FY 2007-2012 Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan
Bureau of Resource Management
May 2007

The United States promotes peace, liberty, and prosperity for all people; security is a necessary precursor to these worthy goals. The Department and USAID will use every means at our disposal to achieve this goal: traditional and transformational diplomacy, both bilateral and multilateral; vigilant and informed consular operations; reformed and effective foreign assistance; creative and energetic public diplomacy; and where appropriate, new technologies and operating constructs. We will directly confront threats to national and international security from terrorism, weapons proliferation, failed or failing states, and political violence. We will strengthen the capability of the U.S. Government and of international partners to prevent or mitigate conflict, stabilize countries in crisis, promote regional stability, protect civilians, and promote just application of government and law. Our diplomatic, consular, and foreign assistance activities will help shape the international security environment in ways that promote political and economic freedom and protect the dignity and human rights of all people.

Strategic Priorities

Counterterrorism: Terrorism threatens peace and security at home and abroad, and preventing terrorism is one of our Nation's highest priorities. Our national strategy for combating terrorism appropriately stresses the advancement of democracy, the rule of law, and a global environment inhospitable to violent extremism. Diplomacy and foreign assistance will support peace and security-related activities that create the necessary space and time for longer-term developmental solutions to terrorism to develop and take hold.

The heightened threat of terrorism from states with despotic leaders, weak institutions, or underdeveloped capacity requires that we work to empower people through accountable, legitimate, and democratic governance. Through sound policy, effective assistance, and astute public diplomacy, we will promote responsible governance and social tolerance, and counter the misguided belief that terrorism is ever justified.

We will build trusted networks that undermine, marginalize, and isolate terrorists; discredit ideologies of hate and violence; and deliver legitimate alternatives to extremism. We and our partners, both in the U.S. Government and in the international community, will work toward dismantling the leadership and networks that provide financing and other material support to terrorists. We will encourage other countries to: deny terrorists access to financial systems and prevent terrorist abuse of charitable institutions; implement the 12 United Nations (UN) counterterrorism instruments that are in force; punish captured terrorists to the full extent of the law; accept return of their nationals who have been detained by the United States for involvement in terrorist activities; and work with their governments to maintain international political will to fight terrorism.

The most intractable safe havens exist astride international borders and in regions where ineffective governance allows their presence; we must develop the means to deny these havens to terrorists. Where governments are willing but unable to fight terrorism, we will bolster their skills, capacities, and resources.

Weapons of Mass Destruction and Destabilizing Conventional Weapons: Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the possession of terrorists or hostile states constitute a serious and immediate threat. We will devote significant resources to counterproliferation, nonproliferation, verification and compliance enforcement, and consequence management. We also seek to control the proliferation of destabilizing conventional weapons that undermine stability in fragile nations and volatile regions.

We will work to prevent the acquisition of WMD by terrorists and hostile states. We will contribute to the international effort to secure, remove, and eliminate WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials through diplomacy, foreign assistance, and counterproliferation efforts. We will continue to build coalitions to interdict proliferation trade, disrupt financing, and punish violators. Working through international partnerships and organizations such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Group of Eight (G8) Global Partnership, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), we will strengthen our common capacity to deter, prevent, and manage the consequences of WMD terrorist attacks. We will work to strengthen other countries' export and border security controls to detect and interdict the illicit movement of WMD. We will work to roll back hostile nuclear weapons programs, and will work with the IAEA to deny states the ability to pursue nuclear weapons under the cover of peaceful nuclear energy programs. We will support existing arms control and nonproliferation agreements and verification protocols, and will work with international partners to strengthen their implementation and ensure their compliance. We will support cooperative efforts to develop missile defenses.

We will reduce stockpiles of destabilizing conventional weapons and munitions, and control their proliferation to areas of concern. Small arms and light weapons fuel civil wars, regional conflicts, and terrorist and criminal activity. We help limit illicit proliferation by strengthening multilateral export control regimes, and destroying surplus, poorly protected, or otherwise at-risk arms and munitions. We place a high priority on preventing the acquisition by terrorists and insurgents of Man Portable Air Defense Systems, which are particularly attractive to these groups due to their portability and potential lethality.

