May 25, 2017

Senators Young & Shaheen Introduce Legislation to Require National Diplomacy & Development Strategy

Former National Security Advisor Hadley & Former Secretary of State Albright Endorse the Idea

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced bipartisan legislation yesterday to establish a statutory requirement for the Department of State periodically to produce and submit to Congress a National Diplomacy and Development Strategy (NDDS). Senator Young broached the idea during a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. When asked if he thought it was a good idea, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said,”I think it is a terrific idea…and we need the kind of process you describe…” Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, “I think it would make a difference.”

Senator Young said: “Protecting Americans and promoting our values require effective U.S. diplomacy and international development, yet sometimes these efforts are conducted in relative stovepipes and not sufficiently coordinated across the U.S. government or in support of the National Security Strategy. In order to inform the efficient allocation of finite resources and to better promote U.S. interests and principles abroad, Congress and the American people are right to expect that the Department of State, working with interagency partners like USAID, establish specific diplomatic and development priorities, objectives, milestones, and metrics-while balancing ends and means and identifying risks.”

Sen. Young continued, “strategy should inform major personnel and organizational decisions at the Department of State, not the other way around.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said: “”Building on the initiative started under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton known as the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, our legislation would ensure that future administrations regularly take stock of major global threats and opportunities and set our diplomacy and development priorities accordingly. I’m glad to join with Senator Young on this effort.”

You can find the legislative text here.