Archive for January, 2013

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Remarks on American Leadership at the Council on Foreign Relations


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 31, 2013

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Richard, for that introduction and for everything you’ve done to lead this very valuable institution. I also want to thank the board of the Council on Foreign Relations and all my friends and colleagues and other interested citizens who are here today, because you respect the Council, you understand the important work that it does, and you are committed to ensuring that we chart a path to the future that is in the best interests not only of the United States, but of the world.

As Richard said, tomorrow is my last day as Secretary of State. And though it is hard to predict what any day in this job will bring, I know that tomorrow, my heart will be very full. Serving with the men and women of the State Department and USAID has been a singular honor. And Secretary Kerry will find there is no more extraordinary group of people working anywhere in the world. So these last days have been bittersweet for me, but this opportunity that I have here before you gives me some time to reflect on the distance that we’ve traveled, and to take stock of what we’ve done and what is left to do.

I think it’s important, as Richard alluded in his opening comments, what we faced in January of 2009: Two wars, an economy in freefall, traditional alliances fraying, our diplomatic standing damaged, and around the world, people questioning America’s commitment to core values and our ability to maintain our global leadership. That was my inbox on day one as your Secretary of State.

Today, the world remains a dangerous and complicated place, and of course, we still face many difficult challenges. But a lot has changed in the last four years. Under President Obama’s leadership, we’ve ended the war in Iraq, begun a transition in Afghanistan, and brought Usama bin Ladin to justice. We have also revitalized American diplomacy and strengthened our alliances. And while our economic recovery is not yet complete, we are heading in the right direction. In short, America today is stronger at home and more respected in the world. And our global leadership is on firmer footing than many predicted.

To understand what we have been trying to do these last four years, it’s helpful to start with some history.

Last year, I was honored to deliver the Forrestal Lecture at the Naval Academy, named for our first Secretary of Defense after World War II. In 1946, James Forrestal noted in his diary that the Soviets believed that the post-war world should be shaped by a handful of major powers acting alone. But, he went on, “The American point of view is that all nations professing a desire for peace and democracy should participate.”

And what ended up happening in the years since is something in between. The United States and our allies succeeded in constructing a broad international architecture of institutions and alliances – chiefly the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, and NATO – that protected our interests, defended universal values, and benefitted peoples and nations around the world. Yet it is undeniable that a handful of major powers did end up controlling those institutions, setting norms, and shaping international affairs.

Now, two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a different world. More countries than ever have a voice in global debates. We see more paths to power opening up as nations gain influence through the strength of their economies rather than their militaries. And political and technological changes are empowering non-state actors, like activists, corporations, and terrorist networks.

At the same time, we face challenges, from financial contagion to climate change to human and wildlife trafficking, that spill across borders and defy unilateral solutions. As President Obama has said, the old postwar architecture is crumbling under the weight of new threats. So the geometry of global power has become more distributed and diffuse as the challenges we face have become more complex and crosscutting.

So the question we ask ourselves every day is: What does this mean for America? And then we go on to say: How can we advance our own interests and also uphold a just, rules-based international order, a system that does provide clear rules of the road for everything from intellectual property rights to freedom of navigation to fair labor standards?

Simply put, we have to be smart about how we use our power. Not because we have less of it – indeed, the might of our military, the size of our economy, the influence of our diplomacy, and the creative energy of our people remain unrivaled. No, it’s because as the world has changed, so too have the levers of power that can most effectively shape international affairs.

I’ve come to think of it like this: Truman and Acheson were building the Parthenon with classical geometry and clear lines. The pillars were a handful of big institutions and alliances dominated by major powers. And that structure delivered unprecedented peace and prosperity. But time takes its toll, even on the greatest edifice.

And we do need a new architecture for this new world; more Frank Gehry than formal Greek. (Laughter.) Think of it. Now, some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it’s highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.

Now, of course, American military and economic strength will remain the foundation of our global leadership. As we saw from the intervention to stop a massacre in Libya to the raid that brought bin Ladin to justice, there will always be times when it is necessary and just to use force. America’s ability to project power all over the globe remains essential. And I’m very proud of the partnerships that the State Department has formed with the Pentagon, first with Bob Gates and Mike Mullen and then with Leon Panetta and Marty Dempsey.

By the same token, America’s traditional allies and friends in Europe and East Asia remain invaluable partners on nearly everything we do. And we have spent considerable energy strengthening those bonds over the past four years.

And, I would be quick to add, the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, and NATO are also still essential. But all of our institutions and our relationships need to be modernized and complemented by new institutions, relationships, and partnerships that are tailored for new challenges and modeled to the needs of a variable landscape, like how we elevated the G-20 during the financial crisis, or created the Climate and Clean Air Coalition out of the State Department to fight short-lived pollutants like black carbon, or worked with partners like Turkey, where the two of us stood up the first Global Counterterrorism Forum.

We’re also working more than ever with invigorated regional organizations. Consider the African Union in Somalia and the Arab League in Libya, even sub-regional groups like the Lower Mekong Initiative that we created to help reintegrate Burma into its neighborhood and try to work across national boundaries on issues like whether dams should or should not be built.

We’re also, of course, thinking about old-fashioned shoe-leather diplomacy in a new way. I have found it, and I’ve said this before, highly ironic that in today’s world, when we can be anywhere virtually, more than ever, people want us to actually show up. But while a Secretary of State in an earlier era might have been able to focus on a small number of influential capitals, shuttling between the major powers, today we, by necessity, must take a broader view.

And people say to me all the time, “I look at your travel schedule; why Togo?” Well, no Secretary of State had ever been to Togo. But Togo happens to hold a rotating seat on the UN Security Council. Going there, making the personal investment has a strategic purpose.

And it’s not just where we engage, but with whom. You can’t build a set of durable partnerships in the 21st century with governments alone. The opinions of people now matter as to how their governments work with us, whether it’s democratic or authoritarian. So in virtually every country I have visited, I’ve held town halls and reached out directly to citizens, civil society organizations, women’s groups, business communities, and so many others. They have valuable insights and contributions to make. And increasingly, they are driving economic and political change, especially in democracies.

The State Department now has Twitter feeds in 11 languages. And just this Tuesday, I participated in a global town hall and took questions from people on every continent, including, for the first time, Antarctica.

So the point is: We have to be strategic about all the levers of global power and look for the new levers that could not have been possible or had not even been invented a decade ago. We need to widen the aperture of our engagement, and let me offer a few examples of how we’re doing this.

First, technology. You can’t be a 21st century leader without 21st century tools, not when people organize pro-democracy protests with Twitter and while terrorists spread their hateful ideology online. That’s why I have championed what we call 21st century statecraft.

We’ve launched an interagency Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications at State. Experts, tech-savvy specialists from across our government fluent in Urdu, Arabic, Punjabi, Somali, use social media to expose al-Qaida’s contradictions and abuses, including its continuing brutal attacks on Muslim civilians.

We’re leading the effort also to defend internet freedom so it remains a free, open, and reliable platform for everyone. We’re helping human rights activists in oppressive internet environments get online and communicate more safely. Because the country that built the internet ought to be leading the fight to protect it from those who would censor it or use it as a tool of control.

Second, our nonproliferation agenda. Negotiating the New START Treaty with Russia was an example of traditional diplomacy at its best. Then working it through the Congress was an example of traditional bipartisan support at its best. But we also have been working with partners around the world to create a new institution, the Nuclear Security Summit, to keep dangerous materials out of the hands of terrorists. We conducted intensive diplomacy with major powers to impose crippling sanctions against Iran and North Korea. But to enforce those sanctions, we also enlisted banks, insurance companies, and high-tech international financial institutions. And today, Iran’s oil tankers sit idle, and its currency has taken a massive hit.

Now, this brings me to a third lever: economics. Everyone knows how important that is. But not long ago, it was thought that business drove markets and governments drove geopolitics. Well, those two, if they ever were separate, have certainly converged.

So creating jobs at home is now part of the portfolio of diplomats abroad. They are arguing for common economic rules of the road, especially in Asia, so we can make trade a race to the top, not a scramble to the bottom. We are prioritizing economics in our engagement in every region, like in Latin America, where, as you know, we ratified free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.

