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A 3D Approach to Foreign Policy

2011 February 11

SFCG partner Lisa Schirch, Director of 3D Security Initiative, has an interesting article in the Huffington Post on the recently released CPRF 3D Report that was created a joint project of Search for Common Ground, 3D Security and a consortium of think tanks and universities.

To some, a 3D approach means orienting all elements of national power around short-term political and security goals, defined by a very narrow interpretation of what constitutes US national interests. On the ground in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Colombia, this means orienting development and diplomatic efforts toward counterinsurgency military efforts. As a result, USAID dollars get spent in nations and communities where insurgency is growing rather than where development is most needed or possible. In this view, the Department of Defense “pushes a plough at the tip of a spear.”

Many civil society groups shudder at the concept of a 3D or whole-of-government approach: for them, it has come to mean navigating a quagmire of hijacked NGOs and development dollars to fight the war on terror. They point to ever-increasing violence against humanitarian aid workers and shrinking humanitarian space, along with the increasingly blurry lines between civil society, political and military personnel and goals.

NGOs rightly resist being used as implementers in someone else’s foreign policy strategy–especially when the strategy has little to do with principled poverty reduction and sustainable peace and development.

Thankfully, this is not the only model of a comprehensive approach to foreign policy. Ideally, a 3D approach to foreign policy means a more balanced budgeting of resources among development, diplomacy and defense; while bringing all elements of national power to issues of civilian protection and the broader human security of people and communities.

Read the rest of her article here.

Be sure to check out the CPRF Final Report. It’s a wonderful resource for a multi-lateral approach to security, development and peacbuilding.

What does a 3D approach mean to you?


2 Responses leave one →
  1. February 13, 2011

    Just where is the facebook like link ?

    • February 18, 2011

      Hmm, we don’t have a Facebook “like” link although there is the option to share this on your facebook as well as the internal wordpress “like” button–but that is a good idea. We’ll look into that.

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