthen governance and support human dignity....”
— President Barack Obama
Diplomacy, Development and Defense, the “3Ds” of U.S. national security, form a central framework for American strength and influence. Increasing the profile of diplomacy and development, alongside defense, is smart — mainly because the cost of conflict is higher than ever before. Prevention, including greater attention to failed and failing States, is imperative.
The U.S. Government recognizes the importance of preventing and deterring conflict by working with and through partners and allies as well as through better collaboration between defense and civilian agencies and organizations. We have come to realize that the global challenges and opportunities of the future will demand a greater scale, more resources, and more strategic focus for our diplomacy and development efforts as key partners alongside defense.
USAID Administrator Shah, Secretary of Defense Gates, and Secretary of State Clinton take part in a U.S. Global Leadership Coalition roundtable discussion, September 28, 2010. ©AP Image
“Unity of effort” is an overriding principle in the 3D framework. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah share the commitment to improve a whole-of-government approach to national security challenges. There is a heavy focus on how U.S. Government programs are aligned and on building whole-of-government policy responses to key themes as well as a more comprehensive look at the resources involved and available to support our programs and initiatives.
The Diplomacy, Development and Defense (3D) Planning Group was chartered to improve inter-departmental coordination of planning between the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and USAID. All three agencies recognize that their planning is strengthened by the inclusion of perspectives from other agencies with resulting plans reflecting a unity of the U.S. Government effort.