United States Department of State

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Climate, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Strategy, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

    Saddling Posterity with Debt

“We believe–or we act as if we believed–that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority.”

~Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1813



US Debt Clock



United States Department of State


United States Department of State


Department of State History


“…Department of State and Other International Programs

The United States needs to renew its leadership role in the world. The 2010 budget for the Department of State and Other International Programs aims to increase foreign aid to help education children in some of the poorest nations, increase global food supply and security, and stabilize post-conflict areas.  The budge also includes an increase in funding for global health programs and non-military assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan. No exact numbers are given in the budget as to where the money will go. There is a very large discretionary budget.

Department of STate

Plan highlights

Foreign Policy Goals

  • Increase funding for global health programs that commbat HIV/AIDs, malaria and TB – no specific amount given
  • Funding the first year of a multi year counterterrorism and law enforcement program – no specific amount given
  • Promotion of safe civilian uses of nuclear energy – no specific amount given

International Support

  • Expansion of diplomatic and development ties by increasing the number of state and USAID Foreign services officers – no specific amount given



“… Department of State

The Department of State plays the lead role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. Major responsibilities include United States representation abroad, foreign assistance, foreign military training programs, countering international crime, and a wide assortment of services to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals seeking entrance to the U.S.

The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with approximately 180 countries — each posted by civilian U.S. Foreign Service employees — as well as with international organizations. At home, more than 5,000 civil employees carry out the mission of the Department.

The Secretary of State serves as the President’s top foreign policy adviser, and oversees 30,000 employees and a budget of approximately $35 billion.



United States Department of State

“…The United States Department of State (often referred to as the State Department), is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries. The Department was created in 1789 and was the first executive department established.

The Department is headquartered in the Harry S. Truman Building located at 2201 C Street, NW, a few blocks from the White House in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The Department operates the diplomatic missions of the United States abroad and responsible for implementing the foreign policy of the United States and U.S. diplomacy efforts.

The Department is led by the Secretary of State, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet. The Secretary of State is the first Cabinet official in the order of precedence and in the presidential line of succession (fourth overall, after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the President pro tempore of the Senate). The current Secretary of State is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The U.S. Constitution, drafted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1787 and ratified by the states the following year, gave the President the responsibility for the conduct of the nation’s foreign relations. It soon became clear, however, that an executive department was necessary to support the President in the conduct of the affairs of the new federal government.

The House of Representatives and Senate approved legislation to establish a Department of Foreign Affairs on July 21, 1789, and President Washington signed it into law on July 27, making the Department of Foreign Affairs the first Federal agency to be created under the new Constitution. This legislation remains the basic law of the Department of State. In September 1789, additional legislation changed the name of the agency to the Department of State and assigned to it a variety of domestic duties.

These responsibilities grew to include management of the United States Mint, keeper of the Great Seal of the United States, and the taking of the census. President George Washington signed the new legislation on September 15. Most of these domestic duties of the Department of State were eventually turned over to various new Federal departments and agencies that were established during the 19th century.

On September 29, 1789, President Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, then Minister to France, to be the first United States Secretary of State, although John Jay had been serving in that capacity as a holdover from the Confederation since before Washington had taken office and would continue in that capacity until Jefferson would return from Europe many months later.

The Executive Branch and the U.S. Congress have constitutional responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy. Within the Executive Branch, the Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, and its head, the Secretary of State, is the President’s principal foreign policy advisor, though other officials or individuals may have more influence on their foreign policy decisions. The Department advances U.S. objectives and interests in the world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. The Department also supports the foreign affairs activities of other U.S. Government entities including the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency (specifically, the Special Activities Division), and the U.S. Agency for International Development. It also provides an array of important services to U.S. citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the U.S.

All foreign affairs activities—U.S. representation abroad, foreign assistance programs, countering international crime, foreign military training programs, the services the Department provides, and more—are paid for by the foreign affairs budget, which represents little more than 1% of the total federal budget, or about 12 cents a day ($44 a year) for each American citizen. As stated by the Department of State, its purpose includes:

  • Protecting and assisting U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad;
  • Assisting U.S. businesses in the international marketplace;
  • Coordinating and providing support for international activities of other U.S. agencies (local, state, or federal government), official visits overseas and at home, and other diplomatic efforts.
  • Keeping the public informed about U.S. foreign policy and relations with other countries and providing feedback from the public to administration officials.
  • Providing automobile registration for non-diplomatic staff vehicles and the vehicles of diplomats of foreign countries having diplomatic immunity in the United States.

