Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice outlined a broad vision for the future of American diplomacy during a speech Wednesday morning at O’Donovan Hall, calling for increased participation in emerging states as part of U.S. efforts to spread democracy worldwide.

Rice echoed calls by President Bush to pursue democratic freedoms in totalitarian regimes across the globe. This ideal has been a theme of Bush’s presidency, especially after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“President Bush has outlined the historic calling of our time,” Rice said. “We on the right side of freedom’s divide have a responsibility to help all people who find themselves on the wrong side of that divide.”

Rice, who replaced Colin Powell as the nation’s top diplomat last January, advocated the Bush administration’s policy, which she dubbed “transformational democracy,” by comparing the challenges facing democracy in the world today to those that America confronted after World War II.

“In the aftermath of World War II, as the Cold War hardened into place, we turned our diplomatic focus to Europe and parts of Asia,” Rice said. “Our diplomacy was instrumental in transforming devastated countries into thriving democratic allies.”

Like the changes that took place in Germany and Japan in the aftermath of the war, Rice said that the challenges facing the democratic world today will not be resolved quickly.

“Like the great changes of the past, the new efforts we undertake today will not be completed quickly,” Rice said. “Transforming our diplomacy and transforming the State Department is the work of a generation, but it is urgent work that must begin.”

Rice discussed several specific measures that she believed would allow America to achieve its ultimate foreign policy initiatives She identified the reallocation of American diplomatic forces to up-and-coming nations around the world as a key component of her plan.

“To advance transformational diplomacy, we are and we must change our diplomatic posture,” Rice said. “In the 21st century, emerging nations like India and China and Brazil and Egypt and Indonesia and South Africa are increasingly shaping the course of history. At the same time, the new front lines of our diplomacy are appearing more clearly, in transitional countries of Africa and of Latin America and of the Middle East.”

Rice also outlined new initiatives designed to develop what she called “regional partnerships.” Among these was “American Presence Posts,” a plan to allow experienced diplomats to expand diplomatic contact in foreign nations by moving out of American embassies into other areas of the country. Rice said that this program has already been enacted in Egypt and Indonesia.

Rice applauded recent overhauls within her department as an important step towards allowing it to achieve its agenda. In December, President Bush created the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization, a department aimed at improving coordination, planning and implementation for reconstruction and stabilization within the State Department

“Should a state fail in the future, we want the men and the women of this office to be able to spring into action quickly,” Rice said.

Rice later dealt with issues of cooperation between U.S. diplomats and the nation’s military, expressing regret that the armed forces have met with post-conflict problems that she said should be resolved using diplomatic means.

“This was true in Somalia and Haiti, in Bosnia, in Kosovo, and it is still partially true in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Rice concluded her remarks by saying that, although the road towards global democratization may be a long one, America will achieve peace and prosperity if it stays the course.

“Democracy is hard and democracy takes time, but democracy is always worth it.”

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