Courtesy Reuters

Toward a New Diplomacy

Before the last war, the tasks of American foreign policy were comparatively well defined. Secretary Cordell Hull, with a Washington staff of less than 1,000, presided over our entire global diplomatic establishment from a building shared with the War and Navy Departments. The function of the 78 ambassadors and ministers stationed abroad consisted largely of reporting and analyzing the flow of events and representing the President in negotiations and ceremonial events.

Twenty critical years have changed this traditional pattern dramatically. As our responsibilities in world affairs grew, the task of our diplomacy became more complex and its instruments multiplied correspondingly.

For the ambassador, the transformation has meant a change of emphasis from discreet observation to active operations. In terms of budget and administration, the transformation has resulted in a 38,000-man Department of State, including the Foreign Service and the Agency for International Development (which accounts for 17,000 of the total). In addition, there are a Peace Corps, a Food for Peace program, a United States Information Agency, a Central Intelligence Agency, a variety of military programs and expanded overseas operations of the Labor, Commerce, Agriculture and Treasury Departments.

Moreover, we now have diplomatic missions in more than 100 countries, in addition to 166 consulates and consulates-general. In many of these posts the mission chief presides over what amounts to a cabinet. For instance, on the eve of World War II, our Paris embassy employed 78 people, including the staffs of four other agencies. Now it employs 700, including the staffs of 23 other agencies.

This extraordinary multiplication of activities and agencies reflects the complexity and interdependence of our modern world. Much of it would have occurred even if there were no Soviet challenge. Yet the increasing competition between our two societies, between the Soviet and the liberal- democratic approach to human development, has greatly hastened the process, and we know that this competition will be with us for the foreseeable future.

The challenge of our new age was initially-and understandably-interpreted by both the executive and legislative branches of our

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