Thursday, February 25, 2010

“Focused Reorganization” of the “T” Bureau is On

Laura Rozen over at Politico talks about the proposed restoration of the arms control bureau (State moves to restore arms control bureau): 

Following a GAO report blasting a 2005 reorganization of the State Arms Control and International Security bureau, the State Department’s "T" bureau is circulating plans and soliciting feedback on a proposed reorganization of the bureau to beef up its arms control focus and staffing.

Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher held a town hall meeting this morning to kick off the effort which over a 100 employees attended. The memo is also being circulated on the Hill.
The bureau has about 600 employees in three divisions – Verification, Compliance and Implementation (VCI) headed by Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control and Verification Rose Gottemoeller; International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), currently lead by acting Assistant Secretary Van Van Diepen; and Political-Military Affairs (PM), headed by Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro.
The proposed re-vamp would essentially move more arms control people and functionality to Gottemoeller’s shop, which would be renamed “Arms Control, Verification and Compliance,” (from the Bolton-era VCI, sans the arms control, of which Joseph and the past administration were largely skeptical). It would also move a fewer number of people from Gottemoeller’s division to ISN, the more sanctions and verification-oriented shop. (State is supporting veteran arms control hand Steve Mull, currently an aide to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns, for the A/S ISN job, but the appointment is still languishing at the White House). Pol-Mil would be unaffected by the proposed changes.

“The specific muscle movements between bureaus and rationalization of offices … would be small, targeted and discreet,” the State Department official said.

Josh Rogin of The Cable has more on this in Clinton rolls back Bolton-era arms control shakeup (FP | February 24):
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday announced plans to reorganize the "T" bureau at the State Department, seeking to roll back changes made by former Under Secretary John Bolton during George W. Bush's presidency.

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher, who leads the T bureau, explained the rationale in a town-hall meeting with about 200 staffers Wednesday morning.

"Arms control, verification, compliance, and nonproliferation will no longer be starved for resources; quite the contrary, these missions along with our political-military efforts will be adequately resourced and well-staffed with first rate professionals," she told her personnel. "The proven and time-tested tools of arms control have been seriously underutilized, if not neglected, by the United States, and nonproliferation efforts have at times lacked focus and follow-through. This dysfunctional approach culminated in the 2005 reorganization."
The 2005 reorganization consolidated three bureaus into two, joining arms control and nonproliferation together into the ISN bureau, in what was then touted as a streamlining measure. A 2009 GAO report said that State was never able to demonstrate that the changes produced any benefits. Current officials saw the move as a way to marginalize both efforts.

HRC’s letter to the “T” staff and management says: “We are undertaking a focused reorganization of the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation and the Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation. The goals of this reorganization are to realign the missions of the VCI and ISN bureaus to better leverage their support for key national security objectives and to create dedicated organizational advocates for (1) arms control and verification and compliance, and (2) nonproliferation.”

I have written previously about the “T” bureau in 2009.  I don’t know what to say – be prepared to move desk?

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