During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sarah Palin was asked to articulate the Bush Doctrine. She was unable to. If Hillary Rodham Clinton is ever in a similar situation, she will have no problem citing intricacies of doctrines established by the Obama administration because they will be her own.
In 2009 she rolled out her “smart power” plan as resting on the tripod of the “3 Ds,” defense, diplomacy, and development. Her excellent relationship with then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates permitted her to include defense as part of a plan that prefers the use of soft power – diplomacy and development – whenever possible, to drive U.S. leadership in the 21st century global village. When she initially introduced the 3 Ds they were called the “Obama-Clinton Doctrine” but soon Obama was dropped, and it has become signature Clinton Doctrine.
Taking a page from her colleague and friend Gates, she also established, early in her tenure as SOS, her Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) aimed at assessing services across DOS, USAID and other departments and agencies in order to reduce replication of services and integrate services provided among the agencies. The amazing aspect of this seemingly herculean task was that when the QDDR was unveiled in December 2010 the most difficult task, the actual integration of agencies and departments had already been effected as Anne-Marie Slaughter announced in an almost off-handed response to a question from a staffer. Secretary Clinton had, for all practical purposes, commandeered agencies within other departments and was CEO of a new State Department – one that had tentacles throughout the cabinet. Even more amazingly, nobody was crying “foul” or complaining that she had stepped on any toes! On the contrary, this overhaul was apparently simply accepted.
This past Spring, she made several speeches on the economy. In every one she referred somewhat cryptically to a “bigger speech on the economy” that she would be making in the Fall. There has been a great deal of speculation about this upcoming speech. When would she make it? And where? UNGA has come and gone, and it was not there. Finally, today, a breakthrough. Laura Rozen for The Envoy gets credit for the scoop as we get a glimpse of what is in the offing.
The Clinton doctrine on economic statecraft: Clinton to urge U.S. diplomats to put economics at top of foreign policy agenda
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Sept. 26, 2011. (David Karp/AP)
As a practical matter, the complex work of managing American relations with China–the leading creditor of the United States–falls only in part to America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Witness Senate Democrats’ vow to take up legislation this week that could sanction China for allegedly undervaluing the yuan–at the cost, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), of American jobs. But if Clinton has her way, she’d have more of a say.
If the fight against terrorism dominated American foreign policy in the decade after 9/11, the decade ahead could well be defined by efforts to manage the U.S. role in the global economy.
And in many ways, Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic portfolio is increasingly dominated by global economic challenges. Trade issues obviously have a direct impact on America’s efforts to emerge from the present economic downturn–from the battles over the national debt to the need to stimulate job growth. But economic issues also shape other less-noted features of the American foreign-policy agenda, be it the effort to contain fallout from Europe’s debt crisis, to managing the rise of G20 economic powers such as Brazil, Turkey and India—all of whom come bearing their own foreign policy ambitions. As a result, diplomats say, economic and foreign policy are growing ever more intertwined.
So there is to be yet another doctrine established within this administration and by the same member. At the end of the day, it seems, the only doctrine of this administration that will still have Obama’s name on it is “Leadership from Behind” … from behind this woman.