In recent weeks, our nation’s top national security experts – the military leaders of America’s combatant commands – briefed Congress on the national security threats facing the United States. While the challenges of great power competition from China and Russia were central to their testimonies, they also highlighted threats that require investing in development and diplomacy to keep America safe by addressing the drivers of extremism and instability, building allies and partner capacity, and promoting American values and diplomatic solutions to conflict.
1992 was the “Year of the Woman.” America saw a record number of women elected to 106th U.S. Congress. One of those new members was Marjorie Margolies, the first woman elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in her own right. I spoke with Congresswoman Margolies— who founded nonprofit Women’s Campaign International after serving in Washington— about the implications of this new era in women’s empowerment, not only for the United States, but for communities around the world.
There’s new hope this week for the tens of millions of trafficked and enslaved persons around the world as new bipartisan legislation has been signed into law in an effort to fight sex and labor trafficking both here at home and abroad. The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act, championed by Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Karen Bass (D-CA) and signed by President Trump on Tuesday, is designed to further the U.S. fight against modern slavery.
The newly-minted 116th Congress boasts the youngest freshman class in history. And as a record number of millennial lawmakers have taken their seats in Washington for the first time this month, a question arises: where will this new generation of lawmakers choose to focus their attention? These members of Congress may have just begun calling their votes, but new information suggests that how they prioritize American leadership on the world stage could be quite different from some of their elder peers. A recent study sheds light on the foreign policy interests of younger Americans.
As the partial government shutdown extends into its third week, federal agencies – including the State Department and USAID – are feeling the very real effects of the furloughs. And with the consequences of a prolonged shutdown still unclear, Ambassador Karl Hofmann, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Togo and a career diplomat, explains how the ongoing shutdown is impacting America’s diplomatic and development capabilities right now.
With time running out for Congress to meet a midnight funding deadline, the possibility of a partial government shutdown looms large. And though many in Washington are holding out hope for a last-minute deal to keep much of the government – including the State Department and USAID – open, it’s worth taking a look at how a shutdown would impact America’s diplomatic and development programs overseas.
According to Elephants Without Borders, an organization that conducts an elephant census for the Botswana government every four years, there has been a major increase in poaching in the region from previous years. In their 2014 census, the organization reported nine poached elephants. This year, while only halfway through the census, 87 dead have already been found.
The BUILD Act – which proposes a new International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) that would double the financing authority of the existing Overseas Private Investment Corporation – passed in the House and out of committee in the Senate with broad bipartisan support. This is remarkable in today’s Washington and a step that has been widely applauded. As we approach the finish line, the hard part lies ahead: how do we ensure it is implemented well? How can we ensure a newly empowered IDFC has the greatest development impact? How do we promote strong coordination between the IDFC and other U.S. development agencies?
Ridding the world of modern slavery and human trafficking will require a coordinated and sustained global effort – an effort that has already attracted an unlikely cast of champions – from Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate to West Wing advisors and Hollywood celebrities.
This week, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced that a deadly new outbreak of Ebola has spread to Mbandaka, a large city in the DRC with a population of over one million. As news of the outbreak spread, the White House announced its intention to rescind approximately $252 million in U.S. funding for the fight against Ebola.