Bill Gates On Strategic Global Leadership

November 2, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Yesterday, the Senate passed the first “minibus package,” which included the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-HUD spending bills by a vote of 69-30.  The second minibus – which will include the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill along with the Energy-Water and Financial Services appropriations bills – is now looking like it will be delayed until next week.

Must Reads

Who’s in the News

Bill Gates’s plan to assist the world’s poor (Bill Gates, Washington Post)

Sometimes Americans get the impression that we’re shouldering the whole burden of development and that, ultimately, our aid doesn’t make a big difference. I see it very differently. We’re providing strategic investments that link up with many other investments to systematically make a better, more prosperous and safer world. If we do it right, we can keep shrinking the number of countries where aid is needed to zero.

Smart Power

Senators predict massive U.S. withdrawal from international organizations (Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy)

As The Cable reported last month, the Obama administration is required by existing U.S. law to cut off funding for any international organization that grants the Palestinians full membership. Membership in UNESCO also grants the Palestinians membership in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The United States is not a member of UNIDO, but will be forced to stop contributing to WIPO. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The Palestinians could seek membership in more prominent international organizations, which could result in the United States defunding or even withdrawing from institutions such as the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The AP reported today that the Palestinian Authority was examining seeking membership in 16 more U.N. organizations.

Chinese Navy Brings Medical Aid to Jamaica (David McFadden, ABC News)

The aim of the operation, dubbed “Harmonious Mission,” is to soften the image of China’s 2.3 million-member military and boost its ties with other nations’ armed forces. “It’s trying to use military powers in ways that are reassuring and not threatening,” said David M. Lampton, director of the China studies program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. “The Chinese have a strategy of simultaneously growing their hard power but using it in a soft way that’s reassuring and therefore doesn’t build a coalition of enemies against it. “The Peace Ark has already visited Cuba and after Jamaica is scheduled to go to Trinidad and Tobago.

A Silver Lining to America’s Waning Influence (Helene Cooper, New York Times)

“This is a place that parents all over the world want to send their kids to university,” said Michael Froman, the deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, during a briefing with reporters at the White House on Monday. “We’re the center of innovation. We have a great network of alliances around the world that no other country has. I’m struck, in the G20 and the other forums that we’re involved in, I’m struck by the degree which other countries very much look to the U.S. for leadership, thought leadership and leadership on action, to ensure a way to resolve global problems.” Arriving in Cannes on Thursday, Mr. Obama will be trying to balance providing that leadership while not taking on any of the additional burden — particularly financial — that such leadership often requires. Whatever Democrats and Republicans may say about the United States’ role in the world, it is clearly changing.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Herman Cain unveils his “Godfather’s Pizza” approach to foreign policy (Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy)

In order to fix what he referred to as America’s “foreign foggy policy,” Cain told a packed house at the National Press Club today that he would apply the lessons he learned as CEO reviving Godfather’s Pizza to U.S. national security issues. Cain noted that Godfather’s was about to go bankrupt in 1996 when he joined the organization.  “I had never made a pizza, but I learned. And the way we renewed Godfather’s Pizza as a company is the same approach I would use to renew America. And that is: If you want to solve a problem, go to the source closest to the problem and ask the right questions,” he said, while the audience dined on cupcakes decorated with pictures of pizzas and the numbers 9-9-9 — a reference to his much-celebrated plan for tax reform.

Leon Panetta: Don’t gut our defenses (Seung Min Kim, Politico)

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta again forcefully advocated against automatic defense cuts that would occur should the deficit-cutting supercommittee fail to work out its own plan, lawmakers said Tuesday. In a classified briefing, Panetta said the across-the-board spending cuts to national security would have “devastating effects” on defense and urged lawmakers to put pressure on the supercommittee to reach a deal that would avoid the unpopular cuts.