Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered his department to redefine its mission and issue a new statement of purpose to the world. The draft statements under review right now are similar to the old mission statement, except for one thing — any mention of promoting democracy is being eliminated.
According to an internal email that went out Friday, which I obtained, the State Department’s Executive Steering Committee convened a meeting of leaders to draft new statements on the department’s purpose, mission and ambition, as part of the overall reorganization of the State Department and USAID. (The draft statements were being circulated for comment Friday and could change before being finalized.)
Compare that to the State Department Mission Statement that is currently on the books, as laid out in the department’s fiscal year 2016 financial report:
- The State Department’s draft statement on its purpose is: “We promote the security, prosperity and interests of the American people globally.”
- The State Department’s draft statement on its mission is: “Lead America’s foreign policy through global advocacy, action and assistance to shape a safer, more prosperous world.”
- The State Department’s draft statement on its ambition is: “The American people thrive in a peaceful and interconnected world that is free, resilient and prosperous.”
“The Department’s mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. This mission is shared with the USAID, ensuring we have a common path forward in partnership as we invest in the shared security and prosperity that will ultimately better prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow.”
Former senior State Department officials from both parties told me that eliminating “just” and “democratic” from the State Department’s list of desired outcomes is neither accidental nor inconsequential.
“The only significant difference is the deletion of justice and democracy,” said Elliott Abrams, who served as deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy during the George W. Bush administration. “We used to want a just and democratic word, and now apparently we don’t.”
But we sure like your money. Morality, after all, doesn't pay the bills for multinationals like ExxonMobil. Note the repetition of the word "prosperous/prosperity" in the new State Department mission statement.
Hey now, you're a rock star, get your game on, get paid.