THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE
A FEW MINUTES AFTER James F. Collins was sworn in as ambassador to the Russian Federation on September 2, 1997, he stepped to the microphone in the State Department's ceremonial Ben Franklin room to tell colleagues, friends, and family members how he intended to approach the job.
He said he planned to concentrate on four areas of special concern in the bilateral relationship: preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, restructuring the post-Soviet economy, reinforcing democracy, and focusing on what he called "the issues of the future, not the issues of the past," such as combating international organized crime and protecting the environment. "These are problems we cannot solve on our own," Collins said.
When a career diplomat such as Collins, embarking on the ambassadorship to a country that had been America's preeminent security threat for half a century, included crime and the environment on his agenda, it was a sign that Albright was beginning to succeed in imposing the Clinton administration's hierarchy of global concerns on a recalcitrant State Department bureaucracy. Over time, this could be her most durable legacy.
To Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Madeleine Albright, and their closest advisers, it is an article of faith that the fall of the Berlin Wall, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War required a corresponding restructuring of the purposes and objectives of American diplomacy. They believe that the old security