The Challenges of Strengthening the US Government’s Civilian International Affairs Agencies
What an Engagement Strategy Entails: Is the United States Government Equipped?
There is growing consensus on the need for increasing the US government’s civilian capacity to create and implement programs for development, aid, and post-conflict reconstruction. However, a number of key hurdles must be overcome, both with the substance of potential capacity-building measures and in the ways proponents think about, and argue for, stronger civilian agencies. Participants at this roundtable discussion acknowledged the preexisting efforts for such reform, including the fact that many agencies and groups have already presented their proposals. Taken together, though, these plans seem more like a grab bag than an agenda to respond to an overall problem. The urgent challenge is to unite all of these ideas—at least conceptually—as part of a holistic discussion of how to strengthen the infrastructure through which the United States relates to the rest of the world.

This page is part of Rising Powers: The New Global Reality, a project from the Stanley Foundation.