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Rice & Lugar - Challenges of the 21st Century

Remarks With Senator Richard Lugar on the U.S. Department of State and the Challenges of the 21st Century


Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
July 29, 2005

(10:00 a.m. EDT)


SECRETARY RICE: Good morning. Thank you. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, for half a century the United States was locked in a comprehensive struggle with the Soviet Union. That was America's foremost special interest and our entire global presence, our doctrines, our alliances and our institutions revolved around the central mission of defeating global communism. We were able to prevail in the Cold War because our government was structured to meet the challenges of the day.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, of course, that threat is gone. But new events and trends have reshaped the international landscape. Just how dramatically our world was changed was brought home to America on September 11, 2001. On that tragic day we learned that the most serious threats to our security now emerge within states not between them. Rather than deterring a single state with a massive nuclear arsenal, we must defend ourselves against shadowy networks of stateless enemies, some looking to buy, others looking to sell the world's most dangerous weapons.

To tackle these unprecedented challenges, President Bush has set a new course for our nation, a bold course of action befitting the changed nature of our world. Today, protecting America from weapons of mass destruction requires more than deterrence and arms control treaties. We must also go on the offensive against outlaw scientists, black market arms dealers and rogue state proliferators. Securing America from terrorist attack is more than a matter of law enforcement. We must also confront the ideology of hatred in foreign societies by supporting the universal hope of liberty and the inherent appeal of democracy.

To meet these challenges, today I am proposing four changes to begin bringing the State Department into this new era. I have notified the Congress and I look forward to working with the committees on the Hill to implement these crucial reforms.

First, we propose to merge two bureaus to create the new bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. This bureau will contain a new office to focus exclusively on the threat posed by terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction.

Second, with the personnel freed up by this merger, we plan to strengthen our Bureau of Political Military Affairs.

Third, we intend to expand the mandate of our Verification and Compliance Bureau and give it an appropriate name, the Bureau of Verification, Compliance and Implementation.

And finally, as we work to combat new threats, we must also strive to reach the unprecedented opportunities before us.

In leading these changes on the nonproliferation and security front, I look forward to the leadership of Bob Joseph, the Under Secretary.

Now, in today's world, supporting the growth of democratic ideals and institutions is not a luxury. It is a vital national interest and the calling of our time. And as President Bush has said, "The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

Therefore, we are also making a change to give our Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs the more focused duty of promoting democracy with a new title the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs. And I look forward to the leadership of Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky in that regard.

To help this office meet its new mission, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement will now report to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs so that there can be a new focus within the new Global and Democracy Directorate.

The challenges of today's world demand much of us. Reforming old habits and institutions is always difficult. But the changes that I had proposed and will continue to work with Congress toward will enable the men and women of the State Department to succeed in their essential job of transformational diplomacy. Institutions are not always easy to change, but change they must. And we look forward to the implementation of these changes and to working with the personnel of these members of the State Department family to make certain that America is indeed ready for the 21st century threats and opportunities that we have.

Now, I'm really honored that joining us today to talk about these changes is Senator Richard Lugar. There is really no better ally and friend of American diplomacy and no better ally and friend of the Department of State than Senator Lugar.

Senator Lugar, thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your counsel. And I'd like to invite you to say a few words.

(Applause).

SENATOR LUGAR: Thank you very much.

(Applause).

SENATOR LUGAR: Secretary Rice, welcome back. We are so grateful for your leadership and for your remarkable diplomacy, and I thank you for your thoughtful introduction. I am especially pleased and honored to be here today to express my enthusiasm for transforming our government to better deal with the threats that our country faces in the war on terrorism and I support efforts to refocus Under Secretary Dobriansky's bureau to promote democracy worldwide with greater effectiveness. This has been a signal emphasis of President Bush and his Administration, for which he deserves great credit.

Secretary Rice, I am especially pleased to celebrate with you the changes to the Arms Control and International Security Bureaus and the new focus you have proposed on counterproliferation, on counterterrorism and threat reduction. These are important reforms that will both streamline governmental action and provide greater safety for all Americans.

With the passage of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act in 1991, Congress committed our nation to safeguarding and destroying materials and weapons of mass destruction of the former Soviet Union. The Nunn-Lugar Program has led to the destruction of thousands of missiles, launchers, bombers, submarines, but a mountain of work is left to be done. The program has shown its ability to tackle threats beyond the former USSR as was evident when the Nunn-Lugar funds were approved personally last year by Secretary Powell and President Bush to destroy chemical weapons in Albania.

I am very pleased that the reorganization of Arms Control and International Security Bureaus will devote more resources to support Nunn-Lugar, the Proliferation Security Initiative and many other programs designed to protect America from the threats of the 9/11 world. We cannot allow weapons and materials of mass destruction or their means of delivery to fall into the hands of terrorists. Secretary Rice's plan will create a new office to address the nexus between weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. And I am also pleased that this plan additionally devotes resources toward other important security issues, such as Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions.

I commend this thoughtful effort to improve the State Department's ability to address the most dangerous threats our nation faces today. I welcome this plan. I look forward enthusiastically to working with Secretary Rice and the State Department to implement it. And I thank you very much for including me in this ceremony.

(Applause.)

2005/739

Released on July 29, 2005

ENDS


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