The Policy Machine: The Department of State and American Foreign Policy

The Policy Machine: The Department of State and American Foreign Policy

The Policy Machine: The Department of State and American Foreign Policy

The Policy Machine: The Department of State and American Foreign Policy

Excerpt

Americans normally know the Department of State -- if at all -- through its voice, the rather abstract policy declarations which emanate from it in endless stream, without understanding the Department's flesh and bones, its organization, processes, and personnel in a government-wide setting. Attempting to make the policy-making procedures and related problems of such a complicated mechanism as the Department "come alive" for the lay reader or student -- members of what Gabriel Almond has called the "attentive public" -- has been a challenging task. I am still not certain that it has been or can be accomplished successfully.

No individual or research group can "catch" the Department and portray or analyze it in down-to-earth, human terms on a single day, yet its parts are continuously changing names or modifying their relationships to each other. Fortunately, certain basic elements of the policy-making process remain a bit more constant. It is some of these essential parts of the whole which have been selected for description and analysis. If there remains a plethora of detail, a portion of which is likely to be outdated in time, its inclusion was deemed necessary. The Department officer who is perhaps most knowledgeable in the field of study covered by the book occasionally lectures middle-grade officer groups at the Foreign Service Institute with the following admonition: "Be sure you pave the road to your conclusions with as much solid fact as possible and avoid the running broad-jump approach." I have tried to heed this excellent advice.

I do apologize for making only passing mention of certain organizational elements of the Department which are of considerable importance, such as the Bureaus of International Organization Affairs and Economic Affairs. And, I would have liked to say more about the role of higher-ranking officers in the Department from the Assistant Secre-

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