And we’re also using economic tools to address strategic challenges, for example, in Afghanistan, because along with the security transition and the political transition, we are supporting an economic transition that boosts the private sector and increases regional economic integration. It’s a vision of transit and trade connections we call the New Silk Road.

A related lever of power is development. And we are helping developing countries grow their economies not just through traditional assistance, but also through greater trade and investment, partnerships with the private sector, better governance, and more participation from women. We think this is an investment in our own economic future. And I love saying this, because people are always quite surprised to hear it: Seven of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. Other countries are doing everything they can to help their companies win contracts and invest in emerging markets. Other countries still are engaged in a very clear and relentless economic diplomacy. We should too, and increasingly, we are.

And make no mistake: There is a crucial strategic dimension to this development work as well. Weak states represent some of our most significant threats. We have an interest in strengthening them and building more capable partners that can tackle their own security problems at home and in their neighborhoods, and economics will always play a role in that.

Next, think about energy and climate change. Managing the world’s energy supplies in a way that minimizes conflict and supports economic growth while protecting the future of our planet is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

So we’re using both high-level international diplomacy and grassroots partnerships to curb carbon emissions and other causes of climate change. We’ve created a new bureau at the State Department focused on energy diplomacy as well as new partnerships like the U.S.-EU Energy Council. We’ve worked intensively with the Iraqis to support their energy sector, because it is critical not only to their economy, their stability as well. And we’ve significantly intensified our efforts to resolve energy disputes from the South China Sea to the eastern Mediterranean to keep the world’s energy markets stable. Now this has been helped quite significantly by the increase in our own domestic production. It’s no accident that as Iranian oil has gone offline because of our sanctions, other sources have come online, so Iran cannot benefit from increased prices.

Then there’s human rights and our support for democracy and the rule of law, levers of power and values we cannot afford to ignore. In the last century, the United States led the world in recognizing that universal rights exist and that governments are obligated to protect them. Now we have placed ourselves at the frontlines of today’s emerging battles, like the fight to defend the human rights of the LGBT communities around the world and religious minorities wherever and whoever they are. But it’s not a coincidence that virtually every country that threatens regional and global peace is a place where human rights are in peril or the rule of law is weak.

More specifically, places where women and girls are treated as second-class, marginal human beings. Just ask young Malala from Pakistan. Ask the women of northern Mali who live in fear and can no longer go to school. Ask the women of the Eastern Congo who endure rape as a weapon of war.

And that is the final lever that I want to highlight briefly. Because the jury is in, the evidence is absolutely indisputable: If women and girls everywhere were treated as equal to men in rights, dignity, and opportunity, we would see political and economic progress everywhere. So this is not only a moral issue, which, of course, it is. It is an economic issue and a security issue, and it is the unfinished business of the 21st century. It therefore must be central to U.S. foreign policy.

One of the first things I did as Secretary was to elevate the Office of Global Women’s Issues under the first Ambassador-at-Large, Melanne Verveer. And I’m very pleased that yesterday, the President signed a memorandum making that office permanent.

In the past four years, we’ve made – (applause) – thank you. In the past four years, we’ve made a major push at the United Nations to integrate women in peace and security-building worldwide, and we’ve seen successes in places like Liberia. We’ve urged leaders in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya to recognize women as equal citizens with important contributions to make. We are supporting women entrepreneurs around the world who are creating jobs and driving growth.

So technology, development, human rights, women. Now, I know that a lot of pundits hear that list and they say: Isn’t that all a bit soft? What about the hard stuff? Well, that is a false choice. We need both, and no one should think otherwise.

I will be the first to stand up and proclaim loudly and clearly that America’s military might is and must remain the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. I will also make very clear, as I have done over the last years, that our diplomatic power, the ability to convene, our moral suasion is effective because the United States can back up our words with action. We will ensure freedom of navigation in all the world’s seas. We will relentlessly go after al-Qaida, its affiliates, and its wannabes. We will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

There are limits to what soft power on its own can achieve. And there are limits to what hard power on its own can achieve. That’s why, from day one, I’ve been talking about smart power. And when you look at our approach to two regions undergoing sweeping shifts, you can see how this works in practice.

First, America’s expanding engagement in the Asia Pacific. Now, much attention has been focused on our military moves in the region. And certainly, adapting our force posture is a key element of our comprehensive strategy. But so is strengthening our alliances through new economic and security arrangements. We’ve sent Marines to Darwin, but we’ve also ratified the Korea Free Trade Agreement. We responded to the triple disaster in Japan through our governments, through our businesses, through our not-for-profits, and reminded the entire region of the irreplaceable role America plays.

First and foremost, this so-called pivot has been about creative diplomacy:

Like signing a little-noted treaty of amity and cooperation with ASEAN that opened the door to permanent representation and ultimately elevated a forum for engaging on high-stakes issues like the South China Sea. We’ve encouraged India’s “Look East” policy as a way to weave another big democracy into the fabric of the Asia Pacific. We’ve used trade negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership to find common ground with a former adversary in Vietnam. And the list goes on. Our effort has encompassed all the levers of powers and more that I’ve both discussed and that we have utilized.

And you can ask yourself: How could we approach an issue as thorny and dangerous as territorial disputes in the South China Sea without a deep understanding of energy politics, subtle multilateral diplomacy, smart economic statecraft, and a firm adherence to universal norms?

Or think about Burma. Supporting the historic opening there took a blend of economic, diplomatic, and political tools. The country’s leaders wanted the benefits of rejoining the global economy. They wanted to more fully participate in the region’s multilateral institutions and to no longer be an international pariah. So we needed to engage with them on many fronts to make that happen, pressing for the release of political prisoners and additional reforms while also boosting investment and upgrading our diplomatic relations.

Then there’s China. Navigating this relationship is uniquely consequential, because how we deal with one another will define so much of our common future. It is also uniquely complex, because – as I have said on many occasions, and as I have had very high-level Chinese leaders quote back to me – we are trying to write a new answer to the age-old question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet.

To make this work, we really do have to be able to use every lever at our disposal all the time. So we expanded our high-level engagement through the Strategic & Economic Dialogue to cover both traditional strategic issues like North Korea and maritime security, and also emerging challenges like climate change, cyber security, intellectual property concerns, as well as human rights.

Now, this approach was put to the test last May when we had to keep a summit meeting of the dialogue on track while also addressing a crisis over the fate of a blind human rights dissident who had sought refuge in our American Embassy. Not so long ago, such an incident might very well have scuttled the talks. But we have though intense effort, confidence building, we have built enough breadth and resilience into the relationship to be able to defend our values and promote our interests at the same time.

We passed that test, but there will be others. The Pacific is big enough for all of us, and we will continue to welcome China’s rise – if it chooses to play a constructive role in the region. For both of us, the future of this relationship depends on our ability to engage across all these issues at once.

That’s true as well for another complicated and important region: the Middle East and North Africa.

I’ve talked at length recently about our strategy in this region, including in speeches at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Saban Forum, and in my recent testimony before Congress. So let me just say this.

There has been progress: American soldiers have come home from Iraq. People are electing their leaders for the first time in generations, or ever, in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. The United States and our partners built a broad coalition to stop Qadhafi from massacring his people. And a ceasefire is holding in Gaza. All good things. But not nearly enough.

Ongoing turmoil in Egypt and Libya point to the difficulties of unifying fractured countries and building credible democratic institutions. The impasse between Israel and the Palestinians shows little sign of easing. In Syria, the Assad regime continues to slaughter its people and incite intercommunal conflict. Iran is pursuing its nuclear ambitions and sponsoring violent extremists across the globe. And we continue to face real terrorist threats from Yemen and North Africa.

So I will not stand here and pretend that the United States has all the solutions to these problems. We do not. But we are clear about the future we seek for the region and its peoples. We want to see a region at peace with itself and the world – where people live in dignity, not dictatorships, where entrepreneurship thrives, not extremism. And there is no doubt that getting to that future will be difficult and will require every single tool in our toolkit.

Because you can’t have true peace in the Middle East without addressing both the active conflicts and the underlying causes. You can’t have true justice unless the rights of all citizens are respected, including women and minorities. You can’t have the prosperity or opportunity that should be available unless there’s a vibrant private sector and good governance.

