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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 14, 2005

Statement on Presidential Directive on U.S. Efforts for Reconstruction and Stabilization

On December 7, President Bush issued a new Presidential directive to empower the Secretary of State to improve coordination, planning, and implementation for reconstruction and stabilization assistance for foreign states and regions at risk of, in, or in transition from conflict or civil strife. These improved capabilities should enable the U.S. to help governments abroad exercise sovereignty over their own territories and to prevent those territories from being used as a base of operations or safe haven for extremists, terrorists, organized crime groups, or others who pose a threat to U.S. foreign policy, security, or economic interests.

The directive establishes that the Secretary of State shall coordinate and lead integrated United States Government efforts, involving all U.S. Departments and Agencies with relevant capabilities, to prepare, plan for, and conduct stabilization and reconstruction activities. Depending on the situation, these operations can be conducted with or without U.S. military engagement. When the U.S. military is involved, the Secretary of State shall coordinate such efforts with the Secretary of Defense to ensure harmonization with any planned or ongoing U.S. military operations across the spectrum of conflict. The United States shall work with other countries and organizations, to anticipate state failure, avoid it whenever possible, and respond quickly and effectively when necessary and appropriate to promote peace, security, development, democratic practices, market economies, and the rule of law.

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