Lawmaker, Experts Urge Better Coordination Among Foreign Policy Agencies

Posted September 4, 2008 at 5:20pm

Foreign policy experts and Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) today said that the degree of coordination between the State Department and other foreign policy entities within the federal government needs to be improved. “The U.S. has a long-standing problem in integrating agencies,” said Ken Weinstein, who heads the center-right Hudson Institute. He and other panelists said that integration is essential because foreign policy challenges are widespread and unpredictable. Panelists at the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce also pointed out their concern that presidential administrations tend to focus on day-to-day crisis management rather than on long-term plans and solutions. Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were all criticized for their ad hoc strategies and inability to offer or enact substantive plans for the future. However, panelists acknowledged the difficulties in implementing comprehensive reforms. Davis said that calamities often have to occur before major transformations are made. “The greatest source of inspiration is desperation,” Davis said. The event was coordinated by the Project on National Security Reform.