Today in Washington – Wednesday, October 6, 2010
10:00AM: Administrator Shah gave opening remarks at the Feed the Future Food Security Reviews, at USAID
10:30AM: Secretary Clinton delivered remarks at the 12th Annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit
11:30AM: Vice President Biden chaired a regular meeting of senior officials to assess progress in Iraq
1:45PM: Secretary Clinton meets with Quartet Representative Tony Blair, at the Department of State
1:45PM: President Obama awards Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor
The Daily GAB
USAID recently announced that Brian Atwood has been nominated to be the Chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. The DAC helps to coordinate the international development efforts of its 24 donor nations, as well as work with other countries with development assistance issues related to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Atwood is a former USAID Administrator and Assistant Secretary of State now serving as the Dean of the Hubert Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
USGLC in the News
Report: U.S. ranks low on effectiveness of foreign aid (Josh Rogin – Foreign Policy)
The United States may be the largest donor of foreign assistance in the world, but it ranks among the lowest in terms of the quality and effectiveness of its aid, according to a new report. The Center for Global Development (CGD), in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, released its “Quality of ODA Assessment” report Tuesday, which assesses the aid provided to 23 countries by more than 150 aid countries to determine how much value they are getting for their foreign aid money. Although the United States does poorly overall when compared to other countries or multilateral organizations, some agencies rate better than others: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Defense Department get poor marks, while the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) does much better.
Who’s In the News
Will Deputy Donilon be the new sheriff? (Washington Post)
Who’s got the best deputy job in Washington? It would have to be deputy national security adviser Tom Donilon. Donilon had been mentioned as a possible White House chief of staff, but now that the position has gone to Pete Rouse, history gives Donilon the nod to replace departing national security adviser Jim Jones. Nearly half of the last 15 deputy national security advisers – going back to the Kennedy administration – have eventually assumed the top job. Since 1961, seven deputies have moved up, starting with Walt W. Rostow (after a detour to State) for Lyndon Johnson; Brent Scowcroft for Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush; and Robert McFarlane, John Poindexter and Colin Powell for Ronald Reagan – who cycled through six national security advisers in eight years.
Too Big to Succeed? Why (w)hole-of-government cannot work for U.S. development policy (Todd Moss – The Huffington Post)
The current confusion and holdups in U.S. development policy are usually explained, like the gossip pages, as who is elbowing whom. But the problem is not just the difficult personalities in every administration. The dynamics of interagency negotiating make this kind of deadlock all too common. Intransigence is simply built into the system. Each staffer in the interagency is sent with the same clear instructions: push our agenda and protect our equities.
How does the U.S. rank in outcomes for aid money? (Howard Schneider – Washington Post)
Money for foreign aid, like money for education or other basic services, is often governed by a more-is-better assumption. But the Center for Global Development has been on a drive to focus more attention on the measurable outcome of the aid and how it’s making a difference in the lives of the people it is meant to help. In conjunction with the Brookings Institution, the think tank tried to put some numbers behind the idea and on Tuesday released its rankings of which major aid programs around the world are most effective.
Will Congress sabotage Iraq’s transition to a new government? (Editorial – Washington Post)
Just as Iraq’s political impasse looked to be unending, a breakthrough came. On the day it surpassed the record – 207 days – for the time between a parliamentary election and the formation of a government, the country learned that its next administration will almost certainly be led by the prime minister now in office, Nouri al-Maliki. Mr. Maliki finally won the endorsement of the radical Shiite Sadrist movement, with which he went to war – literally – just two years ago. That unlocked a frenzy of maneuvering that most likely will lead, in a few weeks or months, to a government encompassing all of the country’s major factions, including Sunnis and Kurds. Iraqis have a penchant for rescuing their fragile democratic political system just when it appears doomed. The result has been a painful but steady crawl away from war and toward greater prosperity and stability.
Afghan War Enters 10th Year With Uncertain Future Under Obama (Deb Riechmann – The Huffington Post)
The war in Afghanistan enters its 10th year Thursday with key players hedging their bets, uncertain whether the Obama administration is prepared to stay for the long haul, move quickly to exit an increasingly unpopular conflict, or something in between. Fearing that his Western allies may in the end abandon him, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has started to prepare his nation for a withdrawal of international forces by shoring up relations with neighboring Pakistan and reaching out to insurgents interested in reconciliation. Pakistan, America’s nominal ally, says it’s fighting insurgents. But it still tolerates al-Qaida and Afghan Taliban militants hiding out on its soil – out of reach of U.S.-led NATO ground forces. There have been other important junctures, but this ninth anniversary is proving decisive. It’s go-for-broke time in Afghanistan.