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How to Bring American Diplomacy Back From the Brink: A New Administration Must Build a Bigger, Better State Department

Author: Joaquin Castro

Affiliation: US Congressman (D) of the 20th Congressional District of Texas

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: October 28, 2020/USA 

Type of Literature: Analysis

Words Count: 1980


Keywords: Diplomacy, State Department, Donald Trump, Diplomatic Renewal




Joaquin Castro, an American Democratic politician (20th District Texas, re-elected 2020) who serves as Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives provides suggestions for the new US leadership. He accounts for the flaring economic inequalities, climate crisis, increasing authoritarianism and once-in-a-century pandemic which need multilateral cooperation—but the US leadership’s diplomatic set-up is collapsing. The domestic and foreign policies of Trump’s administration in the last four years have not only apprehended the US’ global leadership but raised disagreement with its own State Department, which is increasingly run by unqualified donors and political sycophants. Castro identifies that the budget cuts to diplomacy and development assistance and attacks on civil services expose the State Department’s vulnerability. The author hopes for Joe Biden’s victory, that if he wins his administration and Congress will have a historic opening to begin this urgently needed diplomatic revival, and reform the system like the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 and Foreign Service Act after the Vietnam War. The author concludes that after the chaos, incompetence, and corruption of the Trump administration, the next administration and the next Congress will hopefully have the opportunity to put diplomacy at the center of US foreign policy and mobilize the world to overcome shared challenges for a better future. 


By: Razia Wadood, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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