Message from the Secretary
I am pleased to present the Department of State's Performance and Accountability Report for fiscal year 2005. This report describes the Department's achievements and challenges in this extraordinary moment for America and for the world. It also highlights our efforts to manage taxpayer dollars responsibly in support of our nation's endeavor to support the aspirations for liberty and democracy of people all around the world.
In his Second Inaugural Address, President Bush laid out a bold vision for American diplomacy: "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." The President understands that one of history's clearest lessons is that America is safer, and the world more secure, whenever and wherever democratic principles prevail.
In these momentous times, America's diplomats are working to create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom. They are dedicated to building a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. The success of this mission rests on three great tasks, and in the past year, the men and women of the State Department have helped our nation advance each of these important objectives.
First, we are uniting the community of democracies in building an international system that is based on our shared principles and the rule of law. The United States is joining together in common cause to solve common problems with our partners in NATO and the European Union, and with our democratic allies in East Asia and around the world. We are supporting and upholding the system of international rules and treaties that allow us to take advantage of our freedom, to build our economies, and to keep us safe and secure.
Second, we are strengthening the community of democracies to fight the threats to our common security and alleviate the hopelessness that feeds terror. From the Philippines to Colombia to the nations of Africa, we are strengthening counterterrorism cooperation with countries that have the will to fight terror but need help with the means. We are spending billions to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other diseases. We are joining with developing nations to fight corruption, instill the rule of law, and create a culture of transparency. In much of Africa and Latin America, we are working with democratic reformers and insisting that leaders who are elected democratically have an obligation to govern democratically.
Finally, we are supporting people throughout the globe who desire freedom and democracy. This past year has been marked by truly unprecedented democratic transformations in places like Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. More are still to come. But as exhilarating as these events are, we are mindful that the path to sustainable, institutionalized democracy remains long, hard, and different for all of these nations. At the same time, we are making it clear that the United States stands with all people who demand their democratic rights in places like Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Iran, and Zimbabwe.
As this report describes, the State Department has taken specific new steps in the past year to further these three great objectives of American diplomacy. For one, we are devising new ways to stop terrorists before they can do harm to our citizens and our allies. In Iraq, we established a terrorist watch list that helped Iraqi officials to capture some of the leaders of the insurgency. We also increased our counterterrorism cooperation with free nations and frontline defenders around the world, and we identified suspected terrorists attempting to transit air, land, or seaports of entry. Searching database entry records in Pakistan, we were able to locate three individuals associated with the July 2005 London bombings.
In fiscal year 2005, we also began developing an active response corps of civilians with technical expertise to respond quickly and effectively to help nations that are emerging from conflict. In time, these teams will help the citizens of war-torn, strife-ridden nations to stabilize and rebuild their societies and set a sustainable course to a future of peace, democracy, and economic development. This is an extension of our Department's efforts to lead the U.S. Government's response to the challenge posed by weak and failing states.
In the past fiscal year, we have also initiated several efforts to engage foreign audiences in a dialogue about the universal principles of democracy and human rights. We are enlisting the support of private American citizens, whether they are traveling abroad or welcoming an exchange student into their home. We are encouraging more young Americans to study other languages and cultures, much as we did in the early days of the Cold War. By reaching out to foreign citizens and media to discredit rumors and conspiracy theories, we have improved our capabilities to confront hateful propaganda that the enemies of freedom use against us.
Finally, we have continued to take steps to eliminate shortages of critical skills among our diplomatic corps. In fiscal year 2005, our specialized training facility, the Foreign Service Institute, conducted over 462,000 hours of training in critical needs languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi, and Persian (Farsi). After all, public diplomacy is not a monologue. It is a conversation that America's diplomats must be prepared to conduct in the local languages of the countries in which they serve.
In all that we do, the men and women of the State Department are mindful to manage the resources entrusted to us in a responsible, efficient, and effective manner. I am personally involved in the planning and resource allocation process. I have chaired senior-level bureau performance meetings, overseen resource plans, and made performance management a leadership priority. I am pleased to provide an unqualified statement of assurance that the Department's management controls and financial systems meet the objectives of the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA). The financial and performance data presented herein are complete and reliable in keeping with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and the Reports Consolidation Act.
The report that follows details how American diplomacy is helping to transform the world for the better in a time of unprecedented historical change and opportunity. It is an impressive record of achievement—one of which I am very proud, and one of which America can be proud as well.