State Dept Mulls Removing Democracy From Mission Statement

Draft Statement Still Points to Interventionist Foreign Policy

In the course of their broad restructuring of the State Department, the Executive Steering Committee has revealed in an internal email that the formal mission statement for both State and USAID is going to be revised, with draft versions being circulated around the office for comment.

While the draft statement still talks up America’s “global advocacy, action, and assistance,” suggesting a very interventionist viewpoint, it removes language from the past version about creating a “just, and democratic world” as being a priority.

Former Reagan-era State Department official Elliott Abrams was very critical of the move, saying that the removal of justice and democracy were the only significant changes, suggesting the US doesn’t want those things anymore.

It might simply suggest those aren’t going to be used as pretexts for future US interventions abroad, however, potentially reflective of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s viewpoint that American values need to take a back seat to national security interests that are often directly contrary to them.

While the change is a rather significant public change, it’s not necessarily going to signal broad policy changes for the US, but rather might save the State Department a lot of effort in trying to spinning America’s often overtly anti-democratic policies, like backing Egypt’s military junta, as in line with their mission statement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.