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America’s Foreign Policy And National Security Will Be Stronger If Our Professionals Reflect The Totality Of Our Society

Thought Leader,
Foreign Policy
President, CORLA
October 2023

World demographic shifts in conjunction with increasingly complex global security concerns warrant significant U.S. foreign policy changes. The United States will need to work with an immense range of people around the world to combat today’s most pressing national and international security concerns. Additionally, America will be better positioned against adversaries if we bring the totality of our national talent to respond to international threats.  

A series of global trends make it necessary for the United States to work with all sorts of people and partners on the world stage. Demographic shifts across the globe including population booms in South Asia and Africa coupled with population aging in Latin America, Europe, and East Asia are going to have significant impacts on U.S. foreign policy. America will need new partners to be best positioned if we leverage the totality of our workforce to engage in this new age.  

If the United States is to enact lasting impact over its foreign adversaries, it is critical that America’s foreign policy professionals have the skills necessary to work with and within different cultural societies. America is a country of immigrants and descendants from many walks of life, and we should incorporate as many diverse perspectives, life experiences, and language skills as possible into our foreign policy agencies (i.e., State Department, USAID, and the NSA). Such an action will place the country in a better position to preserve our interests abroad. 

Diversity is America’s greatest asset

The United States population is diverse. Former U.S. Secretary of State, General Colin Powell once remarked that for the United States, diversity is a “source of strength and success.” General Powell understood that the future of the State Department was dependent upon the full participation of all members of America’s society.  It is well known that most U.S. foreign policy agencies (i.e., State Department, USAID, NSA, etc.) need to do a better job of reflecting the country as a whole. It would be to our advantage to send a broader cadre of diplomats and foreign service officers abroad.

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