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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explains the history and role of diplomacy in advancing U.S. interests. The State Department is discussed as the primary actor in American diplomacy. The rise of multilateral diplomacy in the 20th century is examined along with the continued applicability of bilateral approaches. The State Department’s role in forming and implementing policy, in coordination with other government agencies, is outlined as well as its role in development assistance, consular affairs, and public diplomacy. The increased role of transnational issues, including human rights, religious freedom, arms control, and nonproliferation is outlined. The structure, funding and career paths of Foreign Service officers is examined, and the increasing use of diplomats alongside the U.S. military in combat zones in recent decades. The chapter highlights the limited resources that the United States commits to diplomacy when compared with military activities.

Keywords: national security, diplomacy, State Department, foreign service, civil service

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