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Security Cooperation and Security Sector Reform: Responsible governments must be able to deal with threats within their own borders and address international problems in partnership with the United States and others. Crime, lawlessness, and armed violence impede economic growth, destroy human and physical capital, damage investment climates, and divert resources from productive uses. Through security cooperation, including arms transfers, we help partners develop the capability to operate with us and other like-minded nations to protect peace, restore security, and when necessary, to fight and win wars. Security sector reform enhances governments' ability to deliver adequate security and responsive, transparent, and accountable government through the rule of law.

We will develop and maintain effective security relationships with other countries and international organizations. We will build strong partnerships through robust political-military activities such as defense trade and export control regimes; arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and verification protocols; international treaties, alliances, and burden-sharing agreements; security assistance programs; international exercises; and active confidence-building measures. We will build the capacity of partners to counter regional threats. This will enable them to deploy to international peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations, and to coalition warfighting and stabilization missions in the interest of delivering peace and security.

We will support efforts to strengthen partner nations' law enforcement, internal defense, and border and maritime security capabilities. An effective, accountable, and civilian-controlled security sector delivers a critical public service viewed as legitimate by the population it serves. We will support the professionalization and accountability of law enforcement institutions, including border security, and internal defense and military forces. With other donor nations, we will pursue a comprehensive approach to security sector reform in order to harness the capabilities of all interagency actors involved in such reforms.

Conflict Prevention, Mitigation, and Response: Recent armed conflicts have claimed hundreds of thousands of civilian lives and generated millions of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons. Conflict discourages investment, destroys infrastructure, derails development, fuels criminality and extremism, and undermines support for democracy. Diplomacy and assistance programs promote the peaceful resolution of differences, reduction of violence when it occurs, establishment of frameworks for peace and reconciliation in ongoing conflicts, and protection of human rights from systematic violation.

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We will support conflict mitigation, peace, reconciliation, and justice processes. Our diplomatic and development activities will reduce the threat or impact of violent conflict by developing early warning, crisis response planning and management, and rapid response capability. Peace, reconciliation, and justice processes will stress opportunities to bring together opposing parties, support negotiation processes, promote indigenous peace building efforts, and support appropriate processes to hold accountable perpetrators of mass atrocities. We will emphasize regional solutions to regional problems and sustainable, long-term strategies to address complex challenges.

We will work closely with host government, international, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to promote security for civilians caught in conflict. We will strive to ensure access to threatened populations, support staff who monitor and resolve security problems, educate civilians about their rights and responsibilities for security, and design interventions and alternatives when security concerns arise. This will include educating local forces about international protection standards, the rights of civilians in conflict, and the protection responsibilities of states and other parties involved in conflict. Our humanitarian mine action programs enable affected nations to eliminate landmines and other explosive remnants of war that impede recovery from conflict.

We will develop U.S. Government and partner capacity to conduct effective stabilization and reconstruction operations. We will lead and coordinate whole-of-government efforts to prepare, plan for, and conduct stabilization and reconstruction operations. We will strengthen collaboration with key partners, including the UN, the G8, regional organizations, and bilateral allies to improve international conflict prevention efforts and bolster national and international capabilities to respond to conflict and post-conflict situations. Recognizing that post-conflict states may have limited capacity and precarious legitimacy, the Department and USAID will help governments meet immediate demands for security and justice through transformational assistance strategies that will rely heavily on legitimate non-governmental actors, while strengthening legitimate state institutions.

Transnational Crime: Transnational crime threatens the stability of countries, particularly in the developing world and countries with fragile transitional economies. It impedes legitimate economic activity, threatens public order, undermines the rule of law and citizens' confidence in government, diverts resources, and can finance terrorist activities. Trafficking in persons is an egregious abuse of human rights and a security threat to both national and international interests. States that fail to implement adequate measures to curtail transnational crime will find it more difficult to join international bodies, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), through which we promote cooperation on many issues of importance to peace and security.

We will continue to fight the production, transportation, and sale of illegal narcotics. We seek to: eliminate the cultivation and refinement of coca and opium poppy; reduce the flow of illegal drugs to the United States; establish alternative livelihoods for illegal growers; build the will and capacity abroad to arrest, prosecute, and punish traffickers; and assist partner countries to prevent drug use. We will focus on eradication and interdiction activities—important aspects of security cooperation that strengthen our partners' internal intelligence and law enforcement capabilities.

