As Americans continue to debate the cost and importance of our country’s participation on the world stage, it is more important than ever to understand just what the men and women of the U.S. State Department really do. Thankfully, two new podcast series offer listeners an inside look into how America’s diplomats advance and defend U.S. national interests around the world.
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.
At the recent NATO summit, much time was spent discussing whether America’s allies spend enough on defense. At a time when many of today’s global challenges do not have military solutions alone – from pandemics like Ebola to refugees driven by famines and conflicts – how does the debate shift if we consider not just military spending but spending on global development?
In recent weeks, some of our nation’s top military leaders—the heads of the regional Combatant Commands—have testified on Capitol Hill. Speaking about the threats they face around the world, every Commander stressed that the State Department...
With mounting challenges overseas– from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, to devastating famines, to tension with North Korea – this year has shown us that American global leadership is more important now than ever before. And as the year draws to a close, we’ve rounded up our top ten blogs of 2017 – the inspiring stories of U.S. foreign assistance, it’s impact around the world and here at home.
2017 brought a steady stream of challenges and changes to U.S. foreign policy and development assistance – from a new Administration taking the reins, to a budget proposal that sent shockwaves through Washington, to a steady drumbeat of support for American global leadership. We’ve gathered 12 of the top stories from the past year – one from each month – that you won’t want to miss.
During Vice President Pence’s recent trip to Latin America, he commented on the situation in Venezuela by saying “we’re seeing the tragedy of tyranny play out before our eyes.” In his speech, Pence highlighted the sharp contrast between the U.S. allies and partners he visited – such as Colombia – with the increasingly isolated Venezuela.
As former Secretary of Defense Gates has said, “You would find…extraordinary support across the entire Defense Department” for the State Department “and for their budget,” a fact that been made readily apparent over the last month. In written and oral testimony in Congress, our military’s most senior officers have made it clear that the Administration’s proposed cuts would not only make their jobs harder, but that a strong, fully resourced International Affairs Budget is vital to an effective national security strategy.
Last week, the Pentagon issued a security warning to commercial shipping companies regarding international piracy—following a recent spike in attacks off the coast of Somalia. While this should cause American shipping companies to be on high alert with nearly one-third of the world’s commercial ships passing through this region, it is perhaps more indicative of how closely tied global security is to the world’s current humanitarian emergencies.