And of this I’m sure: you can’t have true stability and security unless leaders start leading; unless countries start opening their economies and societies, not shutting off the internet or undermining democracy; investing in their people’s creativity, not fomenting their rage; building schools, not burning them. There is no dignity in that and there is no future in it either.

Now, there is no question that everything I’ve discussed and all that I left off this set of remarks adds up to a very big challenge that requires America to adapt to these new realities of global power and influence in order to maintain our leadership. But this is also an enormous opportunity. The United States is uniquely positioned in this changing landscape.

The things that make us who we are as a nation – our openness and innovation, our diversity, our devotion to human rights and democracy – are beautifully matched to the demands of this era and this interdependent world. So as we look to the next four years and beyond, we have to keep pushing forward on this agenda, consolidate our engagement in the Asia Pacific without taking our eyes off the Middle East and North Africa; keep working to curb the spread of deadly weapons, especially in Iran and North Korea; effectively manage the end of our combat mission in Afghanistan without losing focus on al-Qaida and its affiliates; pursue a far-ranging economic agenda that sweeps from Asia to Latin America to Europe.

And keep looking for the next Burmas. They’re not yet at a position where we can all applaud, but which has begun a process of opening. Capitalize on our domestic energy renewal and intensify our efforts on climate change, and then take on emerging issues like cyber security, not just across the government but across our society.

You know why we have to do all of this? Because we are the indispensable nation. We are the force for progress, prosperity and peace. And because we have to get it right for ourselves. Leadership is not a birthright. It has to be earned by each new generation. The reservoirs of goodwill we built around the world during the 20th century will not last forever. In fact, in some places, they are already dangerously depleted. New generations of young people do not remember GIs liberating their countries or Americans saving millions of lives from hunger and disease. We need to introduce ourselves to them anew, and one of the ways we do that is by looking at and focusing on and working on those issues that matter most to their lives and futures.

So because the United States is still the only country that has the reach and resolve to rally disparate nations and peoples together to solve problems on a global scale, we cannot shirk that responsibility. Our ability to convene and connect is unparalleled, and so is our ability to act alone whenever necessary.

So when I say we are truly the indispensible nation, it’s not meant as a boast or an empty slogan. It’s a recognition of our role and our responsibilities. That’s why all the declinists are dead wrong. (Laughter.) It’s why the United States must and will continue to lead in this century even as we lead in new ways. And we know leadership has its costs. We know it comes with risks and can require great sacrifice. We’ve seen that painfully again in recent months. But leadership is also an honor, one that Chris Stevens and his colleagues in Benghazi embodied. And we must always strive to be worthy of that honor.

That sacred charge has been my north star every day that I’ve served as Secretary of State. And it’s been an enormous privilege to lead to the men and women of the State Department and USAID, nearly 70,000 serving here in Washington and in more than 270 posts around the world. They get up and go to work every day, often in frustrating, difficult, and dangerous circumstances, because they believe, as we believe, that the United States is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the world has ever known.

And so today, after four years in this job, traveling nearly a million miles and visiting 112 countries, my faith in our nation is even stronger, and my confidence in our future is as well. I know what it’s like when that blue and white airplane emblazoned with the words “United States of America” touches down in some far-off capital and I get to feel the great honor and responsibility it is to represent the world’s indispensable nation. I’m confident that my successor and his successors and all who serve in the position that I’ve been so privileged to hold will continue to lead in this century just as we did in the last – smartly, tirelessly, courageously – to make the world more peaceful, more safe, more prosperous, more free. And for that, I am very grateful.

Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. HAASS: Well, thank you, Madam Secretary.


MR. HAASS: Both for what you had to say as well as for the last four years. Let me just take advantage of my position and ask the first question.

You gave an extraordinarily comprehensive talk that touched on – I think you called them the many levers of American influence and power, and made the case for various forms of our power. So when it comes to putting it together, is there an Obama doctrine, is there a Clinton doctrine, that somehow ties together, gives a sense of priorities, helps explain what it is we should do and not do and how we should do it in the way that other doctrines historically have played that role?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that, as you can tell from what I said, we believe that America must continue to be the indispensable nation and the global leader on behalf of peace, prosperity, and progress, and that that requires us not only to lead alone but also to build coalitions and networks that will put responsibility with others and expect them to play their role in a rules-based global order. So it’s not always easy to talk about what we are doing everyday everywhere in the world, but I think if you look at what we have done, we have certainly kept faith with that kind of mission.

MR. HAASS: I will show uncharacteristic self-restraint – (laughter) – as those of you who know me, and we’ll try to have time for a couple questions. Yes, ma’am, all the way in the back. Yeah, right there. Just wait for the microphone and just let us know who you are.

QUESTION: Thank you. My name is Nadia Bilbassy, I’m with MBC Television, Middle East Broadcasting Center. Madam Secretary, some of the successes that have been attributed to you is mending or fixing United States relation with the Arab and Muslim world. Yet the statistics contradict that. If you look at the Pew statistics, it shows that actually your favoritism in comparison to the Bush Administration is lower, and in countries like Turkey, Jordan, and in other places. So what is going wrong? Does that mean that America’s stand in the world is on the receding end, that its prestige has been affected? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me say three things about that. First, I have obviously followed closely public opinion, and I think it’s fair to say that the United States, for the last decade, has not been viewed favorably by a very high percentage of the people in any of the countries in the Middle East or North Africa for a number of reasons, some of it rooted, of course, in our strong support for Israel over the many years of Israel’s existence as a state.

So this is not the Obama Administration, the Bush Administration, the Clinton Administration. This is the views of many people in the region about America. And I think it’s unfortunate because clearly what the United States stands for is absolutely in line with what the Arab revolutions have been publicly espousing.

Secondly, I think that we have done – and I take responsibility, along with our entire government and Congress and perhaps our private sector – we have not done a very good job in recent years reaching out in a public media way or in a culturally effective way to explain ourselves. I’m always encountering so many conspiracy theories that are totally off-base, wild, made-up stuff that the media in the region promotes about the United States that is absolutely untrue. Our response has been: Nobody will either believe it, or we can’t possibly contest it.

I take a different view. I think we ought to be in there every single day. I made a point of reaching out to Al Jazeera when I became Secretary of State because it was unrelentlessly – or was relentlessly negative about us. And I said, “Come on. That is not only inaccurate, but it’s deeply unfair.” And their response to me was, “Well, your government never puts anybody on Al Jazeera.” I said, “Well, that’s going to change right now.” You can’t be in the arena and expect there to be a change if you’re not willing to get off the bench. And from my perspective, that’s our fault. We have let a lot of stuff be said about us, believed about us that is contrary to who we are as a people, what we stand for, and what we’ve done.

I guess thirdly, we, in our efforts to support democracy, still are held accountable for supporting the governments that were there before democracy. You deal with governments of all kinds. We deal with China. Hardly anybody believes that China fully respects human rights, and it certainly is not a democracy. But we don’t get blamed because we do business with China, but we did business with other regimes and somehow that caused lasting negativity toward us, which I think, again, is unfounded.

So there are reasons for all of the points that you made that go more to the heart of American foreign policy and American values, but we can do a better job in at least disabusing and refuting some of what people are led to believe that is contrary to who we are.

MR. HAASS: Allan Wendt.

QUESTION: Allan Wendt, formerly with the State Department. Madam Secretary, you’ve outlined a very ambitious agenda and program of work for the Department of State. Could you tell us a little bit about the budgetary resources that will be required to carry out that agenda? (Laughter.)


MR. HAASS: I bet you’re glad he’s asked that question.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m very glad he asked that question. We’ve had some success in the very first years of my tenure in making the case to the Congress to increase our budgets, increase our workforce to be able to deal with the myriad of challenges, threats, and opportunities we face. But we are moving into the budget negotiations and a potential sequestration, which will be disastrous. And people will focus, and they should, on what sequestration will mean to the military. Hundreds of thousands, maybe 800,000 civilians will lose their jobs. Bases will have to be closed. Programs will have to be stopped. So the Defense Department will be able, if anyone’s willing to listen, say, “Look, here’s what the immediate effect will be,” and it won’t only be about our military might, it’ll be about the economy.