We will work to establish comprehensive legislative, regulatory, and enforcement regimes, and work with our partner nations to combat transnational crime. We will combat financial crimes and money laundering, organized and gang-related crime, cyber crime, and intellectual property theft. We will promote international cooperation and coordination on combating international criminal activities, and provide training and technical assistance to build institutional capacity to uphold the rule of law.

We will lead international efforts to combat trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. We will support the implementation and enforcement of anti-trafficking legislation, and promote national, bilateral, and multilateral activities that protect and assist victims, prosecute traffickers and smugglers, and prevent further victimization through trafficking.

Homeland Security: National security starts overseas, and our mission is to create conditions abroad that serve and protect American citizens and interests. Our consular and infrastructure protection programs play a critical role in protecting American borders, transportation systems, and critical infrastructure.

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We will ensure that our consular policies and systems strengthen our borders to protect our homeland. At home and abroad we protect U.S. national borders through sharing information within and between governments, improving passport security, and implementing effective visa adjudication processes that deny access to individuals who pose risks to U.S. national security.

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We will protect our economic vitality through enhanced security of the U.S. transportation sector. We work with foreign counterparts, international organizations, and the private sector through programs such as the Container Security Initiative to improve security standards in the maritime and aviation transportation sectors.

We will continue to play an important role in Critical Infrastructure Protection, working with and through our partners. We are intensifying our efforts to protect the physical and cyber infrastructure we share with other nations and upon which our economies and mutual security depend. Working with G8 and other allies and through organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union, we are developing and strengthening standards for the protection of key infrastructure, including the Internet.

U.S. Government Partners and Cross-cutting Programs: The following are key U.S. Government partners with whom we will coordinate to achieve this goal:

  • Department of Homeland Security: Homeland Security coordinates intelligence and law enforcement activities and programs that help protect the United States from terrorist and other threats, and leads on immigration, naturalization, repatriation, border and transportation security, and biodefense.
  • Department of Defense: Defense coordinates closely on counterterrorism and counter-narcotics programs, and provides the military-to-military contacts, assistance, and training that strengthen military and alliance relationships, play an important role in the management of arms transfers and the Excess Defense Articles program, and support the evacuation of non-combatants from crisis or disaster sites. Defense sponsors significant cooperative threat reduction programs and supports the Proliferation Security Initiative. Defense leads in providing security support, when needed, for stabilization and reconstruction activities and participates in government-wide stabilization and reconstruction planning and operations with other agencies.
  • Department of Energy: Energy sponsors many nuclear nonproliferation programs, including the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, which the Department helps to implement.
  • Department of Justice: Justice leads on international legal assistance and implements some criminal justice and rule of law programs in conjunction with the Department and USAID. Justice also works with the Department on extradition and to combat transnational crime and narcotics trafficking, including training programs for foreign police forces.
  • Department of the Treasury: Treasury leads money laundering and asset seizure issues, and monitors export controls. The Department co-chairs with Treasury a committee on proliferation financing. The Department chairs, and USAID participates in, the Terrorist Finance Working Group of the Counterterrorism Security Group's Technical Assistance Sub-Group.
  • Department of Commerce: Commerce leads on some export control regimes and coordinates on others.
  • Other important partners include the Departments of Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture; the Environmental Protection Agency; the White House Offices of National Drug Control Policy; and U.S. Government intelligence agencies.

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The following are key factors, external to the Department and USAID, which could significantly affect the achievement of the goal:

  • Political, social, or economic instability beyond our ability to control;
  • Endemic or institutionalized corruption;
  • Violent anti-Americanism and targeting of American citizens by terrorists;
  • Non-state actors with violent and/or destabilizing ethnic, religious, or political agendas;
  • Latent ethnic or religious tensions within or between nations;
  • Inadequate or non-existent control of borders and sovereign territory;
  • Inadequate or non-existent laws and/or law enforcement institutions;
  • Weak or dysfunctional national, regional, or local civil and military institutions despite our best efforts to strengthen them;
  • Allies' and/or partners' views of the need to act on security issues;
  • Mismatch between the span of transnational criminal activity and the applicability of national laws and enforcement systems;
  • Partners' resources, capabilities, quality of their laws, and strength of their judicial/legal institutions;
  • Sovereignty issues that lead other governments to constrain operations within their own borders; and
  • Foreign partners' willingness to share information because of differences in legal systems, regulations on protection of national security information, and privacy concerns.

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