Deep in the Heart of Texas

May 10, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

General Michael Hagee, a former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and co-chair of the USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council, wrote an op-ed for the San Antonio Express News making the case for the International Affairs Budget. General Hagee said “In today’s world we need a full set of tools to include properly maintained developmental and diplomatic operations. Our global environment is too complex to only have a ‘hammer’ to respond to threats to our national security. We must bring all elements of national power to bear on security challenges.” Back in Washington, yesterday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, where she said the goals of the dialogue included making sure the two nations could “more effectively to meet our shared regional and global challenges and also to weather disagreements when they arise.”

Must Reads
Who’s In the News

Boehner to Pakistan on terror fight: You’re ‘all in, or you’re not in’ (Michael O’Brien – The Hill)

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that it’s time to seriously challenge Pakistan on whether the country is “all in” in the fight against terror.

USAID FrontLines: Exclusive Interview with CENTCOM’s Lt. Gen. John Allen (USAID)

On April 28, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Lt. Gen. Allen to take Gen. David Petraeus’ place as commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Following is Lt. Gen. Allen’s exclusive interview with FrontLines regarding his time in Iraq and the relationship between USAID and the military.

Smart Power

Foreign aid, like all government spending, must play its part (Joseph Whitehill – The Will and the Wallet)

The time has come to apply serious fiscal discipline to ourselves. Reducing international affairs spending would be a miniscule part of that discipline, but there is no reason to exempt it from fiscal discipline.  Foreign aid enthusiasts claim that they are unfairly, even disproportionally targeted for cuts during times of fiscal restraint.  Historically, the budget has told a different story.

New ISAF commander hearts USAID (Josh Rogin, The Cable blog)

Lt. Gen. John Allen is set to take over command of the war in Afghanistan when Gen. David Petraeus becomes CIA director in September. The battle against the Taliban remains the centerpiece in the Afghanistan effort, but the development mission — the world’s largest and most challenging -will also be a focus for Allen. In a long interview with USAID’s Frontline magazine, Allen talked about the development challenges in Afghanistan and recounted his experiences working with development professionals in the Mediterranean in the 1970s, running the task force that led the U.S. government response to the Asian tsunami of 2004-2005, and coordinating development projects in Iraq during the surge from 2006 to 2008. He promised to push for increased cooperation between soldiers and aid workers and fight for USAID’s continued support from the military and Congress.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Higher food prices push many into hunger: World Vision calls on leaders to address crisis (PRWeb)

With rising global food prices pushing millions of households further toward hunger and extreme poverty, Christian humanitarian agency World Vision is calling on Congress to spare life-saving international assistance from drastic U.S. budget cuts, and for world leaders to bolster the impact of existing commitments at this month’s upcoming G8 summit.

Bipartisan House group to Obama: Pull troops from Afghanistan Now (Mike Lillis – The Hill)

Congressional calls for a quick end to military operations in Afghanistan grew louder Monday when a bipartisan group in the House urged President Obama to immediately withdraw U.S. troops.  Lawmakers said the raid in Pakistan that netted Osama bin Laden proves that a focused approach to rooting out terrorists is more effective than a large military presence, and they urged Obama to shift the mission in Afghanistan from nation-building to counterintelligence.