The Department of State conducts these activities with a civilian workforce, and normally uses the Foreign Service personnel system for positions that require service abroad. Employees may be assigned to diplomatic missions abroad to represent America, analyze and report on political, economic, and social trends; adjudicate visas; and respond to the needs of American citizens abroad. The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with about 180 countries and maintains relations with many international organizations, adding up to a total of more than 250 posts around the world. In the United States, about 5,000 professional, technical, and administrative employees work compiling and analyzing reports from overseas, providing logistical support to posts, communicating with the American public, formulating and overseeing the budget, issuing passports and travel warnings, and more. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Department of State works in close coordination with other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Commerce. As required by the principle of checks and balances, the Department also consults with Congress about foreign policy initiatives and policies.


United States Secretary of State: Chief executive officer of the Department of State, member of the United States Cabinet, answers directly to the President of the United States. Secretary of State organizes and supervises the entire department and its staff:

  • United States Deputy Secretary of State: The Deputy Secretary (with the Chief of Staff, Executive Secretariat, and the Undersecretary for Management) assists the Secretary in the overall management of the department. Reporting to the Deputy Secretary are the six undersecretaries and the counselor, along with several staff offices:
    • Chief of Staff
    • Executive Secretariat
    • Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (which produces the Country Reports on Terrorism)
    • Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization
    • National Foreign Affairs Training Center (which houses the Foreign Service Institute)
    • Information Programs
    • Office of the Legal Adviser
    • Office of Management Policy
    • Office of Protocol
    • Office of the Science and Technology Adviser
    • Office of War Crimes Issues
    • Bureau of Intelligence and Research
    • Bureau of Legislative Affairs
    • Bureau of Resource Management
  • Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs: The third-ranking State Department official. Becomes Acting Secretary in the absence of the Secretary of State and Deputy Secretary of State. This position is responsible for bureaus, headed by Assistant Secretaries, coordinating American diplomacy around the world:
    • Bureau of African Affairs
    • Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    • Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
    • Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
    • Bureau of International Organization Affairs
    • Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
    • Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
    • Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
  • Under Secretary of State for Management[1]: The principal adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on matters relating to the allocation and use of Department’s budget, physical property, and personnel. This position is responsible for bureaus, headed by Assistant Secretaries, planning the day-to-day administration of the Department and proposing institutional reform and modernization:
Hierarchy of the U.S State Department. Click the image to enlarge.
    • Bureau of Administration
      • Office of Allowances
      • Office of Authentication
      • Language Services
      • Office of Logistics Management
      • Office of Overseas Schools
      • Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
      • Office of Multi-Media Services
      • Office of Directives Management
      • Office of Commissary and Recreation Affairs
      • Office of the Procurement Executive
    • Bureau of Consular Affairs
    • Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS)
      • U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)
      • Office of Foreign Missions
    • Bureau of Human Resources
    • Bureau of Information Resource Management
    • Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations
    • Director of Diplomatic Reception Rooms
    • Foreign Service Institute
    • Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation
    • Office of Medical Services
    • Office of White House Liaison
  • Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs: The senior economic advisor for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on international economic policy. This position is responsible for bureaus, headed by Assistant Secretaries, dealing with trade, agriculture, aviation, and bilateral trade relations with America’s economic partners:
    • Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs
  • Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs: This Undersecretary leads functions that were formerly assigned to the United States Information Agency but were integrated into the State Department by the 1999 reorganization. This position manages units that handle the department’s public communications and seek to burnish the image of the United States around the world:
    • Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
      • Internet Access and Training Program
    • Bureau of Public Affairs
      • Office of The Historian
    • Bureau of International Information Programs
  • Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs: This Undersecretary coordinates the Department’s role in U.S. military assistance. Since the 1996 reorganization, this Undersecretary also oversees the functions of the formerly independent Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
    • Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
    • Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
    • Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
  • Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs: The office of Undersecretary of Global Affairs was created by the Clinton Administration to manage diplomatic efforts on emerging worldwide issues, such as the environment, that could not be addressed at the bilateral or regional level. The office was renamed Democracy and Global Affairs in 2005, reflecting an increased focus on democracy promotion in American foreign policy.[2]
    • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
    • Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
    • Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
    • Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
  • Counselor: Ranking with the Under Secretaries, the Counselor is the Secretary’s and Deputy Secretary’s special advisor and consultant on major problems of foreign policy. The Counselor provides guidance to the appropriate bureaus with respect to such matters, conducts special international negotiations and consultations, and undertakes special assignments from time to time as directed by the Secretary.
  • Office of Global AIDS Coordinator: President’s main task force to combat global AIDS The Global AIDS Coordinator reports directly to the Secretary of State.

Since the 1996 reorganization, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), while leading an independent agency, has also reported to the Secretary of State, as does the United States Ambassador to the United Nations (also known as the Permanent Representative). …”


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