Getting the Word Out

March 24, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

This week, USGLC South Carolina Advisory Committee Co-Chairs Governor Richard Riley and Ambassador David Wilkins authored an op-ed in the Greenville News. They wrote, “Although we come from different political parties, both of us want to keep South Carolina’s economy growing and strengthen our nation’s security. From our collective experience, we know one of the best ways to do this is supporting a strong and effective International Affairs Budget.”  Continuing to get the message out, USGLC’s own Ambassador Mark Green did a live radio interview with WTOP in Washington, D.C., during morning drive-time yesterday.  He told listeners the International Affairs Budget “most definitely” provides a return on investment for American taxpayer in terms of national security and economic growth.

Must Reads

Who’s In the News

Ros-Lehtinen targets several State Department budget items (Josh Rogin, the Cable)

House Foreign Affairs chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has responded to the  president’s fiscal 2012 international affairs budget request, recommending the elimination of over a dozen State Department and foreign aid programs.

Hillary Clinton may testify on Libya (Jonathan Allen, Politico)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been invited to testify on hostilities in Libya before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, panel spokesman Brad Goehner told POLITICO Wednesday. The invitation from Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) came as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent a scathing letter to President Barack Obama calling his policy on Libya “contradictory.”

Strong International Budget Helps South Carolina (Dick Riley and David Wilkins, Greenville News)

Here in South Carolina, we know first-hand how important it is to be engaged in today’s interconnected world as investments in the global marketplace have reaped large benefits for our local economy. Whether it is the BMW and Michelin plants in Greenville creating over 11,000 jobs for South Carolina families or a booming export market where almost $20 billion in our goods and products are sold overseas, we know the economic benefit to international engagement.

Smart Power

USAID and Walmart Join Forces to Help Small Farmers and Enhance Food Security in Central America (USAID press release)

USAID and Walmart signed an agreement on March 14 to support small rural farmers in Central America and to connect them to the retailer’s regional and international supply chains. The new partnership links Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, with Walmart’s Global Sustainable Agriculture Goals. Small rural farmers in Central America will earn more from their fresh fruit and vegetable production, which will help them climb out of poverty. Consumers will benefit from greater access to locally-grown produce.

National Security And Global Health (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Lawmakers who are pushing for foreign aid budget cuts and placing global health and food security programs outside the realm of national security are focused on “very short-term financial gains” and, in turn, are discounting the long-term benefits of helping societies cut their disease burdens, Julie Fischer, head of the Stimson Center’s Global Health Security project, said in an interview Tuesday with the Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report’s Jaclyn Schiff.

US should not cut foreign aid budget (The College News Network)

The House of Representatives made a devastating decision three weeks ago, cutting $1.7 billion from the international affairs budget. By slashing foreign assistance so drastically, the House is not only hurting millions of the world’s most vulnerable communities, but also damaging the economic and security interests that drive our foreign policy.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Fears grow of humanitarian crisis in besieged Libyan city (Mary Beth Sheridan, the Washington Post)

Aid organizations scrambled Wednesday to prepare for large-scale relief operations in Libya, as fears grew of a potential humanitarian crisis in a key city besieged by government forces. International military forces on Wednesday stepped up attacks on government troops in Misurata, 131 miles east of Tripoli.

Middle East needs more entrepreneurs (Stephanie Marrus, MarketWatch)

Another week, another headline from the tinderbox that is the Middle East. Youth activists from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya, fueled by social media’s real time information, are reshaping the region. But what will be the aftermath? The despots may be gone, speech may be freer but the underlying problem contributing to unrest remains: lack of jobs.

The GOP’s Foreign Policy: At Odds with Reality? (John Norris, the Huffington Post)

After a 2010 Congressional election completely absent foreign policy debates, the irony is lost on no one that events around the world now completely dominate recent headlines. At first glance, it would be easy to see the Republican Party as divided from within as it tries to figure out how America should engage the world.

Gates grants could grow by $700M this year (Clay Holtzman, Puget Sound Business Journal)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says it could increase its charitable spending by up to $700 million in 2011 over last year, thanks to nearly $500 million that it chose to save instead of spend in 2010.Most of the $24.4 billion spent by the Gates Foundation on grants has gone to global health