You saw in the 4th quarter slowdown one of the reasons was decreased military spending as people hedge against and get prepared for this absurd sequestration idea. In the State Department, we can’t look at military programs that are producing weapons, but we can look at people being furloughed, which they will. We can look at cutting back, once again, on security, which has been one of the challenges we have inherited over the years, and which I tried to explain to the Congress. We can look at the cutbacks in passports that the American people deserve us to provide, and on and on and on.

So although we are one-twelfth, one-thirteenth of the Defense Department budget, what we do does directly affect Americans. It’s not just programs over there, it’s what happens here at home and what we do through those programs and posts that make it possible for us to have jobs and travel easily and so much else. So I thank you for asking it. This is a government-wide challenge and something that no great country should do. I mean, just as a final note, I was giving a speech in Hong Kong during the last debt ceiling debate, and all these very sophisticated investors and government officials lined up to say, “Is the United States really going to default on its credit?” And I said, “Oh, no, no, no. We’ll never do that.” Oh lord, please be – (laughter). So are we really going to have mindless sequestration? Are we really going to, in effect, handicap ourselves? We’ll see. I hope not. I hope that cooler and smarter heads prevail.

MR. HAASS: Want to do one or two more?


MR. HAASS: Okay. Diana.

QUESTION: Diana Lady Dougan, Center for Strategic and International Studies and Cybercentury Forum. Madam Secretary, I think all of us are – want to say how honored we are to have had you as our Secretary, but I will move quickly on to a question that for those of us, particularly who served during the Cold War, it was much easier to identify American interests, and we had much more of a moral compass. And now I would like to know when you are talking about protecting and advancing American interests, is becoming more and more difficult and more and more parochial in identifying American interests, particularly in a transnational world and the various vested interest groups. So what advice do you have to give to your successors in terms of defining American interests and redefining them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s an excellent question and I think it’s on two levels. On the most fundamental level, protecting America and Americans has to remain a core interest. Our security is nonnegotiable, and we have to be smart about what really threatens us and what doesn’t. We have to work better on intelligence so that we don’t make very unfortunate mistakes. So but security first and foremost, and I don’t think any official Secretary of State or otherwise could put anything before that.

Secondly, we need an open, transparent free market in which Americans are able to compete on a level playing field. Because when we can compete, we often can win. But the deck has been stacked against us in the last years because of all kinds of forces converging, whether it’s state-owned enterprises or indigenous protections that are behind the borders and so forth. So it is very much in our interest to help write the rules for the 21st century global economy, and then to think of mechanisms to enforce those rules.

Thirdly, we have to continue to advance American values, which correspond with universal values. I’m always reminding my counterparts that when I talk about freedom of expression, freedom of religion, those are not just American values. The world agreed to those values back in the declaration, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And we’re going to stand up for them, and it’s not always easy and we have to pick our times. We can’t be shortsighted or counterproductive, but we’re going to continue to stand up for them. So on the fundamental first level, we do what we do because it’s in our security interest, our economic interest, and our moral interest, and we have to continue to do that.

But then, as you go up to sort of the second level, how you adapt that to the world of today, requires us to be more clever, more agile, and we’re trying to do that. So, for example, countering violent extremism, there are those who estimate that maybe there are 50,000 violent, homicidal extremists in the world, but they are able to maximize their impact and their messaging through the internet. And what we have tried to do, as I briefly mentioned, is to get in there with them, to undermine them, and to rebut them. It is something we did quite well in the Cold War.

The more I’ve done this job, the more lessons I think we can transfer from the Cold War to today. No, we don’t have some monolithic, Communist Soviet Union. But we were engaged minute by minute in pushing out our ideas, our values, refuting Communist propaganda. Cold War ended, people said, “Oh, my goodness, thank the lord, democracy has triumphed, we don’t have to do any of that anymore.” That is a terrible mistake. We have basically abdicated, in my views, the broadcast media. I have tried and will continue from the outside to try to convince Congress and others, if we don’t have an up-to-date, modern, effective broadcasting board of governors, we shouldn’t have one at all.

Other countries, Russia, China, and I mentioned Al Jazeera already, they have government messaging that is now predominant in so many places in the languages of the places. And we transport our culture and entertainment around the world, which doesn’t always unfortunately convey our best values – (laughter) – but we abdicate in really investing in and modernizing what our broadcasting potential could be.

So I think there are many more examples, but I would say that if you look at how successful we were in the Cold War – thankfully we never went to war with the Soviet Union, we never stopped negotiating with the Soviet Union, and we engaged in a lot of very sophisticated diplomacy around the world, and we did things like support certain people in elections because they were more democratic than other people. I mean, we did a lot.

I mean, George Shultz was here the other day and we did so much to kind of help those who were on the side of democracy and freedom survive behind the Iron Curtain and then thrive when the Iron Curtain fell. And I have a long list of things that I would love to see us doing in a modern way that we have not yet adapted to this new time.

MR. HAASS: Time for one last one. Yes, Ma’am. (Inaudible.) Just wait for the microphone.

QUESTION: Thank you. Ricki Tigert Helfer, Financial Regulation Reform International. Immigration reform has been seen as largely a domestic issue, but I would like very much for you to give us your views on to what extent immigration reform will enhance our ability to deal with other countries and to foster U.S. values abroad.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s funny. My very last bilateral meeting was with, yesterday, the new Foreign Secretary of Mexico. And we talked about the benefits to both United States and Mexico, in fact, all of North America and better integrating our economies, our infrastructure, our energy, particularly our electricity grid and so much else that is possible.

So immigration reform is the right thing to do for America and for people who are here who have, in many instances, been here for a very long time, made their contributions to this country, have been law-abiding, contributing residents. But it’s also to our benefit with our neighbors to the south. What’s happened in the last several years has been actually a slowing down of immigration – undocumented immigration from Mexico, because as our economy was struggling and jobs were not as available, and the Mexican economy was growing, people didn’t come or they went home. So now much of the immigration flows are coming from further south, from countries where there is still a lot of instability and very significant poverty.

So what we have to do is have, as the President said, comprehensive immigration reform, which means not only border security on our borders, but helping with border security further south so that we can then move on to dealing with the 11 million-plus people who are here and creating some path to citizenship. That will be a huge benefit to us in the region, not just in Mexico, but further south. At the same time that we do immigration reform, we need to do more on border security and internal security in Central America.

We should be very proud of the role we played in stabilizing Colombia from the drug cartels and the FARC rebels, and we’ve made a lot of progress with Mexico under the Merida Initiative. But the result, that these Central American countries are increasingly squeezed. So their internal workforce will not have many opportunities once we do immigration reform, once the Mexicans get serious about their border. Then I think we have to do more with the Central American countries in order to help them the way that we have helped others.

MR. HAASS: Madam Secretary, you spoke about the indispensability of American leadership and how the world would be, I think, a much worse place were it not for such an active American role. But coming back to immigration reform and to your comments about sequestration, are you optimistic about the capacity of the American political system to come up with policies that will allow us to sustain that kind of American leadership?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Absolutely. I mean, if you look back, we’ve done some really stupid things. (Laughter.) And over 200 years we’ve passed terrible laws. We’ve had all kinds of government-sponsored or condoned discrimination against all kinds of people. We’ve made our mistakes. We may be indispensible; it doesn’t mean we’re perfect. We’re probably as close to perfect as anybody has been – (laughter) – but (inaudible). We’re maybe not there yet, but we’re still trying to form a more perfect union.

But no, I think – look, you look at the sweep of American history, and sometimes it takes longer than it should, but eventually we do overcome our own discriminatory tendencies, our own insecurities and fears, and I have no doubt that we will again. It is distressing when you’re watching some of what is happening, but I think you have to take a longer view. And certainly in my view, that’s one for optimism.

MR. HAASS: At the risk of leaving you all with an image that probably isn’t good, I would simply say that John Kerry has some fairly large Manolo Blahniks to fill. (Laughter.) I want to thank the Secretary of State again for everything she’s done. (Laughter and applause.)


