The POLAD program is advancing interagency cooperation between State and Defense—but is it ready for a carrier strike group?
As the need to form a unified front to address the challenges faced by both the military and the Foreign Service grows, the Departments of State and Defense continue to reach out to one another in the interest of collaboration. The Department of State’s Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) program is a response to the increasing demand for the interagency cooperation necessary to successfully pursue the missions of both departments, with what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called “more cross-fertilization, more interchange.” 1 To date, however, the POLAD program’s reach into the Navy remains limited to the upper echelons. A recent push to broaden the POLAD program has sought to again expand the relationship with the Navy, and connect carrier strike groups with invaluable foreign-policy advisors. The question is, will it work?