Plans and Policy Division (PPD)

The Plans and Policy Division (PPD) provides political-military analysis and recommendations to State Department leadership on emergent national security issues. Leveraging our global strategic perspective to assist regional bureaus in addressing regional challenges, we work closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and Combatant Commands help develop comprehensive political-military solutions to vexing national security issues.

PPD assesses the viability of defense policy options and alternatives, and develops and recommends innovative approaches that maximize support to U.S. foreign policy goals. It provides Department input to Department of Defense efforts in policy and institutional reform. PPD identifies key trends and issues in national security affairs, and assesses the potential impact on State Department plans, programs, activities, and authorities. PPD recommends policies and actions to DoD and serves as a Department of State point of contact for DoD Combatant Commands in their interagency coordination.

Department of Defense and Political-Military Planning

PPD is the institutional lead for Department of State participation in, and support to, Department of Defense strategic and operational plans. PPD promotes processes that help Department of Defense planners fully consider U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives. Through interagency planning events and other venues, State bureaus regularly provide input to combatant command theater campaign plans, contingency plans, and operational plans.

State Department Strategic Planning

PPD leads the PM Bureau’s implementation of the State Department strategic planning process directed by the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. More broadly, we lead the Bureau’s participation in the development of regional bureaus’ three-year Joint Regional Strategies and the review of Posts’ Integrated Country Strategies.

U.S. Global Defense Posture

PPD coordinates with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and Combatant Commands on political-military issues involving the system of forces, basing, and agreements that comprise U.S. global defense posture.

Security Sector Assistance

PPD ensures coordination and cohesion within the State Department in crosscutting, interagency disciplines such as Security Sector Assistance (SSA) and Defense Institution Building. We led the Department in interagency coordination with the National Security Council resulting in the 2013 signing of Presidential Policy Directive 23 on Security Sector Assistance (PPD-23). PPD-23 outlines a new inclusive, deliberate approach to SSA activities and resources within national security processes. PPD-23 reaffirms the Department’s lead in policy, supervision, and general management of security sector assistance. PPD continues to play a leadership role in the implementation of PPD-23 through the interagency Security Sector Assistance Interagency Policy Committee, leading U.S. Government efforts to synchronize interagency regional plans for SSA under the PPD-23-directed Unified Approach; and supporting Department of State efforts to jointly assess, plan for, manage, and monitor SSA.

Security Sector Reform

Security Sector Reform (SSR) builds on the U.S. Government’s longstanding tradition of working in partnership with foreign governments and organizations to support peace, security, and democratic governance globally. PPD helps to ensure that U.S. SSR policy is consistent with international norms and connected to the international SSR community.