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My heart is so heavy posting this.  My hands do not seem to want to obey my brain.  They do not want to post this, but the time has come.


Secretary Clinton To Give Farewell Remarks to State Department Employees

Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 31, 2013

On Friday, February 1, Secretary Clinton will depart the State Department for the final time as Secretary of State. She will address employees at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the C Street Lobby.

The Secretary’s remarks will be  live streamed on the State Department YouTube Channel.

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Here is yet another of Hillary Clinton’s initiatives at the State Department that will continue to move forward after she departs.  How anyone does not perceive the impact this has on nations and the world is beyond me.  When you move women ahead with 21st century skills sets, you change the future of countries and how they interact at both the governmental and civil levels.   The value Hillary Clinton has set on open communication via technology, 21st Century Statecraft, Smart Power, and citizen diplomacy via social networks is an innovation that will remain a focus of the State Department past her tenure.   Thousands of people from hundreds of countries have come to this blog to hear and see her words.  I cannot help but think that they understand us a little better as a result of her service, and I think we understand them better just because she has been Secretary of State – the best on I have ever see in my life.


TechWomen Gather in Jordan To Collaborate, Code, and Connect

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 31, 2013

Fusing technology with efforts to empower women and girls, the U.S. Department of State announced today that participants of TechWomen will meet in Jordan from February 1-10 to collaborate and connect through workshops and visits with local organizations. An innovative public-private partnership, TechWomen pairs emerging women in technology from the Middle East and North Africa with American women mentors from the greater Silicon Valley area.

TechWomen, which was launched by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2011, has brought almost 80 women from the Middle East and North Africa and the United States together for month-long mentorships. The program builds on Secretary Clinton’s vision of “smart power” — embracing the full range of diplomatic tools, in this case technology, to empower women and girls and foster greater understanding worldwide. This year, TechWomen will include emerging women in the tech sector from Sub-Saharan African countries. To learn more, click here.

In addition to engaging local partners, the TechWomen delegation will also meet with members of the first class of TechGirls, which Secretary Clinton launched in 2012, to engage girls ages 15-17 from the Middle East and North Africa who have displayed strong interest in the technology sector. To learn more about TechGirls, click here.

While in Jordan, the TechWomen will meet with entrepreneurs about e-commerce strategies and discuss career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with the TechGirls. They will also meet members of civil society, who work to train women on how to use social media in their businesses and organizations. These TechWomen are also slated to host a networking conference for young women and girls in collaboration with Princess Sumaya University of Science and Technology.

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The way this came through, the speaker is unidentified, but there is no mistaking whose voice this is.

Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women and Girls Globally

Press Statement

Washington, DC
January 31, 2013

The Obama Administration has made it clear that advancing the rights of women and girls is critical to the foreign policy of the United States. This is a matter of national security as much as it is an issue of morality or fairness. President Obama’s National Security Strategy explicitly recognizes that “countries are more peaceful and prosperous when women are accorded full and equal rights and opportunity. When those rights and opportunities are denied, countries lag behind.”

That’s why I’m so pleased about the Presidential Memorandum that President Obama signed yesterday, which institutionalizes an elevated focus on global women’s issues at the State Department and USAID and ensures coordination on these issues across the federal government. And it is so important that incoming Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed his support for the continued elevation of these issues in our foreign policy.

As I have said many times, protecting and advancing the rights of women are critical to solving virtually every challenge we face as individual nations and as a community of nations. We have made great progress, but there is more to do. This is the unfinished business of the 21st Century, and it is essential that it remains central to our foreign policy for years to come.


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Remarks at Reception Honoring the Department of State’s Public/Private Partnerships


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ben Franklin Room
Washington, DC
January 31, 2013

Thank you all very, very much. As Kris just said, we’re all like one millisecond away from just collapsing here – (laughter) – because of the emotion and the feelings that are coursing through all of us. And this is my final event in a room named for Ben Franklin who has watched over us over the last four years. I have lost count of how many times I’ve walked in here along with many of you for an event that rewards innovation or launching a new initiative or bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to tackle a shared concern. And there are so many of you that I am grateful to.I want particularly to thank my two colleagues and friends who are here on the stage, the Special Representative for Global Partnerships, Kris Balderston, and our first ever Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer. They have, along with other of my colleagues, really embraced the whole idea of partnerships and understood that in the 21st century, diplomacy and development is not in any way confined to government-to-government relations. Those have to be tended, those have to be respected, those have to be nurtured and grown. But at the same time in this increasingly interconnected, networked world, we wanted to reach out people-to-people, to our NGOs, our faith communities, our private sector, and so much more.

So partnerships have been a hallmark of what we’ve done in the last four years here at the State Department, because many of the challenges that we face extend beyond traditional, political, and even geographic divisions. How do we grow the global economy and give those hundreds of millions of young people, men and women alike, a chance at a good, decent job that will give them and their families and children better opportunities? How do we address the threat of global climate change? How do we fight global terrorism and undermine and rebut the narrative that recruits young people and spreads extremism?

Now, these challenges and so many others affect people from all walks of life, and therefore, they do require a new set of solutions and new kinds of collaboration. So I set up the Global Partnerships Initiative because I wanted to spur the State Department to collaborate more among government, civil society, the private sector, universities, religious institutions, other groups, and even individuals. And I’m very pleased and proud of what we’ve achieved. Through Partners for a New Beginning, we’re working with local businesses and civil society groups in 10 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. Working with Cisco, Coca-Cola, and the Aspen Institute, this partnership has launched 120 projects in the last two years to promote economic opportunities, strengthen education, and yes, create jobs. The International Diaspora Engagement Alliance is mobilizing America’s vast network of diaspora communities to promote volunteerism and philanthropy around the world. With the Migration Policy Institute, Microsoft, IDB, DigiSol, and Boom Financial, we’ve built a network of more than 1,500 communities representing more than 190 countries and regions.

And I could go on and on, because there have been so many exciting partnerships, sometimes very small and very targeted, sometimes quite large and expansive, but they all had in common a belief that we had to start thinking more creatively about solving problems that affect us all.

I’m pleased we are announcing new initiatives today. One called wPower looks at the cross-cutting challenges of climate change, access to clean energy, technology, and economic opportunity for women. We will be working with the MacArthur Foundation, USAID, CARE International, Solar Sister, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the Wangari Maathai Institute to provide training for more than 7,000 women entrepreneurs, helping them to sell new technologies, like clean cookstoves and solar lanterns in India, Nigeria, and throughout East Africa.

Another called the Alliance for Affordable Internet will expand access to the internet in developing countries where only 25 percent on average of the population are online. This is a key element of economic growth and innovation, so working with multilateral institutions, civil society, and the World Wide Web Foundation, we’re going to help the next billion people come online.

We’re also expanding on some of our successful partnerships. In 2011, I launched the Global Equality Fund to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons around the world. And I want to welcome the Governments of Norway, the Netherlands, and France to this partnership. And I thank the Arcus Foundation and MAC AIDS Fund for their recent contributions. Also with us is Michel Togue, a human rights lawyer from Cameroon who has fought tirelessly to defend LGBT persons with support from this fund, and we greatly applaud his commitment and his courage.

And our Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which has helped millions of families live healthier, more productive lives, has expanded now to include 600 partners and 18 foreign governments, including our newest partners, Mongolia and France. Our longtime partners from Morgan Stanley, Dow Corning, and UNF are also with us today. And new commitments from Paradigm Project and Bunge will bring as many as 5 million stoves to East Africa. In Kenya, OPIC and GE are establishing a stove manufacturing facility with additional plants in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Finally, Philips, the South African industrial development corporation and African Clean Energy, have begun manufacturing and distributing what is probably the cleanest cookstove made in Africa. When I first started beating the drums on this alliance, there were people who said, “There she goes again.” (Laughter.) “Clean cookstoves? What does that have to do with world peace and prosperity and human rights and democracy and freedom?” Well, everything actually. And a recent publication, I guess in Lancet, right Kris, of the world disease burden actually upped the fatalities from breathing the air from unclean cookstoves to four million, making it one of the top five, actually the number four killer in the world. But it’s also a contributor to black soot, which along with methane and other slow-acting pollutants is a major contributor to climate change. So you go on and on.

