A New CR

September 15, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

The House released a continuing resolution late Wednesday evening to keep the government running after the September 30 deadline and allow House and Senate negotiators to reach an agreement for final FY12 appropriations.  The CR would provide funding at $1.043 trillion, 1.4% below current spending levels, as agreed to in the August debt ceiling deal.  The CR expires November 18, one week before the November 23 deadline for the Super Committee to make its recommendations for long-term deficit reduction.  Leaders in both chambers hope to pass the bill by the end of next week before the planned recess the last week of September.   This morning, USGLC National Security Advisory Council members General Michael Hagee and Admiral James Loy published an op-ed in The Hill. Following up on their open letter to the Supercommittee and Hill visits by key generals yesterday, General Hagee and Admiral Loy write “With the global challenges we face today, not adequately funding our international affairs programs is a shortsighted choice that will only cost us more in the long run.”

Must Reads

USGLC In the News

Super Committee: Keep us save with strong global leadership (General Michael Hagee, USMC (Ret.) and Admiral James Loy, USCG (Ret.), The Hill)

There is no greater privilege than serving your country, and we both proudly wore our uniforms for four decades. In our combined 80 years of service, we worked to keep this nation safe and secure. Today we recognize our nation is in a different kind of danger with a massive debt and tough budget choices will have to be made.  One thing we cannot afford to shortchange, however, is our national security.  That’s why last week we wrote to congressional leaders urging them to protect the critical 1 percent of our federal budget that funds our international affairs programs. This investment is the backbone of America’s leadership in the world, supporting all of our development and diplomacy work around the globe.  Programs funded by the International Affairs Budget are cost effective solutions to stabilize dangerous regions, prevent conflicts before they start, and support the extraordinary efforts of our troops in the field.

Who’s In the News

George W. Bush, “back in the hood,” warns isolationism is “dangerous” (Nicholas Ballasy, The Daily Caller)

Former President George W. Bush was “back in the hood” on Tuesday to deliver an address on global health. Bush called isolationism “dangerous” and warned that the U.S. faces an “enemy that can only recruit when they find hopeless people.” “The challenge is that in some parts of the world and in some parts of our country, some are saying, ‘Is it worth it? Does it matter whether or not we help save a life on the continent of Africa? We’ve got our own problems here at home,’ they say. This is isolationism which is dangerous,” Bush told the “Summit to Save Lives” in Washington on Tuesday after joking that it’s “nice to be back in the hood.” “It’s dangerous because one of the lessons of September the 11th is what happens overseas matters here at home,” Bush continued. “When there’s hopelessness it affects the security of the United States of America. We face an enemy that can only recruit when they find hopeless people and there’s nothing more hopeless to a child who loses a mom or dad to AIDS to watch the wealth nations of the world sit back and do nothing. It is in our moral interests as a nation that we help deal with diseases.”

Smart Power

Lawmakers Shaping Palestine Plans in Advance of Possible UN Action (Emily Cadei and Jonathan Broder, CQ)

House members are toughening their rhetoric in advance of a possible United Nations vote to recognize a Palestinian state as early as next week, but a number of influential senators are taking a wait-and-see approach to the vote and lawmakers’ threat to cut off U.S. aid. “I would caution my House colleagues, let’s make sure we’re doing what’s best for our country and our national security,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sept. 13. Graham, the ranking member on the Appropriations subcommittee that funds foreign aid, said Congress will need to look at “the three lines of funding that come into the Palestinian Authority,” not only in light what happens at the United Nations, but also the reconciliation agreement signed by leaders of Palestinians’ moderate Fatah and militant Hamas parties in the spring.

Rwanda: Country’s Dependence on Foreign Aid Drops 45 Percent (The New Times)

Rwanda’s dependence on foreign aid fell from 86 per cent in 200 to 45 per cent in 2010, according to a new report from ActionAid, indicating the country’s steady recovery and increasing ability to foot its budget on domestic revenues. Dubbed “Real Aid 3”, the report demonstrates that Rwanda over the years used aid effectively to transform from a shattered economy to meet the socio-economic needs of its citizens.  Josephine Uwamariya, the Country Director of ActionAid Rwanda, said that although aid usually comes with strings attached, its quality usage enables countries to develop.  “These results show Rwanda is moving in the right direction and means that good quality aid works. It (aid) Makes governments answerable to their own citizens, rather than to the donors,” she said. “Real aid can help countries do things like raising tax revenues more effectively so they can generate more of their own funds for development.”

Education for all good for world (Phyllis AlRoy, The News of Cumberland County)

There is no single development intervention that can so radically and comprehensively change the course of a girl’s life as education. Educating girls has been shown to reduce their risk of HIV/AIDS, improve the health of women and their children, alleviate extreme poverty, delay early marriage, reduce female genital cutting, and increased girls’ self-confidence and decision-making power. And while primary education is critical, the full benefits are realized when girls continue through middle and high school. On average, for a girl in a poor country, each additional year of education beyond grades three or four will lead to 20 percent higher wages and a 10 percent decrease in the risk of her own children dying of preventable causes. Despite the urgent need to educate girls, the recently released USAID education strategy notes that USAID will withdraw funding and de-emphasize support for secondary education.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Sen. Paul Calls for Spending Offsets to Fund Emergency Disaster Assistance (The Cypress Times)

With the Senate expected to address providing additional funds for disaster aid soon, Sen. Rand Paul is calling for spending offsets from foreign aid to fund increased disaster assistance. Increasing federal funding for disaster assistance should be allocated without increasing our national debt – but rather through equal cuts in foreign spending. “When the issue of disaster-assistance funding is brought before the Senate, I plan to insist my fellow Senators take a long, hard look at where the funding comes from: Will it be more borrowing on the backs of our children and grandchildren, or will it be from the coffers of our numerous nation-building programs overseas? America’s priorities should come first,” Sen. Paul said.

IFAD President to African Union leaders: “Change must be cultivated from within” (Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD)

A conference on the crisis in the Horn of Africa sponsored by the African Union took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. African leaders discussed how to help the millions of people affected by the drought and resulting famine. This conference was a good sign and I commend the African Union for taking this initiative. As President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), I have said before that Africa should not wait for the international community to solve its problems. Africa will conquer hunger when African governments give Africans the tools and resources they need to feed themselves. Change – real change – comes from within.

The U.S. public wants disengagement (Bruce Stokes, CNN)

Those who criticized American unilateral interventionism under President George W. Bush may soon have an opportunity to see how they like American isolationism, especially if a Republican recaptures the White House in 2012. Throughout its history the United States has periodically turned its back on the world, even its long-time allies. There is now new evidence that Washington is about to do so again, if the American people have their way. A newly inward-looking America would have profound implications for Asia, Europe, NATO, the war in Afghanistan and the future reliability of the United States as a leader on a range of global issues. The world has periodically suffered the consequences of a self-pre-occupied America. This may happen again.

On Afghanistan , getting story right (Michael O’Hanlon, Politico)

Newspaper readers on Sept. 14 awake to sobering headlines about Afghanistan. For some, they probably conjured up memories of Vietnam and the Tet offensive – as they were undoubtedly intended to. An attack in inner-city Kakule by insurgents armed with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades killed several – but no Westerners or Afghan Leaders – and resulted in the death of all the attackers within hours, primarily at the hands of Afghan security forces. Yet headlines cited the attack as a reason to doubt the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-U.S. plan for handing over more security responsibility to Afghans in coming years, and question how the attackers could have planned with without collusion from insiders within the government of Afghan security forces.