Clinton’s QDDR Not a Panacea for State

Clinton’s QDDR Not a Panacea for State

The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 10 seems like a long overdue project for the State Department, which has lost ground in recent decades to the Department of Defense in steering U.S. foreign policy.

But although initiating a review is a valuable undertaking, some observers say it will likely produce underwhelming results -- for Clinton, for the State Department, and for U.S. foreign policy itself.

Clinton's plan is modeled on the Defense Department's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). Mandated by Congress in 1996, the QDR is a study that outlines the national defense policy, and matches programs to resources. In her time on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Clinton said, the QDR was an "important tool for the Defense Department to not only exercise the discipline necessary to make the hard decisions to set forth the priorities, but provided a framework that was a very convincing one to those in the Congress." In the days before she announced State's new plan, Clinton was loudly praising the QDR around Foggy Bottom, sources say.

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