We have to think differently. Part of what it means to be the Secretary of State of the United States today is to expand what we do and how we do it on a range of issues, to add to our toolkit that already consists of government-to-government diplomacy, government-to-government development, and the other kinds of values-driven actions that are part of our portfolio, but to add new tools. And this partnership initiative that we have nurtured and grown has really delivered to show how we can do more together. And by that, it’s not just the people who traditionally walked into the Ben Franklin Room, but it’s all of you and so many others.

So partnerships have proven to be an invaluable tool for meeting very tough challenges. And I’m confident that the United States, under our next Secretary and in the Obama Administration and, I hope, for years to come, will continue building this capacity for creating and nurturing and growing partnerships that produce results around the world. Now, partnerships themselves are not a solution; rather, they bring together the people and the resources that can then lead to solutions.

So really, in other words, we’re not just happy you’re here so we could have this final event together; we’re happy you’re here because it is you, our partners, who have to be part of the solutions. It’s you who have made the great difference. I mean, we could have opened up a partnership office and nobody came. But instead, you understood, and in fact, you helped to create the vision that we had. And you have helped verify the validity of that vision through the work you have done with us. Your commitment, creativity, and compassion have led to outcomes that are improving lives, building prosperity, and promoting justice.

Now, great things about partnerships – and we’re beginning to do even more of that and we’ll add to it in the future – is through our online communication, we can encourage people to begin partnerships anywhere. People who are out of government, you can’t tell them, okay, you can act like a government; that’s not going to work. But you can sure be a partner, and you can create partnerships, and you can come up with solutions, and we can support you in every way that is possible.

So, thank you so much for what you have already done. I hope that you will continue to be partners with the State Department and USAID and the rest of our government as we expand this whole approach and look for new ways to solve problems that affect all of us. So for me, it truly is a bittersweet moment to leave this room for the last time as Secretary of State at an official event. But it gives me such great pride and pleasure to thank you and know that the work will continue. I am very, very grateful. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Public Schedule for January 31, 2013

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
January 31, 2013




9:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the assistant secretaries, at the Department of State.

9:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton attends a reception honoring the Department of State’s Public/Private Partnerships, at the Department of State. Please click here for more information.

10:45 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts the award presentation of the Holbrooke Award and Heroism Awards, at the Department of State.

2:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks on American Leadership, at the Council on Foreign Relations. Please click here for more information. Secretary Clinton’s remarks will be streamed live on www.state.gov

The speech will also be carried by C-SPAN.

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It is beginning to appear that we are not likely to see a video or perhaps even photos of this  event today, but even without images it is possible to sense the load of emotion from the words.   I remember so well her first Town Hall at the State Department in early 2009.  Cyclists requested showers.   The day before St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, she cut the ribbon for the new showers for her “Green Team.”    A techie fed up with IE requested the Firefox browser.  Somewhere along the line she made good on that because for the past few months I have seen State Department IPs visiting here using Firefox.  And members of glifaa requested extension of benefits to domestic partners.  She made good on that one mere months later during Gay Pride Month.

There were rumors, during her first few months at DOS when she was a familiar figure wandering the halls, dropping into offices, and asking folks what their jobs were and how they did them,  that her nickname among the DOS employees was “Glinda.”   She has been loved, protected, admired, and praised by career civil and foreign service members, and while we know John Kerry will do his best, we do not foresee him filling her shoes with the same charisma, humor, and just plain loveablility.

Yes DOS is going to miss her and so will we.  Mme. Secretary, please drop us a line now and then and let us know what you are up to.  We will be so lonely without you!

Here is her final Town Hall today with her  employees at the State Department today.  It was in an auditorium,  but that could not hold everybody.  Screening rooms overflowed into the hallways apparently.  (If I am wrong and pics or a video do turn up, of course I will add them here.)

Remarks at Final Town Hall Meeting With Department of State Personnel


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
January 30, 2013

Thank you. Thank you. Oh, boy. This is an incredible experience for me. I thank you for joining me and I know that other rooms are filled to capacity and there is a big crowd that is outside in the hallway and hello to everyone watching on BNET or online.

I have to begin by saying I’m here with a full heart. These last four years have been a remarkable honor and experience for me, and that is thanks to all of you, to the professionals, men and women who get up every day and work for the State Department and USAID on behalf of our common mission and values and the country that we love. Every day during my tenure over the last four years, whether I was in Washington or in some remote corner of the world, I have been so proud of your dedication, your professionalism, your ingenuity, your integrity. And you have big jobs to do here and you do them superbly. So I am proud to have been a colleague, to leave here as a very grateful member of the team.

I walked into the door of the State Department more than four years ago now determined to elevate diplomacy and development as pillars of our foreign policy alongside defense, because I was convinced they were critical for solving problems and seizing opportunities worldwide. And I will walk out the door this Friday even more convinced of that because of the work that we have done together during some challenging and even tumultuous times.

We have faced all manners of events, from democratic revolutions in North Africa, to earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, to the end of the war in Iraq, the beginning of the transition in Afghanistan, the rebuilding of the global economy, breakthroughs in places like Burma and Somalia, the signing of a New START Treaty, and on and on. Diplomacy and development have been vital to these and so many other efforts that we have undertaken together.

And as I’ve looked back over the past four years, I think, through it all, we have remained focused on our long term goals: advancing American interests, defending universal values, protecting our security, helping more people in more places live up to their God-given potential. And along the way we’ve lost friends and loved ones. Some, like Richard Holbrooke and Chris Stevens, were giants of American diplomacy. Others were men and women, many far too young, with long futures ahead of them, so much promise and passion. All of them were patriots, and we honor their memories by carrying forward this important work.

Our current efforts to improve security and implement the recommendations of the recent Accountability Review Board are part of a broader push to strengthen both State and USAID. I’m also very proud to have overseen the first QDDR, which identifies ways in which our agencies could become more effective, more innovative for the future. Many of the QDDR recommendations are already in place, such as our increased focus on economic statecraft and energy, the steps we’ve taken on global security and justice issues, new strategies to address climate change, and everything we’ve done to integrate women and girls into our policies.

And just a few days ago, we appointed a sanctions coordinator to focus on governments like Iran and Syria and North Korea. Now, these steps are smart, sensible, and suited to today’s world. I believe they’ve already made State and USAID stronger. The same goes for the investments we’ve made in training and mentoring our workforce. The new job opportunities we’ve created, the improvements we’ve made in recruitment, all the other steps we’ve taken to ensure we are finding the most talented people out there for the Foreign Service and the Civil Service and giving them, giving you, the professional support you need to thrive.

Now, many other steps outlined in the QDDR are in the process of being implemented, and now we need to make sure that the QDDR itself continues, because I’ve always said that the Q is the most important letter in that recitation. Last year, we came close to having Congress pass legislation that would mandate future reviews, just as the Defense Department has done for many years. In fact, John Kerry himself introduced that legislation, so I’m confident that he will carry on this work. Congress would be wise to pass the QDDR because it does make State and USAID stronger, and thereby making our nation stronger.

Four years ago when I sat across the table up in the Senate from my then-Senate colleagues at my own confirmation hearing, I said I was thrilled to be considered for the role of Secretary, but also sad about leaving a place that I had loved also and all the people that I cared for so much there and in New York, the state that I was so privileged to represent. Now I find myself feeling the exact same way. I am looking forward to the next chapter. It’s like one of those books you buy that has blank pages.

And I know I’m leaving the Department in excellent hands. John Kerry was a very accomplished senator, and he will be the same as Secretary of State. He brings judgment, experience, vision, and a deep understanding, because of his own family with his father having been in the Foreign Service, to what diplomacy requires.

But I am very sad to leave all of you and to leave behind the institution here where I have been so proud to serve on behalf of the American people. It will be very hard over the next few days to say goodbye to the terrific men and women at State and USAID because I will truly miss you. I will miss the incredible sense of commitment that you bring to the work we do, the exacting standards you hold yourselves and others to, the fun that we’ve occasionally had in traveling and working together. But I will mostly be very proud and grateful that I had the chance to be the 67th Secretary of State. I will look forward to doing my part from the outside to try to stand up for and explain why this is such important work and to always feel that I am in some way connected to you and to that work’s continuity.

