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Homeland Security

19 March 2003

State Department Gears Up Diplomacy to Meet Terrorism Challenge

(Senate Committee hears of administrative changes since September 11)
By M. Afzal Khan 
Washington File Special Correspondent 
Washington -- State Department officials testifying March 18 before
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington said that in the
global war against terrorism "a philosophical change" has taken place
in the conduct of U.S. diplomacy.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman,
testifying before the Committee, said that Secretary of State Colin
Powell has stopped thinking about the Department as a first line of
defense for U.S. national interests. He now believes it has become
"the front line of offense" in pursuing an active, purposeful
diplomacy abroad.
Grossman said that "through this active, purposeful diplomacy," the
United States has built a coalition against terrorism unlike any
other. He said more than 90 countries have arrested or detained over
2,700 terrorists and their supporters since the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks and that 17 countries have contributed nearly 6,000
troops to Operation Enduring Freedom and to the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
Grossman added that the State Department's public diplomacy programs
have done their share in reaching out to foreign audiences to build
trust in U.S. national policy and foster respect and understanding for
American values and principles. He said that an audience of some 288
million was reached in the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia
through the Shared Values Initiative of mini-documentaries, pamphlets
and other materials showing Muslims leading successful and secure
lives in the United States.
Grossman stressed that one of the greatest weapons against terrorism
is U.S. support for the growth of democracy and respect for human
rights around the world. In that connection, he cited the Millennium
Challenge Account (MCA), a new bilateral assistance program for
developing countries that improves governance practices. President
Bush's $18.8 billion 2004 fiscal year budget request for the State
Department includes a request for $1.3 billion to launch MCA.
Under Secretary of State for Management Grant S. Green, Jr. said that
the September 11 attacks had reaffirmed management priorities at the
Department as outlined by Secretary of State Colin Powell. Those
management priorities emphasize the need for resources to support
personnel, enhance security, update technology and build new
facilities at existing U.S. embassies.
Green said that since September 11, around two-thirds of personnel at
U.S. embassies were sent by U.S. government agencies other than the
State Department. They include officials from the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the
Treasury Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of
Defense who maintain "desks" at the embassies. Such additional "desks"
can cost $22,000 a year for an "unclassified desk" to $34,000 for a
"classified desk," while maintaining a person fully abroad for a year
can run between $350,000 to $650,000, Green explained.
Green said that the recently opened new embassies in Nairobi, Kenya
and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania -- to replace those bombed by al Qaeda in
1998 -- are models that must be replicated for Foreign Service
personnel everywhere. He said that they are attractive, safe, and
secure facilities.
The State Department's Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Ambassador
Cofer Black, testified that U.S. embassies and consulates have
provided "critical information" on terrorist organizations that have
served as the basis for imposing legal and administrative sanctions
against them.
Also, through the State Department's Antiterrorism Training Assistance
(ATA) program, U.S. embassies and consulates in front-line states are
helping to train and equip local personnel to fight terrorists within
and around their borders. The ATA program is providing training in 56
countries through 180 courses in FY03, and that number is expected to
increase in FY04, Black said.
(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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