Attention Turns to South Carolina

January 11, 2012 By Mac Stoddard

With the New Hampshire primary complete, all eyes are now on South Carolina for the Republican candidates to make their case.  Next Tuesday in Columbia, SC, we will host a luncheon event with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on the importance of American leadership in the world, particularly with our development and diplomatic operations.  If you’re in the Palmetto State next week, here are the details, and look for a full report from us next week.

Must Reads

Who’s in the News

Where There Are No Doctors, Who Can Deliver Health? (Carolyn S. Miles, Huffington Miles)

Today, the World Health Organization puts the shortage of frontline health workers at more than 1 million. Many more lack the skills, medicines and support they need to deliver basic health services. That means far too many people in the developing world can’t access simple treatments and preventive measures that could save their lives. As a result, millions of mothers, newborns, and children die every year, and diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis continue to ravage communities despite known, affordable treatments.

Smart Power

Slow road to recovery in quake-ravaged Haiti (Kevin Gray and Joseph Guyler Delva, Reuters)

Most Haitians agree the huge influx in aid, much of it from foreign governments and international aid organizations that poured in after the January 12, 2010 quake helped to save thousands of lives. But many worry not enough is now being done to provide Haitians with jobs and address deeply-rooted problems like education that could help Haiti begin to shed its image as a basket case of crushing poverty and underdevelopment.

Smart Power or Wise Power? (Charles Strohmer, Capitol Commentary)

Time magazine’s recent cover story on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and “smart power” joins a growing consensus, at home and abroad, that U.S. foreign policy has softened considerably in recent years, and, therefore, the world really ought to once again accept American leadership. There has indeed been some softening. Washington now enlists the cooperation of other nations much more intentionally than it did in the years following 9/11. But is this shift directed toward increased cooperation for the international common good? Or is it just a kinder, gentler way for America to have its own way in the world?

Politics/Foreign Policy

New Hampshire primary: Six takeaways (Maggie Haberman, Politico)

Mitt Romney made history as a non-incumbent Republican who has now won both Iowa and New Hampshire, and from here on he will be hard to stop.  On a rare-night when the polls were close to the mark, Romney finished with 39% of the vote, well ahead of 2nd and 3rd place finishers Ron Paul (23%) and Jon Huntsman (17%) respectively.

Was $73B of Afghan Aid Wasted? (James R. Peterson, Politico)

Washington has appropriated nearly $73 billion for reconstruction and development in Afghanistan since 9/11, according to SIGAR’s October 2011 quarterly report, up $17 billion in each of the past two years.  Our leaders ought to have good reasons for giving this aid. Maybe they do. Taxpayers, however, whether they support our efforts or not, still deserve answers to basic questions: Where has all this money gone? Has anyone verified it went where it was supposed to go? Is it cost effective to run aid programs in a war zone? The answer, unfortunately, is no.

Romney takes swipe at Obama over new defense strategy (John T. Bennett, The Hill)

A euphoric Mitt Romney celebrated his win in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary by vowing to build an American military the world will fear. “Internationally, President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy,” the former governor of Massachusetts said during his victory speech Tuesday evening. “He believes America’s role as leader in the world is a thing of the past. I believe a strong America must – and will – lead the future.”  Romney vowed to build a U.S. military so lethal no other nation would even “think of challenging it.”

Obama sending 5 military leaders to S. Sudan (Julie Pace, Associated Press)

President Obama is sending five American military officers to South Sudan amid recent outbreaks of violence in the newly independent African nation.  Since gaining independence in July, South Sudan has been beset by internal conflict. Aid groups estimate that 60,000 people have been affected by recent outbreaks of violence, and the U.N. says tens of thousands have fled their homes and are in urgent need of high-nutritional food, clean water, health care and shelter.