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From the day she walked in,  we all knew that this day would come.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Tomorrow will be her last official day as Secretary of State.  I honestly have no words to describe how grateful I feel for everything she has done and for the ability afforded by the department to follow her so closely over the years.

Here are two huge events on her calendar for tomorrow.  Then will come the great silence while she continues her recuperation out of our sight.    Godspeed beautiful lady.  We will be here on the other side when you emerge.  Maybe you can send me your book-signing schedule.  Readers here will be hungry to know when you are coming to a bookstore near them.

Secretary Clinton To Announce Launch of Up to $86.5 Million in Public-Private Partnerships

Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 30, 2013

On Thursday, January 31, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will celebrate the global impact of public-private partnerships created under her tenure and launch four new initiatives valued at up to $86.5 million, at the U.S. Department of State. These new initiatives include: efforts to advance women’s clean energy entrepreneurship; a global partnership to promote affordable Internet access in poor communities; a new commitment to the Global Equality Fund which aims to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons worldwide; and new investments in the clean cookstoves sector.

Secretary Clinton will be joined by Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and the Special Representative for Global Partnerships Kris Balderston. Wanjira Mathai, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and board member of the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, will deliver remarks.

Since 2009, the Secretary has worked to strengthen and deepen U.S. diplomacy and development around the world by fostering partnerships between the Department of State and the private sector. Such partnerships have leveraged the creativity, innovation, and core business resources of private partners for greater impact on global issues. To date, the Department has worked with over 1,100 partners and mobilized more than $650 million in public and private resources to support key foreign policy objectives including climate change mitigation, women’s empowerment, economic growth, and human rights.

The event will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the Department of State.

Remarks on American Leadership

Speaker: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary, U.S. Department of State
Presider: Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
January 31, 2013

Watch live on Thursday, January 31, 2013, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (ET). Discuss this meeting live on Twitter using the #CFRLive hashtag. Problems viewing a CFR Live meeting? Visit our CFR Live troubleshooting page for help.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks on American leadership.

Access the livefeed here >>>>

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For four years we have watched her in bilaterals, ministerials, summits, and conferences with her former Mexican counterpart Patricia Espinosa.  Here they were on Mme. Secretary’s first trip to Mexico as Secretary of State in March 2009.

US Secretary of State Clinton shakes hands with Mexican Foreign Secretary Espinosa after a news conference at the foreign ministry in Mexico City

Today, on her penultimate day at the State Department, she welcomed Patricia’s successor.  As of Friday, the ladies will both have turned the reins of State and the secretariat over to the gents.  Here she was today with Mexico’s new Foreign Secretary,  Jose Antonio Meade.

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Remarks With Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
The Treaty Room
Washington, DC
January 30, 2013

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is such a treat for me to welcome the new Foreign Secretary of Mexico. Secretary Meade is no stranger to Washington having served previously as finance minister and been very active on many issues that are of mutual concern to our two countries. But this is my last official bilateral meeting, and I cannot even imagine a better opportunity than to meet with you and to have a chance to discuss some of the issues that will be worked on and carried on by my successor and by you.

FOREIGN SECRETARY MEADES: Thank you. It’s a great pleasure for me to meet you here. Basically we’re wanting in this meeting to convey all the gratitude that we have for all the good things that Secretary Clinton has constructed for Mexico for the relationship. It’s a good time to take stock, it’s a good time to look where we are and what we can construct with her successor. But we basically wanted to thank her for what she has done for Mexico. She is very important and well loved, and I am sure that that will continue to be the case with her successor.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Secretary Meade. Thank you all. Thank you.


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Interview With Cynthia McFadden of ABC


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 29, 2013

QUESTION: Well, Secretary Clinton, this is your – first of all, thank you for letting us come and talk to you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Of course. I’m so happy to see you again.

QUESTION: This is your last television interview as Secretary of State.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hard to believe, Cynthia. It feels like the time has just flown by.

QUESTION: In Moscow three years ago, you told me, “I have absolutely no interest in running for president, none.” Two years ago you said the exact same thing in Australia. And yet in the past few days, a PAC called Ready for Hillary has been launched. Can you still say with a straight face that you have – that there’s no way you would consider running for president?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Sitting here right now, that is certainly what I believe. And I am still the Secretary of State, so I’m not in politics. I’m going to be focusing on my philanthropy and my charities, my writing and speaking. So I am looking forward to having something resembling a kind of normal life again.

QUESTION: And yet are we up to maybe?

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) That’s very good, Cynthia. Well, of course, of course I am flattered and honored. I didn’t even know about some of these things that are happening now. But I am really not focused on that at all. I have no plans or intentions. I don’t know how else to say it, but I am going to get back into my life again, see how it feels not having a schedule, waking up and being able to go back to sleep if I choose for a while. I have been working or attending school fulltime since I was 13, and this is going to be new for me. I don’t know how I’m going to react to it, to be honest.

QUESTION: When you conceded defeat in the primary, you made a famous speech in which you said that there were 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling.


QUESTION: If, in the course of the next couple of years it appears, as it does appear right now, that you might be the person who could actually break through that glass ceiling and become the first female president of this country, would you feel a certain obligation to seize that mantle?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m very conscious of how important it is for us to shatter that glass ceiling in my country, a country that has done so much for so many women and really has set the standard for women’s rights and responsibilities. And I do want to see that glass ceiling shattered. I don’t think it has to be any particular person; it just has to be a convergence of the right candidate and historical forces. So I don’t think one person is the only way to do that. I think there are a lot of people that are in the pipeline and moving to a position where they might be able to as well.

QUESTION: But there’s never been a woman who really had a credible chance, and it looks as if you might just be that person. And I know how seriously you take commitment and obligation and how seriously the women’s issue is to you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. But I’m not making any commitments or obligations because I do take them seriously. And I did an interview with President Obama the other night, and obviously I know how important this is to the press, to journalists, journalists like yourself, but it’s not what I’m thinking about. It’s not anything that I’m planning or giving the okay to others to plan. I have so many things I’m interested in doing and that’s what I am focused on right now.

QUESTION: Well, it’s good to see you looking so healthy.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, thank you.

QUESTION: It really was a serious health scare.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it was a big surprise to me because I’ve been so healthy for my entire life. I’ve been in a hospital once when I had my daughter and – oh, when I broke my elbow. But other than that, I’ve been very fortunate. So when I got sick and fainted and hit my head, I was so surprised. And I thought, well, I’ll just get up and go to work. And then, thankfully, I had very good medical care and doctors who said no, we better do an MRI and we better do this, we better do that.

I feel very lucky, Cynthia, because I know now how a split second of being beset by a virus and dehydrated, what it can do to you. So I’m getting fully recovered and I will be back to full speed, but I am grateful for the excellent care I got.

QUESTION: So as one woman who wears glasses to another, I’ll tell you what happens if I take mine off. I can’t see my questions.


QUESTION: If you take yours off right now —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. Well, that would have been true even before I had a concussion. If I take mine off, I’ve been nearsighted since I was nine but I’ve worn contacts for so many years except at night when I put my glasses on. But I’ll be fine. I’ll go back to contacts.

QUESTION: But this whole seeing double thing, is that true?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have some lingering effects from the concussion, but they will dissipate over the next weeks and I’ll be back to my old myopic self. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Senator Kerry has just been confirmed.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, I’m thrilled by that.

QUESTION: Does that feel – do you start to feel —

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do, I do, because obviously we’ve been working with him and his team for him to come in to the State Department. My last day will be Friday afternoon after I finish all of my obligations. I think that he will pick right up where I’ve ended and continue to represent us extremely well around the world.

QUESTION: What do you wish you’d known four years ago that you could pass on to him?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’ve tried to pass on everything I’ve learned. I think there are a couple of big takeaways. One, I don’t see how you do this job without traveling a lot. Condi Rice traveled a million miles and I’ve traveled nearly that and went to more countries than anybody has gone to. Well, and why do we do that? Is it because we’re gluttons for punishment? No. Because the United States has to show up, particularly now when, ironically, people can turn on the news or get online or follow us through some other social media, but nothing substitutes for demonstrating that the United States of America cares enough to be there, to be at that meeting, to represent our values, to go to that event.

I did not realize how critically important it was going to be. And the fact that there’s hardly any part of the world now that can be kind of relegated to second tier, because something can happen anywhere and we’ll know about it instantaneously and it can have, as we’ve seen in Mali, consequences for us and our allies’ security.

QUESTION: I’d just like to ask you one other question about your health. I know that there’s no plans for future public service, but if there were to be, would you feel comfortable making a pledge that you would release whatever records?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, of course. Yeah, that doesn’t bother me. I mean, that’s just something that goes with the territory.

QUESTION: Let’s talk for a moment about Benghazi. It seemed as though you lost your temper at the hearing momentarily the other day.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I believe that we should in public life, whether you’re in the Administration or the Congress, de-politicize crises and work together to figure out what happened, what we can do to prevent it, and then put into place both the institutional changes and the budgetary changes that are necessary. And the majority of the panelists in both the House and the Senate I thought were very constructive, asked sensible questions that deserved answers. But when someone tries to put it into a partisan lens, when they focus not on the fact that we had such a terrible event happening with four dead Americans, but instead what did somebody say on a Sunday morning talk show, that to me is not in keeping with the seriousness of the issue and the obligation we all have as public servants.

QUESTION: But do you regret – “What difference at this point does it make?” It has been so analyzed in the moments since you said it.

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, because I think that asking questions about talking points for a Sunday morning talk show, it’s really missing the point. The Accountability Review Board chaired by Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen didn’t pay any attention to that. They looked at what we could have done, what we have to do in order to prevent this in the future. And remember there have only been two of these accountability review boards for the time since 1988 ever made public. All the others have been classified. I believe in transparency. I said let the chips fall where they may, put it all out there. And I don’t want that to be politicized. I want it to serve as a framework for working together between the Administration and the Congress to keep our people safe.

QUESTION: So you stand by what you said?


QUESTION: To Syria. You’ve repeatedly said that President Assad needs to go.


QUESTION: Starting two years ago.


QUESTION: And yet 60,000 Syrians are dead and he is still in office.


QUESTION: What does it take for America to intervene?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we have been very actively involved. Until recently there was no credible opposition coalition, and I cannot stress strongly enough how important that is. You cannot even attempt a political solution if you don’t have a recognized force to counter the Assad regime. It took them off the hook. It gave the Russians and others who are still either supporting them or on the fence the ability to say, well, there’s no opposition. We worked very hard to help stand up such an opposition.

QUESTION: But is there a redline, Secretary Clinton?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the use of chemical weapons, President Obama has said, is a redline. But I think if you look at the Administration’s effort on the political front, on the UN front where we still believe that we need to get Security Council action, on the humanitarian front – the President just announced more than $100 million more in humanitarian aid – we have been very productive players in trying to deal with an extremely complex problem.

QUESTION: Secretary Panetta recently told my colleague Martha Raddatz that Assad had chemical weapons ready to go, locked and loaded, ready to go. The redline used to be when he moved those chemical weapons, and now would the U.S. actually permit him to use them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, no. And President Obama has been very clear about that. And I think it’s also important to look at this conflict which, yes, has horrifically developed and cost the lives of so many thousands of Syrians. But in all of my discussions with many of the countries in the region and beyond, everyone is facing the same dilemma. It is very hard to train and equip opposition fighters. It is very hard to know who is going to emerge from this, and making the wrong bet could have very severe consequences. So there are certain positions and actions we’ve taken, and we’ve also laid down the redline on chemical weapons because that could have far-reaching effects beyond even the street-to-street fighting that is so terrible to watch. And it could also affect other countries.

QUESTION: The Administration has been criticized by some for having what has been referred to as an ad hoc foreign policy, a sort of whack-a-mole foreign policy. What is the Obama doctrine as you understand it in regards to foreign policy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Reassert American leadership politically and economically in the face of a very severe crisis that we inherited and which called into question American leadership. Look for every way you can to bring together coalitions so that, yes, America will and must lead. It is the indispensible nation, but other countries have to step up and start taking responsibility and they are beginning to do that. We saw that certainly in Libya. We’re seeing it in other places in Africa and beyond.

Make it clear that while we have to deal with the crises we need to take steps back and figure out more clearly what the consequences of actions that we and others are taking. We’ve been subject over the last 30 or 40 years to a lot of actions taken by the United States from the Vietnam war to the war in Iraq that have had unintended consequences that have threatened us. We want to be more thoughtful and careful about the interventions that we make.

And finally, don’t lose the trend lines. While we are focused on the immediate crises and the longer term challenges, there are a lot of forces at work in the world, whether it is a change in technology which has such profound effects on how we exercise all forms of our power, whether it is women and girls, the roles and rights that they have, and the fact that where they do have equality and dignity, you’re likely to have more stable societies and more prosperous economies.

Look at climate change. Don’t put your head in the sand. Understand that it’s going to have profound effects on our resources and so much else.

So I believe that what we’ve done is to pioneer the new diplomacy, taking the best and continuing the traditions of, yes, government-to-government negotiations, whether it’s a trade treaty or a peace treaty, but also expanding our aperture so that we understand that the United States must tell its story better, must connect with young people better, must stand for our values more strongly. And I think by doing that we’ve positioned ourselves for leadership in the 21st century.

QUESTION: So there’s no daylight between the Obama doctrine and the Hillary Clinton doctrine?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’ve been a major part of helping to shape it and to implement it, and I think it will stand the test of time. That doesn’t mean that, just like any administration, you don’t struggle with these difficult issues. You talked about Syria. It’s a really wicked problem, as people say. But we have to take a very large view and put everything into context.

QUESTION: Saturday morning —


QUESTION: — what happens?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I hope I get to sleep in. (Laughter.) I’m thinking about that because it will be the first time in many years when I’ve got no office to go to, no schedule to keep, no work to do. That will probably last a few days, and then I will be up and going with my new projects.

QUESTION: Madeleine Albright famously said that reading the paper became a different kind of enterprise when she was no longer Secretary of State.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m sure that’s true, Cynthia. Any kind of news coverage, I feel a sense of responsibility all the time. I’m always referring pieces to my staff: What are we going to do about this? How did this happen? What do you know about this? And now I won’t be doing that, but I’ll still be thinking it.

QUESTION: I know how close you were with your mother.


QUESTION: What do you think she’d be most proud of?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, one of the great things about my mother is that she really valued people’s character more than what they did. She was proud of me, proud of my husband certainly, but she kept herself engaged in part by really relating to people, all kinds of people. And I’d like to think that she would think I’ve done a good job but that I’ve also kept trying to be a good person. That was her real standard for us and for people that she knew and cared about.

QUESTION: North Korea has nuclear weapons. Iran is moving quickly in that direction. How concerned should Americans be, and how effective has the Obama Administration been in stopping it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think Americans should be concerned and I think that the Obama Administration has made real strides, number one, in bringing together the international community. I faced real skepticism when I started talking to a lot of countries about what we needed to do to try to sanction the Iranian regime in order to get the message across to them that they had to give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons. We were able to overcome those hurdles. We have the toughest sanctions; they’re making an effect.

Similarly with North Korea, we’ve just brought together the international community, including China, in a new set of sanctions concerning the missile program. Nobody is satisfied with what these two countries are attempting to do, but we have to keep a coalition of concerned countries together in the Gulf and the broader region around Iran, which are the ones most at risk if this pursuit continues and succeeds, and in Northeast Asia. Our policy with Iran is prevention. The President has made that very clear. We’ve taken no option off the table and we are pursuing diplomatic efforts, but there’s a timetable to this. You can’t do it just for the sake of doing it. And with respect to North Korea, we’ve made it very clear to the North Koreans and to everybody in the region that if North Korea pursues their missile and nuclear weapon program, we would consider that a threat to the United States and would have to take very tough action.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you so much for talking to us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Cynthia. Good to talk to you.

QUESTION: As Jefferson looks over our shoulder, who I would only point out was Secretary of State who went on to become President.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’ve heard that. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Thank you.

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